Thanks for all the emails and messages of congratulations and well-wishes!
In less exciting news, I’ve done a spot of traveling recently. After submitting the thesis I made a quick weekend trip to England, and then last Wednesday, one week ago today, I added country #27 to my slowly expanding list: Ireland. (You know life is good when traveling to a new country is less exciting than something else!) Along with leprechauns, gold, and four-leaf clovers, Ireland is the home of two strikingly handsome cousins: Levi and Luke… and their parents Justin and Jessica. We Goransons have some pretty great genes, wouldn’t you say?
Because I’m still here, I’ll make this post about my time in Ireland and do a subsequent post with some photos of England.
I’ve been in Ireland for one week today and, sadly, will say ‘goodbye’ to my newly introduced cousins tomorrow. But it has been a great week, filled with all kinds of adventures: from exploring ancient monastic ruins and touring Dublin to re-entering the
chaotic magical world(s) of toddlers. Forget the pot of gold; here in Ireland and in this home, silence is golden.
Here are a few sights/experiences from my time here in neighbouring Ireland:
Other than meeting my wee cousins for the first time and reuniting with Justin and Jessica, one of the highlights of my time here came on the first day. I managed to squeeze onto a tour of three significant biblical papyri, P45-47, at the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin. These three papyri, which are (respectively) the four Gospels and Acts, the collection of Paul’s letters, and sections of Revelation, are some of the oldest extant manuscripts of the New Testament texts, dating back to c. 200-400 AD. That’s nearly two thousand years ago, people. Two thousand. Pretty cool. Photos weren’t allowed, as you can imagine, but here’s a link to the website if you want to see what they looked like.
This is St. Patrick’s Cathedral. It is smaller than most, but the banners overhanging the choir stalls and the tiled floor add a colourful dimension not often found in Europe’s cathedrals.
One of the many bridges of Dublin at sunset.
This is at Trinity College, where the Book of Kells—a Latin copy of the four Gospels—resides. It was created in c. 800 A.D. by monks on Iona, one of the western Scottish islands, before being moved to various places in Ireland when Viking invaders crushed the monastic community on Iona. Photos weren’t allowed, but trust me when I say, the Book of Kells is a stunning masterpiece, especially considering the when and where of its creation.
This is the Old Library at Trinity College. There were old books, old books, and more old books.
One of the stained glass windows at Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin, which is otherwise unworthy of mention.
My hosts have graciously taken me on several smaller outings during my stay here, but the big outing of our time together was last Saturday. It was, weather-wise, one of the most beautiful days of my time here across the Irish Sea. With an un-Irish early start, we wound our way to Glendalough (‘Valley of Two Lakes’), a village nestled in the Wicklow Mountains just south of Dublin. There a monastic community was formed some 1500-odd years ago, part of which still exists, at least in fabric if not in function.
Graveyard and chapel with Glencalo Valley in the background.
Lower Glendalough Lake
I’ve had a wonderful time here in the Land of Leprechauns, reuniting with family and meeting some of its newest—and certainly wildest—members.
Stay tuned for some sights of York and Durham next!