The day began relatively late today, with the group leaving the hotel in Edinburgh at around 9:30 AM. We set off on a two hour bus ride to Lindisfarne, an English island, to visit an ancient monastery that brought Christianity to Scotland and England. It was a pretty grueling drive, but the pain of it was dulled by the beautiful countryside of Scotland and all of the sheep and rabbit warrens in the sides of hills that followed the path of the asphalt road. bright yellow fields of barley lit up large patches in the hills mixed in with every shade of green that you could imagine. In addition to the ruins of a cathedral, other sources of excitement seemed to draw the attention of the pilgrims away from the ruins. Perhaps the most entertaining of these distractions was a mysterious fire that was burning about five hundred yards away from us at the closest, and this led to an argument over whether the fire was a deliberate part of the exhibition or an actual fire....
Another interesting part of that day way the absolutely awful lunch service half of the group that included Louise and I received. Not only did they take a good half hour to find us and take our order, they took an additional forty five minutes to bring the food, and still got the order wrong. However, there were some very touching parts of the journey that occurred today. The most important one being a journal entry that we did that helped us to really root out what we got out of this trip. This really made a difference in our perception of the pilgrimage and the fact that it was not just a trip to a great country to have a great time....it was geared towards helping us find ourselves and what makes us really find ourselves.
The Cathedral was built of beautiful stone blocks that were beautiful shades of orange, pink, and red, and it sat on the top of some cliffs overlooking a beautiful view of the ocean and the tide at its low point. interesting stone structures littered the seabed at the base of the cliffs, giving the shore quite an interesting appearance. Some of the original arches from when the church was first built. Our guide, James, pointed out the differences in the structure of the arches and how the older arches were rounded at the top, while the newer arches that were built after the possession of the church changed, as did some of the other structures.
This trip was an amazing experience for everyone involved. As a group, when we first left Atlanta, we in a way grouped ourselves based on schools or interests and we were quite divided. However, as the pilgrimage progressed, we came together as a group and disregarded our differences. Spiritually we had found parts of ourselves that we had not ever known about before. Even though the trip may have only lasted ten days, the experiences will most definitely last a lifetime.
Louise and Edward