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[Error: unknown template qotd]Oh yes. My childhood years. I would say for the most part, they were a musical abyss. My mother, having come from a strict conservative house, really only liked the Beach Boys and a few choice hymns. My father, having come from a non-conservative household, liked bands such as Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin growing up, but went through a "purifying stage" when he was in college and got rid of all his mint conditioned LPs (*moment of silence for this tragedy*). He wanted to be a "wholesome" family man, which left us listening to Julie Andrews singing the Sound of Music, but that's not really a band.
However, there was one group my parents seemed to find suitable enough for our ears, and that was Toto. I remember immediately liking "Africa" for its exotic beats and soaring vocals.
I still love it to this day, and have to restrain myself from bursting out into passionate song when I'm in public.

I blame this on my lack of musical diversity. Had I not been so musically starved, I might not feel so compelled to sing my lungs out whenever I hear a favorite song.
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This will help me in writing my book, so please answer. Sorry if the choices are confusing!

[Poll #990940]
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the following occured on the days of February 2nd, 3rd, and 6th, but I wrote it on the 5th and 6th in Dublin. Yeah, confusing I know. I just kinda wrote whenever and didn't break it up much. You'll get the fill in days, though.

I asked my very friendly proprieter (who I also found out is a Lord of the Rings nerd - yay!) to wake me up at 8:30 because the alarm clock I had bought refused to work sensible. I'm never getting an analog alarm clock again. Geez. The checkout time was 10am so I ate breakfast made by Richard, which was very hearty and nice, then just finished getting everything together before I headed out. I thought I'd be cheap and walk across town to the train station hauling my luggage behind me instead of getting a cab or bus. Bad idea. My arms ached and it took me what seemed like forever to get to the train station. However, my flight to Belfast wasn't scheduled until 4:50pm so I had plenty of time to haul myself wherever (in Swansea, that is).
The train to Cardiff was uneventful, except that I had wasted my money by buying a return ticket on the 30th that I deluded myself into thinking would work on the 1st. Had I been running on more sleep, I suspect I would have realized that all day return trian tickets are only valid on that same day. Sheesh.
So when I was on the train I had to pay for a single to get me to Cardiff central station. Once there, I entered another phase o fwaiting, which would continue long throughout the day at the airport. Finally, my flight left and I got in Belfast without much delay. Then I just went on the express Bus to the bus station and met up with Michael. We got to a pub where I ate and he sustained himself with a couple pints of Bass. Strange man, that one.
It was nice though to put a moving, breathing person to the internet persona that I have seen around on the same community forum for so long. I just went to bed after the pub venture (at this place near Queens called the Eg. It was pained a neon green. When we walked there, it was at night and the moon was full. There was this one church across the street and behind the spire, the moon sat nestled in the patchy clouds. It looked soooooooo coool!). The next day, we just planned to meet at 1pm. So, after waking up late, I wandered around the main streets (Great Victoria STreet, Dublin Road, and Wellington Pl) and went to the tourism office where I got some postcards to send to various people. I sent them and went back to meet Michael. He showed me the Maths department and the rest of the university. Very pretty buildings, a lot of them (cracks me up, btw, that they use Maths as a plural word, when the word Math I thought was understood to be a plural word...you know, like sheep? or deer?). I liked the circular windows on one of the buildings (forgot the name of it now). That one also had these gargoyle things that looked like they were coming out of the side of the building. I really wanted a picture of them but my camera sucks. I would totally own those gargoyles with 10x zoomage if I had it. Yeah. Big qualifier there, I know.
We agreed to meet up again to pick up Emily when her bus got in. We walked around for awhile (after checking her in. She's really awesome, btw. We all got on immediately) looking for a place to eat and due to my tight budget I'm afraid, we ended up at the same brightly colored pub where Michael and I had been the night before. I had vegetable Lasagne, which wasn't quite what I was expecting (nothing ever is when I order from the menu at pubs) and Michael bought me another drink. I felt bad because my budget was so tight, though I did buy a couple rounds for everyone (which wasn't too much).
It may seem strange that the pub we were in was neon green, but I noticed a lot of buildings in Wales and Northern Ireland painted really bright colors. I suspect it's because they don't get much sun so they need to have something cheery to make it through the day. ;-)
After the Eg, we moved across the street to get more drinks. I tried this one Beer -- Belfast Ale, and it was all right. The previous night I tried the Magner's cider and I didn't think I liked it as much as Strongbow, which I had in Swansea. But then later, I had another half pint of the Magners and it grew on me. At the Eg, I had a half pint of Bass cuz I wanted to try it. Was all right. But a little more acidic than I liked. Before I forget, here is the complete alcohol list I consumed while on the trip:
- Strongbow cider (1 pint total)
- Magners cider (1 pint total)
- Bass (1/2 pint)
- Harp (1/2 pint)
- Belfast Ale (1/2 pint)
- Guinness (2 1/2 pints)

