Sunday, May 29, 2011

Ireland and England (The Second Half!)

One of the barrels
used for fermentation.

We spent time visiting a few places in and around Dublin City.  One of the first places we got to see was the Guinness  Storehouse which was a lot of fun.  Arthur Guiness was a wise man. ;-)  He got the City of Dublin to give him a 9,000 year lease on the Storehouse property at an initial price of 100 Irish pounds after which he only paid 45 pounds a month for the rest of the lease.  While there we discovered the history of how the brew is made, and got to enjoy a free Guinness on the top floor of the building after the tour in the Gravity Bar.  The Gravity Bar is a round room with a 360 view of the city of Dublin.  We had a great view, and a great drink at the same time!
This is the lease that started it all.

The Guinnes Harp.

The last day in Dublin was spent traveling by our bus all around and one of the sites we saw was St. Patrick's Cathedral.  The cathedral was in the center of a park where families were enjoying the day and it was surrounded with plaques that honored the writers of Ireland.
St. Patrick's Cathedral

The park was beautiful.

This is just one of the plaques that
were within the church park around
St. Patrick's.

Usually the plots between the hedgerows were
filled with sheep - after all it was lambing
So after those first days we left the city of Dublin and headed out into the countryside for the first time.  We got to see some of the mountains and the patchwork quilt like hillsides that are divided by hedgerows.

The drive by itself was lovely, but the destination took my breath away.  Glendalough is an example of Celtic Monasticism.  The graveyards were very holy and so were placed within the walls of the encampment near the church.  In this lovely area there is a church and a cathedral!  The buildings are all of stone - even the roofs were made of stone.  Glendalough means "The valley of the two lakes" in Irish.  St. Kevin established this monastic settlement in the sixth century.
The entrance to the Glendalough
community was through a stone gate
which led to one of the most intriguing
historical sites we saw in Ireland.

The site had a small museum that held
many stone crosses and a layout of
what the monastic village look like in
its early days as well.
One of the first sites was St. Kevin's
Church .

The cemetery was huge and is
still used today.  In the background
is another view of St. Kevin's Church.

This is the outside of the cathedral on the site
which though it had no roof  was still a beautiful

St. Kevin's Church
St. Kevin's Cross
I think Glendalough was one of my favorite spots in Ireland.  The natural beauty was everywhere I looked!  It also was such a peaceful place both in the sense that it was so quiet, and that it held such spiritual peace for me while I was there.  I could go back there tomorrow because while there I felt like I had truly come home.

More to come later!  (I really didn't realize I had taken so MANY pictures!)



Anonymous said...

Bob would have enjoyed the Guiness Storehouse. I like the looks of Glendalough as well. You can see that the cemetery is aged by the look of St. Kevin's church. That church looks ancient! The cemetery markers(?) look interesting. Some of them resemble faces and stick figures.

Ciss B said...

I am sure bob WOULD have enjoyed the Guinness Storehouse! I sure did too. Besides the history which was great, the free pint at the top was really good. Glendalough was a beautiful walk back into history, and yes some of the head stones were a strange shape! :-)

Judith van Praag said...

Guinness sure was smart! And the time definitely different I'd add. Drinking his creation where it's made would add to the joy, even if it had been on the ground. Those white borders add a particular bit of nostalgia to the photos as does their size, at least for me.

Robert V. Sobczak said...

Those Guiness you can cut with a knife! I am inspired to buy one next time they have it on draft.

Ciss B said...

I have to say, Robert, that the Guinness here does not measure up to those in Ireland. But it sure is something I love!! Sláinte!

Meam said...

Hi Ciss. Contacting you after quite a long time. Glad to know about your vacation! I'm still reading your old posts and enjoying the beautiful Ireland :)Take care.

Ciss B said...

Hi, Meam! So good to hear from you again. You have been in my thoughts so much during the past few months. Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting. Hope you're doing really well.

Ellie Finlay said...

Beautiful photos!

I used to live in Dublin, you know!

Ciss B said...

I am jealous! I loved Dublin and surrounding area when I visited last April. Thanks for coming by.