Thursday 30 June 2011

Northumberland - day 6 - Lindisfarne

Lindisfarne dunes

The shelter on Lindisfarne causeway

Walking back on the Pilgrim's route

Paying £3 each allows us to pass through the beaded curtain to look at the exhibits in Lindisfarne Heritage Centre — an interesting film on the first Viking attack in Britain (793 AD) plays out — but not as interesting as the Lindisfarne Gospels exhibit, with its mesmerising film of the strange tools and processes involved in binding books (honestly) — Pilgrims Cafe is closed at 1:30pm, so we head to The Stables instead, just in time to queue behind a large walking group of religious Norwegians — a pair of Scottish ladies discuss spiritual concerns — sat in this sunny walled garden, it finally dawns on me that we are truly on a holy island, and that it has a greater significance to some people than just another tourist destination — with this in mind we head to St Mary's, and become absorbed by the illuminated page of bishops stretching back to St Aidan in 635 AD — a letter of conciliation from Norway in 1993 also hangs on the wall, officially declaring peace between the Vikings and Lindisfarne, 1200 years after the first invasion — on trying the Lindisfarne Mead T declares it to "taste of bees" — walking through the humps and hollows of the dunes, we're amazed at the flora and fauna: common blue butterflies, a swathe of cotton grass beneath a hawthorn, orchids everywhere, purple headed grasses — at The Snook, T possibly spots a Lindisfarne Helleborine — walk through the middle of the low dunes to Snook Point — cross the clean strip of tarmac into the sun — sit in the causeway shelter — follow the poles back to Lindisfarne — mirror-like pools of standing water reflect the clouds — so much further than it looks — Craster kipper supper — I still don't like kippers

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