Over time I have learned not to trust my memory. I keep a diary. This turned out to be an invaluable tool as I began to sell travel articles, but every time I remembered a great travel experience and went back to review the actual occurrence, it was always different. All of this recent recalling of what cities and countries to return and not return to has made me remember some past events that were especially memorable at the time.
For example, I became focused on the time Ruth and I met my cousins in Ireland. On our first complete day together in Dublin, we saw the Book of Kells at Trinity College and considered sprinkling a few of their mother’s and my aunt’s ashes under a tree in a church garden next door to St. Patrick’s Cathedral to keep a promise. We were all shocked to find that there was a charge to see this cathedral.
We went to Howth for dinner. Howth, which rhymes with both, is a scenic fishing village about 8 miles from Dublin’s Center. It was easily accessible and cheap to go there. After we dined in a fun waterfront restaurant, we stepped outside to find a storm brewing. It rained but not for long, and it was now early evening. The sun came out and a rainbow appeared. The light was sensational, so I began snapping photos of the boats in the harbor. Later, I judged a couple of them to be about the best photos I had ever taken. I just reviewed them to find that they are ordinary.
We walked around Howth and the yacht-filled harbor and talked to some of the villagers. They told us that their town had become something of a residential suburb for Dublin. They told us the best views of Howth were from the hill above it. We climbed it to see what they were talking about. They were right. We went back to Dublin.
I had found Howth charming and began doing research. It was originally a Viking settlement. By the 18th century it had become the main harbor for Dublin and was filled with boats from England. As was typical, the harbor began silting up and Dun Laoghaire became Dublin’s main port facility. Howth went to sleep and reawakened as a quaint fishing village, as did Malahide. I only wrote in my diary that Howth was delightful. That opinion has not changed.