Sunday, July 29, 2007

hi there

We're back in Dublin after our whirlwind tour of Ireland. We arrived Thursday morning at Gatwick in London. We flew to Dublin and arrived at our hotel in the Old City. We walked around and saw stuff. J had his meeting Friday morning with eircom, and it went super well. While he was there I walked though the Old City some more. We met up after his meeting for a tour of Trinity College, where we saw the Book of Kells. We rented a car and drove a couple hrs to the Rock of Cashel. After checking that out we drove to Kilkenny, where we stayed the night. Saturday morning toured Kilkenny Castle and then drove over five long hrs in the rain to the other side of Ireland, specifically the Dingle peninsula. We were exhausted but couldn't bare to skip the pub music, so out we went. In spite of hitting several pubs and getting to bed past midnight, we were up early this morning for a walk along the beach. (Bet no one else at those pubs was up early! There are benefits to being teetotallers.) After our walk we were out to do the Dingle loop, stopping to explore Beehive huts, famine houses, and the like. And then we drove the five hrs back to Dublin, which brings me to this hotel room by the airport. We are getting up at 4:45 am to get to the airport in time for our flight to Lisbon.

Will we keep up this pace for our entire trip? I don't know. We'll see how much we can take.

I think I will post more of my impressions of these sites once I'm able to put photos up. For now I will say that I can't stop thinking about how young the United States is and what a puny little bit of history we have. As I visit the prehistoric, Celtic, and Anglo-Norman sites I realize that this is also my history. So far in tracing our family history on my mom's and dad's sides, we have found ancestors almost exclusively in Ireland and Great Britain. I imagine that is not rare for "old" Maine families like ours, though "old" seems like a very silly word to apply to any of the United States now.

So I've been thinking a lot about my Norman ancestors. What a bunch of bores they were. I know I need to learn more, but from what I know so far, it appears that they only cared about owning lands. They went from place to place in their chain mail, butchering the locals and setting up bigger government. They walled themselves up in dank, comfortless, stone towers to protect their... way of life? From my point of view, it doesn't seem like it was very worth protecting. Just a thought.

5 comments:

Karen ~ said...

Just have to laugh - I am glad you are having fun but you must be exhausted - my favorite line of your post is:

"We walked around and saw stuff"

Truly brought a smile to my face as it is so unlike you to be so lacking in descriptors! Can't wait til you have time to breathe and write what kinds of "stuff" you saw!

ave said...

It sounds kind of like our whirlwind vacation in Orlando, not much time, so cram as much in as you can! We lived on six hours of sleep most days, but in a way we were exhilarated. Wouldn't it be grand to spend three months or so touring the British Isles. I haven't much desire to do the southern parts of Europe, too hot, but those cool rainy beckon me.

athena said...

aren't you glad though that you don't have travel exhausted kids traveling with you--what an adventure that would be! i had to laugh at your descriptions too!

spending three months touring the british isles sounds nice, ave.

ML said...

I remember when my cousin did a military tour in Europe some years ago he was hit by the same impression--how old everything was and how young the U.S. is. Have fun!

k said...

Can't wait to hear more! My family is planning a trip there in the spring. I can compare notes then!

Have fun seeing stuff!