Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Day 7: Troy, Kathryn & Chelsea

Today in Ireland, we went on a tour around Wicklow and Kilkenny. We were able to go on a nature walk as well as visit a cemetary in the area. Many of us also went on a tour through the castle at Kilkenny and shopped at some of the local businesses as well. Like usual, we also saw sheep along the way.

It was interesting to look at the burial plots because some of them dated back to the 1800s. On many of the headstones, there were engravings of the names of each individual of the family. Unlike most of the cemeteries that I have saw in the States, more than one or two people Wwere often times buried in the same plot. It could be imagined that during that time, it was easier and cheaper to place the entire family in one plot. This made it even more interesting to wander around and read off the names of those who had already passed. At one grave site, there was a total of 15 people buried within that one 5' x 5' square lot. Death in Ireland is looked at differently than it is in North America and they tend to celebrate life more than mourn it.

After our short walk we hopped back on the bus and drove to Kilkenny, where we grabbed lunch and wandered around the castle. There were also a lot of shops around, including one that sold interesting prints and other art. Most of the objects in the shop were unique and appealed to Kylie, Natasha and I. While we were walking around town, a few of us also saw a bride and groom that had just gotten married within the castle. While that would seem like a magical place to get married, it could also be ruined by the fact that the castle is a tourist attraction. Either way, good luck to them and their marriage. Hopefully they'll never need couples therapy, but if they do, there's a few pf us that could help them out in the future.

After our stop at Kilkenny, we travelled back to Dublin to relax and go off on our own adventures. The day completed with dinner on our own with our friends, which allowed us to try new restaurants and experience new foods. As each day completes, we come one step closer to returning home to the states. I can only speak for myself when I say it is a bittersweet thought.

An Irish passage tomb dating back 5000 years. During the solstice, the narrow passage is illuminated by sunlight, lighting the decorated internal chamber that would have held cremated remains. The site was a true marvel of engineering, using stones from over a hundred kilometers away, and it is still watertight to this day.

St. Peter's Cathedral 
St. Peter's Cathedral featured beautiful stained glass windows, as well as the head of our friend Oliver Plunkett

 Monasterboice Cemetery 
St. Patrick created the Celtic cross symbol by combining the christian cross with the sun. Monasterboice Cemetery contains three very large Celtic cross statues. These statues contain stories carved into the cross using pictures. The cemetery contained a collection of very old, as well as very recent, grave plots.

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