erynn: Gaelic merman image (Whitman: not all who wander)
[personal profile] erynn
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.

(no subject)

Date: 2012-07-19 03:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alfrecht.livejournal.com
Since you'll have the extra day in Dublin, I'd highly recommend going to Hodges & Figgis, if you can. And, if you want to go to the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, you might be able to swing that as well. It's around 1-2 miles from St. Stephen's Green, and they'd have, well, all the awesome books that they're famous for...

(no subject)

Date: 2012-07-19 09:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] erynn999.livejournal.com
I shall have to do these things! Thank you!

(no subject)

Date: 2012-07-19 05:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] deirdremoon.livejournal.com
It surprises me not at all to find that Yeats was a magical practitioner, but I admit I hadn't heard that before. What might I read up on to learn more about that aspect of his life? I think it would help me understand some of his writing more thoroughly, as well as just wanting to know!

Been too busy to read your full travelogues, but still very happy for you on this trip and very envious that you're doing such awesome travels. :)

(no subject)

Date: 2012-07-19 07:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gra-is-stor.livejournal.com
Apparently his own book, _Visions_, is a good place to start. He wrote about some of his own experiences with magic at the time. Some of it's pretty interesting - he had contact with both organized Victorian approaches to magic, and Irish folk magic, and some of the times he tried to bring the 2 together are a bit humorous. :) There's another one of his that also gives good stories of his experiences with magic, but I forget which one.

(no subject)

Date: 2012-07-20 06:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wire-mother.livejournal.com
Possibly Celtic Twilight?

(no subject)

Date: 2012-07-20 07:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gra-is-stor.livejournal.com
Yes, that's exactly what I was trying to remember, thank you!

(no subject)

Date: 2012-07-19 09:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] erynn999.livejournal.com
As [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor said, "A Vision" is a good place to start, but you can also just google Yeats and goldend dawn and you'll turn up a ton of stuff.

(no subject)

Date: 2012-07-19 07:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gra-is-stor.livejournal.com
I think I've stayed at the cheap hostel you're referring to. It is kind of a 'you get what you pay for' sort of deal. If it's the one I'm thinking of, it is one of the 2 cheapest hostels in Dublin, on a road with other hostels all around, some for twice the cost. They do have the storage lockers in the basement, which are actually pretty generous - I got my harp tank and a large suitcase into mine without much trouble. I could even get young men to help me lift things if I needed to - that place is almost always full. As I recall, I couldn't eat at the cafe, but you could (gluten-intolerance being the big hurdle I remember). It looked nice. They do have a kitchen too, where you can make and store you own food, at your own risk. It is a high traffic kitchen, so there's always other people and mess there, but it's usually not too bad, and I believe they make sure it is cleaned at least daily. I did fine; I ended up having to do other people's dishes in order to get what I needed, but my food stayed unmolested in a shopping bag in the fridge, and I was able to cook and eat my own food without contamination from anyone else's. I felt a little claustrophobic in the room itself, but the only window looked right at another building, so there wasn't much sense of outdoors anywhere (just an issue I know I have; you would likely be fine). And there are ALWAYS a ton of cabs in that area, and the front desk is happy to call one for you, if there's someone working it (they have somewhat limited hours and take breaks, but their hours are posted). I actually got a very friendly cab driver from there to the airport - I stayed there my last night in Dublin on my last trip to Ireland. :)

I'm glad you can get a little bit of down time before you have to go places again. It sounds like you had a marvelous trip, but you could likely use some down time. I'm not surprised your 'dealing with other people' bucket is running out right about now. Dublin is a fine place to be when you don't have to go anywhere, though. If you do find you need something, you can probably find it easily enough, and if you just want to hide from the human race, you can likely do that there too. ;)

I'm way jealous of all the cool stuff you got to see and do. We definitely need to do this again some day, together.

*hugs*

(no subject)

Date: 2012-07-19 09:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] erynn999.livejournal.com
I was under the impression all hostels were a "you get what you pay for" kind of deal? This place is called Avalon House (avalon-house.ie) and the photos look clean and reasonable on the website. I don't need windows into green or a lot of space or really much of anything but a bed, a shower, wireless, and storage space. It's right along the Temple Bar on Aungier Street. As long as myself and my stuff remain unmolested, I'm good to go!

(no subject)

Date: 2012-07-19 09:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] erynn999.livejournal.com
Oh, just so you know, I couldn't pick up a postcard of the harp because they didn't have any. They had posters for 9 euro, but I would have had to figure out how to ship it to you, so I got a fridge magnet of it instead. Much more compact and I can carry it with me no problem. I'll ship it home with the camping gear.

Also, expect a box of books from Dublin at some point probably before I get home. Speaking of which, drop me an email letting me know what I have waiting for me at the moment, would you?

*snuggle*

(no subject)

Date: 2012-07-20 07:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gra-is-stor.livejournal.com
Email is done. Fridge magnet sound perfect, thank you! I hadn't even thought of that; I might like that better than a postcard. :)

I looked at the web site you sent for the hostel, and I still can't tell if that's the one I stayed at before - it seems plausible, but I'm still not sure. If it is the hostel I stayed at, you should be fine. The storage lockers are in the basement, and I think there were elevators. The room I stayed in was about the 3rd floor or so, so it was a little annoying to have 3 or 4 floors between me and the stuff I wanted secure, but well worth it for the money. :)

(no subject)

Date: 2012-07-20 10:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] erynn999.livejournal.com
With this one the luggage locker is on the ground floor, and there is an attached cafe. I'm checking in within the next 3 hours or so for tonight and tomorrow night. All is well!

(no subject)

Date: 2012-07-19 06:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] labhaoise.livejournal.com
Phantom of the Opera is also in town so its jammers everywhere!

(no subject)

Date: 2012-07-19 09:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] erynn999.livejournal.com
I've been seeing the banners all over town. I'm more interested in the poster I saw for the Waterboys, but I didn't catch when the concert was. I was going by on the bus so I couldn't really read it.

(no subject)

Date: 2012-07-19 09:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] labhaoise.livejournal.com
they are playing tomorrow night the 20th July in the Iveagh Gardens dublin

(no subject)

Date: 2012-07-19 09:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] erynn999.livejournal.com
AAAGGGHHHH! Show is supposed to start at 7pm with one or more opening acts. If I knew I would get out before midnight I would SO do this, but I have to check in for the ferry by midnight for the 1am sailing. *wibble* That would be such a fan-fucking-tastic end to my visit to Dublin.

(no subject)

Date: 2012-07-19 09:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] labhaoise.livejournal.com
I have my doubts that it would last past eleven tbh with you. Maybe you could ring the venue tomorrow to see what time it would be over at?

(no subject)

Date: 2012-07-20 10:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] erynn999.livejournal.com
I keep getting my days mixed up. I'm in town tonight and tomorrow night, then the morning of the 22nd I catch the ferry. Looks like I can catch the Waterboys show after all!

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