Linking up with Kelley at This Ain't the Lyceum for 7 Quick Takes - Irish Edition!
After 13.5 hours of flying over 2 days, we finally pulled up at our apartment just before 11pm.
This trip was so fun, and I'm so very glad we did it. 10 days in Ireland means we managed to see and do A LOT. I can see needing to do multiple different posts on it.
The kids has a fabulous time in Texas. John caught 30+ fish off the boat house at the lake and got very into taking care of the dogs and chickens at Grandma's house. Therese got over her fear of dogs (she was roaring at them in some toddler form of dominance display when we left) and I swear she grew over an inch and had a vocabulary explosion.
I'll do another post with more about their adventures later.
I noticed a lot of my Ireland pictures fell into categories. So I made them into 7 pretty collages!
Marys of Ireland
I knew Ireland was a pretty Catholic country, but man oh man are they into the Virgin Mary!
She was everywhere - windows, roadside grottos, local saint shrines, side chapels, even the gas stations.
The vast majority were dedicated to Our Lady of Fatima or Our Lady of Lourdes.
The largest roadside shrine we passed was St. Brigid's Well. The passage into the well opening is covered in multiple layers of prayer requests, saint pictures, pictures of people needing healing, rosaries, and statues of Mary.
My favorite is the Kilmainham Madonna (the image that is shot through a little hole in the above collage. Third down, fourth column.) Kilmainham Goal is a jail in Dublin that housed many Irish resistance fighters/activists. The Kilmainham Madonna was originally drawn onto the wall of the jail cell in crayon by Grace Gifford during the Irish Civil War.
Tiles of Ireland
Tiles were an important part of the architecture of important buildings during the medieval era in Ireland. Most of the tiles were are 19th century reproductions of the medieval originals. They were all found in churches around Ireland.
I like the one in the center from Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin. The tiles around the edge of the circle contain a image of the "foxy friars". It was the name given to the Franciscan friars by the Cathedral monks who had a bit of a sore spot for the Franciscan's talent for gathering alms.
Ceilings of Ireland
The Irish have a proclivity for creating spaces that elicit a wow.
The Long Library at Trinity College almost outshone seeing the Book of Kells next door.
Underground of Ireland
Two surprise additions to the itinerary allowed us to have a little peek at the underground in Ireland.
One was Dunmore Cave in County Kilkenny. Dunmore Cave is one of the three legendary darkest places in Ireland (the others being the caves of Knowth and Slaney). It was the site of a Viking massacre in 928 AD. The Annuals record over a 1000 people died in and around the cave.
The other was Dublin Castle. Part of the tour involved a trip to the undercroft. In there you can see the base of a 13th Century Norman Tower and the top of a Viking era building. You can also see some of the old city wall and bridge to Dublin Castle. The River Poddle still fills the moat.
Drinks of Ireland
I prefer non-hoppy and dark beers. Ireland fit my old man drinking taste to a tee.
Though, what's the deal with espresso everywhere? I like cappuccinos just fine, but if I ordered a coffee an Americano shows up. No, sorry guys, not the same thing.
I really don't think Guinness tasted any different in Ireland, and I actually preferred Murphy's or local craft beers while over there (*gasp*).
The whiskey was where it was at. There were lots of whiskey varieties only available in Ireland, and we really enjoyed the tour we took of the Teeling Whiskey Distillery - the only operating distillery in Dublin.
Tombs of Ireland
We saw everything from Neolithic tombs, Viking remains, bog bodies, Crusader tombs, and crypt burials to recent burials at the Rock of Cashel.
The seven Romans buried on Inishmore was one of my favorites. It's amazing to imagine these men coming all the way from the center of the Latin world to this tiny island at the edge of Europe in order to learn from the monastic communities on the Aran Islands.
Vistas of Ireland
And finally, the views!
It's nearly impossible to capture the scale and grandeur of everything we saw, but I really tried!
Thanks for coming along with me on this trip! Most of our updates as we went along can be found on Facebook or Instagram.
This whole trip fell during Pants Free July, so I'll be linking up with Rosie at A Blog for my Mom for a recap of how that went while traveling in a country with a very "maybe it will, maybe it won't" approach to weather forecasting.