As you can see, the winner is Guinness. I am officially in love with the draught. I don't care if it's a huge brand in Ireland that stomps out local flavors. It's damn good. I just tend to drink it too fast. I think the best pint I had was at the Davy Byrnes off of Grafton street. The guy really took his time in dispensing it. I love how you have to "wait" for it to settle a bit and they they take it to you like an ordered dish or something like that. Well, right now I'm writing from the Mad Hatter at Blackrock, a suburb of Dublin. It's sunny outside so I should be there, but I've been walking a lot and my back hurts. I think these boots are really bad for my back.
I ended up here because I was directed here by the postgraduate English office at UCD (which took me forever to find, I might add. I asked four people and went around in circles. And it's so weird, the arts building is connected to the library and each sub group of the arts/humanities is in a different section by alphabetical order. And, to get to the certain letters -- such as JK, which was what I needed to find -- you have to follow a colored line painted on the ground. Isn't that weird? I think so)
Apparently UCD has two campuses, or at least a very spread out one. To get to Blackrock, I'd either have to walk for a ways or go back to Dublin and take the DART. I just decided to do the DART because I didn't want to have to navigate a different bus system....and it was kinda scary to think of going to yet another new place on my own, but I had loads of time to do it so I just figured, what the hey. Round trip fare was cheap so I got there quickly. The DART line runs alongside Dublin Bay, so it was really pretty with the sun out on the water, and whatnot. So Blackrock is a seaside town, basically. Geez. So I could go here as well. But ultimately, I think I'll want Swansea the most, even if it is a little rundown in parts. However, once in Blackrock, I couldn't find the actual building where the creative MA program is run out of. I'll see if I can call the people later so I can get the info I need.
This Mad Hatter place is cool, though. It's two story and gots a cool light fixture thing.

I'll tell more about Belfast later....
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(Still on the 1st of February)

