Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Oh, To Be In Ireland Again

Blarney Castle

I'm going to a luncheon bridge group today at the home of a friend who recently spent three weeks overseas, much of the time in Ireland. Another member of our group was with traveling with her, and I'm looking forward to hearing about their trip. Partly because it all happened at the time of the volcanic ash fiasco. The two couples were to travel separately and meet in Paris. One had miles to use up, and the other went with best price on another airline. It turned out that Doris and her husband never left the USA--flight cancelled. But Barb and Mike had taken a very early morning flight and made it as far as Rome, where they were grounded. It was over a week later when the two couples finally met in London. All the Normandy and Paris sights were lost to them. Instead, they visited parts of England and then went on to Ireland. I'm sure the lunch conversation today among the eight women will be of great interest.

It's made me think of our own trip to Ireland in 2007. Being half Irish by heritage, I'd always wanted to visit the country where my great-grandparents were born. It lived up to all my expectations. When they sing of the green, green hills of Ireland, it's no fairy tale. The depth and breadth of the green and rolling countryside is awesome. I know that hearing about Ireland this afternoon will make me want to return there for another visit. We bypassed hotels and stayed in B&B's, most of which were absolutely charming with exceptional hospitality from the hosts. We enjoyed the food and the people as well as the scenery. I can think of nothing negative about the entire two weeks spent there.

We did the tourist things some days, Blarney Castle being a must-see. It turned out to be a most interesting day. I had no idea that kissing the blarney stone meant you had to climb a zillion steps to get to it and then become a contortionist to perform the act. The whole experience impressed me enough that I wrote a couple of stories about it. A short version was published in a senior newspaper in Springfield, MO this past March. A longer version was published in A Long Story Short ezine this month. You can read it at
http://www.alongstoryshort.net/KissingtheBlarney.html   Your travel experiences are great sources for essays, articles and even fiction stories. Travel with a writer's eye.

A few pictures that go along with the story are below.

High on top of the castle, reached by climbing until your legs turn to jelly.

Kissing The Blarney Stone (Read the story to see if I did it)

Me going back down the many, many stone steps.

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