Internet cafes are hard to come by these days. We are in a library back in northern Ireland, in the town of New Castle, in the Mourne Mountains. Yesterday involved some hiking but needed to be a kickback day. It is raining today, but will be clear later and tomorrow, so more to come.
Edinburgh, Scotland is a bit touristy, it had the biggest crowds we have seen since Giant’s Causeway. It is also an incredibly beautiful city, one of our favorites in Europe. It’s ancient, with towers, statues, lots of wonderful places to explore. We found a great castle, the Craig Miller castle near our Air bnb. It was a great place to explore, with information about how life was lived once upon a time. Mary, Queen of Scots stayed here at least twice. The staff told us the Edinburgh Castle is beautiful but developed for tourists, and expensive… we enjoyed it from the outside.
We went to a traditional storytelling session… there is a Scottish Storytelling Center!!! The teller was probably in her 70s, the daughter of a miner who learned many tales, riddles, and songs from her grandmother. We learned a wee bit of Scottish from her. She told a wild tale about a dragon.. she spoke almost in a whisper, with a lot of expression. It was very effective! We were stricken by how much the story was influenced by Norse mythology.. the king who wants to fight the dragon somehow owns the Sword of Odin. The Vikings were a big influence in Scotland and Ireland… first as invaders, but many stayed and were integrated in their communities. Ireland’s famous redheads get it from Norse ancestry.#
We also wandered on the Waters of Leif, a long and wonderful walking trail along the Leif River. Parts of it are so forested you would think you were in wilderness. There were many apts. with balconies overlooking the river… very tempting! We miss Scotland, and want to return, but northern Ireland is wonderful too, albeit complex. Our Airbnb host is a teacher, we have had wide ranging discussions with her… we will share a Guiness tonight. I will find another computer asap to make another report.
We will be here two days, then on to Dublin and a flight to New York City the next day. The road goes ever on and on…