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Wednesday, 10 April 2013

A-Z Challenge: I is for Iona - An Island Paradise

Join me on this A-Z Journey into  A SENSE OF PLACE where I will be:
  • Featuring places connected with my own family history.
  • Highlighting places with happy memories.
  • Shining the spotlight on place names that appeal.
  • Linking my interests in history, travel and photography.

I is for:

ISLE OF IONA   - this tiny island,  off the southwest coast of Mull in the Inner Hebrides, Is top of my list of favourite places.   It is only  1.5 miles wide by 3 miles long, with a population of around 120 permanent residents, but everyone talks about  the magical nature of this   seat of Scottish Christianity where St. Columba founded his Abbey in 563AD. Later it became a place of pilgrimage and learning,   and over 40 of Scotland's earliest kings were buried there.

Dramatic lighting in this view of Iona Abbey


A visit that has stayed  etched on my memory  was a few days after the dreadful 9/11 attack.  It was the most perfect September day you could have asked for - sunny blue skies, a calm deep blue sea, a panorama of hills and the seals bobbing around the ferry.    The atmosphere was strangely quiet and subdued. There were many American tourists on the boat, and   people were going up to them to shake their hands and extend their sympathy.  It is amazing that even though the boat seemed busy, visitors spread out on the small island and it seems as if you have the place to yourself.  It was so peaceful - a beautiful haven in what suddenly seemed then  a very evil world. 

On later visits we enjoyed exploring the island, looking out from the west coast  onto  the Atlantic and pondering - next stop Canada.  And if you think it always  rains in Scotland, think again when you see the wonderful skies and seas in these photographs of very happy memories.  We were very lucky with the weather"




The Cal Mac ferry sailing the Isles

Join on the next stage of this A-Z Journey to J
Copyright © 2013 · Susan Donaldson.  All Rights Reserved



  1. God that's beautiful. I would go there in a heartbeat.

    Happy A to Z blogging!

  2. I can see I'm missing a lot by not having ever visited Scotland. Your pictures are just magnificent. What an ambassador you are for Scotland.

  3. Thank you both for your kind comments. You can see why Iona is so special. I used to work for the tourist board so I still like to think of myself as an "ambassador".


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