Friday, September 26, 2014

My Long Journey to Ireland

I disliked history classes at my high school in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.

The focus on studying for examinations did not fit my learning style. The teaching style often reflected the teacher's lack of interest in teaching.

To be fair, I did not then have the life experiences to sufficiently understand the nuances of how the world works.

Then, one day my ears pricked up when I heard the teacher talking about exploding mail boxes and post offices.

We had reached the Ireland of 1916. Domestic terrorism seemed so improbable.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Ireland by Numbers

Today we reluctantly leave Ireland: Dwight heads back to Minneapolis, and I continue my travels for a little longer.
18: # days in Ireland
It never rained, not once.
0: # days it rained
0: # days I wore a jacket
And it was warm.

We walked almost every day.
150: # miles walked (approximately)
75: # miles walked with backpacks
We took advantage of the good public transport system both in the Republic and Northern Ireland.
9: # buses (public transport)
2: # trains
0: # taxis
To be fair, we did rather enjoy being driven around by friends on a couple occasions.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Independent Scots

She stands resolutely in front of her home in the "mucky wee port" of Port Glasgow, Scotland. My Aunt Madge, helmet and gas mask at the ready, standing against the Nazi threat.

The threat was real. Bombs rained down on the nearby shipyards, and on British, American, and Free French bases. My mother and aunt spent each night in an Anderson shelter; in the morning they climbed over fire hoses to get to work.

This week, Scotland is confronting its own sovereignty. Mercifully, this time the confrontation is somewhat peaceful.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Sheep's Head Way

I like to hike in peace.

Consequently, today, we find ourselves hiking the Sheep's Head Way  along "a peaceful, unspoilt peninsula" in a remote southwest corner of Ireland

If I Google "Sheep's Head Way" I get 14,500 results. If I Google "Giant's Causeway" I get 3.8 million results. We'll give The Giant's Causeway, the Blarney Stone, and numerous other "must-sees" a wide miss.