I exhale slowly as I stroll around the Garden of Remembrance. I have just arrived in Dublin, Ireland and this is the first chance I have had to breathe. Dublin is my first stop on my backpacking journey. I’m nervous! I’m estatic!
When I landed in Dublin Airport I realized I was not quite sure where I was going. I made my way outside the airport and found a bus that seemed to be going into the center. I got on. Staring out the window I watched as the nothingness transformed into the built up, bustling city. Although I couldn’t be sure of my exact stop, my gut told me that I had arrived in the heart of Dublin. After settling in at my hostel, I decided to take a free walking tour.
Photo Taken By Jill Crotty
A few others and my guide found ourselves in The Garden of Remembrance, a site to honor all those who have given their lives fighting for Irish Independence. It is a serene place with lovely yellow tulips and a large tiled cross filled with water. Our tour guide tells us the history of the place as we walk. The statue of children clustered among stone swans catches my eye.
The statue tells the story of a man named Lir who married a beautiful women named Aoibh. Together they had four children. Unfortunately Aoibh died suddenly of illness. The king of Ireland wished to keep the powerful Lir appeased and gave him another wife, Aoife. Aoife was terribly jealous of the children. She intended to kill them, but she couldn’t do it. Instead she turned the children into swans.
Oddly just after the tour I spot four pure white swans basking in the Irish sun. I can’t help thinking that they are watching over me as I begin my travels.