Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Guiness and Sheep -- personal

Only four more nights in London...the time has alternately flown by and seemed to drag by as though I'd be here forever. But mostly flown. This last week I'm trying to get in a few things I didn't get around to before travels -- Tate Britain, Museum of London Docklands, more British Museum. I'm also trying to savour some of my favorites -- favorite places, favorite food. And of course, do a little work! :)

Backtracking a little...
Dublin was a whirlwind. From the crystal-clear perspective of hindsight :), I can say that I wish I'd given myself either more time in Dublin, or picked a smaller city to visit in Ireland -- someplace where I could have really taken it all in. That said, I'm still glad I went. After all, where else could I have appropriately had a pint of Guiness? Which I did... with thoughts of my Guiness-loving friends. We took a guided tour-bus around the city with a really funny guide, and I kept thinking of the books Jeanette introduced me to: Princes of Ireland and Rebels of Ireland. Having read those books really made the city come alive to me and makes me want to read them again. We also went to the Writer's Museum, which I loved! The museum had a lot of portraits, photographs and artifacts (e.g. letters, first or early editions of manuscripts and books, personal objects such as typewriters). The exhibit text and audio-guide gave a kind of history of Irish literature as a whole. There were so many authors I'd forgotten or hadn't realized were Irish like Bram Stoker, and sadly a lot of authors I'd never heard of but am looking forward to reading now, like Maria Edgeworth. I think I'm about to go on an Irish authors reading binge. :)
And speaking of reading...after a very full day of travel (which started off by oversleeping and just barely making our 7:20 a.m. flight), we made it to Hay-on-Wye, Wales. What a change of pace! It was about as opposite as you could get from urban, loud, crowded Dublin. We walked into town with no accomodations reserved, but found a friendly gentleman at a convenience store who pointed us in the direction of a B&B that was really close by. Praise the Lord they had a vacancy, and it was clean, comfortable, and affordable. Breakfast was wonderful, and the window ledge in our room was wide enough to sit on! Not quite a window seat, but the next best thing. Our full day there was spent wandering around town and all the many, many books stores. Then that evening we hiked down along the river and ended up at a really great swimming hole. We waded in and it was sooo refreshing.

Anyway, this post is much longer than I meant it to be. Probably because I've been in the mode of writing my class posts.


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