Saturday, August 11, 2007

Departure & Dublin [June 19 to June 23, 2007]

The movers came and went, we sold some stuff, packed some stuff, threw some away, and put the rest in storage. Our flight left Chicago on June 19, 2007 for Dublin, Ireland. John and Nancy (Karen's parents) were nice enough to put us up for our last few days in the States, take us to the airport, and hold our 'important' boxes for our initial arrival in China. The shot of Karen is from June 19th when we were waiting to take-off in Chicago on our big world adventure.

The shot of me is from June 20, when we landed in Dublin after flying all night. It was raining then, and more or less, it rained the whole time we were there (see pictures). We stayed in Temple Bar, which is the 'happening' neighborhood in Dublin where all the pubs are located. We had a couple relaxed nights in the pubs with the always thirsty Irish and lots of other European tourists. We also saw a bouncer use the sleeper hold on some surly Irish guy and kick him out - it actually works!

During the day we wandered around the city, through the Trinity College campus and some parks. We visited the National Museum, where we saw the human bog bodies (preserved in old swamps). We also went to Saint Patrick's cathedral (see picture below).
Lastly, we took a day trip out of Dublin into the countryside. We visited a place called Bru na Boinne, which consists of four large passage tombs that were built on top of hills over 1,000 years before Stonehenge by Neolithic peoples (this was about 600 years before the pyramids in Egypt). See the picture of one of the tombs (big green mound and what looks like a concrete wall around part of it); those small things to the right are people. This place was pretty impressive. The Neolithic builders were apparently pretty good astronomers because at 8:17 (?) AM the morning of the solstice each year, a beam of natural sunlight runs down the entrance tunnel to the middle of the tomb and hits the back wall where it illuminates the inner chamber.
There are also some shots of the Irish countryside (and us in it) where we were. You can see that all the rain is good for something - the place really is extremely green. Unfortunately, we only had a few days in Ireland, so we can't share any other information or pictures about the rest of the country. The last photo is one from downtown looking down the Liffrey River that runs through central Dublin.

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