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Two weeks ago, Jon and I were in Bray, just south of Dublin, for our friend Laura’s birthday celebration.  It rained like crazy while we took the commuter train down to Bray, and we waited out the last couple minutes of the storm in the train station.  As soon as the rain let up, the sun started shining through the clouds, and Jon and I knew we were in rainbow territory. It only took a minute to find one forming in the sky, in the direction of the beach.  We rushed towards it, hoping to enjoy it before it disappeared.

This was the biggest, brightest rainbow I’ve ever had the chance to see.  We spent the next 15 minutes admiring, snapping photos, and walking along the beach.

The reflection in the puddles was pretty cool.

A stunning look at the Irish sea looking north towards Dublin, and then south towards Bray Head.

More cool reflections.

And shot of us together before the rainbow vanished.

No pot of gold – the rainbow was treasure enough!

On Monday Lauren and I traveled 90 minutes south to Limerick. Lauren had an afternoon interview to do some work with Irish Aid and I tagged along for the fun of it.

Limerick is often portrayed as a gritty, rough place. In his Pulitzer Prize winning book Angela’s Ashes Frank McCourt claims that “in Limerick you are only allowed to say you love God, and babies, and horses that win. Anything else is softness in the head.” In our three short months here, we’ve heard several people refer to Limerick as “stab city” – a crude reference based on the stereotype that Limerick is plagued by violent gang activity.

Six hours isn’t enough to to break down or substantiate existing stereotypes, but we certainly had a nice afternoon and found it to be a lovely city.

We spent the morning at King John’s Castle. Originally built in the 12th century, the castle is Ireland’s most intact medieval stronghold.

As we walked around the castle, I kept wishing the walls could talk. Its absolutely overwhelming to think about how much history is wrapped up in them. Even now, archeologists are excavating part of the grounds where they’ve discovered Viking houses that predate the castle.

Of course, King John himself never visited the castle. But, it was there for him…just in case. Oh monarchy and its rediculous excess…I guess I should give him credit for signing the Magna Carta at least.

After the castle we had a lovely lunch at the Sage Cafe…a lucky find that wasn’t listed in any guide books. If you ever find yourself in Limerick, we highly recommend it.

And a little later, we were greeted by a beautiful rainbow…

Sometimes the rain is worth it.


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