Amazing doors are all around us! As a photographer, I seem to go through “spells” of being interested in one thing or the other. Fall foliage, spring blossoms, mountain vistas, wildlife… all of these are beautiful to me. Barns, butterflies, bumble bees, abandoned houses… all of these are beautiful through the lens. Only when I traveled to Celtic lands did I really begin to fall in love with doors. In those far off ancient places, it was easy to imagine who might have passed through those portals.
Back in the states, I began to look at doors differently. During a recent trip to Cincinnati, I was surprised by the variety of doors on old buildings downtown. Can you tell which one of the three is from a Celtic castle and which were in Cincinnati?
No matter how beautiful a door might be, once we have locked ourselves in behind it, we become in effect prisoners of our own making. While we lock ourselves safely in, we lock the world out. Until we are brave enough to unlock and go one step beyond the door, we never know what awaits us.
Today we headed south of Dublin for the day. We had breakfast in Bray, went to Glendalough Monastic Settlement, drove through Wicklow Gap, on to Powers Court, and then had a farewell dinner in Dublin.
We packed more into this day than I would have thought possible. It also proved to be one of the most significant days of the trip for me because of finally seeing in reality the stone tower I saw in a vision over 30 years ago.
(I choose not to share this whole story again in this blog because I’ve written about it and have a story pending publication regarding the incident.)
My trust is in the Lord who NEVER fails. NEVER.
Wicklow Gap was beautiful.
We are packed up and leaving at 7:00 a.m. in a cab for the airport.
Thank you, Father, for each day of this journey Thank you for the people who shared it together. Thank you for Coty.
Thank you, Lord, that your timing is perfect and your plans beyond our understanding. Your love and goodness toward me are overwhelming.
I love you, Lord. I thank you for Your plans for my life. Help me to be the woman you would have me become… in Jesus’ name.
I was sad to leave Wales, just as I was sad to leave Scotland. We took the ferry back to Ireland. We are in Dublin now. It is an important city, but I prefer the country and the smaller towns and villages.
The ferry ride was not smooth at all, very much different than our crossing over. It was a smaller, older, less luxurious ferry. Still, we make it safely across the miles of the Irish Sea.
Then we went walking in downtown Dublin on its most famous street. I don’t even remember the name. I bought a door knocker (a Celtic cross) and finally found a hat small enough for Alex.
Sandy and I bought sterling silver earrings from a street vendor. he design came from the book of Kells and the symbols stand for “resurrection.”
Dublin is like any other big city. Not my cup of tea. Too expensive. Too many people.
Tomorrow is our last day. As much as I want to see everyone and talk to everyone at home, I am sad this journey is over. At the same time, I am so thankful for this incredible adventure. It would take volumes to tell all that we have seen and done.
Coty did a great job in the plans, preparations, reservations, and balancing of this trip. I can’t imagine anyone doing it any better. I wish we would have had more praise and worship, and more corporate prayer time together. I believe God was in the arrangements from start to finish.
We drove through the southern half of Snowdonia National Park. I feel like I’ve used the word amazing way too often, but there just aren’t words to describe all of the incredible, gorgeous, spectacular, awesome, mind-boggling places we’ve seen.
Snowdonia National par is rocky and barren compared to our mountains in Southeastern Kentucky. There is green stuff growing, but it is flat, not bushy or big trees. I suppose the covering is of grasses, mosses, heather, and a combination of wild plants.
We went to Penrhyn Castle and it was perfect – just as you’d expect a real castle to be. Magnificent. The plaster was made with cow hair mixed in to hold it together. Let me tell you – it took a lot of cow hair to plaster all those walls! The oldest part was built in 1438 and additions made in the 1780s. It was an example of a true medieval castle. We got to go through the most of it and did the roof top tour. It was donated to the National Lands Trust in 1951 by the late Lords neice because she couldn’t keep up the 700,000 acres and pay the death taxes on the estate. She kept about 100,000 acres for her family, sold some, and donated the rest.
