I've traveled for 18 days now. Tomorrow I go home. I've never, I think, in my life been away from my home for this long. I'm exhausted, tired, and road weary, but I still don't want the trip to end. When I started envisioning this sabbatical time, I knew I wanted to go to Italy to visit Benedict's monastery in Monte . . .
Iona is described as a Holy Place. Some call it a “thin place,” where the separation from Heaven and Earth is thinner and a spiritual encounter is more commonplace than the rest of the world. I’m not sure how to describe Iona, but I can say it’s different here. There’s a deep history of faith on Iona, with St. Columba coming here with . . .
Church Encounter Series
Yesterday morning was a travel day, so I wasn't able to go to church in Glasgow. The train ride from Glasgow to Oban is extraordinary, though, where I felt like I was on the Hogwarts Express, passing through mountains and lakes and ocean inlets. I did make it to Iona in time for Sunday evening worship, though. Worship happens twice a . . .
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 . . .