erynn: Gaelic merman image (d'oh!)
Due to my losing track of time and brewing up a migraine this morning, I had not realized that my ferry leaves tonight at 1am. I thought I had one more day here in Dublin, but I'm good with getting on with the adventure. I don't get a refund for tonight from the hostel, but I do get to hang out and/or take a nap today if I need one. I may. I've taken some meds for the pain, but it's only helping a little.

I got to the National Library again to check out the reading room, but it was closed except for a tour starting at 2:30 (it was about 1:45). I went over to the museum next door instead and checked out more of the Egyptian materials and then went down to the Kingship and Sacrifice exhibit. There were several bog bodies, which were an odd combination of fascinating and kind of nauseating, but the nausea could well have been migraine-triggered from the museum lighting and just general headache nausea. The had a replica of the Gundestrup Cauldron there. The display information said that the plate illustrating a deific figure holding dragons/monsters was a sea god and equated him with Manannán, though I think that's a stretch. They were identifying the draconic figures as "sea monsters" in an attempt to make a case for him being a sea god. I'm willing to entertain the notion, but it just doesn't quite sit right with me. That said, Manannán keeps popping up in the most surprising places during this trip.

I took a few photos of the shrine of St Brigid's shoe before I saw the sign that said no photography was allowed in that part of the museum -- I wasn't sure which parts were what because the signs occur at odd intervals. Anyway, after dealing with that, I had some tea in the museum cafe. I was still sipping at it when the tour at the library started, but I wasn't really up to it anyway, so I wandered back to the hostel. I'm probably going to go lie down for a few while I let the electronics charge up again.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (d'oh!)
Due to my losing track of time and brewing up a migraine this morning, I had not realized that my ferry leaves tonight at 1am. I thought I had one more day here in Dublin, but I'm good with getting on with the adventure. I don't get a refund for tonight from the hostel, but I do get to hang out and/or take a nap today if I need one. I may. I've taken some meds for the pain, but it's only helping a little.

I got to the National Library again to check out the reading room, but it was closed except for a tour starting at 2:30 (it was about 1:45). I went over to the museum next door instead and checked out more of the Egyptian materials and then went down to the Kingship and Sacrifice exhibit. There were several bog bodies, which were an odd combination of fascinating and kind of nauseating, but the nausea could well have been migraine-triggered from the museum lighting and just general headache nausea. The had a replica of the Gundestrup Cauldron there. The display information said that the plate illustrating a deific figure holding dragons/monsters was a sea god and equated him with Manannán, though I think that's a stretch. They were identifying the draconic figures as "sea monsters" in an attempt to make a case for him being a sea god. I'm willing to entertain the notion, but it just doesn't quite sit right with me. That said, Manannán keeps popping up in the most surprising places during this trip.

I took a few photos of the shrine of St Brigid's shoe before I saw the sign that said no photography was allowed in that part of the museum -- I wasn't sure which parts were what because the signs occur at odd intervals. Anyway, after dealing with that, I had some tea in the museum cafe. I was still sipping at it when the tour at the library started, but I wasn't really up to it anyway, so I wandered back to the hostel. I'm probably going to go lie down for a few while I let the electronics charge up again.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Music by Leonardo)
I showed up early-ish last night to make sure I found the right entrance to the park, and was pretty much the first person in line. This being so, I got myself a spot right up front against the barricade, just to the right of center stage, where I could get some good photos. Sadly, the intertubes here have been intermittent, so I wasn't able to upload any to the twitter account. Once again, folks will have to wait for the photodump when I have access to a computer where I can selectively download a few and post them here.

The concert opened with two different acts - Katie Kim (a trio with guitar, cello, and clarinet), and The Unthanks, a 10-piece group largely composed of strings, with a pair of sisters doing the vocals. They did some sort-of-trad stuff and a little clog dancing along with all the music they performed.

