Sometimes the best trips are to what some might think of as nowhere. No famous buildings, no historic spots, no famous former denizens or kings. And that's what today's piece is about: a kilometer or so of walking down a country lane in Ireland.
Of course, it's not really nowhere: No place is nowhere to those who live there, even if they don't think much about it. It is a piece of ordinary experience, the plain stuff of life that makes the unusual so extraordinary by comparison. In that sense, where we are is everywhere, somewhere and nowhere all in one.
And, Professor Abe, George G and Lisa Sheets all sorted where it was!
We came to the lane by a string of circumstances. As we often do, we had scheduled a food walking tour in Dublin early in our trip; one of the stops was at a Dublin outlet for a country cheesemaker, Sheridan's. The shop had a poster advertising a Farm Food Fair near their headquarters, an hour or so from Dublin. And we had a free Sunday.
And that's how we happened to be dropped off at a bus stop officially labeled "White Gate Cross (opp Filling Station)," which was right at the head of the lane. That's an Irish Setter on the bus, by the way, not a greyhound! Our first stop, of course, was to have a look at the shop and use its facilities and top up a water bottle.
It's the only shop for quite a ways around, and meets many needs, including what I'd never seen before: bricks of peat to burn for heat. We later passed a cottage where they were being burned; I now know what it's like and could not imagine living in a small room full of its not-unpleasant but thick aroma.
If I seem to repeat pictures along the walk, it's not that I can't tell them apart; it's that I can, and each has something to say, better than I can and perhaps beyond the ability of the image as well. As we walked (the map told us later) from County Cavan into County Meath) I found my nose as well as my eyes directing my attention; I really believe countryside smells vary more than I notice in cities.
And a spectacular mushroom, not known to us.
A bit past the half-way mark (though we didn't know it was) we came to a small bridge across a small river. I know their names now, from Google Maps; this is where the Edenburt Road crosses O'Daly's bridge, with the River Blackwater flowing beneath.
I'd almost be willing to bet that locally, the road crosses the river on the bridge; so singular as to need no names up close. A bit further along, we came to a roadside shrine, with an inscription in Gaelic uncial characters.