“May stillness be upon your thoughts
and silence upon your tongue!
For I tell you a tale that was told at the Beginning…
the one story worth the telling…”
– Traditional Celtic storyteller’s prologue
Aaahh the Eire Island was fantastic.
With temperatures 50s-70s…the only place I felt any humidity was Dublin…nothing compared to the paste that exists outside here… I only had ‘sweat’ once after a L-O-N-G two hour walk the first morning in the big city (currently at 1.4 million with the influx of internationals from joining the European Union = now 27 countries…side note: once in the Union, your people can travel and/or work in any of the others).
On my early walk I was solo and wanted to see as much as possible before breakfast. It’s daylight there hours before it is here, and stays light until about 10:30pm at night!
In Dublin, we stayed in the heart of where I wanted to be!!! On the edge of the Saint Stephens Green Park … Central Park in New York is based on this one’s design! Dublin was also the only place where I didn’t hear the locals speaking Irish (Gaelic) more often than not…it was like being in Jamaica… they speak English, but prefer their own.
Peat is interesting stuff. It’s a limited resource (takes like 10 thousand years to be created) so it is no longer used as their primary heating source, but out in nature it’s the best walking surface I’ve ever experienced. It gives just a bit when you step on it. Sooo much better than concrete.
On the Aran Islands, we learned that they were just limestone chunks of rock until the locals pulled seaweed out of the ocean which eventually became soil. Craziness. I thought we had a lot of rocks in our clay soil here, but nothing compared to there. There are so many that’s what all the ‘fences’ are made out of…and then there are still more! They islands have a rough winter with 20 foot waves hitting their coastline, cutting them off from mainland for about 3 months out of the year. To own land on the Aran Islands you have to be born on the Islands. Smart.
After all the rain here, I’d say my back yard is just as green as Ireland, but I know that makes all you would-be-tourists irritated that I would even compare the two. I do love my back yard. I’ve also heard that County Down, Ireland looks a lot like our Eureka, Missouri. ? I would not know as I spent all my time in southern Ireland mainly on the coast…with a wee trip into the interior.
So far it has rained more here in one day than the ten I was there. I only used my umbrella once on a short walk to a bronze-age ring fort. We also went to an iron-age fort. At least 4 castles. Numerous ancient abbeys, most of which are still in use! This is where some of the peeps are buried…weird fact: bury five (each on top of the other) then wait a few years for nature to do her thang then they start all over again with another five!!! Just imagine. Or maybe don’t. :)
I won’t even mention how many pictures I took…so whoaknowsa how long it will be until I have some tangible evidence in my hands of the trip, but needless to say, I’m a happy camper. I saw my fill old buildings and ancient places. The Irish are the nicest people I’ve met on the face of the earth. I felt more safe walking around in their cities than my own. Celtic art is unique and wonderful. We even stayed in a surfers’ city…I didn’t even know Ireland had waves to surf! Galway will probably be my favorite as it was old, small-ish city with a cool artsy section and swans on the waterway. Mom really enjoyed our horse-drawn visit to Muckross House (really a small palace…365 windows and 52 chimneys) on the edge of a lake in the Ring of Kerry near Killarney in Ireland’s FIRST National Park. We stayed in a hotel on the edge of it! Every hotel stay was like that…what a great trip! The one in Waterford had swans on the waterway in front…swansssss more than the ‘pair’ that we get to see around here…like a WHOLE flock! Quite wonderful. It was like that whenever we saw the big beautiful birdies. I also got my fill of wild flowers, and Katie, the heather had just opened in the Wicklow Mountains! God ROCKS!
Next week…back to work.
Ps…if any of the factoids listed above turn out not to be true, blame it on the Irish…we had a local guide who shared LOTS of info – but more than one local shared that the Irish like to make up stuff as they go,
they call ‘little-white-lies’ = blang. What a culture. Just imagine trying to have a serious conversation.
Traditional Gaelic Blessing:
“May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields,
and until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.”