Iona is the name of our daughter, who now lives in Michigan. She is named after the sacred Isle of Iona, located off the western coast of Scotland.
Here is a link to Iona's own first webpage., which she created when she graduated from High Mowing, and here is Iona's travel blog which she wrote from Northern Ireland when she was on a semester abroad; the pictures include some from the Isle of Iona.
We visited the island in Spring, 1995 and can attest that it is a truly holy place that has justifiably been the destination of pilgrims for centuries, for Christians and non-Christians alike. Saint Columba founded his monastery there when exiled from Ireland in the 800's. Before that, it had been a Druidic holy place. Today it is the home of the Iona Community, an organization dedicated to maintaining the ancient religious sites, to helping inner-city Glasgow youth, and to coordinating the prayer, singing, and worship of Christians throughout the world for Peace and Justice. Recent efforts have included nonviolent civil disobedience at Scotland's Faslane Nuclear Submarine base and an accompaniment project in Palestine.
The rugged beauty of the island has to be experienced to be believed. On the other hand the island is a tourist destination that gets really crowded when the weather is good. If you plan to visit, spend as many nights as you can: most casual tourists leave on the evening ferry. There are several bed-and-breakfasts. It is possible to get to the island without a car by publicly-subsidized tourist bus from Oban, but allow lots of time.
Click here for a link to
beautiful pictures and text about the Isle of Iona.
This page is a page of the personal website of Jim Giddings