Thursday, July 20, 2006

Ireland: Work, work, and a little play

Click on photos to enlarge.

Posted by Picasa Don in Dublin

Sunday we began our Ireland visit in Dublin for 36 hours, running around doing errands for the study abroad program commencing two days later. Then off to Cork by train 3 hours and more running around before the group arrived Wednesday.

Problem: 24-hour taxi strike throughout Ireland Sunday night to Monday night. Meaning long walks with luggage to the bus we'd take to the train station in Dublin and from the bus to our lodging in Cork. No big deal, but were we beat after the trans-Atlantic flight!

Posted by Picasa Overlooking Cork

We're a week in Cork, a city of 250,000 and third largest next to Dublin and Belfast. Cork was designated European City of Culture in 2005. It's a hodge podge of elements. I'll try to post more on it later. But now on to Cobh!

Posted by Picasa Ryan and Brianna on the train to Cobh

Our whole group -- 45 students, 3 instructors, and Don and I -- took a 25-minute train to Cobh (pronounced "cove") today. You can see several of the students in the photo above.

Cobh was the last port the Titanic saw before its demise. Cobh is the harbor more than 3 million Irish people emigrated from mid-1850s to mid-1950s. Cobh is the harbor near where the Lusitania was sunk by a German U-boat. In houses and hotels throughout this small town of a few thousand inhabitants, survivors of the Lusitania were welcomed.

Posted by Picasa Street in Cobh

Don and I walked the hills of Cobh today.

Posted by Picasa Rooftops in Cobh

This view is from near St. Colman's Cathedral, a huge church for a tiny town. I didn't get a good photo of St. Colman's because it is so tall, I cut the spire off in every one!

Posted by Picasa Funeral procession for Sheola Keaney

Sadly, this photo of St. Colman's is after the funeral today of Sheola Keaney, a beautiful 19-year-old girl who was murdered a few days ago right here in Cobh. We had heard about her death before going to Cobh today, and forgot about it until we came over the hill to go visit St. Colman's, and there was the casket being removed from the church. Her parents are just at the back of the hearse at left. At least 1,000 people followed the hearse to the cemetery on foot.

I'm sorry to end on that note. It really was a touching experience.

I had hoped for wireless in our dorm room, but no such luck. So we're here at an internet cafe in Cork, which is quite posh, I must say.

I'll try to visit you online and update you soon. I miss you all!


Ginnie said...

Wow, Ruth. You just published this about an hour ago, hot off the press. I just love the pics you've chosen. The colorful houses remind me of those we saw while on our Scandinavian and Russian cruise. Thanks for giving us these tidbits. I've been thinking of you every day!

Rauf said...

Reading your post through a proxy server Ruth, but unfortunately without pictures. the blockade is still on, little support for the bloggers in the media as blogging is a threat to media.

Very much like India, sudden taxi or bus strikes. Kerala is notorious for flash strikes where you don't get even a glass of water.
You'd have a tough time reaching your destination on that day but when you reach home and think of the experiences and narrate them to friends you would smile.
Sad to hear about the teenager's murder. How cruel people can get.
Thank you so much for keeping us posted Ruth, Its like my study tour too, I learn so much from your posts
My regards to Don, hope you have a great time.

Mrs. M. said...

I love this!! Isn't it fun seeing places with students? I find they add a freshness to the experience!

I wish Garland and I could've gotten to the places you and Don are. I say someday you two, Boots and Donica, Garland and me take a trip and familiar places for us all!

Amy said...

WOW, beautiful photos, Ruth! I just love the way you've captured the beautiful colors in each one. Looks like an amazing place -- thanks for sharing!

Heather said...

Ruth, what a beautiful and poignant entry. I think you capture Ireland perfectly with the brightly colored houses and ending with the funeral of the girl. I hope to hear all the stories on your return.

Ruth said...

Ginnie, it's funny about the colorful houses. Yesterday we saw a square post between houses that was painted tan on one side and pink on the other, right down the middle.

Ruth said...

Rauf, I'm glad you can at least read the text, but I hope the whole stupid thing will be lifted for you soon so you have complete freedom again soon. It's great to have you along for the study group. :)

Ruth said...

Mrs. M., wow, what great times we would have traveling together, eh?

I feel that I'm experiencing this trip once for myself, and twice through the students' eyes and ears.

There was a young French man sitting across from us on the train yesterday to Cobh, he was next to an older Irishman. The young Frenchman had an iPod in his ears, and all the while, the Irishman next to him was whistling or singing some Irish tunes, looking out his window, and it was such beautiful music, I regretted that this French boy missed it.

Ruth said...

Amy, thank you! I love these row houses/buildings. I can't stop taking their picture every time I see a new set. The pastel shades are so sweet.

Ruth said...

Heather, it was a profound experience to have just read all about the Titanic, the Lusitania, the history of this quiet little town, and then to see this very personal tragedy affecting the whole community. They do carry their sorrows and joys together, and it's a good thing to see.

Heather said...

I forgot to say how much I like the picture of Don looking up at the flower window boxes. He's in that yellow shirt again. It suits him.


Sheepies are so cutsies.

Ruth said...

Heather, it does seem Don is in that yellow shirt whenever I take his picture.

Must go to countryside to see Irish sheepies. Maybe tomorrow in Kinsale, Sunday in Blarney or Monday in Killarney (most likely the last).

Rauf said...

Thanks for sending the pictures Ruth, the ban has been lifted. All your voices had their effect. Thank you so much.

Yes now I see the pictures on the post makes a lot of difference with your narration.

The pictures are so beautiful, wonder what they looked like in 1904 Hope you see Dublin through the eyes of Joyce, there was a character of a salesman called Bloom, who walks through the city.
don't remember selling what. I could never finish the book, perhaps rushed through the last few chapters, long long time ago. I don't remember anything Ruth.

Mei Shile said...

Ireland, one of the countries I remember with the most fondness, even if I am not supposed to have Irish ancestors!

Ruth said...

Rauf, Hurray for the ban lift! So glad you're back. I'm glad you liked the photos. I recall struggling through "Ulysses" in college. Did you know they still have "Bloomsday" in Dublin June 16 to commemorate Joyce and Ulysses?

Ruth said...

Mei Shile, have you been here often? I think many people connect with Ireland for some reason. There's an "everyman" quality about the place.

Don said...

Yes, I like yellow shirts! I'm not sure it is the same one, but it sure looks like it! I will not allow Ruth to take or post anymore yellow shirt pictures. I think I have at least two other shirts I can wear, but they are both yellow.

Ginnie said...

Don, you are way too funny. You can wear as many yellow shirts as you want and please don't you dare stop Ruth from taking your photo in any one of them! I love you, Man!

Ruth said...

Mmm, yellow. Mmm, Don. Mmm, Ireland.

Love you all.

Mei Shile said...

I went only once but would return anytime

Ruth said...

Mei Shile, I'm guessing it's changed a lot since you came, so much prosperity in Ireland now.