I have a hard time pinpointing the Welsh accent. It sounds kind of like Yorkshire, or just Northern English accents by the way they stress certain vowels, mainly at the ends of words. And it's very intriguing to me that Welsh is actively spoken today. It's a freakishly hard language. Apparently the sounds change depending on their placement in the sentence. And don't even think about trying to pronounce the words. The ancient Welsh must have considered vowels evil, or at least the alphabetic symbols for them. Geez. But absolutely entrancing to listen to. I found a Welsh tv station while going through the channels on the tv in my room and my mouth was literally hanging open as I watched and listened. So weird. Also, British drama sucks, so when I was done gawking at the strange Welsh speech, I found a channel that was showing Futurama (which I had never seen before but enjoyed). It was nice having a tv and a room to myself. Very nice.
On the 31st, I walked to the university and found the building where I had to meet Stevie. She brought with her Nigel, the poetry tutor, so I could meet him. That was nice. They were both very encouraging and open. The pogram seems great, and if I'm going to write in a place of inspiration and beauty, Swansea is a great spot for it. I hear the Gower Penninsula is spectacular. So yeah, I'm definitely leaning towards Swansea. It would be hard to be away from Nick, though. Very hard. The more I think about it, the more I wonder how it will work. But there's still many more months to be had with him before I would go. So, I shouldn't worry about it right now.
It's been exhilarating to explore new places by myself, but also exhausting, especially in Belfast (where I am right now). I just have to be constantly aware of my surroundings.
[this is when I found out that I had been accepted to the program. I wrote about it already in a previous LJ entry]
For finances, Emily told me that I could get a part time job with a student visa in the UK. So that would work. I'm sure the university has available jobs...
But yeah, I definitely think I could write well in Swansea. The ocean is so beautiful, even if it will be raining there a lot. After going to the uni, I walked back along the beach. It was so pretty. I liked seeing all the old people with their dogs on the beach. Oh yeah, that's another thing. It seems there are only several kinds of breeds acceptable for ownership in Swansea: Australian shepherds, collies, shelties, and the occasional small and shaggy terrier. Very interesting. The old men seem to favor the collies (both border and regular). But anyway, it was a nice walk back despite my feet starting to get blisters. I took some pictures then saw this couple on the beach hugging. Then that made me lonesome so I walked faster and then just chilled out in my room until I wanted to get something to eat.
I ended up eating at the closest pub to the BnB. I have since forgotten the name, but it was close. Therein lay its appeal. The walk to it is very interesting (and to the Tesco, which is further down Oystermouth road). I grew quite familiar with that main street, Oystermouth road. It faces the sea, and should be immediately renamed "accommodation row." It makes perfect sense, of course, why the street is lined with little independent hotels, as Swansea is more or less a beach resort town in the summer, or at least a gateway to the other more "lush" beaches on the Gower Peninsula. They were probably all built at the same time, the city council most likely fearing to run out of accommodation for the bustling tourists. Consequently, according to my proprietor, Richard Baber (a non-native Swansea resident actually), the city council has a small town reluctance to make decisions, so "accommodation row" may have very well been their last hasty decision, and since the scuffle of development have adopted a more cautious approach to city improvements. As such, I noticed several sorry looking "Lynchase" hotels boarded up and vacant for quite some time. They're all very small, these independent places. Maybe 15 rooms each. The Beachcomber Hotel (called a hotel but really a BnB) has 10 rooms, most facing the sea, and has the most cheery exterior that attracts attention, being painted a very bright red. That's a way to bring in business. Plywood windows are not really a good welcome sign for visitors, but I suspect that when the proprietors have to close shop, it's up to the city to fix up the outside. But again, the city council has better things to do like save money on a post office by putting it upstairs of another building. Yeah. I don't know what nitwit cast the deciding vote on that measure but they're very stupid. And mean. I guess handicapped people can't be independent and send their own mail, huh? Richard told me that this proposition gave Swansea and its little old ladies with canes something to riot about, but the city went ahead with this move anyway. Very gutsy for an ocean town.
To get to Tesco, you also have to walk past a big wall on your left on Oystermouth road. I wondered what was hidden behind it, until I saw the sign for "Swansea City Prison" not long after I wondered when the wall would end. Note to Swansea's previous city council: what the hell? Why are you giving convicts views of the ocean?! Prime real estate! Aren't they supposed to be serving a punishment?? Geez.
Regardless, it's a cool building with big beefy front doors that could survive a Viking siege. I suspect it was built in the Victorian era when people were starting to feel generally more humanitarian.
"Oh yes, Roger. Give him 15 lashings but return him to cell 1A where there's a fabulous view of the bay at sunset!"
Frickin Victorians. They were messed up.
After dinner, I just walked to Tesco again to see if they sold alarm clocks. They didn't. So I bought some cereal bars and went back to my room. I watched mindless tv until I was tired and went to sleep. End of day 2 in Wales.

01-02-07

Feb. 13th, 2007 03:00 pm
roverandom: (batb l33t by <lj user=proverbial_icon>)
note: the date formats are in the European way...just fyi

