Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Day 02, "Ireland" seminar trip


Typing from a cyber-cafe in Sligo town (so forgive me for tranposed double quotes, ampersands, and any other wonky characters); will try to upload more detailed and descriptive itinerary/event info when I'm working from my own laptop. I think many of your students have called already, but herewith a truncated general note.

All very well here. Wonderful trip yesterday up through Clare via St Bridget's Well and the mighty Cliffs of Moher, for which the rain clouds even cleared, and during which several saw the ocean for the very first time--a good place to pick for this! Landed up at Durkin's Hotel in Ballaghaderreen, Co. Roscommon, where we have friends and there is a mighty breakfast.

Today, after said mighty (and mighty fattening) breakfast, wended our way ESE to Bar na Si (Fairymount Hill), an ancient site on the highest point in Roscommon, and then to Rathcrogan (coronation seat of the Kings of Connacht, and the place from which the Tain Bo Cuailgne departed); then to Tulsk, where there is a good interpretative museum and we met staff who are doing fascinating things mapping the geometric/topographic patterning of Megalithic sites.

On to Gorteen in South Sligo, home of the Michael Coleman Heritage Centre, where we heard some absolutely stunning live music, laid on especially for us, by accordionist PJ Hernon and bodhran-player Junior Davey, and where the students both bought many CDs and gleaned autographs from PJ and Junior for several of them.

Finally on to Sligo town, where we are ensconced at Yeats Village hostels, in 2 side-by-side row houses, one housing the 6 girls (in very nice single rooms around a central kitchen) and another housing the 5 boys. Off on their own for dinner, before we all meet up at "Shoot the Crows" pub for some live music in about 40 minutes time.

Tomorrow we're out west and north along the coast of Mayo to the Megalithic site of Ceide Fields, back to the dramatic cliffs at Downpatrick Head, and finally to the Michael Davitt museum at Sraide, before returning to Sligo for the night.

Again, all are well and seemingly very happy--and especially happy now to have fetched up in such nice digs.

More whenever I can connect to Internet again.

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