National Geographic : 1957 Oct
hills each morning to stand idly in the village's one street chewing their cuds. Sometimes they ambled far out in the bay at ebb tide to cool their hoofs and shanks. I took a dip in the ocean. Miss Revis shuddered, asking how I could stand such cold water. "Why, it can't be invigorating if it isn't cold," I explained. Miss Revis remained politely skeptical. From Mull we could visit Iona at leisure. And this island demands leisure. Here, where Christianity took root in Scotland, we breathed an atmosphere of peace and charm which is incommunicable to those who have not been there. Thriving Iona, once known to devout Scots as Colmekill, Columba's Isle, has tidy pastures, cropped close by sheep, and beaches of shining white sand. Scottish Kings Rest on Iona In summer the Oban steamer disgorges throngs of tourists on the island every week day. They swarm through the cloisters of the ruined nunnery, inspect the tempting stall of Highland Home Industries at its gate (some never get farther!), then go on to the cathe dral and the burial ground, Reilig Odhrain. Here, according to a 16th-century chroni cler, rest 48 Scottish monarchs from A. D. 1057 and before. Here also lies Marjory Kennedy-Fraser, queen of Hebridean song, who did so much, with her friend and collab orator, Kenneth MacLeod, to keep alive the hauntingly beautiful music of the Gael. Shakespeare refers to the Reilig Odhrain in Macbeth, when Macduff is asked where Duncan's body lies and answers: Carried to Colmekill, The sacred storehouse of his predecessors And guardian of their bones. When Queen Elizabeth landed on lona in August, 1956, she was the first monarch, English or Scottish, to visit the island since the days of Malcolm Canmore and his Queen Margaret 900 years before. St. Columba, born of a royal line in Done gal, Ireland, landed on Iona A. D. 563 and founded a church of which no trace remains. The present Iona cathedral is almost entirely late 15th- and early 16th-century work. 471 "Bird of the Graces, Dear Sea-mew, Whose Note Was Like the Halcyon's Song" Andrew Lang's lines come to life in the beautiful and effortless soaring of these gulls off the coast of Mull. Duart Castle (right) bulks stark and for bidding on a headland of the island.