Today was all about the bus or coach as it is commonly called in Ireland. Much like our Roberts Hawai'i busses that move from the crowded and compact Waikiki, our coach left the cramped and narrow streets of Dublin for the countryside this morning. The seven (7) hour trek would take us through several Irish counties, a stretch of Northern Ireland and eventually arriving in our temporary home of Bundoran in County Donegal.
Our first stop was in the County Meath to visit the prehistoric structures known as Passageways. These consist of three above ground burial chambers used by the ancient settlers of this area. Both amazing in size and mystical qualities, after forty (40) years of archeological study still little is known about the art and purpose of these structures.
The visit to prehistoric Ireland was followed by a visit to the modern day border of the the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland. The physical and formidable borders for these countries no longer stand as a divider but a symbol of peace and reconciliation. At the place of the once heavily weaponized British Army's border stop now stands a metal sculpture of a man and woman embracing. The female figure is draped in a pre-Christian garb and a naked many bearing a shield of protection and a down facing sword symbolizing the end of battle. These figures stand above a marble pedestal engraved with the phrase, "Peace for All."
After over six (6) hours on the bus through the lush and animal-spotted hills, we arrived in Bundoran to a gracious welcoming and dinner in a lovely pub called Mcgarrigles for bangers and mash--a regional specialty throughout the UK and Ireland. The sausages or bangers often times represent the local pork farmers special seasoning and consistency/texture of grinding of their pork. These were smooth in texture and had a hint taste of fennel. Super ono! The mash was delicious and the accompanying brown gravy was not the usual salty brown sauce many pubs serve but a light and savory sauce that married beautifully with the bottle of Cabernet from Chile we split at our table. Not a bad night spent with old and new friends.
We were all happy to return either to the pub or our cozy beds after a very full day.