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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

First days in Ireland

We arrived after a long trip. 4-hour bus from Michigan to Chicago, 7-hour plane from Chicago to Dublin. 4-hour bus from Dublin to Cork.

On the way to Cork, we stopped at Cashel. This castle/monastery sits atop the Rock of Cashel.


In Cashel town, there are quaint buildings, like this thatched cottage. (The Irish say "tached.")

Gotta protect the beer.



We arrived in Cork and our lodgings at Victoria Lodge, part of University College, Cork.

We walk through a residential neighborhood to the rest of campus. Most of the houses are named, rather than have a street address. I thought the name of this one was clever (think "anvil").



That was yesterday. Today we traveled a short train ride to Cobh, the coastal town where 3 1/2 Irish immigrants migrated away from Ireland between 1855 and 1950. This is in the train station at Cork.


After arriving in Cobh, what happened next was rather astonishing. One year ago, on July 20, 2006, Don and I were in this same town, on this same study abroad program, and when we came around the corner to go down to St. Colman's cathedral, a casket was being carried out of the church. We watched the entire funeral procession file past, with 1,000 mourners walking behind the hearse. See my post about it here.

On the train to Cobh today, I was telling some of the students about that incredible experience. A 19-year-old woman had been murdered, and the whole town was in shock. My old time readers will remember it.

Today, we all walked toward the cathedral, came around the corner, and this is what we saw, again.


I stood, stunned, in the windy rain, umbrella blown inside out. My own insides were rather blown away too. This time the funeral was for a 70-year-old man who died of natural causes and lived a good life. I'm glad it wasn't a tragic death.

This is St. Colman's from city centre.

On the train back to Cork, several girls sat by us who had been at a wildlife camp in Cobh. We had a great little talk. The one on the left in the hat showed me three feathers she'd found. Sometimes I couldn't understand them in their beautiful Irish brogue. But we understood each other just fine.


11 comments:

Heather said...

Oy! Great pics, Ruth. Glad you made it safely to Ireland. Those little girls are adorable. Weird about the funeral second time around. Oh yes, I loooooove the pic of the dog guarding the beer. That's some sort of Mastiff, isn't it?

Rauf said...

I wonder what the little girl is telling her friend. They are so adddorable. What a delightful, cheerful company you had Ruth.
Its English they speak, they understand each other but you had difficulty in following them. You are going to find Indian English very funny. First of all you won't even know that it is English. There are hundreds of local accents. i have problems understanding Bengali and Gujrati English. The language, the grammer would be lot better than mine Ruth.
The chap may be speaking impeccable English, But the local flavour is very charming and funny, makes it difficult to follow.
We have a Central cabinet minister of commerce called Pranab Mukherjee. i don't understand a single word he speaks. The funniest thing is The news channels
give English subtitles for his speech in English. How insulting !

I met Nancy's husband for the first time a few years ago and as soon as i entered the house in Ernakulam his brother died. On my next visit his neighbour died. On my third visit ex President of India who was living in the same neighbourhood died. i think now they are scared of me.

'Raining cats and dogs' has something to do with thatched roofs.

Houses had thatched roofs - thick straw piled high, with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the dogs, cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof. Hence the saying "It's raining cats and dogs

He was a wise man who invented beer.
--Plato

Enjoy the study tour Ruth, i see sunshine here and there in the pictures. Hope there is good sunshine for the rest of the tour.

don said...

Nice job of sharing your photos! I love joining you on this trip via your blog. It made me really miss being there when I saw the photo of the Victoria Lodge! I miss you!

Don

Donica said...

Thanks for sharing your photos Ruth! It is nice to see the trip through your lens. Looking forward to seeing you at Farm Day in just a couple weeks!!

Ruth said...

Yes, Heather, I think he's a mastiff. He was so sweet, lying there in the alley. Days are going fast, the students are great. Tomorrow to Killarney again for an all day jaunt outside: lakes, hikes, horse and buggy.

Ruth said...

rauf, sounds like you have the same effect on Nancy's family and friends that I do on Cobh. I never knew that about raining cats and dogs, good one. I think I'll see more tomorrow when we go to the country. In fact I think the restaurant we'll go to for lunch will have a "tached" roof.

Went to a maternity hospital today and learned all about birthing babies in Ireland.

Ruth said...

Don, I miss you being here too! It's not the same without you here. Tomorrow to Killarney! And you know I'll be thinking of you all day. Hope it doesn't rain.

Ruth said...

Donica, thanks for stopping by! Yes, I'll be excited to see you, and Boots and Lesley when you arrive that Friday!

Ginnie said...

Am I really this far behind?? What happened to me!!

But in one "swell foop" I'm getting to see all your pics at once. I love the pics that tell the story...and your own words that come alongside!

Will you have time to recuperate before Farm Day??

Ruth said...

I'll have a whole week, Boots! Yay! I just remembered it yesterday too, that I don't have to go to work Monday. And I'll see you soon!

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