Where I Went
Isle of Iona, Scotland, UK
Why It Was Magical
The religious center at Iona was started with St. Columcille, a priest who was cast out of Ireland for disagreeing with his kinsman, the king. He brought Christianity to the Pictish folk of Scotland, and established a dynasty of monasticism on the island. While the place was undergoing some renovation, there were plenty of quiet corners to contemplate 1500 years of religious concentration. No one came with me all the way on this journey - my husband stayed at the B&B on Mull, my parents stayed at the cafe at the harbor - I was the only one to brave the wind and the rain, and it was well worth it.
- The ferry only goes when the weather is good enough, but it is a very short ride. Make sure to exlore the small nun's church on the way. There is also a nice artisan building on the path, with local artists selling their wares. Don't miss the lovely carvings in the celtic crosses, the columns, and the chapel itself. There is a small chapel in the graveyard that hearkens back to a simpler time for Christianity. Also see if you can visit the Isle of Staffa, about a 1/2 hour boat ride out.
How to Get There
A ferry from Oban, a 30 minute drive on a one-lane winding road, and another ferry from Fionnphort will get you there. Then a 20 minute walk, but it's worth it!