Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Calling in and around Strabane

It's hard to believe that I've been in Ireland for exactly three weeks--time has gone fast!

Next Wednesday I'll head to Belgium for Part 2 of my Europe Adventure, and then two weeks after that (October 25th), I'll go to Le Mans, France, where I'm staying for a month--helping a couple with English. So that's the plan. :)

This week, I've been using the Houston home in Strabane as my base and taking little day trips with Jarlath.

These statues--nicknamed "the tinnies"--are in Strabane, near Jarlath's home, at the main roundabout into the Republic of Ireland.

A few days ago, we took a nice, afternoon bike ride around the town, calling in to some of Jarlath's friends.

"Calling in" is a common way to pass the time here--visiting a friend or family member's home for a cup of tea (which is often served with a "biscuit" or some other kind of sweet) and a chat. :) So I've continued to meet lots of people and drink lots of milk tea.

I've been trying several different kinds of European chocolate bars, too, and rating them on a scale of 1 to 5. So far, Cadbury's Caramels, Frye's Chocolate Cream, and Twisted bars have each received a 5. :)

Every evening, Jarlath's nieces call in to the house to visit their Grannie Rosie and Granda Francie, Jarlath's parents.

This is Millie, posing with her special pal, Rabbit. Millie keeps me laughing and is not afraid to show off her hip hop moves!

On Wednesday, we went to a castle ruins only 20 minutes away from the house...

...where it was extremely windy!...

Also within a 20-minute distance is the house of President Woodrow Wilson's parents...

We spent a different afternoon at Ulster American Folk Park, a living history museum that reminded me a lot of Conner Prairie.

The folk park tells the story of emigrants who left Ireland in the 18th and 19th centuries.

After seeing the indoor museum exhibits about emigration, we went outdoors, beginning in the "Old World" (Ireland).

We walked from building to building, visiting with the guides, who were dressed in costumes of the time period. Then, we left the Old World by stepping onto a ship...

...and came out the other side, in Baltimore, where we experienced life in the "New World."

Back in the U.S.A.!

I learned that many of the emigrants who left Ireland during the time of the famine in order to set up in America, found life there to be just as hard--"Out of the frying pan and into the fire," as one of the guides said.

It was interesting to learn about emigration from the Irish point of view. With this park, I felt like I got the complete story since we transitioned from the Old World to the New.

1 comment:

Lannie said...

The emegration park seems interesting! I love museums and historical villages!