Mull and Iona

here’s a video from travel guide Rick Steves as he tours Mull and Iona.  I feel very grateful that the days I had this year on these islands were a lot drier and sunnier than Rick encountered on his day.  Not that I mind the rain but it’s so stunning with the blue skies and it’s nice to have a dry, warm spot to sit on a bench and enjoy the view.


Iona Nunnery



Day breaks behind the Bens of Mull

streaming across the restless Sound

blessing with shy shadows

pillars and the ruined arches of

the Nunnery.

(Celtic Daily Prayer, Fiona Martin, pages 489-490)



Being on Iona was a highlight of my trip to Scotland this past month.  I felt very peaceful being there and I could have stayed for days, not just hours.

St. Columba and his Irish followers founded the abbey in AD 563.   It was restored at the beginning of the 20th century and they began renovations on the  living accommodations in 1938, following the origin of the Iona Community.

Here are some of the pictures I took on the island:

The Nunnery
Parish Church
The Abbey
The Abbey
The Abbey

For information on the Abbey and admission prices, etc. please see the Historic Scotland website.

Iona Infirmary Museum

As part of Historic Scotland’s “Around the Scottish Islands in 80 Monuments“, Kenny Taylor visits the Iona Infirmary Museum. A week ago, he was in this prestigious building and he had this to say …

“Some of the West Highlands’ finest are on display here. I’m particularly impressed by the effigy of Gilbride MacKinnon, who died in 1280. He’s standing in armour, with a huge sword that reaches from breast to below the knee, holding a richly patterned shield.

A traditional Hebridean ‘birlinn’ galley is uppermost on the shield. But beneath it, beside an image that could be a hunting dog, is an otter pursuing a fish. It’s like a freeze-frame from an ancient wildlife documentary. Other warriors are ranged in a row to the left of Gilbride. And in the wider infirmary space, one object more than all the others commands attention.”

He also mentions, “Because it sits behind the main attraction of the abbey church, quite a few visitors to Iona may overlook the Infirmary Museum. One way to get the lowdown on its treasures is to go on one of the guided tours that Historic Scotland organises around the abbey buildings. Just ask at the ticket office.”

All information and photos shown here are taken from the Historic Scotland blog.  More information can be found here.