My goodbyes with my new friends in Iona were heart-warming and full of hugs and kisses as we celebrated our time together and went our separate ways. Now that I’ve been gone for a few days, I’m looking back with affection at the opportunities I had to get to know and worship with people from around the world.
My roommate for the week, Erdmuth, and the room we shared.
The beautiful Abbey worship space.
A foggy view of The Abbey as the ferry took us away from the island early in the morning.
After a long day of traveling, including 2 boats, 2 buses, a train, and a plane ride, I finally arrived in Dublin in the evening last Friday. It was wonderful to see Tim had arrived safely and was resting at our hotel, and to know I’d have my own room after sharing space for almost a week. We dove right into the Dublin sights and spent a wonderful few days exploring the city. We stayed right across the street from Christ Church Cathedral and close to Temple Bar, the busiest tourist area in Dublin, full of people and energy day and night.
The first day we toured St. Patrick’s Cathedral, where we saw Jonathan Swift’s pulpit–complete with wheels–so he could wheel close to sleeping congregants in order to humiliate and harass them.
We also spent time touring the Guinness Storehouse and stopped by a local fish and chips shop, recommended by a cab driver–delicious.
The next day we visited Trinity College and saw The Book of Kells, a gorgeous hand-written and illustrated manuscript of the four gospels. It’s said to have been created by the monks on Iona around the year 800 A.D. and was smuggled to Ireland to keep it safe from Viking attacks. We also saw the long library in Trinity, pictured above.
We also toured the amazing National Archeology Museum of Ireland and walked through a sunny Stephen’s Green.
The evening included an Irish Musical Pub Crawl, with local musicians teaching us about Irish history and music as we traveled to 3 separate pubs. It was a crowded evening, but the music was fantastic and the witty stories from the musicians were even better.
Our last day in Dublin was slower for us, with a visit to Christ Church Cathedral (which has a fascinating crypt) where we walked up the bell tower and visited the bell-ringer’s room (Christ Church has 19 bells and 11 regular ringers). We also stopped to see the Charles Beatty library, which includes early papyrus manuscripts of the gospels and Paul’s letters–wow!
Our last evening we decided to go for a special dinner, and on our way we passed a peaceful gathering of hundreds of people in Temple Bar. Upon closer look, we realized they were draped in American and rainbow flags and held silver balloons spelling out “Orlando.” We had been watching the Orlando tragedy closely and seeing a group of people in Dublin expressing solidarity and compassion touched me dearly.
Before we knew it, our days in Dublin were done and we soon found ourselves landing in Bergen, Norway. It’s been a wonderful day here. More to come as we travel into fjord country tomorrow.
I can’t say enough how thankful we are to have this opportunity to travel, and to know our kids, dog and CTK are being lovingly cared for as we take in everything around us. I lift all of you up in prayer every day. I light candles in gratefulness every chance I get.