Week 9

Emma, one of our peacocks, is on the Isle of Iona and clocking her miles for team peacocks while there. Iona is a stunningly beautiful part of Scotland, steeped in history and significance not only for Scotland but far beyond- as our wee monkeys and snow leopards are finding out in far-away Bavaria!

Wuerzburger_DomWhat’s the connection, I hear you ask?  Well, the wee monkeys have just passed, and the snow leopards have just reached, the Bavarian city of Wurzburg. Dominating the centre of the city is St Kilian’s Cathedral. That doesn’t sound very German now, does it? That’s because St Kilian was an Irish monk who began his missionary life on Iona in Scotland! Iona was founded in 563 by St Columba (and this week, on Wednesday 9th June, we celebrate the 1,500th anniversary of his birth). It remained a centre for monastic and missionary training for hundreds of years and (probably) in 685 Kilian left Iona for Rome, where he was asked to found a church in Franconia, now modern day Bavaria. He befriended Gosbert, the Duke of Wurzburg, hence the connection with the city and the Cathedral. But it didn’t end well… Gosbert’s wife, Geilana, had Kilian beheaded along with two of his companions, while Gosbert was off fighting a war! Grizzly stuff… But the Cathedral seems very beautiful! Anyway, who’d have though the wee Isle of Iona would link the peacocks, wee monkeys and snow leopards in such a way?!

DSC4761Our tigers have had a great spurt of energy in the past week, and well done to everyone in the team. Having changed their mind about getting on a plane in Brussels they’ve zipped through the rest of Belgium and are about to cross into Germany. But for tonight they’re in Liege. Now, what to say about Liege, except that the best internet guide for the city that I could find is on the website ‘’ – does that tell us all we need to know?!! You tigers….! And come to think of it, India’s famous beer is ‘Tiger Beer’! You tigers…!!

The snow leopards have a new team member – Alison’s granddaughter Hannah Kate has joined the Chaparda challenge – welcome Hannah Kate, and thanks for taking part! We look forward to hearing from you and learning about your marathon running… should come in handy for the snow leopards!

The wee monkeys have really been getting out and about this week – among other adventures Amir and Saifidin have been walking in Buckinghamshire, Najma has been walking round Regent’s Park and Sofie, judging from the photo posted on 1st June has been somewhere beautiful but secret! Keep checking out the ‘Comments and Updates’ section of the Mission Page to see what people are saying and where they’ve been – and do please keep posting photographs (and captions!).

The peacocks have had quite a remarkable week, in reality and virtually. Emma and Niamh have climbed a mountain – the Cobbler, Niamh has also walked the length of the Crinan Canal, and Emma, as noted above, is on Iona – mind you, since it’s only 3 miles long she wouldn’t be taking many long walks there, unless she can walk on water… she worked miracles for me when I went to her for acupuncture but THAT?  Hmmm…. I wonder….?

Stained Glass Window forming an eye of a Peacock’s Feather

unnamedIn their virtual world the peacocks have crossed from Hungary into Serbia, so a huge congratulations on doing so. Clearly the baths of Budapest didn’t entice them to spend very long there. Tonight the peacocks are in the city of Subotica and it seems like an amazing place. If you like your Art Nouveau, then this is the city for you… The highlights have to be the stunning Synagogue, the City Hall, and the Art Gallery – just look at some of the amazing photographs to see for yourself. And would you believe it, a famous feature of the Subotica Synagogue is the peacock feather designs used throughout the building on the walls, ceilings and even the stained glass – maybe this is their spiritual home!

All in all this week our teams  have covered 546 miles between them – an amazing achievement. We’ve added £70 to our fundraising target and as ever, we are very grateful to our donors.

Have a great week ahead, and don’t forget to add comments and photographs when you post your miles – it’s great to see where people are in reality, not just virtually!