Well, hello there. I’m back from Ireland. I’m jetlagged and tired and exhausted and SOOOO happy to have gone there!
But it is nice to be home and to have clean laundry.
I will post in more detail later, but some of the highlights of the trip for me (in no particular order) were:
checking out Titanic Belfast, a marvelously well-executed museum that only opened last year for the hundredth anniversary of the Titanic’s rather legendary encounter with a very large iceberg. You think you know a lot about the Titanic? You don’t. Go see this place. Then you will.
dealing with the Gaelic language. They do, of course, speak English in Ireland and in some areas in the east, there is also a lot of Gaelic. Much of the signage in the Republic of Ireland is bilingual, and try as I might, I just couldn’t figure out the phonetic system of Gaelic so that I could at least attempt to say words semi-correctly. This sign’s meaning was clear enough – but don’t ask me to pronounce it.
and this Catholic one, depicting Bobby Sands, who was one of ten prisoners of Maze Prison who starved himself to death in 1981, protesting for political prisoner status instead of that of a terrorist. He was also elected as MP while in prison, but obviously never took his seat in Parliament.
in Derry, learning all about that awful day in 1972 called Bloody Sunday when British army soldiers killed 14 Catholic people who were participating in a peaceful march to protest internment without trial. This incident really ignited the modern Troubles, and although there has been a peace agreement between the Protestant Nationalists and the Catholic Unionists for about 15 years now, I definitely got the feeling that the whole thing could rear its ugly head again at any time.
visiting the Gallarus Oratory on the Dingle Peninsula, which was built about 1300 years ago. It’s one of the earliest Christian churches in Ireland, and I think it’s an architectural marvel! The stones are arranged so flawlessly, the corners are sharply lined up, the door is totally square, there’s a small perfectly-arched window in the back wall – and the damn roof doesn’t even leak! How could monks construct that building by hand so long ago and so well, yet my house, which is only 15 years old and was built using a lot of modern technology, doesn’t seem to have a level floor or square corner in it?!?
And speaking of the Dingle Peninsula, before I fall asleep and drool all over my laptop, I will leave you now with a few photos of the absolutely stunning scenery there. Even though I am privileged enough to live in a tremendously gorgeous part of the world myself, I was awe-struck at the beauty of the Dingle Peninsula – I just couldn’t take enough photos!
Catch you later – zzzzzzzzzz!