April in Ireland: Part 1.

Earlier I posted a handful of pictures from our first trip to Ireland.  I have several more pictures scattered over various online locations, but never really pulled it together for a formal post.  I quite miss posting on Photoblog.  I am finally starting to get used to Tumblr’s little quirks and limitations, so I want to give it a go and see if I can get a regular Photoblog-like post out of it.  If this works, then the only big thing missing from Photoblog is the ability to do the rollover popup text.  (If anyone knows of addons or code to enable this for Tumblr, please do say something!)

Anyway, without further ado, here are pictures from our first trip to Ireland!_______________________________________________________

8 April 2010 

This is Dario, about to experience his first scone — with clotted cream, no less!  (I, on the other hand, had a tuna melt, as evidenced by the chips— er, “crisps” — on the edge of my plate.)  The scone was quite delicious, despite exclamations of horror from our CS host at the idea of anyone eating something so awful as an Irish scone.  We assured him it was quite moist and flavorful, with delicious bits of fruit and such.  He seemed relieved that we had not suffered, if not totally convinced of its yumminess.

(ps: damn, he’s cute!)

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This here is a statue St. Patrick near Tara.  Yes, THAT St. Patrick.  He is surprisingly non-green.  No evidence of shoes with large, brass buckles.  Not a shillelagh in sight!  Also, he is neither drunken nor on parade.  Note: I saw not ONE snake near his statue.  Amazing!

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As some of you already know, to my great sadness, my go-to 17-85mm Canon lens died a sad death on this trip.  Fittingly, it happened near a graveyard.  It had already started to go south while taking the pictures of St. Patrick (seen above), so maybe his Catholicism and my generically new agey paganishness came into conflict or something.  Or perhaps Tara and/or faeries really are that powerful and have a strange effects on things!

In any case, I really tried to set up a nice shot of the back of this gravestone with the trees and the clouds and all, but it just wasn’t happening.  Got this with the wide angle lens.  Still, kind of a nice shot for establishing the surroundings.  :)

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Dario snapped this picture of me rather accidentally while mucking about with the lens.  A bit overexposed, due to the shutter issues, but I like it!

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Finally!  Mythical and lovely Tara!  At the center is the “Mound of the Hostages.”    Alas, we were there too early in the year for the museum to be open, so most of what I know about Tara is from various websites.  Indeed, I learnt more about passage tombs when we went to Copenhagen the following month and found out about Vikings at the city museum.

I had heard about Tara from some of my pagan friends years ago and had even signed a petition to protect it from a rather unnecessary bypass in the area (“What do you mean, why’s it got to be built? It’s a bypass. You’ve got to build bypasses.”  – Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy).  More recently, however, it had been brought back to my attention by the Artemis Fowl book series by the Irish author, Eoin (pronounced “Owen”) Colfer.  *claps delightedly*  Ireland!  Magic!  Faeries!  Oh, and an evil boy genius.  What could be more fun?

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Entrance to the aforementioned Mound of the Hostages.  It’s really quite steep, that little hill!

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Gravestone and the standing stone.  The standing stone, known as The Stone of Destiny, used to be north of the entrance to the Mound of the Hostages.  I am unable to locate details at the moment, but I seem to recall the gravestone belonged to some British duke or similar.  Was planted there 4 or 5 hundred years ago.  Thought it would be nice to ruin the landscape, I suppose.  Pfft!  Brits!  (You reading this dad?  :D)

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10 April 2010

We stayed in Bray for 2 days with a CS host who, luckily for me, also had an interest in photography — AND had a Canon with many lenses!  She also has a fondness for taking people on driving tours of the Wicklow mountains.  Wow!  How excellent is that?  :D

Above Lough Tay, Dario models a sparkly stone along the path.

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Dario models the same sparkly stone, this time with more reflection.  The ground was littered with stones like this and the sun was glorious, making the path appear to be made of silver, gold, and copper.

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Lough Tay, aka, “Guinness Lake” because of the way it looks.  Conveniently enough, the buildings near the lake’s beach are owned by the heirs of the Guinness fortune.  Or so they say.  :)

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Above Lough Tay.

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Near Sally Gap, County Wicklow.  Possibly my favorite picture from the whole trip.

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Bread and butter pudding near Glendalough.  Mmmm…

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At St. Kevin’s Monastery, Glendalough.

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Ruins in St. Kevin’s Monastery.

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More St. Kevin’s.

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Whew!  That’s a lot of work!  Ok, there will be a Part 2 with Cashel and Cork/Kinsale soon.  Plenty to go on for right now, though, eh?

Cheers!

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