Monday, 1 October 2007

Ireland: some craic to be sure to be sure

There are certain things that typically only ever happen right at the end of something. Like, the time I lived in a flat up over 170 dodgy looking stairs, and only once fell down them - while I was moving out. Or, how at our last place, Tane parked his car in one spot the whole time. We only ever got one parking ticket for doing so though - the day before we left. I was reminded of these things when, on the last day of a two month trip around parts of the world where hygiene practices are dubious, both Tane and I got really ill.

Tane tries to smile his pain away. I am less polite.
While not indulging in self-pity and moaning, though, we have managed to have a very pleasant time in both London and Ireland. We weren't in London long, but it was long enough to find a flat as well and a job interview for Tane. Yay! Ireland, also, has been excellent.

Tane on the north coast of Ireland. So green. If you ignore the tiny brick houses and hedgerows, in fact, Ireland really reminded us of parts of NZ.

Unfortunately, this time around there has only been time to visit Dublin and Northern Ireland. These were both fabulous, though. Kat was an excellent host in Dublin, squeezing us into her flat and showing us around Trinity College. Tane and I also loved Northern Ireland, in particular getting into nature and seeing the countryside. All the corny cliches are true, we decided. Ireland is beautiful. Tane grinning on a swing bridge that he described as having "really good bounce". Given the drop below, all I remember about it was concentrating on getting to the other side.

Tane at the Giant's Causeway, a series of funky rock formations on the North Coast. According to local legend, it used to be part of the bridge giants used to walk to Scotland. Cool.

Ireland is also a fabulous place for getting a good history fix. In Dublin, the Post Office that was the site of the 1916 Easter Rising sits smack bang in the middle of town. It was quite eerie when I recognised it from some grainy photographs I saw once. While in Northern Ireland, we also spent some time in Derry. Derry was the home of Bloody Sunday, where 26 protesters were shot by the British in 1972. It's a pretty intense history, and Derry is filled with reminders of what happened, most memorably a series of murals around the area Bloody Sunday took place. After being in Derry I listened to U2's Sunday Bloody Sunday on my i-pod and actually understood the lyrics a little better. Before Derry, it was just a catchy tune.
I was also a bit surprised to see the Bloody Sunday museum filled with my surname - I had known that my ancestor was from Ireland and probably from Ulster, but didn't have many details. The curator of the museum told me that there were loads of us in Ulster though, and winking at me told me not to worry. They were all Republican, not pro-British.
Ireland is great. The fields are green, the Guinness is tasty, and the pubs are everywhere. Given the history fix as well, I am totally coming back one day.


Maria said...

Welcome to Ireland! You're now only a hop, skip and a jump from Denmark! :D

Miriama said...

Oim gludger harvin titoim uv yer loif Larren! xox