Day 3 Reflections
After an anticipated night’s sleep and a classic Scottish breakfast at our hotel in Glencoe, the members of MC Concert Choir set off to Oban to board the ferry to Mull. On the top seats of the ferry, we passed the majestic view of Scotland’s lush and green islands, laden with ruins and lighthouses. After arriving to Mull, we once again boarded the bus to ride across the island, which was scenic, full of verdant countryside and sheep. Then we boarded another ferry to set sail for the isle of Iona to sing at Iona Abbey, which is a classic landmark and spot of pilgrimage, where the Book of Kells was composed. Our concert in the ancient stone church was somewhat unconfident, due to both jetlag and the absence of any meal since out early breakfast. However, our alumni group, as well as Scottish audience members who had ventured to Iona Abbey to see the choir sing greeted us with praise and a long applause. Directly after the concert, we bid the historic stone church and its tall Celtic crosses erected outside the abbey farewell, trekking back to the ferry to Mull, and then across Mull to the ferry to Oban. We ended the day riding back on the bus to our hotel in distant Glencoe to eat an extremely desired dinner after our full day and go to bed.
This morning the sun was up at around 5am, so we awoke bright and early to a wonderful breakfast at the hotel. A wide variety of foods were offered, including eggs, cheese, fruit, and porridge which is a traditional Scottish breakfast. There were others including a Scottish dish called blood pudding. After that, we loaded our buses. Our journey trip to Iona for our concert consisted of two lengthy bus rides and two ferry trips. The length of the travel gave us the opportunity to enjoy the lovely scenery. While the landscape often closely resembles that of the Appalachian area, we saw lots of sheep and shaggy highland cows instead of the usual sort of cows we’re used to seeing at home. While on the ferries, we watched the beautifully clear water, the mountains, and some ruins. Some of us actually caught a glimpse of some dolphins. Once we arrived at Iona, we walked to the sound of bagpipes to the Abbey. Iona is a very peaceful place with many old stone structures. The abbey is large and very impressive. The amazing acoustics inside made it even more exciting. We were all very tired and somewhat hesitant, but the audience—our alumni plus some other people who happened by seemed to enjoy our music. “Ain’t Got Time to Die” was a hit as well as Off Kilter’s Loch Lomond. After the concert, we took the ferries and buses back to our hotel for another delicious dinner and a good night’s sleep.
~ Cicely Babb