Faculty: Kathy Heininge, Isabelle Corneaux
Meeting Night: Wednesday
The Celtic tradition includes a number of myths, legends, and fairy tales, stories which help us to understand who the Celts are. For this trip, we will be reading some of the legends of Ireland and Scotland, and then follow those myths to their origins. In Ireland, we will go to Dublin, where we will see the Book of Kells at Trinity College, the National Museum where the Bog People are on display, and we will experience some traditional Irish music. We will go to the Midlands, to see the lake where the Children of Lir were turned into swans and to see Tara, the center of Ireland where the kings were crowned and where the Little People live. We will go to Grace O’Malley's pirate castle, and we will go to Galway, where the Salmon of Knowledge originated. We will go to Belfast and see the Giant’s Causeway that Finn MacCool built so he could fight his counterpart in Scotland. We will see crystal clear lakes and green fields, stone castles and wooly sheep.
In Scotland, we will visit the Hebridean island of Iona where Columcille founded his monastery, to Stirling where William Wallace (Braveheart) defeated the army of the English, to Rosslyn Chapel where The DaVinci Code was filmed, and to Edinburgh where Sir Walter Scott wrote Rob Roy.
For this trip you will need to bring your imagination (so you can find the fairies), but more importantly you will need to bring your walking shoes. There will be a considerable amount of walking involved, both in cities (often involving cobblestones) and in the countryside (often involving sheep manure).
All of the texts involved in this class are in the public domain, so you will have free access to them online.
IRELAND/SCOTLAND TENTATIVE ITINERARY
Monday, May 5 – Fly Portland to Dublin
Tuesday, May 6 – Arrive in Dublin
Wednesday, May 7 – Explore Dublin; here we will visit the Yeats exhibit at the National Library, showing how he helped to revive an interest in Celtic mythology; we will also try to see a play at the Abbey Theatre
Thursday, May 8 – More Dublin; we will see the Book of Kells at Trinity College
Friday, May 9 – Travel to Meath to visit Newgrange, a hill tomb
Saturday, May 10 – Travel to Tara, where the Kings were crowned, and Castlepollard, where the Children of Lir first lived (also where Kathy’s family lives; with any luck, we’ll get to watch a hurling match too!)
Sunday, May 11 – Travel to Galway; Salmon of Knowledge
Monday, May 12 – See Cliffs of Moher, Kylemore Abbey
Tuesday, May 13 – Travel to Clare Island, Grace O’Malley’s castle
Wednesday, May 14 – Travel to Belfast
Thursday, May 15 – See the Giant’s Causeway
Friday, May 16 – Ferry from Stranraer to Oban
Saturday, May 17 – Oban to Iona
Sunday, May 18 - Iona
Monday, May 19 - Iona
Tuesday, May 20 - Travel to Glasgow
Wednesday, May 21 – Glasgow
Thursday, May 22 – Edinburgh
Friday, May 23 – Edinburgh (Rosslyn Chapel)
Saturday, May 24 – Edinburgh (St. Andrews?)
Sunday, May 25 – Flight home from Edinburgh