I've been all over Scotland since I arrived on Wednesday. On Thursday I stayed close in Glasgow, going to the Cathedral and Necropolis. On Thursday I rode the train to Edinburgh, and today I went with a group to the Highlands, where we took a short cruise on Loch Ness. These days have been wonderfully full.
Tomorrow I'm . . .
The second part of my journey has started; I've landed in Scotland. Yesterday was a quick trip to Florence. The high speed train from Rome to Florence was fantastic. We zipped along at 150 mph. Florence is a beautiful city without a straight street in it, but the maze-like experience of getting around adds to the charm. It was a . . .
My week in Italy is almost over. I have one more day here where I'm headed to Florence for a quick day trip. This week has been full. Today I went to Monte Cassino, where Benedict's monastery is. On Saturday I was in Assisi and Orvieto. I've been all around Rome seeing monuments and ruins and churches and eating my way . . .
I'm getting ready for my third night here in Rome, and my head is overflowing with experiences. It's all too much to recount here, but I've done and seen a lot. I've wandered through ancient ruins (and ancient here means B.C. as well as A.D. ancient). I've been inside the Roman Colosseum, looked up at the Sistine Chapel . . .
But you can get there in a day
I made it to Rome, and now after catching up on my sleep I can think clearly enough to write about it. I took a plane from Chicago to Dublin, and after about an hour and a half in Dublin another plane brought me to Rome. The shuttle bus that took me to my hotel broke down on the way (I think its transmission went out), but they got another . . .
Last night, I woke up at 3 AM and thought, “The monks are getting ready to pray now.” Vigils, the first time the monks at New Melleray Abbey gather for prayer, happens at 3:30 AM. I’m an early riser, but 3:30 in the morning is early. The monastery church is dark, except for the lights in the visitors’ area and a small light for the monks who . . .
I wanted my sabbatical to begin with a time of quiet and prayer, so here at the start I went to New Melleray Abbey in Eastern Iowa. New Melleray is a Trappist monastery, and they’re devoted to a contemplative life of prayer and silence. I arrived on Monday, and I’ll leave on Friday.
People are often curious, who’ve never experienced . . .