The Waterboys opened their show with Bang the Drum, followed up by Rags. They played several songs that I know, and a few I'm less familiar with. The Pan Within was duly sung, and The Lake Isle of Inisfree as a blues arrangement. Several other Yeats pieces were performed, including The Second Coming, with the lead singer in a three-faced mask that was pretty spooky-looking. They closed the night with Fisherman's Blues at about 10:30pm; they would have played more, but noise ordinances had them closing down the venue at that point.

I had been wanting to go to the Writer's Museum today, but the guidebook I have says it's kind of a dud. It also costs 7.50 to get in, so I don't want to waste what is essentially a cheap lunch on it. I'm feeling a little bit headachey today in addition to the rough legs from standing and walking so much since I got here. I took a tramadol but I think a tylenol with codeine may be in order if another cup of tea doesn't settle things a bit.

I'm told the weather forecast for Isle of Man is pretty good (with the possible exception of a storm about mid-week, if I'm reading the website correctly). I'll be looking again soonish to see if things have changed unexpectedly. It's getting a little brighter outside, so it's probably time to hie me off into the wilds of Dublin for lunch and a little writing in ye olde notebook.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Music by Leonardo)
I showed up early-ish last night to make sure I found the right entrance to the park, and was pretty much the first person in line. This being so, I got myself a spot right up front against the barricade, just to the right of center stage, where I could get some good photos. Sadly, the intertubes here have been intermittent, so I wasn't able to upload any to the twitter account. Once again, folks will have to wait for the photodump when I have access to a computer where I can selectively download a few and post them here.

The concert opened with two different acts - Katie Kim (a trio with guitar, cello, and clarinet), and The Unthanks, a 10-piece group largely composed of strings, with a pair of sisters doing the vocals. They did some sort-of-trad stuff and a little clog dancing along with all the music they performed.

The Waterboys opened their show with Bang the Drum, followed up by Rags. They played several songs that I know, and a few I'm less familiar with. The Pan Within was duly sung, and The Lake Isle of Inisfree as a blues arrangement. Several other Yeats pieces were performed, including The Second Coming, with the lead singer in a three-faced mask that was pretty spooky-looking. They closed the night with Fisherman's Blues at about 10:30pm; they would have played more, but noise ordinances had them closing down the venue at that point.

I had been wanting to go to the Writer's Museum today, but the guidebook I have says it's kind of a dud. It also costs 7.50 to get in, so I don't want to waste what is essentially a cheap lunch on it. I'm feeling a little bit headachey today in addition to the rough legs from standing and walking so much since I got here. I took a tramadol but I think a tylenol with codeine may be in order if another cup of tea doesn't settle things a bit.

I'm told the weather forecast for Isle of Man is pretty good (with the possible exception of a storm about mid-week, if I'm reading the website correctly). I'll be looking again soonish to see if things have changed unexpectedly. It's getting a little brighter outside, so it's probably time to hie me off into the wilds of Dublin for lunch and a little writing in ye olde notebook.

Checked in

Jul. 20th, 2012 02:54 pm
erynn: Gaelic merman image (brain has failed me!)
I'm losing track of my days. I may or may not have had another day at the Travelodge when I checked out this morning. (I don't think I did?) Anyway, I'm checked into the Avalon House hostel for tonight and tomorrow night. Because I don't have to worry about getting the ferry at OMG30 tomorrow morning, I picked up a ticket to The Waterboys show tonight at Iveagh Gardens. It's an outdoor venue and generall admission. Concert is supposed to start at 7pm, with two opening bands. I've been listening to The Waterboys off and on since the mid-80s and am really tickled that I'll be able to see them. Like so many other things on this trip, I never imagined I'd be able to see them live.

It looks like it's getting a bit sunny out. Earlier today I went to buy my tickets then wandered off to find Iveagh Gardens, so I'd have some clue where I was going when it came time to get to the show. I'm pondering heading for the Writers' Museum now and spending some time there. It's across the Liffey from here, and apparently up at the far end of Parnell Square East, where it meets Parnell Square North and Dorsett Street Upper. They do this same street names thing down at St Stephen's Green, too, and I find it slightly confusing. I think this is at least in part because there are no mountains here to orient on. The place is, in large part, pretty flat and this makes someone used to navigating by hills and water feel a little out of place.

