Carsington to Chester to Manchester to Dublin to Galway

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May 18th 2013
Published: May 18th 2013
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Well, time flies when you’re having fun, eh?

We cleaned up Swier’s Farmhouse early on Wednesday morning—strange what the male cousins left behind but I think I now know where all the missing mates of sock pairs live—and were on the way to make our flight from Manchester to Dublin in a circuitous pattern. The squiggle of a driving route began with a return trip to Haddon Hall because I had a sneaking thought that my sunglasses may have tumbled out of my purse when we stopped in their café for lunch. The super helpful and cheerful tour guide came skipping back towards us in pink knitted cap and fuchsia willies, big smile and thumbs up. Glasses found!

Now on to Chester. Of course it rained, hailed, and sleeted and of course we were again circling around and about Macclesfield, my possible place of origination—or one of many possible places of origination. The rain was coming down in bucketful’s and the poor ewes had gathered up their newborn lambs against rock walls in a vain attempt to keep them warm and dry. The exhaustion of the rain was wearing upon all of us.

We made it to Chester for lunch and a quick and partial walk around the ancient walls of the city. The walls were built upon then Roman ramparts and in a few places the original ramparts were still visible. What was left for us to walk and try to keep from being blown away from in the fierce wind—although it was sunny!—was mainly constructed and re-constructed in the middle ages into the 1800’s. We bought gloves to celebrate despite protestations from shop keepers that it was SUMMER---really!

Then on to Manchester to turn in our rental car and catch our flight to Dublin. The minute the Gods of Deluge saw us trying to unload luggage, the downpour began in earnest. John returned to the airport lobby after returning the car to tell me we were in the wrong terminal…TAXI! With all of this hurry up to wait it was inevitable that our flight would be delayed. We arrived exhausted in Dublin at close to midnight. Luckily we were returning to a hotel with lots of hot water and American sized towels for showers and a reasonably comfortable bed.

We woke the next day, Thursday, realizing that we had about 30 minutes to make it to the breakfast room or we would be on our own. We scrambled, made breakfast and met two lovely Canadian ladies who gave us their second day pass for the Hop-On Hop–Off bus. We hadn’t planned on buying the pass, although it is a great way to see the major attractions of the city without totally wearing out your shoes, but with a free pass we expanded our plans. First to Dublinia, a reenactment of the archaeological dig at Wood Quay which unearthed the earliest Viking settlement in Dublin—now covered over as the young attendant told us, by “that ugly gray concrete building over there.” Then a quick—no, I’m lying it was a decadently leisurely and lovely lunch adjacent to Grace Cathedral so we technically “saw it” out the window. Then we took advantage of our free pass for the HOHO bus to Kilmainham Goal and the tour of the jail. The tour is very well done—the guide was non-judgmental, but the stories of the men and women imprisoned as Ireland struggled to win her independence were chilling.

We needed a drink. So off to O’Neil’s pub for excellent cafeteria style dinner, a multinational tangle of languages around us, and a bit of whiskey. Early to bed—we have a taxi scheduled to take us to pick up a car as we plan for a long travel day to Galway…but the route is almost entirely on Motorways! (the equivalent of freeways as opposed to the usual sidewalk sized roads we have been maneuvering.)

Today, Friday, we left Dublin and picked up our rental car to drive to Galway. Of course it rained, but there were at times, patches of sun and WARMTH! We are now in Salt Hill, outside of Galway, in a B and B sitting in the “lounge ” sipping a bit of red wine, listening to a George Michaels Cd (sigh), fat as sleek kittens after having been directed to a lovely little Tapas restaurant followed by a brisk walk along the promenade around the Bay of Galway….You know, a person could get used to this lifestyle….although I wish I had more time for sketching and watercolors---but I am making sure to get lots of arty photos for reference when I am in my studio wondering what to do next….John in Ireland is a very very happy man---no rain can daunt the happy smile on his face…..

Actually, pictures are being added Saturday morning…

Talk to you soon….

Additional photos below
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18th May 2013

I think we need a day together in the new studio to make one or two of these! Enjoying the Blog!! Thank's. C&M
20th May 2013

Hi John and Max Enjoying your photos and adventures. Glad you are having a great time. House still standing. :) Jane

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