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Showing posts from November, 2016

Ireland's ABC "Another Bloody Castle"

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Europe is the birthplace of the castle and the home of the vast majority of the castles in the world. Having traveled to Europe on various occasions, I thought I have seen enough castles. On a recent trip to Ireland, I took part in a tour to the outskirts of Dublin and towns famous for their castles like Kilkenny and Killarney. And many castle ruins came into view as we traveled the countryside. So, it’s not uncommon to hear the phrase, “ABC - Another Bloody Castle” even from the tourism industry folks.

I could not help but notice how the castles in Ireland differed from what I saw in Germany and France. The castles I saw in Ireland were more like castle ruins, damaged by war and had been restored for tourism. I don’t want to minimize the castles historical and cultural significance, but I look more into the aesthetic point of view, such as the architecture from the medieval, stone and elaborate designs like the Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany that inspired Disneyland or the magical…

Galway, Ireland: The Path Less Taken

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We arrived in Galway late in the afternoon and had a short visit to the cathedral before checking into our hotel.  We were greeted by a beautiful sunset bursting with orange, pink, and purple hues. I drank on the magnitude of the scenery of the imposing cathedral with the orange and purple sky in the backdrop and took quick pictures inside.

The following morning, I decided to go back to the cathedral to learn more about its history and to admire the artwork. With a camera hanging around my neck, I headed to the cathedral, passing narrow cobbled streets lined with pubs, restaurants and gift shops.  The streets were empty and quiet except for the sound of small delivery trucks revving engines. As I was about to cross the bridge leading to the Galway Cathedral, I saw two rivers diverged. (To borrow a phrase or two from Robert Frost's 'The Road Less Taken'), I looked down as far as I could to where a wooden foot bridge lead to a grassy pathway dividing the river.

I took the g…