28 September 2010

Ireland (Northern and Republic of)

Steve's parents very kindly took us to Ireland for the weekend. We rode trains and a ferry to Belfast and then drove to the Republic of Ireland.

Our first night in Belfast we were upgraded to the penthouse. It's remarkably hard to photograph a penthouse. There are too many windows and funky lights and reflections from the sea views out the balconies. So here, showing nothing of the beauty of our accommodation, I give you Steve Flinging Socks over Shoulder in Penthouse.

That there is an Ulster flag. We drove through a neighborhood completely covered in Ulster flags in Belfast. It's also hard to take photos out of car windows.

I'm sitting on a cow bench at a gas station near Newgrange, a prehistoric World Heritage site. It's also difficult for me to open my eyes in photographs. I always look squidgy/squinty in snapshots. I should maybe not post them on the Internet.

The gas station had a hippo rubbish bin. I love hippos.

A tomb at the Rock of Cashel. The Rock of Cashel was a seat of political power starting in the 4th or 5th century A.D. and then became a religious center in 1101. It's a massive ruin, which I forced everyone to visit on Saturday.

I'm standing inside the cathedral at the Rock of Cashel. St. Patrick visited the site, but of course there was no cathedral there at that time.

Steve always finds the best stuff. He noticed this plaque on the wall of an apartment building in Dublin. At first we thought that the owner of the flat had put it up, which I thought was extra super awesome. It turns out that it is actually part of a public art project near St. Patrick's Cathedral. There are a number of plaques with excerpts from interviews with local residents that were recorded as part of a revitalization project.

We never found the leprechaun museum. Sad, sad.

It was sunny almost the entire weekend, but it got cold in Scotland while we were gone. We could see our breath at the train station on the way home, so I made Steve puff and puff while I tried to photograph his breath. You can see it hovering over the train board. I need to get out my long underwear.


Rebekah said...

Your email, plus the plaque, are answers to my two most fervent prayers right now. For reals, I'm printing that photo out and hanging it in the apartment that I feel like I'm squatting in and I have a hard time calling 'mine'.

eliana23 said...

Leprechauns! You look like a giant! Hippos! There can't be any problems in the universe.

Yankee Girl said...

I was kind of hopping you were staying at the Europa in Belfast (aka the most bombed hotel in the world). Love your pictures. They make me wish I was there.

CSIowa said...

A green hippo! I had a fascination with pink hippopotamoi when I was a child. My mother tells me it was nearly impossible to find me one for my birthday. They tended to come in purple, not pink.

Becky said...

That last picture of Steve about to eat the sign is awesome!!! Also, you really do look like a giant in that picture... "The Friendly Giant" (ask Steve about the friendly giant - or did you get that in the States?)

Ireland looks awesome.... I'm going to have to invest in a train ticket in the spring I think.

MBC said...

Rebekah--Oh, good! I'm really glad to hear that!

Eliana--Hippos do ease the problems of the world.

Yankee Girl--I thought all the bomb walls were really interesting. And sad. I thought of you while we were in Belfast.

CSIowa--Hippos are the best!

Becky--There's an even better photo of Steve on the train platform, but he looks quite silly, so I thought I'd spare him from posting it online.

ldsjaneite said...

A hippo trash can--genius!

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