Ahh what trivia we learn when we at first attempt to educate ourselves about the places we hope to visit. When we came to Ashland two and one-half years ago we knew there was a Shakespearean festival and a United Methodist Church and little else.
After so little time we appreciate the amazing people, the Rogue Valley culture, wineries, breweries, and more cultural events and festivals and artistic energy than we could have imagined. We had no idea.
I'm thinking our short slice of time in Ireland will feel like a whirlwind, especially for a people and a place with so much history. One of their best preserved ancient places predates the pyramids. The Irish are famous for 'battling with such joy and singing with such sadness.'
I'm just beginning to understand the Celtic influence (hard C) which was not the first in Ireland. And I had no idea who St. Patrick really was, or the immensity and consequences of his work not only in Ireland but in throughout all of Europe. See Cahill's "How the Irish Saved Civilization" for a wonderfully romantic historical overview.
So I plug along. I hope to fish, to paint, to pub crawl and learn a little Gaelic... make some friends and maybe even try my hand at the Irish bagpipes. (they don't blow into them. They have a bellows that is worked by the left arm that pushes air through the pipes... who knew?)
Well, of course, some of you people did. But remember, I'm OMOTIC... slow, patient, and full of surprises.