Celtic Tour: April 6

Today we got a tour of Old Ireland. I wasn’t sure what to expect. Most of our day consisted of grave sites & churches, so now when I think of Ireland that is all I can think of.

We went to Fourknocks first. It was a big mound of grass with a tomb under it. It had passages leading to the North, East & South. After being creeped out by practical jokes I didn’t want to stay much longer. Or next visit was to a cemetery where I saw 500 more Celtic Crosses. One of my new favorite hobbies is trying to depict the meanings on each one.

Next came my favorite part of the day. We went to Hill of Slane & Hill of Tara, which is where St. Patrick first brought Christianity to Ireland. It’s an amazing legend that you should look up if you have the time! Both places were beautiful especially since the sun was shining. At Hill of Slane there was a graveyard with castle ruins beside it. What do all the Americans do? Climb the castle. We were there for at least an hour attempting to find new and higher places to climb. I think mostly we were trying to get as high as possible to bask in the sun. At Hill of Tara one in the group was cursed. It was said if you steal a stone from the  tomb at Fourknock or walk through the entry at Tara you would grow horns & a tail. Megan did both, surprisingly she woke up without horns or a tail the next morning.

We ended the day with ice cream, cream soda & a bumpy bus ride home!

St. Paddy’s Day

Well, I can officially say I have been in Ireland on St. Paddy’s Day!

Sunday (March 17) was a day I will never forget! It all began around 9:00 a.m. I woke up and put on my wig, the greatest wig I ever ever seen I might add! I also had a tutu. True to Irish weather it was raining outside, but that was no slowing any of the festivities down!

We watched the parade from Christ Church. This year marks the 100th year since the Great Potato Famine, so Ireland is asking anyone with Irish roots to come back and visit. It’s being called The Gathering. The first hour of the parade was just people. People from all over the world! I saw flags from Spain, Colorado, Brazil, China, Texas. Everyone was here!! I found out halfway through the parade that I could have walked in the parade, needless to say I was disappointed!

The second part of the parade was floats. Kathleen ad I tried to move to get closer and that failed. We ended up standing on wooden posts that are meant to lock your bike up. That portion of the parade was about a hour, and it was raining. Anyone who knows me, knows that being still isn’t an option for me. Standing on that post on the rain for an hour was the hardest thing I have ever done, but so worth it. I got the perfect view of the floats & costumes! The floats were SO extravagant! I had no clue what any of them were supposed to be but I loved it. I felt like a child, pointing and giggling!

After the parade quickly realized the day had only just begun. I ate some traditional Irish stew for lunch &  washed it down with a Guinness. St. Patrick would’ve been proud. I spent a while after that people watching. I have never in my life seen so many complete strangers so happy together. The city had been painted green and was roaring with music and laughter! I have a feeling that before the night was over everybody knew everybody!

I’ll make the rest of my day a long story short; We hopped from pub to pub. I never tried green beer, I was advised that if I wanted to keep my lunch in my stomach to stay away! I meet 100 leprechauns. We turned a pizza place into a club with dancing alligators, and yes I mean exactly what it sounds like! Then turned in for the night early around 10:00.

St. Patrick definitely got the best of me, but being in Dublin on St. Paddy’s Day is a experience I get to check off my bucket  list!

*And just so all you Americans know for next year, it’s spelt St. Paddy’s not Patty’s. Patty is a girls name, and St. Patrick was a man.

Sláinte, 

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