In 1968 it was easy to “experience” a slice Iceland without large crowds on a 48 hour stopover. The tour companies developed the “Golden Circle,” a day tour that take you to a waterfall, geothermal area with a geyser, the … Continue reading Ersatz Iceland
When I was in grade school Iceland was a distant land, stuck between two continents, that, our teacher assured us, was not all ace and snow. But the odds of any of us getting there, unless one of us were … Continue reading Hippie Airlift (Exploring Reykjavik)
…Thank you Frank Loesser. * We were having lunch on a deck by a shaded lake. There fountains in the lake giving us a constant water gurgle regularly punctuated by screams of terror and delight. We were enjoying open faced … Continue reading Wonderful, Wonderful Copenhagen.
The Cove of Cork, Queenstown, Cobh, by what ever name it was Ireland’s pressure valve, the port from which large parts of Australia, Canada and the United States were populated, and not a few to Argentina and Chile. Thousands of … Continue reading Farewell to Ireland
We stayed at an Air B&B in Moville, three miles south of Greencastle. Moville is half again bigger than Greencastle, with several bars and restaurants, and is a good place for traditional sessions. With the kids it was hard for … Continue reading The Road South from Greencastle
When my grandfather was a kid, he played in a real castle. The castle was built on a high spot along the shore near the narrow entry to Lough Folye in 1303 by Richard de Burgh, the Norman Red Earl … Continue reading The Castle.
I was in a car that drove to Inishowen Head twice this trip. Once with Suzi and Brian and once with Kevin and Shannon. Inishowen head is just north of Stroove, which is 3 miles north of Greencastle. There is … Continue reading Stories From the Road between Greencastle and Stroove.
As a youth my grandfather spent every New Years Eve on his knees in St. Finian’s church, welcoming the new year with prayer as the bell in the tower tolled 12 times. When he left Ireland he preferred a different … Continue reading My Grandfather’s Church
Greencastle was the emotional heart of this journey for me. It was the center of my grandfather’s stories of growing up in Ireland. It is the place of family legends. Grandpa took me there in 1961 when I was 14. … Continue reading Greencastle, Ireland
Mac Lir means “Son of the Sea.” Manannan Mac Lir (In Welch Manawydan fab Llŷr) was the Celtic God of the sea and sometimes guardian of the underworld, kind of a Celtic combination of Poseidon and Hades. Mac Lir is … Continue reading Descended from a Sea God?
We spent two days on the Causeway Coast, the north coast of County Antrim. Much of that time we spent at the Giant’s Causeway itself but we spent time driving the roads and enjoying the scenery. We stayed at a … Continue reading The Causeway Coast of Antrim.
OK I am about 100 million years off, but I liked the alliteration. The Giant’s Causeway is a formation of hexagonal rock pillars that reach out into the sea. The formations were caused by molten lava flowing over chalk beds … Continue reading Jurassic Jungle Gym
Wrapping up Belfast. It isn’t all Titanic and Peace Walls. It is a very pretty city. We stayed in a row house on Fitzroy St. During the term it is student housing. During the summer it is an Air B&B. … Continue reading Belfast Photo Galleries.
Belfast’s premiere attraction is “The Titanic Experience.” It tells the story of the ship that was built with Irish Pride, sunk by English Hubris. But I know the sinking story, I wanted something else. My grandfather had been a White … Continue reading Looking for White Star.
I saw the Queen in Belfast, August 1961. It was not an intimate audience. I was standing on a curb along with thousands of other people, many waving small Union Flags and some wearing orange sashes and bowler hats. The … Continue reading Reflections on the Late Queen.
(Belfast) Shannon wanted to experience high tea, so she booked a table at Belfast’s Merchant hotel. Shannon, Liz, Suzi, Liam, and I went while Brian and Kevin looked after Elias and Fiona (two on two, almost even odds) and arranged … Continue reading High Tea at the Merchant
Here is another guest post, my son, Kevin’s observations on our visit to Belfast with a few of my pictures. Belfast is a city that looks to the past. The gigantic gantry cranes of Harland & Wolff have been still … Continue reading Kevin’s Thoughts on Belfast
In the early mists of myth Celtic people populated the Isle of Man led by the likes of Manannan Mac Lir (son of the sea) who was believed to be the Sea God but may have been a very savvy … Continue reading Norse and Celt
I have a son and daughter-in-law into steam punk. I never understood. Coal driven steam blackened the white stone buildings of London, helped create pea soup fog, and began the trend for the earth to warm. Kevin tells me it … Continue reading Stream Punk
Gory, on the isle of Jersey, is a fishing town settled beneath a castle. Last time I was here 10 years ago someone had pulled the plug on the harbor and all the boats were high and, well, damp. Today … Continue reading Fishermen, Mariners and Barfights
Jersey is officially a “Peculiar of the Crown.” People in the States call our Jersey peculiar too. It means Jersey has the same status as Guernsey being “Separate of, but not independent from” the United Kingdom. It is a historical … Continue reading Jersey, “A Peculiar of the Crown.”
(August 4, 2023) The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company has a new ship, the Manxman. It has just made the journey from Korea and is undergoing trials. We see it running back and forth across the Douglas harbor, practicing … Continue reading Ferries Run Late.
This post is a companion to Bailiwick of Guernsey. It is an even dozen gallery of flowers and one bit of seaweed that I thought would fit. Continue reading Guernsey Flowers
The Bailiwick of Guernsey is “Separate from but not independent of” the United Kingdom, whatever that means (to quote its feudal lord, Charles.) It consists of Guernsey and several other islands in the English Channel including Herm, Sark and Alderney. … Continue reading Bailiwick of Guernsey