All right, well. The last couple days have been interesting to say the least. Traveling when sick is a always a royal bugger. Well, this is my first time being sick when traveling and it sucks. Also my first time alone. It was hell on the 30th, but if I'm to be anywhere by myself, Swansea's the place to do it. Very calm and laid back, plus my BnB looks out to the ocean. I couldn't ask for more. The Beachcomber room was small, but very warm and cozy. In fact, during the day it's very mild in Swansea (though overcast) -- not much colder than Reedley at the moment.
I haven't really explored Swansea, though. Just a small part of the town center. When I walk to the train station in a bit I'll see more. I must try to find a Post Office. Anyway, I'll start with discussing the days prior. Ahem.
The 30th of January: commence day of Hell. So. I got into Dublin at around 7:25am or something like that after only having slept maybe a couple hours on the flight -- at best. I got through customs fine and everything. Luggage got through fine. All well and good, right? Very wrong. I called Nick (I think the dear boy misses me much more than he lets on. I can tell by how professional and non joking his voice was) and my parents to let them know I'd arrived safely, then proceeded to try to get cash out. Commence major problem: I got a message saying "we cannot complete your request at this time." Um. Ok. So I tried it again and got the same message. I went upstairs to try the other atm near the bank of Ireland booth and it still didn't work. So, I went up to the tellers and asked them to try themselves. No luck. They told me to call my bank. Great. Must be some security lock or something, since I'm out of the country. So I call them and explain everything, thinking that I had cleared it up. Nope.
I tried it again and got the same message. The teller lady told me to wait a bit in case there was some delay. I did so. When I tried again, though, I got the same message. I was starting to get really pissed. I called my bank again, and talked to a different person. She said I needed a manual authorization code but I would have to get that from the main Department that didn't open for another couple hours. Commence fidgeted waiting. I hate waiting. I was starting to feel the effects of sleep deprivation. And worry. What if I couldn't get money out? I couldn't leave the airport if I was out of cash. The transport systems don't take cards. So I just sat and also wandered about. There were these really dark (as in, they looked like they were actually from Africa) black children who were were climbing all over the place and talking in a British accent. The one little boy was adorable and liked touching things, mainly strangers. I don't think it's a habit he should cultivate.
Finally, I could call the bank again. Commence stupid teller guy. I explain my situation, with great detail and calmness I might add, and he contacted the Dept. Unfortunately, he told me he could not give me the manual access code. What. No. I don't think so. I said that I needed that and he said the people in the Departments all say I'm clear. It's not their problem at this point. But no cash??? Why???? Then, the stupid guy tried to offer me loan consolidation. What. the. hell. After hearing my predicament, he tries to offer me home loan stuff? I don't think so. Time to re-learn your customer service skills, buddy. Sheesh.
I was totally taken aback by this, because I had been a nice customer and thanked him for his help (which wasn't much I might add). Nice people finish last I suppose.
At that point, I was about to break down. I had to see if there were any other possible transportation methods to Belfast that I could by for by card. I asked the lady at the tourist info booth but she could only let me buy tickets to Dublin City center, and not Belfast. Great. But, I decided that if all else failed, I could get a ticket to the city center, find a different atm, and get cash that way. But that's another round trip fare to pay for. And, by this point, it was near noon. I was completely exhausted (my eye was starting to twitch) and hungry. So I sat down and cried a little. Then, I decided to call my bank again and be extremely firm. This was just unacceptable. I needed some damn cash already!
I got a different person again, but this one actually seemed to know what she was doing. She found out that the problem was with my card not being read right. So she told me to tell the bank tellers to imput the information manually. Finally. Some answers.
However, when I told them to do that, it *still* didn't go through, so it must have been something with their computer system or something....at any rate, there was nothing I could do to get cash. I dare not try to think about how I would make up for the time I lost, but the most amazing thing happened. The girl who was helping me felt immensely sorry for me and so gave me 20 Euro out of her own pocket! Then, she wrote down her address and was like, "just send it back to me when you can." I couldn't believe it. I was just so shocked. But because of her, I was able to get to Belfast. So, I told myself I would remember to send the money back. There are nice people in this world, turns out.

The coach ride to Belfast was interesting, if mainly for the fact that was then that I starting noticing how every car seemed to have a thick layer of dust up to the bottom of the door windows. What is the cause of this, I wonder. Poor paving on the roads? Wind? Bad paint job? I would hate to work at a hand car wash in Ireland. They better tip those people well.
Also, the chair next to me smelt of urine. And I couldn't even smell that well. Oh well. The countryside was beautiful. It was sunny for a good half hour at least.
On the way to Belfast we stopped through Dundalk where there was a big Guinness display that had "It's Guinness Time" in large block letters and then three pints of Guinness with smiley faces in the froth. Kind of disturbing, really.
I got to Belfast, but the tension wasn't over (oh, and at this point I was nodding off, hitting my head on the window at random intervals). The driver (who had something stuck up his arse a little bit) dropped us off in front of the Jurys Hotel, on what appeared to be Victoria street. I had a vague memory which told me that Victoria street was where the train station was, but I had no idea which direction to go. So, I asked a lady who had been riding on the coach with me where to go. When she heard I needed an atm as well, she was like, "here, take my 10 pound note." I protested and she was like, "I'll feel better if you take it." Geez. What's with you Irish people being so damn nice. Enough already.
Yeah that would never happen in L.A. No way. Well, I guess you never know.
Once at the Bus station, it was a quick shot to the airport. I still hadn't eating anything for about 5 or 6 hours. I was pretty much starving. When I went through security, they asked me to open my carry on where the guy looked through every item, in case I was smuggling cocaine or bombs. He was quite bewildered by my ugly doll, Ted. "I don't even want to ask," he said. He was nice, though, for probably having to look through a bunch of people's random shit. And he was pleased by my celtic journal so I think that helped. But man. I waited in that airport so long, and since I wasn't doing anything the extreme sleepiness came back. I went down to the isolated gate early and snoozed on the chair. When we had to walk out to the plane, it was bloody cold. Winds, chill, dark -- the works (except for rain). Oh man. Then when I sat in my seat, I got warm really fast and that wasn't good. The whole flight I thought I would upchuck. That was the low point of the day. I dont' think I've been that exhausted before. But the trip was not over yet. I decided to bite the bullet and get a cab from the cardiff airport to the train station. From there I got a ticket to Swansea, and the ride was about an hour. In swansea, I got another cab to take me to the BnB. I arrived just after 9pm. Thank the good Lord -- I had made it through the transportation day of hell. Never doing that again.
roverandom: (n&s by <lj user=rich_desire>)
29-01-07