Most of the people I'm seeing at the hostel are a good 15 or 20 years younger than I am and are from all over, judging by accents and languages being spoken. It's pretty cool, really. I'm enjoying just sitting on a comfy couch for a bit and resting my feetses.

Checked in

Jul. 20th, 2012 02:54 pm
erynn: Gaelic merman image (brain has failed me!)
I'm losing track of my days. I may or may not have had another day at the Travelodge when I checked out this morning. (I don't think I did?) Anyway, I'm checked into the Avalon House hostel for tonight and tomorrow night. Because I don't have to worry about getting the ferry at OMG30 tomorrow morning, I picked up a ticket to The Waterboys show tonight at Iveagh Gardens. It's an outdoor venue and generall admission. Concert is supposed to start at 7pm, with two opening bands. I've been listening to The Waterboys off and on since the mid-80s and am really tickled that I'll be able to see them. Like so many other things on this trip, I never imagined I'd be able to see them live.

It looks like it's getting a bit sunny out. Earlier today I went to buy my tickets then wandered off to find Iveagh Gardens, so I'd have some clue where I was going when it came time to get to the show. I'm pondering heading for the Writers' Museum now and spending some time there. It's across the Liffey from here, and apparently up at the far end of Parnell Square East, where it meets Parnell Square North and Dorsett Street Upper. They do this same street names thing down at St Stephen's Green, too, and I find it slightly confusing. I think this is at least in part because there are no mountains here to orient on. The place is, in large part, pretty flat and this makes someone used to navigating by hills and water feel a little out of place.

Most of the people I'm seeing at the hostel are a good 15 or 20 years younger than I am and are from all over, judging by accents and languages being spoken. It's pretty cool, really. I'm enjoying just sitting on a comfy couch for a bit and resting my feetses.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Whitman: not all who wander)
Yesterday was another very full day, involving a trip to Ardagh (the site of Bri Leith, where the tale of Midir and Etáin took place), where I sat out the trip to the well and to any of the churches or other bits in the two but had a quiet hour or so at the Midir and Etain tea shop in the Ardagh heritage center. I really needed the down time, considering everything I've been doing of late.

After that, we visited the Hill of Uisneach. It's been closed to the public for some time, apparently, but it's open now. The farmer who owns the property is apparently fixing it up with some wicker fencing around parts of the hill, gates at both ends in line with the ancient approach marked by stones, and also setting up a yurt (presumably for an information station) and a labyrinth made with live willow saplings that will probably be very lovely when it's done. The top of the hill remains undeveloped, and the view, even on a cloudy day, was spectacular. [livejournal.com profile] ogam poured out a whiskey offering and those of us who climbed the hill spent some silent time. I wandered over after that to a standing stone surrounded by a small ring of much smaller stones and took a few photos; a frog leapt from near my feet, which I considered a pretty good omen.

Once we were finished at Uisneach, we went back into the little town of Mullingar (not much more than a crossroads and a pub) and walked down to the Brigid's Well maybe a quarter of a mile away. The well was quite lovely and in good repair. This well is, essentially, heart-shaped, and it was there that we held our closing ritual for the pilgrimage. I have photos from most of these places and will be posting some when I'm able.

When I returned to the B&B, I found that Michael had decided the piece of wood he'd chosen for the Suibhne Geilt wasn't the right one, so he had to decide on another. This meant that my piece wasn't actually started, but the lovely folks at the Ballaghboy Lodge Farm where we were staying offered to pick it up and ship it to me. I left them with cash for the piece itself and an additional 40 euro for shipping. If it costs more, I told them to email me and let me know and I would Paypal them the rest. They found this agreeable and all was arranged to my satisfaction. Michael refuses to ship and only deals in cash on delivery, so it necessitates someone nearby to actually pick the thing up if you can't do it personally.

