Living in a Hostile, whoops, Hostel Environment

Thanks to Laura for this great post name. Now that that’s out of the way I can get the rest of this out of the way.

Last Thursday we arrived at the Barn and we spent three nights up in Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland is beautiful but so FRIGGIN expensive. Anyway, Friday we went to a cute sea-side school to perform the children’s show and then Lou, Laura, Austin and I went to the Giant’s Causeway. I am SO happy that we decided to go.

Rathlin Island

It was as if being at the sea was enough to replenish the soul. The stones are massive and beautiful and it gave us all a nice break away from the tour. We got to spend time alone. Each of us went our own ways when we got there but eventually all met up again. I do believe it says something that even after a long time together four people who all part ways will come back together if they really want to.

On the way back into town we stopped at a trad music night and BBQ but this was not your usual Traditional musical night at an Irish pub. The BBQ was..not great but the music was amazing. It was in the small coastal town of Cushendall. All of the local musicians from the area gathered here to eat and to get into jam-band like circles. There were some amazing songs being played. One person would  with a tin whistle and within a few minutes there would be a banjo, guitar, drum, violin and accordion all playing along to the same tune, maybe not the same song but the same tune, to be sure. It was a truly magical night in a really magical pub.

Saturday we went to Rathlin Island to the north on a ferry! I love ferries, my favorite part of being up in Seattle was going to Bainbridge Island on the ferries. Once we got there we rented bikes from the one hostel on the island (full-time population 100) and headed to see the Puffin birds.

Cute Puffin

There are only about 700 puffins on the Island but the Royal National Trust does an particularly lovely job of making sure that ever visitor feels like they have gotten to see what they came for. There were telescopes to see the birds, docents to explain it all and a nice little visitor center. (Did you know that Puffins burrow into the ground to make their nests?! I didn’t, thanks National Trust)

Lou chose to walk while the rest of us biked and biked all over the island. We saw Puffins and seals and ship-wrecks and light houses. It was a very small island, so inthe 8 hours that we were there we managed to see most everything and have the best fish we have gotten onthe trip. We went to the little chip-shop (see also: chip truck) and got mackeral that had just been fished from the sea that morning. It was amazing to think about eating something that had been swimming just a few hours before.

Our Ferry for the day

We were all sooo very tired when we got home but we cleaned up, made dinner and headed to Liz’s story time as part of our stay at the Barn. The Barn is not just a hostel, it’s similar to an artists commune.

Everyone there is encouranged to not just stay there, but to share their gifts while they stay, thus the hostess, Liz has a story tellers evening every Saturday night where anyone can tell stories, sing songs, play an instrument…. and that’s all I have time for right now, I’m so sleepy and we’re teching the shows in the morining. G’night.


2 thoughts on “Living in a Hostile, whoops, Hostel Environment

  1. I try to see what you’re seeing and smell what you’re smelling and taste what you’re tasting and your descriptions help so much. I have always wanted to go to Giant’s Causway and I imagined myself sitting on the rocks with you, smelling the sea right there with you. I can’t believe that, for a landlocked girl all my life, I love the sea and it’s allure so much. I’m like the dog that chases car wheels, I love it but fear it and wouldn’t know what to do if someday, I had to be caught in it….. I hope you shared your beautiful voice with these lucky Irishmen. I hope Austin did the same with his amazing voice.. love to all, once again. mama flynn

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