Monday, October 28, 2013

And On To Ireland

I've posted almost all my photos of England--ahead of us was Ireland, and I can tell you I was excited. England was my mother's heritage; Ireland was my father's, or at least on his father's side. Connelly--how Irish is that? Oddly, we've not been able to trace back beyond 1850, which makes me think they emigrated during the potato famine times.

I have longed to see the green isle. Not only because of family history, but because of the stories.Irish stories--how they have called to me since I began telling tales! I wanted to visit the source, to see with my own eyes the place these stories originated.

I have to admit, I did not feel as..connected? I expected to be. Perhaps that was because we were in Dublin, a huge city with almost as many inhabitants as the entire state of West Virginia. Perhaps it was because we had only two and a half days there; perhaps it was because we did not have time to see what I had hoped to see, to feel what I hoped to feel.

One thing I expected was traditional music, played in the old-time way. I tried to find places where we could hear the old music played and sung in the old-time way. What we found was music, even some tunes I knew, but played with electric guitars and drums. Really? We walked to the oldest pub in Ireland, the Brazen Head, but the music did not start until 9:30 at night. For us country dwellers, that was late, especially considering we had a couple miles' walk back to our hotel, and my hubby was tired and didn't want to up that late. Sigh.

On our way to the Brazen Head we passed places with music, sure enough--one with "shows" and one where a guy was playing blues on an electric fiddle. We could have attended a "storytelling night" at the Brazen Head, but at about $100 for the two of us--um, no. Even though it is the oldest pub in Ireland, I'm too cheap to pay that much to just be there. Ireland, or at least Dublin, is expensive, friends. I knew the exchange rate for dollars vs euros, bur even knowing that did not prepare me for the prices in Dublin.

We saw much that was interesting, and much that we like very much, and agreed that we need to go back to find what I think must be the real Ireland. Because even though Dublin has much history, I don't think it captures the heart of what is Irish. For that, we needed more time, and a more rural place.

For the next few posts I will share what we saw while we were there.Even as limited as our time was, there was much to see and think about. So here's to Ireland, land of my father's fathers, and here's to the places I know are there and have yet to see.
Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.


Rowan said...

You need to visit Galway and Kerry, plenty of proper Irish music and step dancing there, much of it is spontaneous too rather than shows put on for the public. The scenery is wonderful too - Galway Bay, the Cliffs of Moher and the Lakes of Killarney etc. Pretty much where I was last year in fact:) I did 3 or 4 posts on it I think if you want to see the possibilities. You'll have to come back:)

Cathy Jo Smith said...

You need to go west next time, to the Burren and small towns like Lisdoonvarna,for the music. And Kerry or Connamara for the scenery. And as for cities, better Galway than Dublin!

Granny Sue said...

I've heard similar things from many people, Rowan and Cathy. Cork, Kerry, Galway, and several others have been recommended. I'll post photos soon of our trip into the Wicklow hills, which was a lovely area. Dublin itself, though, was interesting and exciting. I am glad to have seen it, and to see the historic sites it offers, but I'm a country person at heart!

Nance said...

Galway. omgosh. The only time I was 'over seas'. after a wonderful night out, I could have missed my plane home. What great local music and hospitality! I will go back!

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