This morning we did our final talk about our experiences then hopped on the bus for Dublin. We were able to check in pretty much as soon as we got here, though [livejournal.com profile] ogam had neglected to book a room when we were actually here last week, so almost ended up with nowhere to stay because, apparently, Bruce Springsteen is in town and the place is booked solid. [livejournal.com profile] joyful_storm and I did a little room rearrangement and she's now staying with another one of the group tonight while [livejournal.com profile] ogam is staying in the second bed in this room.

After checking in and dropping the luggage, our chartered bus dropped us downtown in Dublin and we said our goodbyes to the driver, who has been a real champ the whole way through. He joined us at Mullingar well and up on the Hill of Uisneach, as well as asking us to take a stone up to Maeve's Cairn for him. He participated in quite a few of the things, including our closing ritual at the well.

Four of us (the CR contingent) wandered off to have lunch at a place [livejournal.com profile] ogam dined at last week called The Farm, which has locally sourced and/or organic ingredients. It was reasonably priced and the food was quite good, with generous portions. I had a very good wild mushroom risotto with goat cheese and shavings of parmesan cheese. Very tasty.

After lunch, we parted ways and [livejournal.com profile] ogam and I went to see the Book of Kells exhibit. They had not only the Book of Kells but also the Book of Durrow and a couple of other medieval illuminated manuscripts on display. After reading through the introductory material, I went in to look at the books. No photography was allowed in the exhibit or in the Long Room at the Trinity College library upstairs from the Book of Kells exhibit. The Long Room itself was well worth the visit, though I paid 9 euro for admission to the whole thing. Photos just can't do justice to the intricacy and beauty of these illuminated manuscripts. The gold lettering was raised off the page, glistening, even after all these centuries. Some of the colors were still quite vibrant.

We then headed for the National Library, where we viewed the Yeats exhibition, including a lot of his personal papers and manuscripts, photos and, for the occultists in the room, his magical tools and notebooks. I got photos of a number of things that I think folks will enjoy when I have the ability to post them. Photos were in fact allowed in the exhibit. This is the one that you can find a link to online, with a virtual tour, though it didn't work that well on a Mac when I tried it a year or so ago. Being there in the presence of all these things was really a moving experience. When you see a brilliant writer's notebooks and realize that they're just as messy as your own, I think it helps one feel a bit better about one's own processes.

I sat out on a bench in front of the library for a while to wait for my three companions, whereupon we went down to one of the local pubs for a pint. The first place we went was wall to wall people and I just wasn't up to coping. My cope with other people bucket is damned near empty at the moment, so I'll be glad to have some space to myself soon. We left the pub and walked a bit. Eventually we wound up at the Elephant & Castle for a light dinner. I had the spicy lentil soup, which was quite good.

Upon arriving back at the Travelodge, rooms and other things were sorted and some goodbyes said. [livejournal.com profile] joyful_storm is heading back to Seattle early tomorrow morning and [livejournal.com profile] ogam is heading for England tomorrow afternoon. My room here is paid for tonight and tomorrow night, but I had been mistaken about my departure date for Douglas. My itinerary and ticket both say 1am on July 22nd, but I had it in my head that it was happening at 1am on the 21st. This means that I get an extra day in Dublin to explore this really lovely city, but it also meant I needed to get myself a place to stay for the night of the 21st. I turned up a hostel in the heart of downtown for under 20 euro for the night. They allow luggage storage even after you check out, so I can leave my bags on the 22nd and continue my explorations of Dublin, then pick up the bags a couple of hours before I have to leave for the ferry terminal - they open the baggage locker once an hour, or I can just rent a locker that I can get into anytime for I think 1 euro a day. Well worth it. I'll be taking a bed in a 12-person dorm room (mixed gender, but that doesn't bother me -- the place is rated with an 81% satisfaction rating on one of the big travel sites, and its safety rating is something in the 90% range). They have free wireless (it's 5 euro a day here at the Travelodge and that's for only onee wirelss device), as well as an on-site cafe and offering free walking tours of the city.

