So I woke up pretty early after having a wicked dream that was a mashup of war imagery inspired by the Kilmainhaim Gaol tour from the day before and scenes and people from throughout my life.
After shaking that off, I said so long to my Wisconsin hostel mates and headed out to the city center for my trip to Howth – a small fishing village about an hour from Dublin with a castle, some golf courses and some hilly forests.
I ordered an Irish Coffee at this nice little cafe on the way to the departure point because the coffee I had the day before was rich and delicious, and fortunately the barista made sure that I knew Irish coffee had whiskey in it. I stuck with a regular coffee, which is what I was looking for.
After meeting up with the tour group and meeting our tour guide – Carl – we set off to the train station that led to Howth. On the way I struck up a conversation with a couple of young women from South Korea who seemed to be competing with me to be the back of the group – or just kindred lollygaggers. It turns out one was in radio, the other wrote for a newspaper and together they co-host a podcast about feminism and the body in South Korea. I hope they achieve their dream of interviewing Roxane Gay…
Our tour guide Carl kept giving me sh*t for falling behind and assigned me to the task of making sure that I was indeed the last person. (Apparently if someone makes fun of you in Ireland they like you) Even with my new job, I had some nice chats about current states of affairs and traveling tips with other tour goers – and the hike through the forest was beautiful.
Carl also shared some folk lore on our breaks along with background on Irish storytelling, which is a mix of hard facts and fictional liberty of the storyteller. Loved it. Recorded it. (see audio files below)
I think my favorite part aside from the stories was a long stretch of fields with purple flowers (see the pics). We also got poured on with sideways rain for about 10 minutes while walking on a ridge. Loved that as well.
After the tour wrapped I took the train back to Dublin with a rad trio of Northern Irelanders (two of them from Italy)…we might start a metal band together. A product design engineer living in Michigan also joined us, and we exchanged thoughts and approaches to stem the tide of fascism and white nationalism in the states. Lots more to think about that.
I spent the rest of the night in the hostel, resting and preparing to plan out the next few days in the morning. G’night!