It’s good to be back! The extended space between posts here has accommodated nearly a month of new adventures. My husband and I flew out of JFK International, heading for Heathrow, on August 10, the day the news broke about the latest terrorism threat. Fortunately we were booked on Aer Lingus, which meant changing planes and entering the UK in Dublin, so we had none of the harrowing problems our friends flying directly into Heathrow from the USA experienced.
After a day of jetlag recovery in London, we proceeded to Dover and boarded the Celebrity Constellation for a two-week cruise around the Baltic, visiting Klaipeda, Lithuania; Helsinki, Finland; St. Petersburg, Russia; Tallinn, Estonia; Stockholm, Sweden; Rostok, Germany; Copenhagen, Denmark and Oslo, Norway. Just remembering the list makes my head swim!
As soon as we docked in Dover, we made a beeline for the bus back to London, then transferred to the metro line out to Heathrow for a flight to Shannon, Ireland, scrambling to make the tight transfer window. We then spent ten idyllic days exploring the Emerald Isle.
The result was a pair of vacations that were virtually the opposite of each other. The cruise was highly structured, luxurious, fast-paced, city oriented, and shared with friends. The Irish Adventure was planned on the fly. We knew only that we would concentrate our time in the southwest sector, experiencing it deeply, and that we did. We stayed in each place until we were ready to leave, hiked and explored ancient ruins and found our next B&B at the end of each day. Driving on Wild Irish Roads was an adventure in itself, and although we met dozens of delightful strangers, we were on our own for this part.
On the next-to-last day in Ireland, we visited the Bunratty Castle and Folk Center, and the sight of a huge five-prong red deer stag implacably in a pasture chewing his cud as he lay peacefully in a pasture blew me away. Now I think of that stag, and realize that I’ll be doing something similar with my trip memories. It’s the mental chewing and mulling that gives them shape, form and meaning and prepares them for sharing in a meaningful way.
There are many possible ways to write about the trip. We plan to set up a site (or maybe two) to share pictures and comments about them with family and friends. I’ll post a link to that when it happens. Eventually it will find its way into one or more personal lifestories. For this blog I’ll confine posts to insights about writing that occur to me as I reflect back, including only those trip details that are relevant as illustrations.
Again, it’s great to be home, back to blogging, writing and all the great things that everyday life brings along.
Sharon Lippincott, aka Ritergal