Wednesday, August 29, 2007

the land of little green men, part eight

day eight: a multifaceted southwestern education

in no other single day during my trip did i learn as much as i did during the drive from galway to killarney.


our first stop was "an international stop" near bunratty castle.

international stop- n- a bathroom break, so named because when you go in, you're a russian, when you come out, you're finnish, and in between, european

when that comes up on jeopardy, feel free to thank me.

useless trivia:

~during the drive from galway to killarney, we passed a bush along the highway that actually held up highway construction for two years. it seems the locals were convinced that the fairies from galway met the fairies from kerry there.

~the world's first duty-free shop was at the shannon airport.

what trip through limerick (home of frank mccourt) would be complete without learning a new nonsense poem? it would be severely lacking, i assure you. therefore, i'll pass along the one taught to us by anna, our tour guide:

there once was a monk from siberia
whose morals were slightly inferior
he did to a nun
what shouldn't be done
and now she's a mother superior

almost (but not quite) as good as my personal favorite:

there was a young couple named kelly
who became stuck belly to belly
because in their haste
they used library paste
instead of petroleum jelly

true, it pales in comparison to poe, cummings and silverstein, but unlike most of their works, it's short enough that i've actually been able to keep it memorized for the past twelve years. (ever since scribbling it on a blackboard during summer school before my senior year. for some reason, the teacher didn't allow me to scribble any more limericks on his board after that. go figure.)

..but i digress, so onward, to the hamlet of adare.

the castle of adare was built by the fitzgerald family. (interesting aside: when used as part of a last name, the prefix "fitz" means "illegitimate child of...")
our coach drove by the castle rather quickly, s while everyone else shopped, i trekked back to the river and snapped a few pictures....right before it started pouring, which was pretty excellent timing, if i do say so myself.

on the way to killarney, we stopped at aghadoe for our group shot, which several members of our group would later purchase for 8 euros apiece. mama and i are cheap, so it was a good thing we befriended one of those generous folks.

since it would be too much of a pain in the butt to get permission from everyone in the photo to post it online, i will only show you the most relevant sliver:

i wonder how many people in our group actually noticed the extra (albeit small) body in the picture....... (and one day, when i remember what the heck the password for his account is, perhaps i'll even get this posted over on bodhi's blog. perhaps)

there are three lakes of killarney- upper lake is the smallest, followed by muckross lake, and lough leane, which translates into "lake of learning". this third lake is named for the ruins of a 12th century university situated on an island in the middle of the lake.

our optional boat cruise on louch leane departed from ross castle, which was the second to last castle in ireland to fall to oliver cromwell's men.

during the cruise, i was mildly surprised to see this sign on the back deck of our boat:

speaking of photos, i should have taken one at dinner. mama and i opted out of the dinner and show excursion, and chose to dine at the hotel bar instead. i wish i'd taken my camera with us. i ordered a ham, pineapple, and cheese panini with fries and a salad (delightful, though unremarkable), and mama had the roast of the day, which was served on (wait for it....) potatoes and a side of (oh, yes!) potatoes. all that was missing was the potato dessert.

perhaps they hadn't scrolled down quite far enough on this website.....

in the next thrilling episode: i learn almost everything there is to know about muckross house, which is a good thing, since they don't seem to offer any informative brochures, take a blurry picture of king puck, meet charlie chaplin, and find a ferris wheel in the middle of killarney


Kal said...

Still jealous...

duff said...

kal: of my youthful good looks? isn't everyone? lol

Kal said...

Well, there is that... But wouldn't I be more jealous of SO?

I swear though, if I read you've gone to Skye (off the coast of Scotland), I may lose it.

just some dude said...

Hey! I went on vacation too and I did a picture post! There were little green men there too, but I wasn't in Ireland. ;-)