A diary from our travels.
You have set yourself to music ~ Oscar Wilde
Ireland is a place that has, quite stubbornly, set itself to music – and makes little apology for it. I couldn’t help but fall in love with a country as obstinate and prone to whim as myself.
The mountains in Killarney’s National Park dance to the background score of the wind, the trees in St Stephen’s Green groove to the chirping nattering of cautious mothers, roaring fathers and over-excited children, the pubs on the main road burst with fits of laughter, jangling music that teems through the doors spilling out into ear worms that you can’t quite shake for the rest of the day and the people that populate the streets leading up to Dublin’s Writer’s Museum ebb and flow in step with the Liffey. Why? Because it’s Ireland a space that is so beautiful it has inspired prolific creatives like Oscar Wilde, Samuel Beckett, Bram Stoker and Jonathan Swift and no corner of its green towns and riotous cities can forget this legacy.
Our December visit was characterised by two sounds: the sound our own footsteps as we got a bit lost, trampled sand and carpeted hire car floor and the sound of laughter that seems to gurgle out of me whenever I’m with Huw.
We went for a stomp on Inch beach – a haven in out-of-season December – a landscape where the sea hugs the shore which embraces the sky. Huw drank Guinness and I ate all of the spicy food (there is a superb curry house in Killarney called Uptown). We watched the fading light settle over Dublin. We reclined with Wilde. We ran across beaches and soon decided were much too beautiful and entirely too cold. We struggled to get a good artsy shot of converging mountains hanging out of a moving fiat. We listened to a concert standard pianist give flawless renditions of every song imaginable. We carolled on the green.
I’d been to Dublin before however this time I really realised how diverse this country is, this time I really went, saw and hear ( albeit a small selection) of its poetry:
You may have guessed by now our visit was as a celebration of our time together as a couple: 2 years of questionable jokes, looking after each other, exploring, learning even during the hardest of times and most importantly, chowing down on excellent food. It was the perfect long weekend, if not far too short! I couldn’t ask for a sweeter man to walk across deserted beaches alongside.
Below I have photographed one of my absolute favourite titbits from our trip to the greenest land, Oscar Wilde’s Monument in Merrion Square. I think Wilde had the right idea in setting himself and his characters to music – travelling, even if it’s not very far from home, is a means to hear a whole nation’s song alongside your own.
Have you been to the Republic of Ireland, where was your favourite stop?