Hey there,

So begins another journey to the British Isles and Ireland. Right now I'm at Atlanta International airport waiting for my flight to Dublin (which doesn't leave for over 2hrs). So. I'm here waiting. Just called Nick to let him know I'm all right. I was out all yesterday with serious congestion and sinus pressure. It sucked. I was so drained. Luckily, I was at Nick's house and he was my attentive nurse. So I just rested a lot. Today I'm feeling a lot better, and on the flight to Atlanta I didn't have any sinus pressure. Right now, I'm a little clogged again, but no pressure. That's the worst anyway. I have a lot of time to kill so I may take a nap or well, I want to try to sleep on the plane...but we'll see. I will be very...very tired tomorrow. Hmm...there seems to be a lot of Germans around. I seem to be able to pick up their speech, even when I'm not on the alert. Wow. I'm really tired. Well I'm going to explore now. Bye. I may get to write in this more. Maybe not. Oh -- something weird: this lady on the plane had like a mardi gras mask in her carry on....weird.
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üben! üben! üben! X-D

Omg...the MEMORIES!
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LOL!
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This PP song is SO racist but it's LOL in German. X-D
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This is amazing. I have discovered a new diversion: watching disney songs in German. ROFL!
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Kaiti, I expect you to watch this and comment.

It's not the best I've done, but...for some reason, I really wanted to make this video to this song.

*sigh* Peter is just amazing...:-D
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why do our censors not allow for comedy?!?!
roverandom: (stubble is sexy by me)
I'm feeling really low and mellow right now because I just watched this sad music video. It was lovely to see [livejournal.com profile] neytaritook this evening, though. She is lovely. But here is my last entry that I wrote in my travel journal about my spring break experience. It seems so far away, that's so weird...

22 April

I am now at the Chicago O'Hare airport, sadly out of Ireland for probably awhile. I would like to tell you about our evening last night, our last evening in Dublin, and I shall entitle this evening "The night of many friendly Irish men (or how it's very obvious that we're American!)." Seriously. They just can tell. They smell us come in the room or something. I mean, I can usually tell what people are European, but...I don't think I could distinguish whether they were Scottish or English. Well, maybe...
Anyway, so yeah all the friendly (or lonely) guys were out last night. First, we went to O'Donoghue's after dinner and it was packed. I mean, it's a small pub, you 'd think the virgin mary had appeared in a pint of Guinness (now there's an advertising campaign -- blessed by the holy mother herself). We could barely move, or even breathe, and yet, we were singled out. Kirsten had two older-middle aged guys stop the flow of traffic to talk to her, and when I moved up close to see the badn play (there were eleven people playing!), I looked down for one small instant and caught the line of vision of one of the players. A younger, maybe low thirties aged guy who I quickly learned played the banjo. Not a split second after I looked down, he gave me a beckoning "come hither" sign with his index finger. This was somewhat disturbing, but nevermind. I bent over and asked, "Am I in your way?" to which he replied "No. Can you sing?"
Well. Of all the things to ask, this was not what I was expecting. Flabergasted, I replied that I could but wondered why the devil he would want to know. He said that it was so I could be accompanied by the badn as I sang an "American song" in order to get the full Irish pub experience. Again, this proposition threw me for a loop. The conversation (since I am a nerd and like to record dialogue) went something like this:
A cut in case you don't want to read it )