We stopped at Aber Falls on the way back. It was spectacularly beautiful. What hasn’t been beautiful out of everything we’ve seen? Absolutely nothing.
Father, thank you for this incredible journey. I’s hard to believe it’s almost over – but time and money are running out and I know You have other plans for each one of us. It’s time to get back to our lives, but maybe we will not go back to the routine we were in before.
Be glorified in each of us. Let us be more Christ-cdntered, more in love with You, and more in tune with the Holy Spirit than ever before.
Bless this land of Wales. Send your Spirit and revival to Ireland, Scotland, England, and Wales. The world comes to them. Let your fire fall in the Celtic lands and spread out from here to all who live in these lands and all who come seeking something here. In Jesus’ name I ask that you release from Heaven revival Fires in all of the Celtic nations.
Thank you, Lord, for sending me and giving me opportunity to pray each day along the way over the land and the people while on their soil.
I love you, Lord!
It has come to mind that we have stood in the halls of the great kings – the High Kings in Ireland, Scotland, England, and Wales.
Surely this is no accident. Teach us what we need to know. Impart to us what we have need of. Teach us your ways.
We have prayed and worshipped across the lands. Can our prayers and our presence have made a difference?
Can our being here have made a difference in the big picture of each nation’s future?
I love You, Lord. I thank you for this amazing blessing in my life. Thank you a thousand times for all I’ve seen and heard, the people I’ve traveled with, the people we’ve met, and for letting me see the beauty of your Creation.
I feel like You and I have walked together in Your garden and it has pleased you that I am so pleased and overwhelmed with the beauty of Your creation. It feels like you have delighted in me as I have delighted in the sights and experiences that have been before me. I feel Your love for me, as an individual, in a greater way than I have ever known. Thank you for sharing Your world with me. I never want to lose the sense of closeness, of friendship, and fellowship that we have had together on this trip.
How could You love me so? How is it that you even know my name? Like David, my heart cries out, “Who is man that you are mindful of him?”
And who am I that You would be mindful of me?
I am overwhelmed in your presence. I love You, Lord.
Coty’s surprise was a drive through Snowdonia National Park and a train ride straight up Snowden mountain to the highest point in Wales.
We stopped in Caernarfon (city) and St. Beuno’s Church. We also made a city stop in Porthmadog and dinner in Blaenau Ffestiniog
I am truly overwhelmed by the beauty of God.
We visited more churches, sang more songs, worshipped in ancient places – and all of it was good.
Wales is amazing. We are staying in a house that is older than the U.S.A. – Leona pointed out. There’s something to think about! And we can see the castle on the hild from the lawn.
There are castles galore in Wales – just like in Ireland, and Scotland. We’ve seen many. We’ve passed signs to twice or three times as many castles as we’ve actually already seen.
Today we stopped in a city, Caernarfon where the town was built up around a HUGE castle. It was crazy. Famers Market in the street outside the castle. City streets in the center of town were originally the streets and roads leading to the castle in ancient times.. The patterns of the rocks are really cool. Some are standing on their side and look like dragon scales. Some are flat. Some are rectangular. and there are patterns in the way the rocks are laying. There are ditches built into the roads in indentations to carry rain or waste away from the castle.
Pendragon symbol is everywhere in Wales. Welch is the common language, but also English. Signs are posted in both languages. Street names, store signs, and road signs. Bathroom signs are a crack up. Bathrooms are really different. Showers are outrageous. Often you have to pull a string to get the water to come on.
Each plug in must be turned on and off with a switch. Washing machines can either just wash or wash and dry. People still hang clothes out on the line to dry or on a drying rack inside.
Lord, Thank you for Wales, for this part of this journey. I hear echoes of the past – prayers, revival, passion all through the land. It feels like the land has been long asleep. Please awaken this land in Jesus’s name.
