Monday, September 16, 2013
A Sense of Place, Part 3 (Off to See the Wizard!)
"We're off to see the Wizard!"
That line from a famous 1939 movie (about travel and adventure on the road to an Emerald City) is how I began my daily blog during my own family's 2009 two-month "Magical Mystery Adventure" across Europe. And this week I thought I'd share with you a few pages from Volume 1: Week 1+ of our exciting voyage of discovery.
Our first week involved our departure from Dallas and a one-night stay over in Frankfurt am Main. (To get the best deal on airline tickets we had opted to fly Lufthansa to Dublin via Frankfurt with one significant drawback: a mind-numbing 12 hour layover at Frankfurt International with a midnight arrival in Dublin. Yikes!) Fortunately, a check with the folks at Lufthansa revealed that we could spend the night in Frankfurt (where we got to enjoy a refreshing walk in the countryside and a mouth-watering outdoor dinner at a Naturfreund gasthaus) and arrive in Dublin/Swords (fresh and invigorated) early the next day (celebrating our arrival in the Emerald Isle with a feast of fish and chips).
Unfortunately, public transportation in Ireland is still a bit patchy. So we had to opt to drive from Dublin (on the east coast) to Kenmare (on the Kerry Peninsula of the southwest coast).
From our picturesque wee cottage just outside Kenmare we could venture out (sometimes on foot, sometimes in the car): to explore the rugged beauty of the Atlantic coast; to visit a ferry fort and let the kids play with some local sheep dogs; to relax before a peat-fed fire and enjoy a good book; or to listen as my son and his fiddle sat in on his first "session" at a local pub.
After we returned our car to the airport in Swords (and a good night's sleep) we took the double-decker into Dublin. We took in a few of the sights on our brief walk from the General Post Office (of Easter Rising fame) to O'Connell Station. And, after lunch, boarded our train for the coast-hugging ride to Rosslare. (Along the way we encountered our first bit of foul weather - a steady rain that tried, but failed, to soak us through as we trudged up the hill from the station to our hotel).
PS, Not wishing to close on an overly negative note, I would note that Volume 2 begins with us awaking the next morning to a clear blue sky and a crossing to Wales on a smooth-as-glass Irish Sea. (Yet again, a delightful time was had by all!)
NOTE: Watch for a special post tomorrow about the installation and opening of the exhibition at the Central Library in Fort Worth, TX... and details about how you might win a complete Sakura Pigma Micron sketching kit!