We have posted these words of Brendan Kennelly before:
We step into the streets of morning
Walking along the pavements of come what may
Though we live in a world
That thinks of ending
That always seems about to give in
Something that will not acknowledge conclusion
Insists that we forever begin.
Perhaps his words or ours or the pictures we’ve posted have inspired you to begin the plans for an Ireland adventure. If you want some suggestions from our travels that you might like to make part of yours, read on.
Word to the wise for our recommendations. You will find the addresses for several websites within this post. In each case you will need to copy the address and then post it into the search line of a new page on your web browser. We have chosen to make none of them a direct link. Sorry about the extra step. We believe, in each case, the extra step to the the webpages is more than worth your while.
We know many of you are quick readers and want fast stuff.
You can’t take this part of our journey that way.
Take some time.
WALKING HISTORY TOUR – DUBLIN
In Dublin, there are alot of tourists . . . so there are alot of people and organizations offering walking history tours. Many of them are ones you can access on the spot. We chose another source: Grace O’Keefe. She holds a PhD from Trinity college in Medieval Studies. We found her through this resource and selected her because her last name is the same as Patricia’s grandma.
It was perfect for us to have Grace be our individualized guide. She was personable. She was knowledgable. She was gracious. She was an excellent historian. If you should want a personalized walking tour of the the history of Dublin, which is really alot about the history of Ireland, you will learn much from Grace.
GUIDED CELTIC SPIRITUALITY RETREAT
Patricia and I wrote these words of affirmation about our time with Mary for her:
Nine Days in August of 2012
Should you want to be with a teacher/guide/wise woman into the world of Celtic Spirituality: into your own soul, into chant and song and poem, into stone circles and sacred wells, into story and laughter and tears, into wonder and mist and mystery, then we extravagantly and unreservedly recommend Mary Meighan to you.
She is wonderful!
Mary’s mother told her she was born with the love of Ireland within her. She has it in her marrow. She breathes it. She sings it. She dances it. She teaches it. She dreams it. She is made new through it.
Most days we began by circling the labyrinth at Glendalough three times. Mary would offer suggestions for our walk in, for our time at the center, and then for our walk out. In the rain we walked. In the sun we walked. We began the day in this way . . .walking an ancient path of the old ones. We began in prayerful stillness.
Then to Tearmann (sanctuary) where Mary would teach us by symbol, by chant, by poem, by repetition, by ritual, by silence, by song. Mary embodied the bits and pieces she told us of the Celtic Ways. She is what she teaches.
We took journeys in the valley and beyond with Mary. Always she respectfully invited us to bring our whole selves; our questions, our insights, our hopes, our intentions, our contradictions wherever we went with her. “Open yourselves to what is here. This is a time of new beginning for you..”
We broke bread together. Our favorite place was Clodagh’s. At table we learned of Mary and she learned of us. The conversation was easy. It was warm. It was lively, always flavored with good humor.
We remain grateful for Mary’s authenticity, for her generosity, for her depth of understanding about spirituality.
We received more than we could ever have imagined.
Praise. Praise. Praise.
We give thanks! We give thanks! We give thanks!
Her webpage: http://www.celticjourneys.com
HOME FOR SALE – GREAT INVESTMENT IN THE COUNTY WICKLOW
One of you commented recently in an email that you had read each of our posts on
wellsofwellness.org “from stem to stern, or rather around and around each labyrinth.” Thanks. You definitely got hold of the circular nature of Celtic Spirituality. The people who taught us how to make those labyrinths on the beaches we visited are Mary Meighan and her husband Andrew Honeyman.
Mary told us of the home she and Andrew had built and love but are leaving when they can sell it for their new home: “As I mentioned we love it here in beautiful County Wicklow, but being part of creating Ireland’s first eco-village community is something that has called us strongly, especially as it is an educational charity, so the purpose being to share with others how to live more sustainably. A strong call.”
So I asked if I could put the info about their house here for you to read. It is beautiful. One of you, or several perhaps, might want to consider this investment in Ireland.
KERRY WOOLEN MILL
Kerry Woollen Mills
The 17th-century Kerry Woollen Mills, situated on the beautiful Ring of Kerry on Ireland’s Atlantic coast, has been creating fabrics and yarn from fine wool for over 300 years. Remaining faithful to the traditions of its founders, today’s Mill takes advantage of up-to-date weaving technology, marrying tradition with contemporary styling for today’s discerning customers in Ireland and overseas.
Kerry Woollen Mills is one of the last surviving traditional woollen mills still manufacturing in the beautiful Kerry countryside. Established over 300 years ago to alleviate local poverty the mill drew on the adjacent River Gweestin for the power to drive its machinery and the water to wash and dye its wool. The mill was bought over by the Eadie family in 1904 who had previously been in the woollen manufacturing business for many years in Fermangh and Scotland and continues under the fourth generation of family ownership to this day.
