day eight - From the excitement of Dublin to the tranquility of Somerset
Glastonbury Travel Blog› entry 10 of 11 › view all entries
It was another early morning as I woke to head off to the Dublin airport. Owen and I bypassed the unbelievable Dublin rush hour traffic. I gaped in horror at the never-ending line of vehicles on the other side of the highway, knowing he would have to sit through it on the way home. I was so incredibly grateful for the nice offer to give me a lift and I hope he got plenty of required reading done on the way back. Great conversation and Irish hospitality. I am happy I got to meet him as his presence made my Dublin visit all the better.
Upon arriving at the bustling airport, I made a bee line to check in and dropped off my backpack at the Ryanair desk. It's become an oversized bag as it's steadily increased in weight since I arrived in England. I had less than an hour till my flight and I decided to go straight to the gate and hopefully pick up some sort of breakfast on the way.
On the way to the gate, I stopped to browse one of the gift shops, remembering I had wanted to pick up a claddagh ring for myself. I had already managed to find a Brighid's Cross pendant and was looking for a ring as a last souvenir to remember my brief but wonderful visit to Ireland. Claddagh rings. Classic! I did find one that delicately adorns my ring finger and I happily walked off to the gate to catch my flight to Bristol, England.
45 minutes up and down. The moment I settled in to my seat, my eyelids grew heavy and fatigue overwhelmed me. I dozed throughout the entire flight and was slightly disoriented when I came to my senses upon touching down in Bristol. 10:30 am.
I took a shuttle to the central bus terminal in town and upon arriving, walked straight on to the local bus to take me to Glastonbury, Somerset. Actually, it took me to Wells and I had to transfer to the Glastonbury bus which arrived only moments upon arriving in Wells.
I was sleepy all throughout the bus ride but I kept my eyes open, looking out the window in hopes of catching that very first and amazing glance of the Glastonbury Tor rising up through the mists to welcome me home.
Words can't really describe the connection I feel to this special place. It's a very strong and spiritual connection and every time I visit, I can't help but be moved by the magic and mystery of the place. It feels like home for my spirit and one day, I'd like to settle in Glastonbury.
Tired eyes kept watch throughout the hour-long journey across the hilly landscape and then, I saw it. That lush green, multi-leveled hill rose up through the mist of the morning, crowned with St. Michael's tower standing proudly. My heart thundered in my chest and that familiar serenity washed over me as I passed through the mists of Avalon to disembark in the city centre.
A land steeped in magic and myth, Glastonbury is believed by some, to be the Isle of Apples, Ynis Witrin, the Land of Youth...Avalon. Tradition says Jesus once visited the holy place and that Joseph of Arimathea and his followers came to Avalon and built the first British church to house the Holy Grail. Glastonbury has been called England's "holyest earthe". King Arthur and Queen Guinevere are said to be buried beneath the ruins of the Abbey (though there is much debate on the matter) and you can visit the site itself.
It has long been a source of pilgrimage for people of all faiths, visitors from the world over making the trek into Somerset country to experience that certain "je-ne-sais-quoi" about the place, and because of its deeply spiritual nature, people of different faiths generally coexist peacefully. Every return to Glastonbury is a pilgrimage for me and as I stepped off the bus in the city centre and gazed all around me at the familiar sights and sounds of the town, I felt at ease and new the restful part of my journey had begun.
I walked to the phone booth at the Town Hall, calling up my friend Catherine to tell her I had arrived. I couldn't get through and decided to call back later. By now, the fatigue had sunk into my bones and even though I was standing in the middle of my REAL favorite place in the world, I couldn't quite enjoy it as the veils of sleep were slowly descending upon me. I walked around up and down High Street, looking at the fun and interesting things in the storefronts and trying to resist all the pretty shiny things.
I had a pizza lunch at the local kebab shop, thankful to set my backpack down as my back and shoulders were starting to ache. I kept calling throughout the day as I had no idea where she was or where she lived...silly forgot to recorded these details. I stopped a few times to simply sit and watch the interesting people walking to and fro. Glastonbury is filled with colorful people.
I finally got a hold of her mid-afternoon and walked a street down to her house and was met with a warm hug and a hot cup of tea. My body, mind and spirit welcomed it as it started to get chilly out.
The afternoon was spent catching up over many cups of herbal tea of all kinds and after her fiancé returned home, we all headed out to the George and Pilgrim Pub (where Cath works) for a nice meal. We had the most amazing glasses of mead and a delicious plate of fish and chips, arguably the best chips in Glastonbury. The homemade tartar sauce was a lovely addition to the meal. Over dinner we spoke about all the amazing sights and sacred places she and Dan wanted to take me to when I move over and there were talks of a weekend trip to Tintagel, Cornwall which really excited me. I wanted to see the ruins of the castle myself and stand on the cliffs overlooking the wild crashing waves. Exhilirating!
I'll sleep well tonight, delighted with a promise to be taken to Bath in the morning. Where the first of my journey was about fun, adventure, excitement and exploring places unknown, this next part will be focused on rest, relaxation, and peace.