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Friday, July 15, 2016

Oh IRELAND!--Post the Fifth


Fáilte chuig mo tráthchuid dheireanach!
(Welcome to my final installment!)

May 9, 2016

The Rock of Cashel--wish we could have gone but it was under scaffolding.
It was back to Dublin, the next morning. I rode with a little sadness since the trip was drawing thin towards the ending. It seemed to be a bit less real and I felt my grasp on Eire slipping--unable to 'own' it as well. We passed the Rock of Cashel, a huge castle half girded in scaffolding. It was a much more imposing place than Blarney Castle.


We couldn't take pics even of the stupid displays!



For B--a picture of Bacon
For some reason we did almost the same roundabout tour complete with reminders of who had which bridge or statue. We went past the Aisling Hotel and the Floozy in the Jacuzzi (a statue of What'shername in the pond in front of the hotel). I was hoping there would be time to see Christchurch with all its Viking artifacts, but it was not to be. 
The Bard and me

The square at Trinity College
We DID go to Trinity College to see the Book of Kells. Unfortunately they wouldn't allow photography in the exhibits at all, even though they were just large posters explaining the book. I could understand not allowing pics of the actual book...but the exhibits?

My size of library
So when I got upstairs to see the actual book, it was so very underwhelming, that I looked around for the real book. I mean they had it open to two of the least interesting, least illuminated pages in the whole book. I should have spent more time taking it all in, but I was so disgusted with it all that I kept going up the stairs to the library. 
 
Lisa in a classroom hall at Trinity College
There we actually COULD take pics, and did. Rows and rows of stacks, ancient books all. I tried to take pics of a few, but we couldn't actually get past the ropes to look at the books. Brother!

Afterwards, with the girls pulling at me to hurry, we looked around Trinity campus. I got to see Mercury. 
Mercury! Who knew?

ELK hunting at Trinity
The astronomy department had a telescope trained on it, apparently, but clouds had just obscured it, so they were showing previous images. We also went inside several of the halls. Mostly you couldn't go that far in because the students were taking exams. We went into the science building as they promised a museum, but only found a few things in the main hall.

Not sure what the big ball meant


After a trip across the street to the knocker shop (I should have gotten us a door knocker for the new door we plan to get someday) we scrambled aboard the bus (having missed the statue of Molly Mallone also) and took off for Lucan and Finnstown Castle Hotel. 
Just heading up to classes
 
I guess that was supposed to be the castle we stayed in, but it didn't seem to be anything but a hotel. They did have four peacocks and a couple of fountains and 2 summerhouses. We took lots of pictures. 

Another summerhouse, this one at Finnstown House
 

The ceiling at Finnstown House where we stayed our last night
May 10, 2016

The girls were supposed to wake us at 4 the next morning so we could make sure our bags were the right weight. Not only didn't they, but we were late and I was sprinting for the bus last. I tried to never be last on the bus since Murt made such a big deal of it. 

He strutted around and screamed like he owned the place.
When I got there, he was about to loft my suitcase in the bus and told me it was over weight. Lisa went to get her scales (she wasn't leaving until noon to go to Amsterdam) and it was 20 lbs over! What a pain. I ended up having to give Ross several things to carry in his backpack for me, and donate my 500 pennies to charity since Murt didn't want them either, right at the airport with several people yammering at me to dump my towel and dump this and dump that. 
My bags ended up being just under the mark and I had a headache from all the chipping.

Taking off. The plane was about half full.
The flight to Chicago was so empty that there were whole rows empty. Mom lay across them for a nap for part of the time, and sat next to me for part. I watched the rest of Tomorrowland and tried to look out the window. Unfortunately they had us close the blinds so people could sleep. When I opened it, we were above the clouds and it was so very bright that I couldn't see anything anyway. 
I tried to see anything of Chicago (since THE DAY IT RAINED GLASS and NO JOY FOR THE DEATHLESS are set there) but it was completely socked in and invisible. There wasn't time to see anything in the city, either. So I spent 3 + hours wandering the airport. I got Chinese food and hung out with the other people from the tour. At the last minute they changed our gate and we had to scramble. It turned out one of the planes had caught fire. Luckily it wasn't ours.

What I could see of Eire before it socked in
The next flight was both more crowded and less food was served (pretzels and juice for me). I waited an hour for Lon to come. I was dying having sat for like 18 hours, so I finally crawled into the back of the car and went to sleep. 
 I was really lucky I didn't have Lisa's flight home. She apparently had plane trouble and had to stay fastened in her seatbelt for the entire four hour flight. But that's her story to tell.
Everybody at home was so casual about missing me--like I'd just stepped out for a walk or something. Sir Riles Barksalot seemed to have forgotten me and cowered against Bit's feet. Luckily his defection was short-lived and lasted only until dinnertime...:o)
Coming down from a trip like this is interesting. I find my head split evenly between the lush greenness of Ireland and the ancient stones and the neat little cottages,versus the shrieking cicadas and 118 degree heat of the Arizona desert. I must say, though it is more otherworldly and remote, I'd rather be in Ireland this summer. 
My blue door
There are many places we missed that I'd still like to visit. The Waterford glassworks, other castles and cities (Belfast, Dunlough, all over the North, Dunluce, etc), gone swimming in the sea (I know it's cold but I've swum in snow melt for crying out loud), spent time in more cemetaries, and found my McKusick forebears. I'd like to go back when I've had a whole lot more practice with the whistle and feel more confident playing with people over there (gotten better at picking melodies out of the air to play cold) and actually get their names. It would have been so cool to know if I have CD's of any of those guys I played with but I was too chicken to ask who they were. Especially I want to know if the guys I thought looked like the Chieftains (from their many CD jackets I have) actually were. And I really need more time to research for FORLORN HOPE and PRIMA NOCHTA.
So someday soon, there's a second trip in the wings, holding me breathless with anticipation. Hopefully by then I'll have lost a person's worth of weight and will look better in photos...;op And maybe by that time we'll have a better door to put our new knocker on.
Anywho. That's my trip. 
Slainte!  

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like you had a wonderful trip. I have a picture of me by that Book of Kells sign. I'm guessing you didn't get into Dubliner. Great thing to see--and they let you take pictures inside.

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