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Who Are You Going to Call First?

forebodingcastle

Everything seemed to be going according to plan. We had finished worshiping with the church in Dublin, caught the city tram, taken the train down to Cork and made it to the airport in good time. By this time my sister and I fancied ourselves old pros at flying, and as we found our gate and heard people around us talking in Spanish, I was daydreaming about how nice it would be to arrive in Spain. Ah, the sunny homeland of my second language—I couldn’t wait to get there! And yet as we stood in line to board the plane, I was suddenly brought back to reality.

“I can’t let you on” the stewardess said, after looking at our boarding passes. We were incredulous. Whatever had we done wrong? “You didn’t get your passports checked, so I can’t let you on the flight.” We frantically asked if there was time to run back and do that before the flight left, but there was no way—by that time the Ryanair plane would be well on its way, aiming to land ahead of schedule amid classical music and applause by the jostled passengers.  Read More

Golden Ireland

Idir dhá láimh daoine fíuntach
Scríobh an agham i mBanba óir
I nglas béinne fial ó nádúir
Fonn ceoil i mBanba óir

There is so much I could say about the emerald isle. Of all the places I roamed in Europe, the Irish were the most friendly to us strangers, and of course having a love for Ireland before I even got there certainly helped. My sister and I rented bikes in Killarney and explored the National Park there, admiring the lakes, mountains, and castle. On our adventures we crossed a small waterway which my sister called a creek, whereat I replied, “No, it’s a brook, don’t you know? We’re in Ireland!”

We bought red Irish cheddar at the grocery store for lunch, and made it up to Dublin, where we saw Riverdance and viewed that ancient old manuscript, the Book of Kells. Not wanting to make a days trip across the island to see cliffs, we contented ourselves with the cliffs of Howth, just outside of Dublin. We stayed in a hostel in Tralee, where I accidentally left my jacket, and subsequently we were scouring all the charity shops in Ireland in search of another jacket, knowing winter was on its way. Due to a disappointing mixup concerning our planned flight to Spain, we stayed in Cork an extra two days, and enjoyed that seaside town.

And I can’t forget the music! My preliminary plans to go to a concert there didn’t work out, but there was no shortage of street musicians, and we enjoyed those immensely. My sister enjoyed the fact that everyone spoke English (I was hoping to hear more Gaelic, myself), and both of us agree that Ireland is definitely on the list of places to return to someday.