Victorian Gothic in Rugby

At the suggestion of several friends I visited Historic Rugby, Tennessee to find out what is so special about the tiny village. Rugby was dreamed up as a religious cooperative Utopia in 1880 for England’s wealthy, idle younger sons who pitifully did not inherit the fortunes of their elder brothers and were too proud to…

Secret City of Bombs and Mud

I moved to Oak Ridge, Tennessee when I was 19. It was an unfortunate time because the industrial plants and historical sites were not yet open to the public for touring. The mall was wheezing its last breath, the used books/music store was going under, and hardly any of the places you can find entertainment…

Onward Clarevoyage, to the Burren!

  Ireland’s west coast forms a crescent shaped bay around the Aran Islands, and this was our route from Letterfrack through Galway, and down to Bell Harbour / Bealaclugga, right to the heart of the Burren. What Irish radio lacks, we made up for by singing our favourite songs at the top of our lungs.…

Lazy Day at Kylemore Abbey

Wealthy British doctor-turned-politician Mitchel Henry built the Kylemore Castle in the heart of Connemara in the late 1800s, and for that time it was mindbogglingly futuristic. Henry had married the love of his life, Margaret, and they had several children. Shortly after the castle was finished, the family went on a vacation to Egypt where Margaret caught…

Science, Giants, and Geology

  The highlight of our tour of Northern Ireland was visiting the World Heritage site, Giant’s Causeway. The Causeway earned this honour back in 1986, the same year the Visitor Center opened, and is one of top four greatest natural wonders of the United Kingdom.   Take a 15-minute leisurely walk through the hills before…

Béal Feirste; On a Quiet Street Where Old Ghosts Meet

Belfast took its name after the Irish phrase Béal Feirste, loosely meaning the mouth of the river at the sandbanks, and has been the capital of Northern Ireland since the late 1800s. A leading city back in the Industrial Revolution and in textile manufacturing, as well as a great contributor to science and technology, Belfast graciously remains less…