British Isles

Trip Start Jun 29, 2012
1
5
52
Trip End May 01, 2013


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Flag of Ireland  , Western Ireland,
Thursday, July 26, 2012

Well, we have been busy in the British Isles since the last time that I wrote to you all. So I'll try to wrap up London quickly before talking about Ireland. The day after Madame Tussaud, we had another huge day. First we went to the Tower of London. Not much to say about this old palace and fortress. Actually, that's a lie. I found several things very cool/interesting/creepy. First, we saw the 7 ravens that live on the grounds.  Actually they have 6, but since rumor has it that if 6 ravens leave the kingdom will fall, they keep an extra. Sadly, they clip the birds wings so that they can't fly away. After the Tower of London, we went to St. Paul's Cathedral. Wow. It was beautiful. I mean really beautiful. Also, we listened to the audio guides. Apparently there was a lot of really touching services that happened because of 9/11. The thing that touched me the most deeply was a quote from one of the resident priests there. He said on that on the day that they held the 9/11 service, he opened the doors and looked out. He said there must have been 10,000 people waiting. Next we climbed 528 steps to the top of the cathedral and the 528 steps down. Kudos to my teachers, 1,056 steps in all. After St. Paul's, we walked across a bridge and went to Tate Modern. Now, I'm sure that there were some great pieces of art there and I love modern art. Unfortunately we ended up seeing an awful exhibit. Let me explain. Sam was playing with a little girl and the girl's mom said there was a great exhibit. The " great exhibit " was an artist who was a total creeeeep. He cut a pregnant cow in half and put it in formaldehyde. He also had a baby cow cut in half, a giant ashtray with tons of real cigarette butts, a box full of live black flies, and butterfly wing mosaics. Creep. After that we went home. The next day we went to a show. The show was The Wizard of Oz. It was fantastic. I was singing the songs for days after. The next day we flew from London to Castlebar. Ireland is sooooooo beautiful. It is green everywhere, soaring cliffs, thundering seas, sheep everywhere...something out of a book. Since as I am writing this we are going to Dublin, I am going to give you the short version of what happened in Castlebar. We got here on Thursday and hopped in our rented Station Wagon. Dad was a bit worried about the other side of the road deal, but we were fine. We stopped by the Carragh House, which is a B and B owned and operated by our good friends, Oonagh and Des Corcoran. If you are looking for a place to stay in Castlebar, these people could not be nicer. They also take care of the house we stayed in while we were here. The house was really cute. There were 5 rooms in all, including the bathroom and kitchen and two bath towels in all. Over the next week we climbed halfway up a mountain, rode rented bikes on the Greenway, went to Westport, and went driving by these beautiful cliffs. They were supposed to be the cliffs of Moher, but we got lost so we called these cliffs the Levinson cliffs of Moher. The reason I couldn't update till now was that we were out of wifi for the week and the train that I am on now does have wifi. One last funny thing before I sign off.The field across the way from our house was a big field. Often in that field were bulls. One day the bulls were walking back to the farm and I didn't want them to go. I felt pretty silly but I started mooing, snorting, and challenging them. Slowly but surely, they all turned back and stared at me. Then one black one started getting really angry at me and started having a challenge match with me. First I kept doing it because it was really cool. Then he started getting really angry and I backed off. Funnily enough, while the black one was challenging me, the rest of the bulls were doing various non G-rated things.
Cheers,
Ben
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