Excerpt from my jouranl:
October 8, 2009, 10:50 p.m. - Thursday
After breakfast we piled on the bus and headed for the country side. We drove through Dannybrook's, a section of the city, and learned of it's history.
Once out of Dublin the scenery was breath taking! Rolling hills, lush fields (with sheep!) and sprawling mountains all green and beautiful. We were headed north to Wiclow County were we visited Gelndalough. It was the ruins of a monastic church, the only one with double arches at the entrance. The old, old cemetery around it was still used to bury people in today. After a tour of the ruins we were allowed to walk down to the lake. Glendalough is known as the "valley of two lakes," which is what Glendalough means, I think. The ruins were build of stone and most of the structures (the "sacred" ones) weren't built with mortar.
The lake was absolutely gorgeous! It was so amazing with the mountains and "woods" stretched out behind it!
Next we headed to Powerscour Gardens, which were in the same county. We ate lunch there and headed out to see the garden. Lunch was delicious (but expensive!) and the gardens... No word exists to describe it accuretly enough. It looked like something from a painting or a Jane Austin movie! It was beautiful.
After the gardens it was back to Dublin. They dropped us off at the National Museum of Ireland (those of us who wanted to go that is). There we saw many ancient artifacts and the bog people (Jenn, Kim, Kara, myself, and Dr. Watson saw them together). The bog was a place were once things had sunk in to it, they were trapped on the bottom and because there was no oxygen there in the soil, things were well preserved. This included people. They found people who had been killed in various ways. Some of the bodies were whole, others... were in pieces. And by pieces I mean one was just a torso with arms while or or two ere missing legs. They were really gross-- their sking (the ones that had sking) looked like old leather-- but it was cool to see, in a way.
At seven we went to a traditional Irish dance show. Oh, it was such fun! There were 3 men who played Irish music and another man played an Irish uilleann pipes, which is similar to bag pipes but one uses the right elbow to pump air into it instead of blowing in it. It was a beautiful sound and equally beautiful music. He also played a "flute" type instrument... I forgot what it was called but it was played similarily to a tin whistle.
Then the dancers were out! There were six of them, 3 guys and 3 girls. They were excellent and the dance was amazing! My favorite part was when two of the guys did what I would describe as "the dueling Irish dancers." They took turns "showing off" to "prove" who was better.
They they did audience participation where they demonstrated and irish dance (for couples) and took volunteers from the audience. Jenn was selected and did an excellent job!"
End of day three! =)