The Isle of Iona

On Sunday afternoon, February 7, approximately 50 members and their guests logged in to take part in a digital exploration of the history and culture of the isle of Iona, just off the Isle of Mull on the West Coast of Scotland.

With the cold temperatures and the snow we had that day, what an advantage it was to be able to explore a part of Scotland without leaving home. Not everything is bad about Corona.

Iona Abbey is one of the oldest Christian religious centres in Western Europe. In 563, the priest-warrior Columba came to Iona from Ireland with twelve companions and founded a monastery. It developed as an influential centre for the spread of Christianity among the Picts and Scots.

Today Iona Abbey is the spiritual home of the Iona Community, an ecumenical Christian religious order, headquartered in Glasgow. The Abbey is still a popular Christian pilgrimage site.

NTAB’s first virtual trip experiment

Normally, NTAB organizes one or two trips to National Trust properties in the UK every year, as well as monthly excursions to places of interest in Belgium. Due to the current situation with Covid, the steering committee has decided to cancel all local excursions and postpone all trips to the UK until 2022.  
That’s why during these special months we looked for alternatives to create value for our members. Digital travel to the UK is an obvious choice. 
In February we actually had our first virtual excursion, to Scotland. The tour lasted 45 minutes, the whole presentation about 1:15 hours including introductions and questions at the end. The presentation was curated and narrated by Andrew Baxter, a professional Green Badge Tourist Guide (Glen2Glen Tours).

by Johan Vanbrabant, webmaster

Past Events

10 responses to “The Isle of Iona”

  1. Nelly Cock-De Clercq says:

    Iona: a good initiative and worth repeating, especially nice to see everyone again!

  2. Mary Preston says:

    That was a very interesting lecture on Iona this afternoon. Please keep me on the list for any future talks. Many thanks

  3. Carole Ducastel says:

    Thank you so much for organizing our tour of Iona. It was one of my best Zoom experiences as the majority are conferences. This one was pleasurable and packed with history and anecdotes and the guide’s personal notes and views. I really felt I was being guided around. I don’t think people would have had difficulty understanding Andrew and the loss of image and sound from time to time was certainly not his problem and he reacted well each time, picking up his thread where we told him we’d lost him. He obviously knows his subject extremely well and responded easily to questions.
    It was sad that so many people chose not to show their faces.
    But thank you. I was very pleased to have been on this tour and I think it is certainly an experience we could repeat.

  4. Margaret du Maine-Simpson says:

    I’d like to add my thanks to this! It was brilliantly done, and I really enjoyed it, despite the occasional blip.

  5. Johan Vanbrabant says:

    Well, the idea behind the setup is also to see each other’s faces every now and then, be it on a screen. To reassure Carole, I expect more cameras will stay on once the hairdressers are back in business.

  6. Joana Betson says:

    Nice to see so many of you last Sunday. Thanks for the “trip” to Iona. I have always wanted to visit it.
    Big Irish connection, so it was interesting to hear about it from the Scottish perspective. I hope you will arrange another virtual trip sometime! But even better if we can go there ourselves sometime; fingers crossed !

  7. André Ceulemans says:

    I would like to join Carole and Margaret to thank for the initiative to cheer us up with this virtual discovery of Iona. The comments and explanations of our guide were certainly more than interesting as they were interwoven with his personal views and experiences. A pity though for the technical problems but Andrew’s stories and personal approach greatly did compensate for this. We should certainly reconsider such an initiative.

  8. Emile Debacker says:

    A very interesting presentation of the beautiful island of Iona by our guide Andrew.
    We certainly need to continue organizing such events in the future.
    Thanks to Johan and all who worked on this

  9. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to visit the lovely islands for real ?
    Personally I had the opportunity to take in Skye, Mull , Arran and Eigg.

  10. Carole says:

    To those people who missed our Iona virtual tour, do try to sign up to the next. It really is the next best thing to making the trip. Far better than a video because our guide was prepared to answer questions.

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