I took a look around the Abbey, which dates form the 12 century and is supposed to be the most complete Monastic ruin in Scotland. In the early morning sun, I could understand why the Abbey was built here as a peacefull retreat. Only the noise of singing seals and seagulls broke the silence.
It was hard to believe I was only a stone throw away from the industrial heart of Scotland. I thought of the rush hour traffic queueing to cross the Forth Bridge to get into Edinburgh, yet here I was ... not a car or person in sight.
The Abbey was closed to viewing as the attendants were not around yet, but I didn't mind, it meant my fiver was safe and I still got some lovely photographs.
There were a lot of young seagulls hopping around the ground and I had hoped to see a puffin or two, but they were as scarce as monastery attendants.
I started to explore the pier area while keeping a careful eye on my inflatable. The tide was coming in and I didn't want stranded. I had a feeling it could cost me a lot more than a fiver entrance fee if it did float away on the tide.
I imagined that in a couple of hours time it would be busy and noisy once the tour boats arrived at the pier.
As well as being home to the Abbey, Inchcolm Island has many ruined defence buildings dating from WW2. Most the islands in the Firth of Forth were heavily fortified to protect the ships, bridges and Edinburgh from attack. Some of the islands were even made to look like battlships to fool enemy forces.
I followed the path round the corner from the pier to see some of the old pill boxes and gun turrets. Suddenly I found myself under attack from the air. The seagulls resented my intrusion into their territory and started an air to ground assault. I quickly retreated as their guano bombs splatted all around.
To be continued...