Friday, December 29, 2017

Bucket list 2017

One last non-Vietnam memorial post for this year.

I was able, this year, to knock a thing or two off my bucket list.

One of the big ones was taking my family, my wife, my son, his wife and two children to Ireland. It was kind of a 70th birthday party, so my sister and her husband, a couple of their kids and my brother and his wife joined us. It was a great thing to me to be with my family in the auld sod!

I could post hundreds and hundreds of pics, but I have chosen just a few to share with you today.

In my several trips to Ireland, I have never been able to get to the Brazen Head, the oldest bar in Ireland. It open in 1198 and had been pouring Guinness ever since. We made it this time and it is really great. Much of the building is original and you find yourself having to duck under beams and doorways.

Durty Nelly's is another of the very old pubs in the country. Nelly's was opened in the 1620s. We had a great meal there and my sisters oldest daughter who had not accompanied us, showed up as a huge surprise!

So, before you get to thinking that ALL we did was drink (you wouldn't be so very far off, at that) I'll alter course a bit here.

The story goes that the Devil, in a fit of pique, bit off a piece of of a mountain and spit it out and it became The Rock of Cashel, where St. Patrick, later, built this monastery. It is a magnificent structure and well worth an afternoon of your time, if you can get out of the pubs.

Pulnabrone (Hole of the Sorrows) is tomb built 4200 year s BCE. The remains of approximately 40 were found within. It is an iconic Irish site and is the second most visited spot in all of Ireland.

We traveled to Cork as it is where my ancestors came from and just along the shore was this picturesque dingy filled with flowers.
We took a moment, again in Cork, to remember and honor the millions upon millions of souls forced to flee Ireland during the potato blight. Some effort is being made to have people, particularly Irish, stop referring to The Great Hunger as a famine. There was no famine in Ireland. The English shipped crops and livestock and other food stuffs to England, leaving only potatoes for the Irish, whom they despised. When the potato blight hit, the spuds rotted and, hence, the starvation and great migrations to America, Australia, Mexico, and many other places. The Irish population was decimated, by some counts halved, and has not yet recovered. So, we always remember; An Gorta Mor, The Great Hunger.

We were fortunate enough to spend some time in Lisheen Castle, a beautifully restored home near Thurles in central southern Ireland. Perhaps at another time I will post some additional shots of this spectacular place.

For now, however, I will end back in Dublin.

This is the famous Ha' Penny Bridge. In time past it cost one half cent, a Ha ' Penny, to cross. It is now free to all to cross the River Liffey.

So that's it from Ireland for today. We will resume post of Memorials to those lost in 'Nam on the third of January, so join me then, as usual, at 9:00am.

To see Vietnam memorials from any state, click on the state name on the left side o this page.

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