Monday, June 23, 2014

On The Road Again Or Maybe On the Sea Again.

Yesterday was a very long day.  Donna took me to the train station, so I could pick up the 10:10 train to Holyhead.  I needed to make a change at Shrewesbury.   I met a lovely couple from York, who thought my accent was pretty neat.  That seemed strange, that someone wanted me to talk to hear my accent.  When I  got to Shrewesbury, I missed my connection by seconds, literally seconds.  So I had to wait another hour to get the next train and was it ever packed. I got to Holyhead with only 45 minutes to wait.  The ride was a little bit more choppy than the way out had been but I just drew in my notebook the whole time.

I'm back at the Maple Hotel in Dublin again, its nice to be in a familiar place.  Today I decided I want to find a gift for Dave plus I thought I would go here.

So I headed to the TI to find out how to get there.  Turned out it was just a 15 minute walk.  Of course I am always open to a diversion and I found a sign for this place and set about looking for it.

I thought now this is the kind of place to see in Ireland for sure. Another diversion pulled me from this task, a park bench to eat a fresh croissant for my breakfast.  After a little break I arrived at the museum just as a tour was about to begin.  Amazing that I had timed that perfectly.

After being told very charming tales from the Irish tradition we were miniaturized so we could travel in the world like leprechauns do.  Only the very young attempted to get on the very big furniture so I shot photos of them.

I learned later that this guy was from Logan Utah.  

I also, learned that leprechauns did not look the way you think they do until Walt Disney came and filmed Darbey o'Gill and the little people, in 1959.  Originally leprechauns wore little brown coats and a red hat.  Disney thought that was not colorful enough for his movie so he put the character all in green and gave him red hair.  

We even got to travel to the end of the rainbow and find a pot of gold.

 And I got to meet my very own leprechaun.  It was a fun museum and I loved the stories.  I discovered a few other things in my walking around town.  

This matey was obliging in letting me take his photo even though I didn't go into the restaurant being allergic to fish and all,he understood and took a pose for me.  What a nice guy.

When the bat signal appeared in the sky I wondered what kind of evil doing was going on in Dublin City.  I was safe though so the man in a black cape must have saved the day.

 I liked this golden sphere sculpture so you get to see it to.

I didn't know what would be I. This shop, but went in just for you Sarah, and it just had clothing.

Eventually I found my way here but it was sort of anti-climatic as it doesn't look much like a castle.

I guess I like the ruined ones the best.

I saw a couple of these guys and they are really short.

They didn't have much to say.  Here are a bunch of shots from the area.

Tomorrow I am taking a tour to Wicklow and Glenadough, which should have some spectacular scenery to share. Scenes from P.S. I love You, Braveheart and Ballykissangel were filmed in the area.

Castles and Cathedrals

I went to visit my online friend Donna Highton who lives in the West Midlands near Birmingham.  She lives in a village called Meridan.  

Here she is, all smiles as we chatted in the back garden an
Father a full day of sightseeing.

Donna picked me up from the train station, we stopped off at her place to drop off my luggage and then headed to Coventry. 

Covemtry was destroyed during the blitz of World war 2.  The ruins of the Cathedral still stand and they were beautiful to see. They built another cathedral but it is not nearly as interesting.

I loved seeng the sky through all those windows.

Ok enough of the Cathedral. Next we went to a museum called the Herbert.

Coventry was an area famous for ribbon weaving.  They used these massive Jacquard looms.

Thu s a side view of one of the looms.

This shows several ribbons being wove at the same time.  In this picture they are red white and blue.  Also you can see shuttle piled up containing the yarns used in the weaving.

Here is a view of the whole loom.

Next we went to a pub for a cool drink, Ioved the view from my seat.

This is Kenilworth castle it is another ruin.A lot of it is intact but a lot f it is more like remnants of its former self.

For a girl who likes doorways and windows I had a blast taking photos.

Ok that's enough Castle pics.

Here we are laughing it up.  Pretty soon we were pretty tired so we headed for a country pub for dinner.  I decide to go decidedly British this time.  I had my first steak and Ale pie with potatoes verges and gravy.  It was really great.  What a wonderful day we had.

Next stop Dublin.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Meeting someone I hadn't expected.


Here Lisa and I are sitting in her garden.  What a great time we've had today.

We planned a visit to see Sulgrave Manor today.  It's funny that I traveled all the way to England to meet this man.

Yep it's George Washington,  Sulgrave Manor just so happens to be the home of his ancestors.

This was our capable guide, he filled us with stories of Lawrence Washington and all the other relations of George Washington.  It was a pretty fascinating.

This the manor today but it was much larger in its heyday.  

There were several spinning wheels.

Here we are in the kitchen where we learned about the tragic life of spit boys, the lack of medical knowledge and the fact that the poor people actuallly ate healthier than the rich. Darker bread vegetables and little meat was healthier than the ruche duet if white bread and meat.

The gardens were beautiful.  

Ok that's enough flowers.  

This is the front of the house which shows a lot about the man who owned the house.
The triangle. At the top showed how he made his money, that was my wool.  The second thing was frme honor from the queen, I can't quite remember what it was called but let's just say it gone him great status. The third thing is the crest of the Washington Family which includes 3 red stripes which represent rivers of French blood from the battle of Crecy where the family served honorably.  There are stars on the crest too but I don't remember what they are for. The interesting thing I didn't know is that when Betsy Ross created the American flag, Martha Washington suggested that the Washington crest be used for the design.  So the red stripes in our flag represent rivers of French blood.  Funny things that you learn when you are on a trip.

We spent the afternoon making some art together which was such a delight. Tomorrow I am headed to Birmingham. To spend some time with my friend Donna.