You don't go to Holy Island for just the castle. It is more of a full island experience you get here. Our island experience was greatly enhanced by beautiful weather, with only light breezes. Good thing too because for most of the day we had no shelter to hide under. We started by walking to the Lindisfarne Abbey. There were some pretty cool ruins here with stone walls separating them
. Most of the ruins you could see from the path, but there was a section where you had to pay to go in. The old ticket lady got mad at Jess for standing by the gate to take pictures. Joke's on her though because there was a path that everyone takes behind the ruins that goes up on a hill where you can see everything. No need to pay expensive entry fees here. We then headed to the castle along a path that took us by a yard used by fishermen to store their equipment. There were piles of crab traps, sailing boats, and storage sheds made from old boat hulls. The castle itself didn't really look like a castle, but it did have a beautiful location, on top of a rocky perch surrounded by fields of grazing sheep on one side and the sea on the other. Just below the castle near the shore, was a kiln used to burn limestone. This kilned limestone product was used as fertilizer, mortar, and to whitewash walls, among other things. Then we took a stroll along the sea-side of the island. Beautiful rolling meadow hills and tons of unique birds. The path took us through a few pastures where we found ourselves surrounded by sheep. Cute little guys. The highlight of the day goes to a family of swans. Sounds dumb, but let me explain. We were walking along one of the paths near a pond when out of the bushes waddles a family of swans. There were four grey young swans and two white adults. We named the four young swans Chloe, Chara, Mikayla, and Nora (after my nieces). Nora was up between mommy Tina and daddy Lee, and the other three were lagging behind by themselves. They were all single file on the grassy path and would stop every couple of steps to sit and rest. They were all out in front of us so Jess and I matched their speed. We had no idea where they were going because they were heading away from the only pond on the island. It was quite funny to watch them make their way along. Swans are much more graceful in water then out. The sheep became quite interested in these strange looking creatures waddling by their fences. Eventually Chloe, Chara, and Mikayla had enough and layed down refusing to move. Jess and I walked off the path to go around them because we had to get back to the bus. We didn't want to get stranded. Although I could think of worse islands to be stuck on.
Today we went to Lindisfarne Island, also known as Holy Island. Similar to Mont St. Michel, Holy Island is a tidal island, except the roadway to Holy Island is only accessable during low tide. Huge signs everywhere along the road warn vehicles not to drive during high tide. The signs have pictures of vehicles with water up to their windshields and words saying "this could be you." We took a bus to and from the island with set schedules so we didn't need to worry about tides. We just had to make sure to catch the bus.