Thursday, June 30, 2005

episode #2

alright, onward.

so we traveled around the northern part of ireland, and eventually made our way into the republic of ireland. [by the way, just an interesting little tidbit--there are no signs demarcating the boundary between northern ireland and the republic of. this is because the republic doesn't recognize n.i. in any way. crazy stuff.]

here's a quick picture of the actual stepping stones from the giant's causeway. pretty cool.

as we worked our way toward galway, we stopped at these fairy bridges, where you can see one of the guys tossing a coin into that naturally shaped hole between the bridges...the story is that if you toss a coin (it's from further back than it looks) and it goes through that hole in particular, you will have beautiful babies.
if you miss, you can try again, but everytime you have to try anew, the denomination of your coin must rise. and no, there isn't a collection bucket on the bottom! as well, we stopped by dunluce castle ruins and climbed around a bit, then had our coffee/tea/biscuit break outside of the musendon temple. where i became obsessed with sheep pictures....

onto the walled city of derry and a hike to a waterfall on the path to lough belshade.
then donegal, with it's aforementioned bloody sunday site. and cap it all with a visit to a peat bog, where one of the girls sunk in up to her knees! oops....

next day was sligo, the inspirational setting of most of w.b. yeats' work. we also visited a children's potato famine graveyard there. a bit chilling. galway was more of a shopping stop than anything else, and this is actually the day that my camera flaked and all the pix from this day got deleted! BUGGER!

anyway, i was able to buy the claddagh ring i wanted in galway, the town from whence it was orignally created. guess which way i'm wearing it....

so then we traveled on to the musical town of doolin for the night. but before that we stopped at my very favorite scenic spot on the ireland part of my journey. and i have only one picture of it which did not get deleted. which naturally is one of the least impressive ones....but i'm hoping one of the folks who were with me will email me some of their shots when they return from their respective travels. at any rate, here's my one and only picture from the cliffs of moher. proof of a higher power if ever there was one.

Friday, June 24, 2005

episode #1 redux

okay, trying to recreate here, but unsure of possible success. things never seem to come out as well a second time. will save drafts elsewhere this time!

so i started my journey in glasgow. spent 2 days there while, as i mentioned previously, i saw much art (though i did miss the dali painting at the cathedral....bummer), got started on my pints, had my hair twisted, and met several great people. i then continued on to edinburgh to join a backpackers tour around ireland.

we spent 6 days tooling around the emerald isle in a blue minibus named betty, and i met more cool people, caught up on my pint drinking, heard some wonderful live music, practiced a bit of football (soccer) and hackey sack, saw a bit of traditional irish "line" dancing, and learned more about irish history than i ever did in college (no surprise there).

my favorite place on this beautiful isle? impossible to say. there wasn't a single one that didn't endow me with some truly wonderful feeling. even the sometimes bleak and heart-wrenching town of belfast gave an opportunity for my heart to pound as i stood beside a mural at the site of the bloody sunday shootings (*not* the one pictured here).

anyone who has been to ireland knows that the serenity and beauty of this emerald isle is impossible to convey in words or capture in pictures. there is no way to explain the awe which fills one's heart and soul as you stand on her unfathomable greens and watch the clouds move low across the horizon. naturally, i couldn't help giving it a shot anyway...

then of course there is the exhilaration of climbing around centuries-old ruins of castles and fortresses, imagining another time in that place, when stones were solid and laughter rang. this first one i visited, just north and west of belfast (kenmare) stopped my heart and my breath for a moment. then i recovered myself, and fumbled blindly for my camera, unwilling to look away, lest it disappear like the mirage it seemed.

(my apologies for the flowery language, but there is nothing about ireland that allows me to deny the tendency toward it. y'all mostly know i'm a closet romantic anyway....)

okay, that's it for now. next episode coming soon. and hk, since you tease that i might have pulled my pix from the web instead of actually traveling, here's me in the flesh.

my journey: episode #1


i just deleted this entire (hour-long venture) lovely wonderful picture-filled post!


must....walk away....before throwing computer out window....


