Hadrian's Wall

Hadrian's Wall
Hadrian's Wall at sunset

Sunday, January 17, 2010

St. Ninian's Cave, Scotland

In my second novel, Eleri's Tale, my character Eleri spends time at "Candida Casa", the "white house" on the hill at the very southwestern tip of Scotland.

The time period is 432 AD. Candida Casa was a monastery built by St. Ninian. St. Ninian's Cave is on the beach at the Irish Sea, a walk of about 4 miles. Tradition holds that Ninian retired to this cave to pray and meditate.

Pilgrims have made their way to visit the cave since those ancient times. Some very early Christian crosses are carved into the rock at the mouth of the cave and you can still see them today.

My sister Bernadine and I walked the path to the sea on a beautiful Scottish morning. The path meanders through the forest and then begins to slope slightly upward.

Through the screen of green leaves you can see the blue water.

The forest gives way to blackberry bushes that tower thickly above the path on both sides. And then you are on the beach, greeted by a spectacular vista of water and sky.

You can see the dark mouth of the cave in the cliff that rises to your right.

A cave with a view!

The cave is a sort of triangular shape, narrowing to a point at the back. The floor of the cave is covered with smooth rounded stones.

The day we visited and I took these photos, we were the only ones on the beach. It was amazing for me to stand in this place and think about Eleri coming here to pray as Ninian had done.

Absolutely gorgeous!

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