Tagged British Isles

The Sacred Isle of Iona

By Patricia Lee Lewis.
Published in the LA Times.

There is a Gaelic prediction that whoever goes to Iona will go not once, but three times. It is a tiny island, barely 1½ miles by 3 miles, set across a narrow sound from the large island of Mull in the Hebrides, off the west coast of Scotland. But the richness of its landscapes, its ancient history, and something mysterious and ineffable in its spirit, call the traveler to return.

When you approach Iona for the first time, it’s likely to be by ferry from the small port of Fionnphort on Mull, or from the north by private boat. You will see a small village, its front row of stone houses neatly lined along a street facing the Sound, and behind them, gentle hills holding stone buildings, farmland and sheep.
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A Pilgrim in Wales

By Patricia Lee Lewis.
Published in Hampshire Life Magazine.

In the ancient Celtic tradition of pilgrimage to sacred places, Erna Evans is going to Skomer Island.

We sit across a table on the train from Cardiff, strangers speeding along Wales’ south coast. As she talks about surviving the Holocaust, marrying an English doctor, becoming a widow, her eyes are as keen as a herring gull’s.

She calls herself a traveling housewife, and goes by train or bus every day to the cliff-walk along Wales’ edges, or to one of the small British islands, exploring as she can. Her swollen legs are made worse by Wales’ wet weather, so walking is hard; but she says the secret to life is not to mind the rain-and then every day is a good day. As I say goodbye and get off the train in Tenby, it begins to drizzle.

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