Thursday, June 23, 2005

home sweet(?) home

yes, i am officially returned from my globetrotting.
i've also managed to fight off jet lag in both directions so i'm rather pleased with that.
i promise to post a more detailed account of my journey soon, but as you can imagine i have many errands and such to take care of now that i am back in la-la land.
meanwhile, just a little snippet to tantalize you.
this is a picture from above the giant's causeway in northern ireland. note my twistied hair, done by a brilliant gal from aussie, whom i met in glasgow on her way to iceland to do volunteer conservation work.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

man, there are a lot of sheep here

but more
i've spent much of the last week in complete awe of my surroundings.
also met some brilliant fun people and had perhaps more than my share of pints at this point.
so many things i've seen/felt/lived i cannot possibly put it all here or in a way you could experience much of it vicariously, but... here are a couple notes.
  • ireland=lovely unabashed music, pints, passion~good and bad
  • scotland=mist, moors, plaid, and whiskey
  • the generics of both=castles, ruins, amazing natural scenes, good people
  • hostels stays=much snoring **grin**, comraderie, pub jaunts
  • tours=great history lessons, tons of new friends, much laughter (if'n it's a good'n)

okay. i have taken 1 zillion pictures. i do believe some of them got deleted so i am not happy with that, but i will be posting some faves whence i return.

i'm off to practice my carousing. cheers to you all, and thanks for the emails. feel free to send more :)

Friday, June 10, 2005

my dawgs is achin'!

well, over the past couple days, i have spent about:
  • 12 hours flying
  • 4 hours in airports
  • 15 hours walking
  • 4 hours drinking pints/wine and/or conferring with my maps/books of glasgow and/or getting my hair twist-braided

i think my actual pint-drinking time is deplorable, but i figure there'll be much more of that going on once i join the rest of the backpackers in edinburgh. free internet here in glasgow, though, so i thought i'd check in.

glasgow is a true mecca for the art lover. i've been to 5 or 6 gallery/museum/structure type dealies. some of you may think that sounds boring, but there are people who actual travel here just for that aspect of glasgow.

i am looking very forward to continuing onto more traditional and outdoorsy scottish experiences. but i'm off to ireland first for about 5 days. leaving first thing in the morning with the backpackers group. we'll take the ferry to belfast and start things there.

i've met some remarkable people already, and i cannot wait to continue this soul-igniting journey. it's good to have emails to read when i have a chance to check it (especially if i pay for the privilege), so if i like you & you like me, write me one :)

if possible i'll try update once or twice more before heading home so it's not a spew-blog when i get back to the states.


Saturday, June 04, 2005

in case you're confused...

the democratic and republican parties seem (frighteningly) similar these days, especially when it comes to the lesser-of-two-evils style candidates. why don't you find out what you really are.

obviously, i'm:

I am:
"You're a complete liberal, utterly without a trace of Republicanism. Your strength is as the strength of ten because your heart is pure. (You hope.)"

do it, scaredy cat.

link borrowed.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

big ol' jet airliner....

so i am leaving on my trip to scotland/ireland soon. just trying to get my itinerary planned~as much as a loose outline anyway. make sure i have all the bare minimum accommodations, humor my mother about my safety (sorry, mum, but it's true), and plan my list to pack. i'm backpacking it so it's all about light traveling. but it'll be reasonably cool and wet there so i gotta have a certain amount of essentials and layers.
plus pack an extra bag to be chock full of souvenirs on the way back :)
anyway, beyond that i don't have much other stuff lined up between now and then (naturally, since i'll be in a "remote location" i can't really audition much till i get back).
the last week was great~lots of memorial day weekend debauchery and fun. even went to the renaissance festival. anyway...drinking, poker playing, bbqing, sunbathing and swimming. allll good, fun, start-of-summer activity. got me right into vacation mode, lemme tell ya.
i may try to post here at a few points during my trip--an easy way to keep in touch with the folks and to keep those of you who are interested apprised of my great adventures in the lands of kilts, whisky, heather and heavy.
(men in kilts....can you say "yum"?)