Hello, fellow wanderers! My goodness, what a crazy week it’s been. It’s hard to believe it was only a few days ago when I last wrote a blog post update from Ireland. So much has happened, it feels like at least two weeks have passed! I’m going to do my best to nutshell the last couple of days and preview the upcoming week!
Since you last heard from me, I’ve visited a jail, a market, an art gallery, stayed overnight in a medieval hut, and ate dinner at a speakeasy hidden behind a secret door in a basement cabinet. And that’s just the beginning.
The Cork City Gaol was pretty much the most amazing and depressing thing I’ve ever seen. The history there of course was fantastic and interesting, but just thinking about the punishments that were handed out unjustly–it was just sad. It made me thankful for our current legal system. I know it isn’t perfect, but it’s so much better than other parts of the world.
After we left the jail, we moved on to the English Market, where we grabbed sandwiches and lunch stuff. From there, we moved on to the Crawford Art Gallery. It was nice, but I’m not a very arty person. So much of it was lost on me, but I did enjoy some of the beautiful portraits. (And I enjoyed poking fun at the strange ones.)
Then, we went back to the English Market, and Riley and I got everything we needed to make dinner in our little dorm room kitchen. Dinner turned out fantastic! Baked chicken, roasted root vegetables, and fruit salad–so tasty! And only like 8 Euros each, though that didn’t count the ice cream we begged Andy to get from the store.
After we grabbed lunch to go, we hit the road for Wexford. But Wexford is really rural, and we didn’t have great signal. So we missed a turn. We tried to turn around, but the grass on the side of the road wasn’t solid. It was tall grass growing in a deep ditch. Boom! Just like that, half the car was off the road, and one of the other tires was mainly off the cement. We climbed out and tried to push it, but we couldn’t get enough traction.
That’s when all the nice Irish people in the county stopped to help! I’m only slightly exaggerating. The first was a nice old man who drove down the road to get a rope from his daughter’s house. The second was a pair of young men who got out and helped us push. The third, we waved on because we had more help than we could manage.
With the young men helping, we pushed the car back on to the road. We waited for the older irish gentleman to return, thanked him for his help, and got back underway. We arrived at the Irish National Heritage Museum right on time for our archery lessons.
Yes. Archery. Traditional recurve archery. I usually stink at shooting arrows, but I didn’t do half bad. In fact, I actually popped a balloon with an arrow I shot from a second-level window!
Afterward, we got set up in our little hut. Basically, we had the entire park all to ourselves. Unfortunately, it was raining. I’ll have more stories later, but we had a great time staying overnight. We cooked dinner over the fire, curled up in our thermal sleeping bags (provided), and got a surprisingly good night’s sleep.
The next morning, we cooked breakfast and then drove to Bru na Boine (BROO-nah-boyna), a grouping of three giant 5,000-year-old burial mounds. So cool. And really interesting to get their takes on the history of the place.
After we wore ourselves out at the burial mounds, we drove back to Dublin to return our rental car. Then, we got to our Airbnb at Temple Bar, which is frankly astonishing. We are 10 minutes from everything, and this place is classy and affordable–a real Godsend.
After we took showers (we smelled awful), we planned to eat at The Brazen Head, the oldest pub in Dublin, but it was too full. Instead, we ended up across the street at O’Shea’s, where there were about twenty older folks sitting in a circle singing old Irish folk songs acapella. It was absolutely beautiful. I loved every moment of it.
Then, May 30, we went to Trinity College to see the Book of Kells. I’d never heard of it before. The Book of Kells is a 1200-year-old handwritten translation of the four Gospels. The book was just beautiful.
Afterward, we went to a museum about archaeology, which was really awesome, but I was so tired. I actually ended up at the museum cafe with a latte (and I finished plotting the sequel to Finding Fireflies, but that’s a story for another day).
For dinner, we ate at The Blind Pig. Seriously, that’s what it’s called. It’s an italian joint here in Dublin, but it’s hidden. To find it, you have to email them and make a reservation. I won’t tell you where it is, but it’s hidden behind a sliding cabinet in a basement. It’s beautiful, although the bartender had a bit of an attitude when we asked him to split our check.
But that’s been our adventure so far. Tomorrow (or, today, for those of you reading this now), we’re going to St. Patrick’s Cathedral. I think we’re aiming to go to Phoenix Park too, and we’re potentially going to picnic at St. Stephen’s Green.
Andy, Amy, and Riley are flying home June 1, and Andrea and I are staying on together until June 6. But I’m happy to announce that Andrea and I figured out a way to go to Belfast on June 3.
We are having a wonderful time, and Andrea and I still have a full week left! Be looking for another update soon!