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Scotland Slowly, Day 3, Part 2

Iona-- Whatever Happened to St. Columba's Bones?

View Joe and Susan's 25th on ORWAT's travel map.

Greetings from Somewhere Off the Coast of Scotland!

Joseph and I had a glorious afternoon on Iona. The weather was absolutely perfect. We managed to get into the first boat over to Iona and then in one of the last boats to depart.

We decided early that we should ditch our tour group ASAP (with permission, of course), in order to roam around as we wished. We spent a great deal of time at the Iona Abbey. This was as close as we were going to get to Sunday worship, but it was disappointing that there was no service for us to attend. There is an afternoon peace and justice prayer service every single day of the week, except for Sunday. I was disappointed. Still, we sat in the Abbey’s large sanctuary for a time. I looked through the worship book and then spent time in the quiet area.

The big mystery of the day is: what happened to the bones of St. Columba? St. Columba brought Christianity to Scotland from Ireland in 563. Many years after his death and burial, his bones were exhumed and the bones placed in several reliquaries. Once the Vikings started to invade the area, they learned of the significance of the local saint. On one raid, the Vikings demanded the bones of St. Columba, but the monks would not hand them over. The Vikings killed them.

But, what about the bones? Did the Vikings take them? Who knows? The Abbey Museum does not share this information.


Joseph and I then wandered around the island (which looks a lot like the Maine coast, I might add). We saw a lot of sheep and tried to make friends with a cow. The cow was not impressed:

Then it was time to get a quick snack and don the rain pants and return to the Ocean Endeavor, where we had a delightful dinner with a group in the dining room.

Tomorrow’s weather sounds not so good, but we are hoping to go on a good hike on Mingulay.


p.s. There’s a rather famous author on board the ship. Since she’s not part of the talent, I won’t reveal her name here, but Joseph and I have been wondering since the first day if this is who I thought it was. Today, she came into the daily briefing with her nametag on, and it is indeed who I thought it was. Ask me all about it when I’m home.

Posted by ORWAT 13:46 Archived in Scotland Tagged scotland ocean iona slowly endeavor

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