It might have something to do with the fact that our great friends, Gail+Ian Adams, are on Iona this week (and, in all probability, have participated in the weekly pilgrimage walk around the island) that I decided to repeat my own Bristol version (ie. using Jane Bentley+Neil Paynter’s excellent book “Around a Thin Place – an Iona pilgrimage guide” as a resource for my “journey”) – which I’d previously undertaken in September 2012 and in March 2014. This time, I broke my cycling route (yes, bike this year!) into nine sections or stops… pausing for reflections taken from the book, together with my own contemplations.The weather was absolutely beautiful yesterday (I’d cunningly planned the day around our local forecast!) and it again proved to be a fruitful (and sometimes challenging) time.
As before, I related my stopping points with pilgrimage stops on Iona (and, apart from my starting point, I didn’t choose them in advance):
St Martin’s Cross/setting out on the road was the Ferry Steps, near Temple Meads station; The Nunnery was Castle Park/St Peter’s Church (destroyed in the Blitz); Crossroads was a bench next to St Augustine’s Parade/Baldwin Street/Colston Avenue/Broad Quay; High Point was the top floor of the Galleries’ car park; Marble Quarry was the M-Shed; Columba’s Bay was the Avon Lock Gates adjacent Bennett Way; the Machair was the excellent Brigstow Lounge, Millennium Parade; the Hermit’s Cell was God’s Garden, adjacent Bathurst Basin; and St Oran’s Chapel was a bench on Queen Square (my original choice had been the Quaker Burial Ground/’Redcliff Pit’ on Redcliffe Way – but I’d been somewhat put off by the presence of six rather ‘dodgy-looking’ gentlemen and their bull-terriers! What a cop-out! Sorry).
It proved to be another challenging and thought-provoking time… and I know it’s something I’ll continue to repeat (choosing completely different parts of Bristol… or maybe even elsewhere?) over the coming years.
Photos (from left to right, top to bottom): Ferry Steps; Castle Park; Baldwin Street; Galleries’ Car Park; M-Shed; Avon Lock Gates; Brigstow Lounge; God’s Garden; and Queen Square.