Reading to Iona

It's over 500 miles from Reading to Iona and the traveling was pleasant, not at all arduous. (Helps to have good company.) We departed promptly at 8:30 and were north of Manchester by noon. Lunch was at a service area and we welcomed Sister Marian to the party there also. Carrying on to the north, we crossed the border into Scotland, past Glasgow, and on to Stirling where we circled the wagons for the night at the King Robert Hotel.

You know you're in Scotland when you pull into your hotel, look out the back window and see a giant statue of Robert the Bruce, King of Scotland, who won a great victory over King Edward of England on the field of Bannockburn, where his statue now stands.

What I want to know is, how did the sculptor know what he looked like?

Stirling Castle seen from the field of Bannockburn.

In Oban, on the Scottish coast, we looked for a bite of lunch while waiting for our ferry to the Island of Mull. One of the suggestions was a crab sandwich, but these fellows didn't seem too inviting.

However, the hungry tourists gave it a good think before making their choices.

It was a beautiful, sunny day, and the Oban harbor was picturesque.

A group of jelly fish appeared close to the jetty, feasting on the pollution in the water.

We had enough time waiting to meditate on the meaning of this traffic sign.

Our ferry arrived, docked, disgorged a number of cars, lorries, coaches, cyclists and foot passengers. Then a similiar number of each boarded and we were off.

On the way out of Oban harbor we spotted this medieval looking fortification. Don't know what it is, except overgrown.

This castle has everything---seaside, mountains---splendid.

These hearty sailors came on deck to take in the view.

And my favorite sailor was there, too.

Upon arriving on Mull, we jumped back in the mini-bus and drove 37 miles on a single track road to the departure point for the ferry to Iona. And like all proper Brits, we queued up, luggage and all.

And looked across the water to our home for the next week (on the left), Iona Abbey.

After disembarking on Iona, we were led to the refectory for a cup of tea and a biscuit...

...a welcome from Martin, the program director for the Abbey, and then got our rooms assigned.

After dinner that evening we had a meeting in the Abbey's chapter house where we learned more about Iona.