Archive for July 25th, 2017

Diary #369

Ireland was absolutely amazing, better than I could ever have hoped.  We flew into Shannon airport early last Monday morning and immediately set out for the Cliffs of Moher, also visiting St. Brigid’s Well, a dolmen out in the Burren and the beautiful St. Colman’s Oratory, staying for the night in Ennis.  On Tuesday we drove down into the Dingle peninsula, visiting a collection of Ogham stones and beehive huts, and finally locating a ruined church with a well sacred to Saint Gobnait which Lorelei found in a pamphlet; it wasn’t in any of the guidebooks and there were no signposts pointing to it, so we found it purely by inspiration and questioning the locals.  And since there wasn’t a soul around but us, I’ll leave it to your imaginations to figure out how we paid our respects!  That night we stayed in Killarney, and the next day visited the Church of St. Gobnait, with a lovely walking path on which we spent some time.  Later we went to the stone circle at Drombeg on the south coast, and soon after that another, unnamed collection of standing stones only a few kilometers away.  That’s one of the things I found most amazing and refreshing about Ireland: in the United States, every site that could vaguely be considered “historical” (usually a few decades or a century or two old at best) is fenced off, plastered with signs and loomed over by “authorities”.  But in Ireland, monuments many hundreds over even several thousand years old are just sitting in sheep pastures, and all one need do to visit them is hop the fence and walk over, often without anyone else around!  Take a look at the pictures I posted on Friday, and I think you’ll get an idea of what I mean.

After a night at a lovely AirBnB in Cork we visited Blarney Castle and kissed the famed stone before moving on to the ruins of Hore Abbey, at which we had a tremendous amount of fun climbing into nooks and crannies and generally being irreverent.  We visited St. Brigid’s Cathedral in Kildare and had a pub supper there before driving into Dublin, where we stayed at a hotel Thursday and Friday nights.  On Friday we split up: Ghost Rider went to visit a couple of distilleries, while Lorelei & I went shopping in downtown Dublin.  We then all met for afternoon tea, and went pub-crawling until quite late.  And I managed to make all of the flights without vertigo except for the last 15 minutes coming into Seattle on Saturday, probably because I forgot to take my second Valium.  Ah, well, nothing’s perfect!  But this trip was as close to it as anyone could hope for, and I’d be overjoyed if some generous reader were to book a 24-hour or more appointment with me so I could justify going back!

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