Again, I was flattered by all of this but I relaly don't think my voice had the gusto needed to carry through the room. And, it was so crowded, so we left and went to the Brazen Head. There, we sat by this cute German guy (and by cute I mean, nice and friendly, but definitely not the dark handsome type like Brian) named Kyle. He was also very talktative and talked to me most of the time (well, cuz I was right by him and I was interested in how he ended up in Ireland). Apparently he lives in Dublin, but not permanently. He wants to go to Australia, so I told him about me going there. We talked about traveling and Germany. He had heard of Wolfsheim (LOL) but said American Hip Hop is more popular in clubs. Weird. He said he liked how Irish peole are so laid back and good natured and he wished Germans were more like that. I thought that was really interesting of him to say. Again, he was super nice (supertoll, lol). I almost gave him my e-mail address so he could get more info about traveling in California (he wanted to go to the US as well as Australia).
After the Brazen Head (which was kinda slow), we headed across the street to O'Sheas Merchant Pub (which one of the guys in O'Donoghue's fondly dubbed "Jurassic Park") where they were supposed to have Irish dancing at midnight. They did have dancing all right, but it was not Irish. This was ironic because our cab driver was lamenting the fact that Irish dancing is not really kept up in Dublin. They played country music (the extremity of this insult is so much that I cannot put it to words. Country. The audacity.) and people swayed, jerked, or waddled back and forth and then called it dancing. No. No. No. NOT ALLOWED. On the other hand, drunken dancing people make excellent entertainment. For awhile anyway. Kirsten knew a couple line dances so I did some with her. At one part, she squatted down really low, but found that her thighs were really sore so she couldn't quite get back up. Thankfully I was following from behind so I was able to catch her. It was quite a save.
roverandom: (thornton HOT by lucius_admirer)
21 April

Went on the celtic experience tour today and it was the most beautiful day ever. Clear blue sky, sunny and gorgeous (Figure 1). Everywhere was green and lush.
1
We saw Fourknocks (figure 2), Monasterboice (figures 3, 4, and 5), Mellifont Abbey (figures 7 and 8), the hill of Slaine (figure 1, above and 6 below), and the hill of Tara.
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
It was all really cool and our tour guide was hilarious. He definitely had the tour guide personality -- cheeky and talktative, but very friendly. But then most of the people here are really friendly. I am sad to leave: I definitely need to come back. I don't think I could live here, though...long term, seeing as how it rains so much. But visiting is perfect. However, I am seriously considering Trinity as a uni to go to for graduate stuff. [update on this: I am applying to both Trinity and University College Dublin for graduate stuff and hopefully will be accepted to one of them]
But the Irish are amazing. I mean, there are jerks everywhere of course, but on the whole they are just so fun and so friendly (laid back too). Is it all the Guinness? ;-)
It's interesting too how much connection there is between Irish and American culture. Our tour guide (named Paul) joked that they should make an Irish-American tour because he kept pointing out connections to America (like how the first St. Patrick's day parade got started in NYC). He told us so much, though, that I'll never remember all of it. One of the coolest places I thought was the hill of Slaine: where St. Patrick lit the great bonfire to rival the celtic kings' and got really famous. The view from the hill (or hiccup, rather. Not really a hill in Cali terms) was spectacular and all the grass (which had to be cultivated at one point because Ireland was all forest and swamp originally) was so lush and green. I had to lie down on it. Also, the hil of Tara was interesting, but it was the last stop so we didn't get ot see it much. The circle formations used for protection were cool (figure 9) -- also the m ound of hostages where the first samhain (I think that's how it's spelled) happened, or where it originated. And of course, that's where modern halloween comes from.

9
The remains of Mellifont Abbey were really cool too. They are only remains because stupid Henry VIII came and knocked it down. It was quite an impressive Abbey when it was built, though, and it's in a lovely location. I could hear this sheep bleating off in the distance but I couldn't tell where it was. Daises had popped up in scattered patterns on the grass in and around the ruins and there was this little stream on one side surrounded by trees and lush bushes. Such a peaceful spot for an abbey, and our guide said that the building looked like it should have been in Rome or something, so to the Celts it was like a spaceship. This abbey made the syncretistic Celtic Christianity out of fashion. Interesting to hear a local's perspective on things about their history that I only read from books. It's good to have that perspective.
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