Ithaca

We went to the Giant’s Causeway, land of funny rocks, to the Bushmills Distillery, oldest distillery of all time, and to Belfast, where a guy named Walter gave us a black cab tour of the city, and showed us a lot of the murals from The Troubles, immortalizing people who were killed or who played a part, people from the IRA.

That’s the briefest of all summaries, but I’ve taken way too long to wrap up my tales of Ireland, and I’ll sum in up with this:

In Belfast, we said goodbye to Squidget.

Apparently they weren’t bothered that we dripped honey on the backseat. Whoops.

A pictorial of the rest of the journey:

We crossed into Northern Ireland without seeing so much as a sign, let alone a border, but suddenly there were British accents on the radio, and the shops accepted pounds.

sample at Bushmills

We could only take pictures in the bar at Bushmills, because everywhere else in the distillery the use of a camera might cause the alcohol in the air to ignite. Apparently.

The Peace Wall, Belfast

Walter!

 Walter, our tour guide, showed us the Peace Wall in Belfast, that seperates Catholic and Protestant neighbourhoods. Its gates still close every night.

***

G doesn’t want me to tell people he reads poetry, but as we lounged in the grass in Galway one afternoon, he handed me a copy of this, that he kept in his notebook. I copied it down, and refer to it often.

Ithaca

When you set out on your journey to Ithaca,
pray that the road is long,
full of adventure, full of knowledge.
The Lestrygonians and the Cyclops,
the angry Poseidon — do not fear them:
You will never find such as these on your path,
if your thoughts remain lofty, if a fine
emotion touches your spirit and your body.
The Lestrygonians and the Cyclops,
the fierce Poseidon you will never encounter,
if you do not carry them within your soul,
if your soul does not set them up before you.
 
Pray that the road is long.
That the summer mornings are many, when,
with such pleasure, with such joy
you will enter ports seen for the first time;
stop at Phoenician markets,
and purchase fine merchandise,
mother-of-pearl and coral, amber, and ebony,
and sensual perfumes of all kinds,
as many sensual perfumes as you can;
visit many Egyptian cities,
to learn and learn from scholars.
 
Always keep Ithaca on your mind.
To arrive there is your ultimate goal.
But do not hurry the voyage at all.
It is better to let it last for many years;
and to anchor at the island when you are old,
rich with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting that Ithaca will offer you riches.
 
Ithaca has given you the beautiful voyage.
Without her you would have never set out on the road.
She has nothing more to give you.
 
And if you find her poor, Ithaca has not deceived you.
Wise as you have become, with so much experience,
you must already have understood what these Ithacas mean.

 – Constantine P. Cavafy

Advertisements

About aasaelsewhere

I like Saskatchewan fine, but am hitting the road soon anyway. First on the itinerary: Portugal, England, Ireland, then England again. I have Yellow Fever immunity, a pending visa, and a blank passport, and can't promise anything.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Ithaca

  1. I’ve always wanted to visit the land of my ancestors. Someday I hope to play the Rose of Tralee on my fiddle and share a pint with the locals.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s