Celtic Trail – Day 1 – From Glasgow to Oban

Part of our group. Rev Robert Calvert, our trail leader, Presbyterian pastor in Rotterdam,
is second from the right. First from the right is Kati, my World Vision colleague.

The day began by meeting up with team leader Robert Calvert and a team of 13 people for a Celtic Trail tour and study of Celtic Christianity. The class met at the airport in Glasgow Scotland and travelled by minibus to Oban on the northwest coast of Scotland, about three hours drive from Glasgow.

Other members of our group.  This is the first meeting we had, in the Caledonian Hotel in Oban. Most of the people in the group were Americans and a few Dutch, plus myself and my Albanian colleague.

After checking in to the Caledonian Hotel in Oban, we gathered for a time of introduction and reflection on what is planned.

We learned that the Celtic Trail is about consultation not about a data dump from experts. It means that everyone contributes to the experience with his or her questions and observations leading to times of reflection. The theme is “Sustaining Urban Spirituality in the World.” In fact, the opposite of urban is not rural, but rather sub-urban.

Our first common meal was at a fish restaurant in Oban, on the water front. The sea food was great.
This is where I have eaten with my son, Daniel, the first time we traveled to Iona, in 2001.

Our first dinner together provided a time of fellowship and getting better acquainted.

The way back to the hotel was short.

However, it was too early to go to bed and I have invited my colleague, Kati, for a walk by the sea. The sunset was magnificent.

On our way, we stopped to say a prayer, for our families and for our trail in St. Columba’s Cathedral (Catholic).

In the background, the water way leading to the Hebrides, among which the tiny island of Iona was the most important goal for us.

Going back to the hotel, the view of Oban harbour was just stunning.

I cannot finish the short story of the first day without a picture of the Oban Folly. The name is an allusion to the Biblical story of the foolish man who started to build a tower but was not able to finish it, for lack of money. This is basically the story of this unfinished building, erected at the end of the 19th century, which, strangely, became the graphic symbol of Oban.


In this and in the following posts, the text in BLACK is by Michael Carlisle, and the text in BLUE contains my comments.


Author: DanutM

Anglican theologian. Former Director for Faith and Development Middle East and Eastern Europe Region of World Vision International

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