Galway and the West

Cliffs of Moher
We stopped at the Cliffs of Moher after leaving Galway.

Last week, I shared some highlights of our time in Dublin. This week, I’ll conclude the Ireland pictorial with some of the sights we saw on our way to Galway and back.

Our first stop as we left Dublin was the Kilbeggan Distillery, about an hour or two west of Dublin in the Midlands Region. This spot began producing whiskey back in 1757, and was in operation for two hundred years. It shut down in the mid-twentieth century, but was later refurbished and re-opened as a “boutique” distillery in 2007. What captured my imagination at Kilbeggan was an ancient steam engine, from the late nineteenth century. It still works, and gets powered up roughly once a year for special occasions. I imagined if I was ever in a post-apocalyptic, agrarian, Ireland — I’d want to find this engine. What for, I’m not sure. . .but that’s where some great story may be waiting to be told.

I didn’t get a picture of the engine, but you can see it on YouTube by clicking here. Here are some pictures I did capture:

Water wheel Kilbeggan
Water wheel at Kilbeggan Distillery.
Pot stills
The wall surrounding the pot stills at Kilbeggan had these beautiful purple flowers in bloom.
Glenlo Abbey
Lobby of the Glenlo Abbey Hotel, where we stayed in Galway. I’ve never watched Downton Abbey, but I imagined it’s just like this.
Glenlo Abbey golf course
View from the golf course at Glenlo Abbey.
Bunratty Castle
Bunratty Castle in County Clare. We saw numerous “tower houses” in varying states of decay during the drive. Bunratty is very well-preserved, and we stopped in and climbed to the top.

Well, that’s it for Ireland! Back to our regularly-scheduled programming next week.


So, this past Saturday, we returned from the Republic of Ireland. What a wonderful time! I’m so grateful to have been able to make this trip with Tim, to have seen a new-to-me country and landscape, and to have learned that the most famous of the “high kings” of Ireland was a guy named Brian.

The pictures and captions below offer some of the highlights of the sights we saw around Dublin. One thing I didn’t get any pictures of, though, was a particular exhibit at the National Museum. The exhibit was called “Kingship and Sacrifice,” and it featured preserved human remains, discovered in peat bogs around Ireland, dating from the Iron Age. The “bog bodies” are believed to have been the victims of human sacrifice, and they still have hair, and fingernails, and sinew and stuff — even though some of them are more than two thousand years old. They were really gross to look at, but the whole idea has stuck with me. It’s the idea of encountering preserved remains, so far in the future from when those folks last walked, talked and breathed our air, that really fascinates me.

Hopefully, these pictures are a lot more palatable than the bog bodies.

Matt the Thresher
Our first meal in Dublin turned out to be one of our favorites. Tim had shepherd’s pie and I had the fish pie at Matt the Thresher.
Trinity Library
In the Long Room of the old library at Trinity College.
Guinness Storehouse
Tour of the Guinness Storehouse.
Christ Church Cathedral
The next day, we walked past Christ Church Cathedral on the way to our next tour, which was. . .
. . .the Jameson Distillery on Bow Street. I learned and became a fan of the Jameson family motto, “sine metu.” It means “without fear.”
Temple Bar
Not sure if James Joyce actually ever visited The Temple Bar, but his statue resides there permanently.

Next week, I’ll post some photos of the things we saw during the two days we ventured away from Dublin.

Lux et Veritas

I had the good fortune to attend Yale’s commencement ceremony a few days ago; and also visit the campus for the first time. I saw “Lux et Veritas” pretty much everywhere. “Veritas” was my high school’s motto, so I knew the meaning of that word straight away: veritas means truth. I wanted to believe “lux et veritas” was “luxury and truth,” but somehow, I knew that would never pass muster as a traditional college motto. Much less a college with a history as long as Yale’s. After a bit more thinking, I figured it out: it’s “light and truth.”

Light and truth: I’m a big fan of both. I’m also a big fan of Niece Emilie, who was receiving her master of public health in environmental health sciences. It feels very appropriate that the place she chose to advance her studies has a motto that speaks to both the brightness and integrity she holds in spades.

Yesterday, I traveled south from Connecticut (technically, New York, where I spent the night after the graduation) to Baltimore. That’s where I am now, for work. I go home tonight, but then I leave again Saturday. To spend a week in Ireland with Husband Tim! Telling you this as a means of explaining the brevity of this post, and also to let you know that I’m taking next week off from blogging. I’ll post about the Ireland trip after I’m back.

In the meantime, here are some photos from Yale!

Statue of former Yale president Theodore Dwight Woolsey. His foot has been burnished gold from people rubbing it for good luck.