Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt

Saturday, October 3, 2009

From Scotland to Ireland

Glasgow is the first European city I have visited that I did not like. Every other city has a heart, a rhythm, a feel to it. I felt nothing in Glasgow. It didn't help that my first smell was urine as we walked one city block to our hotel. We did a bit of laundry and it was so damp, we had to carry our wet laundry on the plane to Scotland the next day. Didn't like the neighborhood our hotel was in. While in Glasgow airport waiting for our flight to Dublin, I realized I don't think I'm a city girl anymore. Born and raised in NYC, I've always been more comfortable in cities than in the country. But now,it is nature and the ancient sites that speak to me.

When we arrived in Dublin, our guide, David, met us. Our first stop was Newgrange, a burial site of Mesolithic people who lived there 6,000 years ago. The main activity was around 3000 bc.
This site is about 1,000 years older than Stonehenge. The burial mounds are called passage graves, built in the neolithic period. The engineering that was required to build the site is truly remarkable. What I find astounding is that sites all over the world have similar features regarding solstice, where the light comes thru a structure lighting the burial area. How they knew what they knew is a mystery.

Upon arriving in the city of Dublin, we immediately went to Trinity College and saw the Book of Kells, illuminated gospels dating from around 700 a.d. They are beautiful. But what absolutely blew me away was the "Long Room." We weren't allowed to take photographs, but it is a long, rectacular room stacked floor to ceiling with old, old books. It is the largest collection of medieval texts in the world. Don't you love the smell of old books? I do.

Internet access is intermittent, so we haven't tried downloading photos, but I promise I will post photos of the trip when I get home.

Tomorrow we are off to a 6th century monastery and some incredible gardens. We'll be spending the night with an Irish family on their farm. More later,



Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

I was told to skip Glasgow when I was in Scotland, so I didn't make it there. I think it was supposed to be fairly urban and modern?

Mystery Writing is Murder

Marvin D Wilson said...

"Tomorrow we are off to a 6th century monastery and some incredible gardens."

Awesome! I went to a centuries old monastery in Mexico when I was a younger man, traveling with my Zen Master. It was a profound experience, sitting and meditating in the quiet - you could just FEEL the intense spirituality in those old stone walls.

Love these updates - can't wait to hear what you have to say about the monastic experience.

The Old Silly

The Practical Preserver said...

Even the cities you don't like speak to your senses. Great way to do research for the less than appetizing scenes you'll undoubtedly be writing. Have fun!

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

My memory of Ireland is stopping somewhere for lunch where we ordered sodas. The motherly type person waiting on us worried that it was too cool and damp for a soft drink and insisted we have hot tea so we did. It was a good call on her part. I have a feeling that staying the night on a farm with an Irish family will be one of the highlights of your trip.

Elspeth Antonelli said...

I'm so enjoying experiencing your travels! The peace inside a monastery is overwhelming. Enjoy. Breathe.


N A Sharpe said...

This sounds like such an incredible trip. I am very happy for you to get to experience it all. Someday I hope to take a similar trip. Someday. Sigh,

Nancy, from Realms of Thought…

Enid Wilson said...

I liked Edinburgh much more. It has character and style. But I've never been to Dublin, hope to make it there one day.

Steamy Darcy

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Ironically, when my husband visited Scotland some years ago, he did not like Glasgow either. Said it was dirty. When we went ten years ago, we didn't even go there.