Middle Aged World Travelers-Chapter Two Continued

When Alan and left our hotel to go to Trinity College and visit the downtown area, we were both a little apprehensive about such things as getting lost in the big old city, pickpockets, thieves, and also knowing where we were to go the next morning to meet our bus tour group for the Cliffs of Moher tour.  Ok, those are the things was worried about.  Alan was worried that I would get too cold and get sick on our first day out.  So I was constantly flittering about and mothering him to do this, not do that, did he still have his passport, his phone, his ticket, his butt?  He was fathering me with put your hat on, do you need my coat, are you warm, are you cold, don’t push yourself too far.  To put it bluntly, we ended up having our one and only little spat at Trinity College before the tour.  A few minutes later, we both admitted to being a little anxious and decided to loosen up.  We were on vacation for crying out loud!  So what if any of those things happened?  It wouldn’t be the end of the world after all!  We made up with apologies, a vow to quit being such pains in the arse, as they say in Ireland and England, and to have a great time!  It was amazing how much more fun things were after we relaxed.  Imagine that! Ha! If I’m offering advice in these stories of our adventures, the first thing I would advise is to r-e-l-a-x. You’re going to be fine and have a lot more fun if you do!

There are several things I forgot to mention about Trinity College yesterday. First of all, it is a beautiful campus and as old as the hills. Ok, not old as the actual hills, but it was established in 1592 by decree of Queen Elizabeth and was patterned after Oxford and Cambridge, although no further branches were ever added or built. For centuries, it was strictly Protestant. Catholics were not allowed to attend. Neither were women allowed to attend until 1904. Until more recent years, the Provost (head) of the College had to be a Trinity College graduate. The college’s buildings originally followed no true design pattern, but then an attempt was made to design buildings that did follow a neoclassical design in the early 1800’s. Additional buildings have been added in the 1900’s and are more modern in design. Some scenes from the famous Harry Potter movies were filmed at Trinity College in the Old Library.

Here are some more pictures of the Trinity College campus I thought you might enjoy seeing. I’m writing about our Cliffs of Moher trip now so hopefully I will get that post up tomorrow morning! Peace and love, Elaine

In Ireland Today, Spain Tomorrow!

Hi everybody!  I’m sorry I’ve been out of pocket this week, but I’ve been in Ireland with my husband seeing all the wonderful places I’ve dreamed of seeing most of my life.  It has been so much fun and so great!  This little place is just one of hundreds of places I’ve seen that I hope I’ll never forget.  There is so much beauty here, both natural and manmade, so much history, and some of the very nicest people I’ve ever met.

For instance, this afternoon as we were zooming from St. Paul’s Cathedral and through Dublin Castle, we were pretty much caught in the crush of people that is found on Dame Street around 5:00 pm.  I had lost Alan for a few  moments, but knew he was behind me somewhere.  I couldn’t stop though because I was caught up in a herd of people intent on crossing the street before the light turned red.  I got across the street, pulled out of the crowd and stood to the side to wait for Alan.  About the moment that Alan reached me, a very nicely dressed gentleman stopped and asked, “Are you alright?  Do you need assistance?”  I was so impressed!  Alan and I told him we were fine and he went on after we thanked him.  That’s the kind of people we’ve met all week.

On Tuesday, we took a bus tour to the Cliffs of Moher and had a grand time.  Our tour guide was also the bus driver and he was so professional, fun and also very, very knowledgeable about all things Ireland.  I realize that knowing about all things Ireland is part of his job, but he went above and beyond.  (This wasn’t restricted to our tour guide either.  Nearly everyone we spoke to at any length from Ireland discussed politics, economics, and current events with ease and intelligence.)  One incident with our tour guide, Wayne, that really made an impression on me was when we were stopped at a conservation area where there are flowers found only there or north of the arctic circle.  I wanted to get out and look, but it was drizzly, there were lots of wet, flat rocks and I wasn’t sure it would be safe for me to navigate the terrain.  Suddenly Wayne came back into the bus, grabbed me by the hand, loaned me an extra jacket he had and took me over to see the flowers.  He made sure I was safe over the slippery rocks and pointed out the very delicate, small flowers that are part of the orchid family.  He then accompanied me safely back to the bus and teased me in such a way that I didn’t feel like the little old lady he had to help back to the bus.

I could go on with many more examples of Irish hospitality and intelligence.  The point is, we’ve really enjoyed our time in Ireland and anyone who has thought about visiting here, should, if you get the opportunity.  The only word of warning I would give is that if you come in May, bring warm clothes including a semi-heavy coat, a warm hat and slacks.  Although the temperatures are similar to Colorado Springs in May, it is much more humid and when the wind blows, it cuts right through you.

Early, early tomorrow morning, we will be flying to Valencia, Spain.  We will be flying through Frankfurt, Germany to reach Valencia, which I find interesting.  We won’t really be in Frankfurt just as we weren’t really in Boston when we had a layover and plane switch there.  Nonetheless, I’m still excited about it!  I’m also excited about arriving in Valencia, where hopefully it will be warmer!  I would love to lie on a warm beach and watch the waves roll in for a while.  

 Peace and love always,  Elaine