‘Landlocked’ is a good adjective for me. I am from the Midwest; raised in Wisconsin and currently calling Indiana my home. The Great Lakes have always been a relatively short drive, but they don’t see to draw me. Instead, I find that I am relaxed by rolling farmland and in awe of rugged mountains.
In my travels, I have been to the Cliffs of Moher which allows you to look over the Atlantic Ocean towards the States. It was also a wonderful time slowly wandering the Copper Coast along the Celtic Sea. But it was Malahide Harbour at dusk that made me pause.
Malahide, located on the north side of Dublin, is a bit of an Irish anomaly. After spending days among ruins, traipsing across fields, and hiking paths, Malahide makes you do a double take. I find that it has a modern, urban ‘feel’ to it. It has energy. But like many places in Ireland, I find that it also has a contradiction. There is something very calming about its harbour area just a block or two from the town centre.
While I will spend a day or two in Malahide throughout a trip (e.g., Malahide Castle, Avoca, etc.), it has become my last stop before I head home. I find that my mind moves from historic to present day. I can recharge with its energy to tackle the airports, planes and congestion as I return home. It also gives me a spot where I can also take a moment or two and become reflective; thinking about where I am on my journey and moving forward. The photo opportunities are pretty good, too.
It is time for a reboot of the site!
My style continues to evolve. While I still work to capture that iconic ruin or landscape image, I now find myself pausing along the way. Instead of walking past a bench, a stone wall or even a tree, I stop. I take a breath and work to be present in the moment. At that time and in that place, I question myself – what is Ireland letting me borrow for that moment before she pulls it back?
If you explore my older posts, you will find information on various places that I have visited since June 2012. After my third trip, my blog stalled. I wasn’t sure the direction that I wanted to take. In the meantime, I started Facebook and Twitter accounts to share my photos. And while those sites are slowly growing, my social media sites were disconnected.
My goal when I returned from my June 2014 visit was to resurrect this blog and find my voice. But, providing historical/tourist information on a site didn’t feel ‘right’. There are dozens of sites that I can point you to for information. They will do a better job than I ever would. So, what direction? What voice?
Since it is November and not July, you would be right in thinking that there was still a bit of a struggle. So, I decided to sign up for an online, travel blogging class this fall by Dangerous Business (http://www.dangerous-business.com). The class has provided a variety of information, ranging from tips to approaches. What it has really done was find a way to pull it all together.
So, I reflected on the question that I am often asked … why do you keep returning to Ireland? One primary reason are the experiences; many unexpected. As I post my image to Facebook and Twitter, these stories are lost. Then, it came to me … I can use this blog to connect the social media sites. This will be my avenue to tell the stories behind the images. To share the Ireland that I have discovered and love.
So, it is time to get started. I liked the idea of using the image of the Kilruddery House & Garden’s hedges for a feature image. It is a visual that shows my path coming to a focal point; thought it would be appropriate I am also going to leave you today with a few other images today.
As always … enjoy your day!
Dublin was not on our list. Once we arrived in Ireland, it became apparent that our focus was going to be on the southern third of the country. However, at the last minute, Kay was able to fly in from Brussels. By 5am, we were driving northeast to the Dublin airport.
Since we were already there, it didn’t make any sense to skip it. So, we found our way downtown. The drive was a bit more stressful than other towns. The best US equivalent would be Chicago. (Note to self … next time, find a park and ride place; just like they recommend in the tour books … and Eileen.)
We had a great tour guide, She was a college junior, so not only did we see the historic buildings, but we also picked up on some of the college’s culture. My favorite of the day was a saying that she used. When she needed to move us from one point to another, she would pause for questions. When they were exhausted, she simply asked … Are we happy enough? Think about it ….. How do you say ‘no’ to that? Absent a reply, she would add … Lovely, let’s move to the next sight.
Once done with the tour, we entered the Library. Yes…! I was able to see a portion of the Books of Kells, as well as the Book of Durrow. The second floor also gave us a look at the Long Room. Here there were rows and rows of bookshelves from the floor to ceiling; all full of first edition or only edition of books. If you have a chance to stop by, I would highly suggest it.
At this point, we were ready to head out. We found that we were more of a ‘small town’ tourist and were happy to leave the city behind. Our goal, was to see St Patrick’s Cathedral and the Dublin Castle. However, they roads were not clearly marked, and with one way streets, we managed to get turned around. We literally drove around St. Stephenson’s Park three times! One last pass and we were all in agreement … let’s leave. It was at that time that we managed to find a way out, which happened to drive by the cathedral.
Some day, I would like to return to Dublin. I will utilize a pay and ride service, a good pair of shoes, and the double-decker tour bus rides.