What is the meaning of March? When I think of the word, I think of high knees with one foot up and one foot down, and when I think of weather in terms of March, I think of it coming in like a lion, going out like a lamb, which is what usually happens rather than the other way around. March is full of meanings. It means that spring is coming but not nearly here, it means that green things will soon appear, but I am seeing white of new fallen snow. It means I will soon have another birthday and I’m not getting any younger. So what does March mean to you? To me it really means great memories of a trip I took with a friend back in 2006. I love that when March rolls around, no matter what the weather, I am always reminded of the green, green grass of —— Ireland. Well it could be home, since my heritage is Scotch-Irish, and my first wish to go to Ireland was sparked by my dad telling me about the blarney stone. During the month of March I will be sharing some Irish memories, stories and pictures.
After arriving in Dublin and walking the streets, we learned quickly that the meeting place for most events, was at the
Spire in the center of town. My notes say that this was a gift to the town from the government to celebrate the new millenium in 2000, however it wasn’t finished until 2002 and then celebrated in January of 2003. It has many mixed views, better reviews from the visitors than from those that live there. It does makes a great meeting place, because it is a little hard to miss.
Soon we were riding around town in the big bus, looking at castles, churches and green, green lawns.
Our tour guide talked about Bono, who lives in Ireland along with many other stars, and all the good work he does. We passed Christ’s Chapel in the oldest part of Dublin where Handel’s Messiah was first performed. She told us that the women were asked not to wear the hoops under their skirts and the men not to wear their swords because “the crush of the people was so great.”
We drove through many areas with bright colors and I was often drawn to the bright doors and archways. We passed one building that had an arch over it with a sign that said “public bath center.” It is now a gym, but in the early 1900’s it was built by the government for the health of the public. It was a place for the poor who had no other access for washing. Our guide told us it was a major breakthrough for caring for the poor.
Later we stopped at this park with this large white cross that marks the place where Pope John stood to address the crowds when he visited Ireland.
After the bus tour four of us caught a cab and headed to the Guinness Compound. There is a museum with an observatory on the 7th floor where you can see the entire city of Dublin. I was interested in the look out. 13ueros and 1/2 hour later we had arrived. Another 14ueros we were on our way up to the 7th floor, taking a look through the glass panels at a few of the exhibits on the other floors. We stopped to have this picture taken of the blue crab. I’ll take the crabs you can have the beer.
Stepping off the elevator I felt like I stepped outside because of the view the floor-to-ceiling glass windows provided. Nancy and I were drawn to the varied scenes below us. The guys were drawn to the huge bar in the center that was giving out pints of the black beer. The black ring attached to the glass-paper weight with a drop of beer encased in it was your ticket to a pint. Nancy had a 1/2 pint, I had a taste, even getting foam all over my mouth. I’ll bet you can’t wait for my assessment of the famed Guinness.
It tastes like black licorice and has the consistency of motor oil. A little of that went a long way with me and I gave my black ring to a more than grateful Brian. Word has it that the world drinks 1.5 billion pints of Guinness a day. People started clearing out just before 5 and the view got even better. We spent most of our time up there because it was so neat to find all the sights we had just seen earlier, from that perspective.
The cab ride back was a lot of fun. The driver talked to us about Irish names and if we were prodestant or catholic. They were all catholic except me. Brian said, then in keeping with the Irish ways, they could toss me out of the car. Oh yes, the orange and the green of the Irish, at it again.
Stay tuned for more blarney in March.