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Lunedì, Maggio 28, 2018

Crossing the Emerald Isle

by / Martedì, 25 Marzo 2014 / Published in Aviatori

Left the Arctic some time ago now…nothing but cold rough sea down there. Just starting to see some land up ahead.
It’s green, very green. To the right the sun is dazzling. To the left there’s a thick mist and I’m flying over a rainbow.
I’m in Ireland! They say that leprechauns keep a crock of gold at the foot of every rainbow; a leprechaun will give you his crock of gold if you answer three questions without taking your eyes off him while he’s talking. No one has ever managed to get the gold!

They say that leprechauns keep a crock of gold at the foot of every rainbow; a leprechaun will give you his crock of gold if you answer three questions without taking your eyes off him while he’s talking. No one has ever managed to get the gold!

Flying over county Donegal. I can see the Grianan of Aileach, an amazing stone ring fort high up on a wild mountain.They say you can see enemies coming from far off lands from its stone walls. The view of mountains and sea is breathtaking! Off to the west coast they’re holding a surfing competition. Donegal has become popular with surfers for its huge Atlantic waves and… no sharks!

GOING EAST NOW..
The city of Derry. The music capital of Ireland. Great for shopping. One of the few cities in Europe with its Medieval Walls completely intact. The birthplace of the late poet laureate Seamus Heaney. You can just get a sense of vitality and culture from up here!

I THINK I'LL KEEP FLYING EAST....
The north coast is like a postcard; nothing but sandy beaches, waterfalls, mountains, rocks, quaint little towns. I wonder are they making the famous soda bread, fried sausages and bacon. Just imagine that cosy smell. Coming in after a windy day on the beach. I’d have a strong cup of milky tea if I was down there now!

Belfast. The city that built the Titanic. A city with a history of violence and troubles. All in the past now, they say. It certainly looks like there’s plenty of fun to be had from where I am; pubs, bars, discos, parks, friendly hotels – don’t forget the Titanic Experience Museum! Just out of curiosity, I think I’ll head south. The east coast; invaded by the war hungry Vikings centuries ago, when Ireland was the “Land of Saints and Scholars”. So much gold was stolen. And so much was hidden by the poor defenseless monks and is still found by archeologists today. Check out the tall towers with doors too high for any man to climb into. They used to escape in there with rope ladders. And Newgrange! Older than the pyramids! An Ancient magical site with a chamber which is lit up by sunlight only on the shortest day of the year. Who really knows how they did it? Druids’ magic. Such a beautiful place with such a violent past.  Standing defiant on the edge of Europe. Between myths, legends and cold merciless nature.

Dublin. The capital.  Historical buildings, parks, museums, Trinity College, the oldest university in Ireland. Ghosts  of those who died for freedom and independence mingle with Saturday shoppers on busy streets in this vibrant city.
Half of its population is under 25! The city where U2 were born and played their first notes.

I’LL HEAD WEST NOW...
Green, green, green. Towns, castles, hills. No problems with over-crowding here!  Cork. The city that’s jealous of Dublin, so they say! Famous for its Clonakilty Pudding, a kind of huge sausage which they serve in slices on a bed of creamed potatoes with maybe a scallop. I’m starting to think of the oyster festival now. Oysters served with Guinness on summer evenings when it’s bright till 11.00 at night.

Smoked salmon on a bed of traditional brown bread and butter.

Next stop is America. I’m out of fuel – and I’m hungry. I’m coming down!

Deirdre Walsh

 

 

photo: google immagini

 

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