I will arise and go now: Leaving Ireland

“I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.”
-William Butler Yeats, the Lake Isle of Innisfree
It’s been a long time since I began a post with a quote- but there is something so magical about the wild coast of Ireland, about the way that even the developed areas seem to respect its wilderness that demanded I begin with something beautiful.  I thought of the longing I had to return to Ireland before we even left, and of the majestic beauty of it all. Who better than William Butler Yeats, who wrote of the bee-loud glade and the way that nature so fully envelops your soul that it is always inside you, even when you leave it.
Perfect.
Friday

Okay: I love love love having a kitchen and being able to cook when we travel!  We shredded our leftover pork roast, paired it with curried potatoes and peppers to make a breakfast skillet and topped it with fried eggs. Fuelled up, we took a beautiful 4km walk to Kilmainham Gaol.  Our route took us alongside Route 111, which runs parallel to the canal. We loved the organic feel of the canal in stark contrast to many of the canals in London.

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You hardly know you’re beside a main route as you walk along the peaceful canal pathways

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A beautiful stone house on the other bank of the canal

Bonus: although the clouds were quite ominous, we only got about 5 minutes of rain near the end of our walk. 

Built in 1790, the jail opened in 1796 and was open until 1924.  It’s a massive structure, and difficult to photograph from outside.  Although its history began late in the 18th century, its central narrative as far as the tour was the Easter rising of 1916. 

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Not a door you’d want to be locked behind

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Even in a prison, the architectural details of the time were breathtaking

The newest part of the jail contains a stunning three-story spiral staircase, intricate wrought-iron work in the stairs and walkways, and a stunning skylight ceiling.  It was interesting to learn that this was in consideration of the mental health of inmates, as research had recently suggested that rehabilitation required that inmates have access to natural light.

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Unfortunately, the tour is incredibly popular and runs at 15 minute increments, so there aren’t many great photo opportunities inside.  It’s definitely one of those places where you just need to immerse yourself in the experience.  The tour lasted about an hour, and then we were free to explore the museum portion at our own pace: this is where is the exhibit really opens up to the broader history of the facility.

We walked through the gate of this massive tower, and across the grounds of the Irish Museum of Modern Art.  Unfortunately, it was too late in the day to get in, but the grounds were lovely and green, and T got to release his inner squirrel.  Day made.

 

On the theme of cooking your own meals, we took a different route back to the flat this time and walked through the city and past ChristChurch Cathedral en route to Ennis- a local butcher that has been a daily stop for us. Then in the stunning glow of the golden hour, we walked back to the flat to enjoy some fresh pasta while we watched Masterchef (British of course, which has way less drama and is much more fun to watch imo).

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Our legs and knees were aching but it was a really fantastic day.  We could hardly get over the weather!  Seriously, who would think they’d be walking around Ireland in a tshirt in September?  We were feeling incredibly lucky- and ready for bed!

Saturday morning came too soon, and it was time to head home.  We had a bit of a walk to meet the charter bus, and it was so warm that we took of our light spring coats.  That weather, honestly.  With our travels to Ireland and Scotland, we’ve been so fortunate! And that wraps up another trip.

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