Sunday, October 25, 2009

Back in Scotland! October 25th, 2009


Scotland welcomed me with bigger, outstretched arms than I could have even hoped for.

My flight out was delayed by about an hour...but no worries. I wrote a bit on a blog while waiting at the airport...although I couldn't post it because I couldn't get on to a network! Much like right now, actually. I'm writing this from my Iona hotel room on Saturday the 24th of October...about to go to sleep. I was hopeful that I'd be able to connect via wireless from my room...but Chelsea isn't picking up anything. No worries though, I'm still going to write!

I got into Edinburgh at a little past 11:00am Friday the 23rd of October. I was on a plane dominated by Scots...so that was a nice intro to returning. My friend, Christina was waiting for me with tea at Waverly Station so I hopped on a bus into town. As we drove along I thought, "this looks different" and after asking a couple very nice locals, I figured out that the bus was not going to let me off across from Waverley...so I got off and onto another. That one didn't either, but it did leave me off in familiar territory...so I walked the rest of the way.

Princes street is all torn up due to the building of a new tram, but otherwise Edinburgh is just as I left her...though dressed in Fall colors.

I met Christina and got my train ticket for Oban and then we were off to her flat. I relaxed with a bit of tea and a chat...then thankfully showered and was off into town! I walked along Regent road so I could pass my beloved Arthur's seat...and was struck with such a sense of contentment...it was superb. The past two times I was in Scotland I kept thinking, "I can't believe I'm here!" and this time...all I can think, with peace in my heart, is "How can I not be here..." It's simple. I am reminded of a phrase from the books that brought me here the first time...(The "Outlander" Series by Diana Gabaldon)...I'm paraphrasing since I don't have the books beside me...but it's something to the effect of...you reach a moment when you realize that everything is possible...and therefore, nothing is necessary.

I have had a lot of moments like that in this country. It is exactly where I want to be.

So...back to my first day...

I wandered past Arthur's and Holyrood...and got my cell phone set up...then I decided to stroll over to the Royal mile in search of a half pint. I found it at The "Toll Booth Tavern" ...a place I went last time, near the bottom of the mile. I actually sat at the bar...my friend Kim would be proud, and ordered a Caledonian 80...followed by a Deuchars IPA. Now, keep in mind I hadn't eaten anything since breakfast. I chatted with the bartender a bit, then was off down towards Arthur's seat. Something, however, told me to go over to my other favorite spot...Calton Hill....which is near the restaurant I dined at for my 30th birthday in August 2008. I was taking photos of the sun setting on the buildings of Princes street making them glow...and when I turned around...there was a giant rainbow arching from Arthur's Seat over Calton Hill.




It was the most magical moment I have experienced as of yet. I am on Iona right now, listening to the ocean right outside, after all.

I walked up Calton Hill and followed that rainbow....and took my hood down to let the Scottish rain Christen me. I was home.

Today...my trip out to Iona was quite lovely! The landscape is so amazing. I saw ruined boats resting in a harbor, gorgeous mountain and streams, highland cows, sheep and reindeer. I was seated across from a Dutch Woman on the train from Glasgow who was also travelling alone to Iona. We boarded the Ferry to Mull as soon as we got to Oban and the trip across was extraordinary. We were treated to the site of 2 castles, the gorgeous ever changing sky, and can you guess what else? Multiple rainbows. They seem to want to greet me me here.




We ended up having a two hour wait for the bus to Fionphort, which is where we needed to be to get the ferry to Iona, so we sat in a little pub and chatted away...it was exactly where the two of us needed to be.

Then the bus to Fionphort...a short Ferry Ride to Iona....and I was met by the Man running the workshop! What a lovely surprise! We walked by the ruins of a nunnery...so close I could have walked through them....and then onto the hotel for a quick intro and lovely dinner and then more of an assembly.

I am now completely knackered :) and the waves are calling me to sleep.

XO

*As I post this...I am fresh off of my first morning service at the Iona Abbey...and am preparing to go for a walk with my camera...check back for more!!!*

7 comments:

Sharon said...

Expect to see lots more rainbows. :)

me said...

Sounds heavenly!!! I'm SO jealous! I can't wait to read more of your trip ~~
bobbie (from Sark)

Madame K said...

Iris has come to greet you home with open arms I see! (yes, yes she's Greek, but she's a messenger Goddess dontchaknow and she goes far and wide to deliver 'em) Looks amazing, I look forward to seeing more! XO

Katie said...

awesome Leann!!! i'm so psyched for you!!!

Katie said...

p.s. this is PinkSpazz from sark... ;)

katie

Hilary said...

Your words and your pictures convey a sense of arrival and of peace, I suspect it is only a fraction of what you are feeling ~ I felt real warmth as I read. Sending love and light to you. xxx

Dharma said...

oooh, I wanna come too....I have been aching to see the place of my ancestors forever, only ever magnified by DG's series...you inspire me.