We set off by foot to explore Dublin for a day. We wandered throughout the city, from quiet parks and busy neighborhoods to bustling downtown.
Even crossing the street here is an adventure, with Lupine clutching my hand and calling "RUN!" each time we venture across, while I simultaneously yell, "Run for your lives!" to Pete and the kids. Traffic signals and signs here are merely suggestions, and everything and everyone moves at twice the speed you would expect.
After we strategized how to cross the street without being killed, we had places to go, and aimed ourselves toward the heart of the city. Time and again I was awed by the history that everything around us is steeped in, and frequently compared the age of a building or the date of an uprising to things we all have reference to back home. "This university was built when when Laura and Mary were moving to the Prairie," or "This happened 100 years before Wisconsin became a state." That sort of things.
And we are talking a great deal about the cost of colonization – both here and back home.
Finally, in the afternoon, we ended up at the Long Room in the Old Library at Trinity College. Steeped in history, indeed. Each hand-bound book glowed as if gilded in the afternoon light.
As we worked our way home we stopped at a monument that had captured our interest in the morning and overheard a mother ask her son, "Can you see any bullet holes?"
I had noticed a few holes in the morning, but didn't question their origin. We circled the O'Connell Monument again, and indeed, there were entrance and exit wounds throughout.
A bit of research in the evening proved the significance of the statue and the damage, and again history wowed us in Dublin. Because In 1916, this monument – with O'Connell the "Liberator" standing above four statues representing Patriotism, Fidelity, Courage and Eloquence – stood watch over a ruined city, as Ireland's rebels began a fight for freedom from British rule. (More here and here.)
And yet another rabbit-hole of history pulled us in.
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Tomorrow the history we explore will become older still as we leave the city and head slowly westward. I think some castle ruins are on our agenda. (And maybe an official "first day of Homeschool 2017" photo as well.)