"One of the greatest things in human life is the ability to make plans. Even if they never come true - the joy of anticipation is irrevocably yours. That way one can live many more than just one life."

Maria Trapp-The Story of the Trapp Family Singers - Ch. 12 p. 4

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”

- St. Augustine

Friday, May 13, 2011

DOUG’S DAY SUMMARY: May 12-13 (Thursday & Friday)

We were unable to make any posts yesterday (Thursday, May 12) because our blogger account wasn’t working – and because we dragged ourselves in at 10 PM exhausted, sore and very happy. For now all I can offer is a quick list of the things we did – making for a wonderful, informative and enjoyable time:

· Breakfast @ Bewley’s
· Trinity College:
o Book of Kells
o The Long Room
· Bought a new pipe at the only Peterson’s store in the whole world – Happy Birthday to me from Amy!
· Guinness Brewery at St. James Gate
· Kilmainham Jail (very important in Irish history)
· The Literary Pub Crawl

Today: Friday, May 13

Glorious, unexpected and delightful day! We took a bus out to Drougheda to meet Harry Hall, our delightful private guide for the whole day (9AM to 7 PM). He was a perfect gentleman that thought of absolutely everything (down to the water in the seats, picnic lunch with cheese, wine, fruit and cookies, walking sticks for our trek up the wet grassy mountain)!
In the city of Drougheda (a 13th century Norman city with the original gate still standing) we saw St. Peter’s Church, which has its own relics: bones and burned skull of St. Oliver Plunket – a great man of the Catholic faith in the 1690’s – murdered by the British. Also, the altar has a sculpture relief of the Last Supper with Mary Magdalene sitting next to Jesus. 

Went to the site of the Battle of the Boyne – one of the most significant turning points in Irish history, and still plays a major role in the cultural consciousness of all Ireland. (No photography allowed)

Next we went to two Stone Age Celtic sites with cairns for us to hike out to: Dowth and Knowth

Later we drove past the major cairn site and took some “snaps” of Newgrange. But best of all we went to the Loughcrew site (with private access by being given the key) to go inside and explore the passages (yes, even Amy, who took video). To get there we had to climb a very high hill, from which we were treated to the most beautiful view we could have hoped for in Ireland: In fact it was the view we hope and dreamed to see. I broke out in singing St. Patrick’s Breastplate (with Amy’s help) at the top of this lovely hill – a place where Patrick himself likely stood.

So many other things: Monasterboice 521 AD Monastery, (complete with one of the most famous Towers and Celtic Crosses [at which we had our picnic and Hurling lessons – fun story], Slane, the place at which Patrick defiantly (against the pagan gods) made the bonfire (433 AD) that could be seen by Laugire, the High King at Terra several miles away. Also viewed the Church and seminary near there. Last tourizing thing we did was see Trim Castle (one of the castles in Branveheart) – a 12 century Norman castle that is the oldest and largest of its kind.

We took Harry to dinner and had more friendly conversation.

All in all an exceptional day.

Tomorrow we begin a new part of our trip – driving and guiding ourselves through the rest of Ireland. Pray for us :)

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