Tomorrow one of my tasks will be to head out to the tourist information office and figure out the best and safest way to get to the Isle of Man ferry terminal around midnight in the safest manner that I can. I'm sure they'll have at least a little advice. If it turns out I need to take a cab then that's what I'll do, considering I'll have two bags with me.

I'm also hoping to meet up tomorrow (or possibly the next day) with a newer fandom friend who's in Ireland from England for a family wedding later this weekend.

[livejournal.com profile] joyful_storm left me with her little Lonely Planet guide to Dublin, so I'll have a little better idea of what to do and what's where than with a pocket tourist map of the city.

And now, a quick shower to rinse the green out of my hair, and some sleep. I'm putting the Do Not Disturb sign on the door and will try to sleep in tomorrow as best I can. No alarm for this Erynn! I've been getting up at 6:45 all week and am really absolutely DONE with that.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Whitman: not all who wander)
Yesterday was another very full day, involving a trip to Ardagh (the site of Bri Leith, where the tale of Midir and Etáin took place), where I sat out the trip to the well and to any of the churches or other bits in the two but had a quiet hour or so at the Midir and Etain tea shop in the Ardagh heritage center. I really needed the down time, considering everything I've been doing of late.

After that, we visited the Hill of Uisneach. It's been closed to the public for some time, apparently, but it's open now. The farmer who owns the property is apparently fixing it up with some wicker fencing around parts of the hill, gates at both ends in line with the ancient approach marked by stones, and also setting up a yurt (presumably for an information station) and a labyrinth made with live willow saplings that will probably be very lovely when it's done. The top of the hill remains undeveloped, and the view, even on a cloudy day, was spectacular. [livejournal.com profile] ogam poured out a whiskey offering and those of us who climbed the hill spent some silent time. I wandered over after that to a standing stone surrounded by a small ring of much smaller stones and took a few photos; a frog leapt from near my feet, which I considered a pretty good omen.

Once we were finished at Uisneach, we went back into the little town of Mullingar (not much more than a crossroads and a pub) and walked down to the Brigid's Well maybe a quarter of a mile away. The well was quite lovely and in good repair. This well is, essentially, heart-shaped, and it was there that we held our closing ritual for the pilgrimage. I have photos from most of these places and will be posting some when I'm able.

When I returned to the B&B, I found that Michael had decided the piece of wood he'd chosen for the Suibhne Geilt wasn't the right one, so he had to decide on another. This meant that my piece wasn't actually started, but the lovely folks at the Ballaghboy Lodge Farm where we were staying offered to pick it up and ship it to me. I left them with cash for the piece itself and an additional 40 euro for shipping. If it costs more, I told them to email me and let me know and I would Paypal them the rest. They found this agreeable and all was arranged to my satisfaction. Michael refuses to ship and only deals in cash on delivery, so it necessitates someone nearby to actually pick the thing up if you can't do it personally.

This morning we did our final talk about our experiences then hopped on the bus for Dublin. We were able to check in pretty much as soon as we got here, though [livejournal.com profile] ogam had neglected to book a room when we were actually here last week, so almost ended up with nowhere to stay because, apparently, Bruce Springsteen is in town and the place is booked solid. [livejournal.com profile] joyful_storm and I did a little room rearrangement and she's now staying with another one of the group tonight while [livejournal.com profile] ogam is staying in the second bed in this room.

After checking in and dropping the luggage, our chartered bus dropped us downtown in Dublin and we said our goodbyes to the driver, who has been a real champ the whole way through. He joined us at Mullingar well and up on the Hill of Uisneach, as well as asking us to take a stone up to Maeve's Cairn for him. He participated in quite a few of the things, including our closing ritual at the well.