The mill is set in a rural location with many of the three hundred year old buildings still standing and functional! The machinery has of course changed many times over the years!
Why Choose Kerry Woollen Mills?
Today the company focuses on serving niche markets with products from natural fibres in classic and traditional styles & colours. In such a rapidly changing world our customers get from Kerry Woollen Mills products that will last, give warmth & pleasure and link them to our natural heritage and long established skills.
We shopped here. We recommend you shop too, either on line or on personal visit.
GLENDALOUGH – RIVERSDALE B&B
We thoroughly enjoyed our time here. We stayed in the stone cottage, rather than the B&B itself. Liam and Zell, our hosts were fine.
It is a short walk across these nine stones to the Glendalough Hotel (http://www.glendaloughhotel.com) which has fine food . . . as does the Wicklow Heather Restaurant (http://www.thewicklowheather.com) whose staff will pick you up at Riversdale and return you to Riversdale when you have finished dining. Brilliant.
THE LAWRENCE HOME – KELLS
If you were intrigued about the home we rented in Kells through Vacation Rental By Owner (VRBO). you can find it by googling VRBO and then searching for Kells, Ireland, or the listing #30138. We loved it. Perhaps you would too.
TAOBH COILLE B&B
By way of Ted Lawrence and Vicky Seelen, we became acquainted with Agnes and John O’Sullivan who own and operate the Toabh Coille
as well as having a VRBO # 95006 available in Kells not far from Ted and Vicky’s home. We really enjoyed Agnes and John and were impressed with their hospitality even though we did not stay there. We did eat with them and enjoyed copious stories of their family, Kells, Ireland, and faith.
KELLS BAY LOBSTER AND CRAB
Kells is a small community. In one document we received from Ted Lawrence, he describes it this way (some of you will recognize these words from an earlier post, but they bear repeating):
The town of Kells, about halfway between Glenbeigh and Cahirciveen on the Ring of Kerry road, is on some maps but not on others. It is hardly recognizable as a village in American terms. There are no main streets, no shopping district, not even mailboxes to identify residences. Kells is really just an undefined area around Kells Bay, a lovely little arm of Dingle Bay. Most local families in Kells raise sheep and/or cattle; they grow potatoes and as many hay crops as the weather permits. Be prepared for the fact that some Kerrymen speak with a fairly heavy accent; some are fluent in the Irish language as well as in English. In recent years, Kells has also acquired a large summer community, with people coming from the US, Canada, and most European countries.
This part of Ireland is mountainous; the coast is superb. There are few towns of any size. The Gulf Stream, which touches southwestern Ireland, has a moderating influence on the climate. Although Kells is as far north as Labrador, there is rarely a frost; twenty-five miles south of Kells palm trees grow commonly. Summer days are long. By the same token, winter days are short.
The one predictable thing about the weather is that it is not predictable. There are few things more glorious than “a fair spell” when the sun shines day after day after day. There are lots of things worse than “a rainy spell” when it rains too much. Typically a day has a shower or two, some sunshine and some time when it is overcast. Very occasionally there is “a gale”, a depressing, windy, rainy, lingering storm rather like a New England “northeaster”.
People dress informally in western Ireland. In Kells, anything goes. You’ll want a reasonably heavy sweater, even in the summer. Rain gear is a must. We have some stuff there that you are welcome to use. For indoors you want something cozy, especially if it is cool weather because the house never gets really toasty warm. The most satisfactory walking shoes have heavy soles and are reasonably waterproof.
We think Kells is just about the greatest place going. But it isn’t for everyone. The people that Kells grabs are those who are turned on by extraordinary natural beauty, who appreciate simplicity, who like to chat and read, to walk, to mountain climb, to fish, to swim, to explore, or just to sit by a turf fire.
So, yes, Kells is a quite small community.
Turns out that Agnes is one of eight children. She was born and raised in Kells. Her dad was a fisherman. She has six sisters and one brother. The brother’s name is Jeremiah. He lives in the family home where Agnes grew up and he does the fishing his dad did before him. If you are on the Ring of Kerry and want fresh North Atlantic lobster or crab, you cannot go wrong with Jeremiah.
You should visit here – not only because it is a variation of the name of McGee, but because it got the Top Toilet Award recently and it is home of The Point Pub, which you really should not miss. The food is excellent, the sunsets out their window fabulous, and the stories about the place are grand.
You can find out more by going to:
So there you have our main recommendations.
If you would like more detail, or if you want to learn about other places we visited (especially Dingle about which we have hotel, music, marathon, mural, cheese, journalist, and garden recommendations), let us know.
We decided to keep this post to less than ten recommendations and even though we didn’t quite make that goal we are grateful to share these from among many favored places and people.
May you find pathways
something which insists
we forever begin.