Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Come on in - let's talk about Ireland...

I’ve been thinking about doing things for others a lot lately. It might be because of the recent Ireland trip where kindness was heaped upon Chris and me at every turn. The Irish people are so friendly and generally of such sweet and fun-loving spirit.I am pleased that my ancestors came from such a place. Here’s what really gets me about Ireland – we all know that she’s been through some really tough times and those tough times weren’t so long ago and yet I was greeted there by friendly faces and a general feeling of welcome.

I recommend Dublin as a first stop for your trip to Ireland, especially if you only have a week to visit like Chris and I did. If you can stay for two weeks, I think I’d recommend Dublin, the west coast and Northern Ireland. I need to go back for another visit to truly test this theory, but I believe I am advising you appropriately.

We landed in
Dublin about an hour earlier than scheduled (which in these days and times of air travel seemed like a miracle). I won’t sugar coat it for you, the trip over was brutal. This was not the fault of our airline (Aer Lingus), but rather it was due to circumstance. We were in the Bermuda Triangle of bad seats: trapped in the same row as an infant (who screamed bloody murder for the first three hours of the trip) and behind bulk head (which cut off most of our leg room to accommodate their television screens and food service trays). It was very uncomfortable. It didn’t help that I had the foghorn-leghorn laugher sitting behind me. She found her in-flight movie to be the height of hilarity and would fog-horn laugh/blast every time she was amused. It was about 3 AM EST time. I was not amused. We also ended up sitting near the attendant’s station and were privy to their loud conversations and clanging preparation of dinner. Our flight home was much better, so I know this was a fluke, but it was a hard start to the trip.

Upon arrival in Dublin we went directly to our dear friends, Jonny and Aisling’s home and took a three hour nap. It was well worth it. We woke up at Ireland’s lunch time and had a bite and headed into the city for our first pint of Guinness in Temple Bar and dinner later on with Aisling (who couldn’t escape work that day).

Our next full day was sightseeing on our own and we did it up right with Dublin Castle, The Chester Beatty Library (my favorite thing ever), Trinity College and the Book of Kells, St. Patrick’s, Christ’s Church and dinner with friends again.

By far the highlight of my city sightseeing was the Chester Beatty Library where I saw Egyptian Scrolls dating from 300 BC! I saw copies of the Gospels of Matthew and John written in 90 AD. On and on with the amazing bits of history; my mind could hardly grasp what I was seeing and the importance of it. I was overwhelmed and completely thrilled.

The next day we took a country excursion with J&A to Powerscourt. It was amazing. It was the first time we really got to see those rolling Irish hills. The green was everywhere and the heather, well, the heather was romantic. I felt like I was in a Jan Austen book just waiting for Mr. Darcy to come charging over the Moore and through the heather field. Sigh. I miss Ireland.

Enough for today - to be continued! I should have a finished sock to show you too - but for now, this is all the news that's fit to knit!

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