Four of us (the CR contingent) wandered off to have lunch at a place [livejournal.com profile] ogam dined at last week called The Farm, which has locally sourced and/or organic ingredients. It was reasonably priced and the food was quite good, with generous portions. I had a very good wild mushroom risotto with goat cheese and shavings of parmesan cheese. Very tasty.

After lunch, we parted ways and [livejournal.com profile] ogam and I went to see the Book of Kells exhibit. They had not only the Book of Kells but also the Book of Durrow and a couple of other medieval illuminated manuscripts on display. After reading through the introductory material, I went in to look at the books. No photography was allowed in the exhibit or in the Long Room at the Trinity College library upstairs from the Book of Kells exhibit. The Long Room itself was well worth the visit, though I paid 9 euro for admission to the whole thing. Photos just can't do justice to the intricacy and beauty of these illuminated manuscripts. The gold lettering was raised off the page, glistening, even after all these centuries. Some of the colors were still quite vibrant.

We then headed for the National Library, where we viewed the Yeats exhibition, including a lot of his personal papers and manuscripts, photos and, for the occultists in the room, his magical tools and notebooks. I got photos of a number of things that I think folks will enjoy when I have the ability to post them. Photos were in fact allowed in the exhibit. This is the one that you can find a link to online, with a virtual tour, though it didn't work that well on a Mac when I tried it a year or so ago. Being there in the presence of all these things was really a moving experience. When you see a brilliant writer's notebooks and realize that they're just as messy as your own, I think it helps one feel a bit better about one's own processes.

I sat out on a bench in front of the library for a while to wait for my three companions, whereupon we went down to one of the local pubs for a pint. The first place we went was wall to wall people and I just wasn't up to coping. My cope with other people bucket is damned near empty at the moment, so I'll be glad to have some space to myself soon. We left the pub and walked a bit. Eventually we wound up at the Elephant & Castle for a light dinner. I had the spicy lentil soup, which was quite good.

Upon arriving back at the Travelodge, rooms and other things were sorted and some goodbyes said. [livejournal.com profile] joyful_storm is heading back to Seattle early tomorrow morning and [livejournal.com profile] ogam is heading for England tomorrow afternoon. My room here is paid for tonight and tomorrow night, but I had been mistaken about my departure date for Douglas. My itinerary and ticket both say 1am on July 22nd, but I had it in my head that it was happening at 1am on the 21st. This means that I get an extra day in Dublin to explore this really lovely city, but it also meant I needed to get myself a place to stay for the night of the 21st. I turned up a hostel in the heart of downtown for under 20 euro for the night. They allow luggage storage even after you check out, so I can leave my bags on the 22nd and continue my explorations of Dublin, then pick up the bags a couple of hours before I have to leave for the ferry terminal - they open the baggage locker once an hour, or I can just rent a locker that I can get into anytime for I think 1 euro a day. Well worth it. I'll be taking a bed in a 12-person dorm room (mixed gender, but that doesn't bother me -- the place is rated with an 81% satisfaction rating on one of the big travel sites, and its safety rating is something in the 90% range). They have free wireless (it's 5 euro a day here at the Travelodge and that's for only onee wirelss device), as well as an on-site cafe and offering free walking tours of the city.

Tomorrow one of my tasks will be to head out to the tourist information office and figure out the best and safest way to get to the Isle of Man ferry terminal around midnight in the safest manner that I can. I'm sure they'll have at least a little advice. If it turns out I need to take a cab then that's what I'll do, considering I'll have two bags with me.

I'm also hoping to meet up tomorrow (or possibly the next day) with a newer fandom friend who's in Ireland from England for a family wedding later this weekend.

[livejournal.com profile] joyful_storm left me with her little Lonely Planet guide to Dublin, so I'll have a little better idea of what to do and what's where than with a pocket tourist map of the city.

And now, a quick shower to rinse the green out of my hair, and some sleep. I'm putting the Do Not Disturb sign on the door and will try to sleep in tomorrow as best I can. No alarm for this Erynn! I've been getting up at 6:45 all week and am really absolutely DONE with that.

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