Treasures of Ireland:
Remembering the Great Famine
(Dispatch #12) Story and photos by Tom Weber
travel writer worth his or her salt cannot come to Ireland and limit
their reporting to just the "usual suspects" of foamy pints
of Guinness, Dublin's Temple Bar, the postcard-perfect scenery in various
shades of verdant green, the iconic locales and The Quiet Man
film locations. No, to document the Emerald Isle correctly you've got
to, unfortunately, sprinkle a bit of sadness over the narrative.
About an hour out of Limerick
along the N67, Eugene, our expert pilot, brings the motor coach to a
full stop at a lay-by just outside of Ennistymon on the way to Lahinch
in Co. Clare. The "band of [not-so] merry media," 18 travel
writers and photographers invited by Insight
Vacations to sample a portion of its Treasures of Ireland
journey, disembark and walk solemnly into Ireland's tragic past: An
Gorta Mor (The Great Famine).
The very first monument erected in Ireland
to memorialize the approximately 1 million victims of the island's great
potato crop failure, who either died of starvation or disease-related
causes between 1845 to 1852, and which also forced an additional 1 million
Irishmen to emigrate to faraway shores, The Great Famine Memorial
was dedicated on August 20, 1995, marking the 150th anniversary of the
tragedy that changed the Emerald Isle forever.
Located across the field from Ennistymon
Hospital, itself built on the grounds of a local 19th century workhouse,
the memorial was designed by Allan F. Ryan Halls, an artist from Co.
Kerry. The sculpture, on one side, depicts a child standing before the
workhouse door, while across from that is the head of an anguished mother
and two hands clenched in frustration above the sorrowful text of a
pleading note written on February 25, 1848:
For this writer, three generations removed
from my Irish roots, a brief pause along the side of the road to view
this memorial is the very least that I can do to begin to try and understand
the pain and suffering my ancestors endured during An Gorta Mor.
May they rest in peace.
For complete information on Insight's 100+
premium and luxury-escorted journeys around Europe, including the Treasures
of Ireland itinerary, just click HERE,
or call toll free 1-888-680-1241, or contact your travel agent.
Let Tom know what you think about his traveling adventure.
* * * * *
for Destination Bosnia: Inside Sarajevo's Tunnel of Hope
Spent time in Sarajevo in the fall of 1973 beer was excellent!
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I must say, you're photographs are always amazing. They are
top notch. You bring so much class to Traveling Boy. It's photographs like yours
that make me want to go out and do my own traveling. Please don't get tired
of sending us your amazing adventures. It's such a delight for the soul.
--- Raoul, Whittier, CA
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I'm also an American living in Italy. I've read with interest your blog and
articles. I'd like to speak with you regarding residency and citizenship for
Americans in Italy as you do seem to have a great deal of knowledge on all of
these subjects. Would it be possible to give you a call on the phone? If so,
please let me know how to reach you. If not, I can ask my questions via email.
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Hey Tom Wow! Love those photos they are so super
that they make me A) Want to start eating NOW. B) Go there myself. C) See all
that pristine beauty that looks so restful and peaceful. Great story, superb
--- John, Los Angeles, CA
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for Destination Southwestern France: Saint-Émilion
Good job, Tom, and timely info. St. Émilion is in the
list of places Jim Hayes and I will visit in September 2014. If we get the chance,
we will exploit your experience to enhance the trip!
--- Bobby Harper, Dameron, MD
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for Vicenza Walks Monte Berico
I lived in Vicenza for 4 years in the U.S. ARMY from 1963 to
1967. A wonderful place to explore. Palladios works are amazing. Have
been back twice since and find new places to visit. My favorite is MONTE BERICO
where I have some wonderful photos of my family.
--- Dr. Albert Pizzi, Hanover, MA
* * * *
I liked the new TB particularly the Vicenza article that took
me back as a youth when we lived in Naples and travelled up there for a baseball
tourney (U.S. Military Bases dependent schools played each other.)
Took me back to the plaza.
for A Canterbury Trail (Sutri)
Very interesting note. I have wedroned which route the early
pre-Christian and Christian pilgrims travelled to Rome from England. Is it still
possible to travel the Francigena trail?
Good article, enjoyed reading it. Saved your recommended sights
for future use.
--- Dardenne Prairie, MO
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You're going to be great at this Tom. Congrats.
--- Donna Vissa -Montreal
Three Musical Pilgrimages: Mozart, Grieg and Hendrix
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Sitting at an umbrella table in downtown San Jose overlooking
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passive vendors sell sparkling silver jewelry by the trayfull, hand-carved
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Recently, an audience of political art fans were treated
to a lively combination of Joe Stiglitz speaking off the cuff and two
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Last month, I went to Japan for three things... Ok,
let me back up a little bit already. The #1 reason I went to Japan was to
visit my girlfriend, Yuki, and she will kill me if I don't say that, so
there it is. Hi Yuki! Anyway, so after that, reasons number 2, 3, and 4
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Award-winning Tim Robbins began his career on episodic
television. Robbins' film work, however, is what catapulted him into becoming
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camera, he directed the riveting "Dead Man Walking." He is Founder
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and understanding. This month John January and Linda Berry release their
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