The plan after visiting Staffa (and the puffins) was to visit Iona island and have lunch over there. Iona is a very small island (about 1.5 miles wide by 3 miles long) and has about 120 permanent residents. This tiny island is also well known for being “The cradle of Christianity” in Scotland.
The ferry dropped us at Baile Mor, the only harbour on this island. As you can see, the weather was already a bit better.
We first explored the Nunnery, one of the best-preserved medieval nunneries in Britain. This was the realm of Iona’s religious women, founded around 1200, providing refugefor unmarried daughters, widows of illegitimate girls. Many nuns came from noble families.
Much of the ruins date from the 14th century. Nowadays you can find a beautiful garden in what was once the cloister. It was lovely to wander around and take pictures of the flowers, with a few raindrops remaining on their petals.
From there, we could see the ruins of the Iona Abbey in the distance, founded by St Columba in 563. We walked there and saw the big cross in front of the Abbey, St Martin’s Cross dating from the 9th century. It was very impressive.
The ancient burial ground next to the abbey contains the 12th century chapel of St Odhrá. It is thought to be the final resting place of 48 medieval kings of Norway, Ireland, and Scotland.
There were several shops on the island and a lot of handicrafts. The sheep were super cute and the weather was so nice !
The afternoon really passed quickly and it was time for us to take the ferry back to Mull.