At the Brazen Head in Dublin, Ireland's "oldest pub," we spent a wonderful evening listening to music and Irish folk tales, eating good food and learning about the culture and history of the country. Highly recommended. I love Irish music and the exuberant spirit of the Irish.
This makes the case for spending a semester living in Belfast. "Poetry reviewer Tess Taylor has just spent the past semester teaching in Belfast, Ireland. She talks about how Seamus Heaney poems and visions of home swirled in her head." https://www.npr.org/player/embed/530929958/530929959
"Monks created an illuminated Bible of astonishing beauty sometime between the 6th and 8th centuries. It’s one of the most cherished masterpieces in Ireland, writes Martha Kearney." BBC report. Here are a couple of my photos. The Trinity College Library displays a different page of the Book of Kells each day. my photos. Lucia in front... Continue Reading →
Some 1500 years after he lived, Saint Patrick is still venerated across Ireland. Many places are still associated with him. But he was not a little man in a green outfit, a leprechaun, and he didn't cast snakes out of Ireland.
St. Columba was born in County Donegal, northern Ireland. According to legend, he copied a psalter, or devotional text derived from the Book of Psalms and belonging to Saint Finnian of Movilla Abbey. This might be called one of the first copyright disputes, for it led to a battle in 561 in which many men were... Continue Reading →
Click for History Channel Series, "The Vikings" On my recent trip to Scotland, I learned that I likely have Viking heritage, since the Vikings, or Norsemen, Danes, and Swedes, migrated to or invaded the Inner Hebrides islands and Ulster in northern Ireland, establishing the kingdom of Dal Riata around 500 A.D. One of my distant... Continue Reading →
Monsoon season in Southeast Asia has nothing on Ireland and Scotland. We caught far more rain on our northern European journey in July and August than in our Southeast Asian journey during the same season. "The Scottish landscape is so, so beautiful," Lucia wrote family, "although during our visit, it was mostly covered in a... Continue Reading →
"We loved Ireland!" Lucia wrote family. "Felt we got the history down through repeated, varied exposures to Daniel O'Connell's Catholic Emancipation, the leaders of the Easter Uprising, and Eamon de Valera's leadership of the new Republic. It was pointed out to us, more than once, that Michael Collins grave is covered with fresh flowers whereas... Continue Reading →
I'm probably less than 25% Scotch-Irish, but my Scottish and Irish ancestors capture my imagination. I envision them rising up out of the mists in their Celtic léines and kilts, with their fiddles playing and bagpipes humming, speaking to me. What kind of people were they, really? What would they have to say or to teach... Continue Reading →