I fed my inner literary nerd at the National Library, where there was a nifty exhibition on Yeats. As the soothing sound of poetry echoed throughout the room, I peered at various poem drafts, though sadly couldn’t decipher any of the cursive. I also gazed in awe at the reading room, which I’d happily turn into my new home. (I wasn’t brave enough to disobey the “no photography” signs due to all the warnings of CCTVs, so I stole a pic from Google.)
I then trekked over to the Irish Museum of Modern Art, (ab)using my R-MC student ID to see an exhibition for free before meeting up with A in the café.
We braved the Irish bus system over to Bray, a little coastal town, where J, one of the teachers that A works with, and her son picked us up from the bus stop. At her mother-in-law’s house, we talked a bit with J and her husband, who’s Irish and has an entire collection of beer pint glasses he’s stolen from bars, before climbing into J’s car. She took us on an incredibly scenic drive, all rolling hills and pops of yellow flowers, to Glendalough.
The main attraction there, a Monastic City built in the 6th century, is a now set of ruins, thanks to the Normans. (Really? Did they have to ruin everything?) Nestled among the mountains and a nearby lake, the entire site radiates a lovely calm, disturbed only by a little dog named Rosie who wanted a duck so badly, she waded straight into the water.
Back in the car, we drove along a winding road so narrow, two cars could barely fit side-by-side. Pausing briefly at a stunning, rocky waterfall, we proceeded to drive deep into the countryside, so far from civilization that at points there was no cell service.
J explained that landscape resembled Scotland’s, and that during the summer, it turns pink and purple because it becomes awash with heather. Though the moors were currently gold and brown, they remained nonetheless stunning. There in the middle of Irish nowheresville, nature stretching as far as the eye could see, I got to experience the kind of beauty that makes you want to shake your fist at humanity for accelerating global warming.
Eventually, we made it out of Glendalough and back into Bray, where J drove us to the seafront. She handed A and me half a bagel to feed some disturbingly fearless swans and ducks, and then brought us to the beach, full of pebbles reminiscent of Nice’s beaches, even if the water wasn’t quite as blue.
I may or may not have pocketed a few pebbles before J dropped us off at the station to take the DART, a sort of aboveground metro, back to Dublin.