I love you, Father. I love you, Jesus. I love you, Holy Spirit.
Today’s adventures will include Bodelwyddan Castle & cathedral; lunch at Old Stag Pub, check in at the Drynogydd Cottage, and a stop in the city of Blaneau Ffestiniog
Yes, we are in Wales. I can’t spell anything correctly.
We passed from England to Wales without really seeing enough of the country to form an opinion. I don’t really like cities and Manchester was like a typical large US city. Leaving England by way of Expressway, we really did not get to see any countryside. The land did start to get a little hilly again. Once again I noted that England had a different feel.
We had lunch at the Old Stag Pub and looked around the town a bit, and went in an old church. We saw what is believed to be the oldest living tree in Wales and one of the oldest in the world at over 4,000 years old. It is a yew tree.
Sandy was sick all day, but doing better this evening. Brenda rescued her with some essential oil therapy.
We went back to town for groceries after we checked in at the cottage. Drynogydd.
A Methodist minister, John Jones and his family lived here and the great room was used as a meeting place for church. The family has lived here since the 1600s. The nearby castle has been here since the 1200s – now totally abandoned and in ruins. Castle Drynogydd. We could walk to it from here and can see it sitting up on a hill from some spots in the yard.
This is the most amazing place we’ve stayed – still owned by family descendants. Vast fields, a whitewater brook, stone fences, stone house, slate shingles, kitchen floor, and walkways through the flower garden.
We stopped in a town and had 45 minutes to look around. I got a postcard qual Llanrwst.
Blaneau Ffstiog – was where we went for groceries. There was a slate quarry, slate rocks all around, and no trees.
We had a coal fire in a small stove here in th great room. I can hear it sizzling and popping just like Granddaddy Hensley’s used to do. Peat fires in Ireland do not sizzle, pop, or smoke.
There is a date on a wooden mantle piece that says 1735. The rest are sitting around on phones and other techie stuff while I am writing.
Some parts look like Virginia, some like the Smokies, some like Scotland, and some like Ireland.
We have a surprise in the morning and Coty is excited. That makes it even more of a mystery. Coty says we are leaving by 7:40. He won’t even give us a hint. Coty is a very fine young man.
Lord, as the days are coming to an end soon, I am still loving every day, still enjoying the people, and still so thankful for our journey. Please let Your will be done and Your purpose established in each one of us. Let us be forever changed more and more into the image of Christ.
Let the joy we’ve had here remain with us. Put the words in me to write about when I get home. Please keep our families safe and watch over us through our passage home.
Thank you, Lord. I love you! 🙂
Riverdance was awesome live. It was a beautiful, moving show and the singers, dancers, and musicians were excellent. It kept me on the edge of my seat.
We leave for Wales tomorrow. Coty says we have a surprise…. another surprise, that is. I keep hoping we might get to spend the night in a castle. He said that isn’t it, but his surprises are always the best.
England does not feel like Scotland or Ireland. Everyone has been very nice in each country. It just doesn’t feel the same.
Father, Thank you for this trip. Thank you for the remaining days. Help us get the most out of the time left. Your will be done in all.
I thank you, Lord. 🙂 Thank you for loving me.
Today was our “abbey” day. They were all incredible, but I fear I cannot keep the photos straight because of the similarities. I’ve had some camera issues and SD card issues, so switched out SD cards and not sure I have them labeled correctly
Melrose Abbey was downtown in a village. This is where we met a real Lord in a shop being run by an Englishman. Someone had been rude to the old gentleman Lord and hurt his feelings before we got there. We asked to have our pictures taken with him and he was a very good sport about it. We hope we undid some of the hurt.
There was a shop and flower garden. A lovely Scottish lady showed us the art of flower drying. One method was upside down and air drying. The other was sand drying.
The whole flower is slowly and carefully covered completely beneath sand…. one little brush or pour of sand at a time, until all the flower is covered. It takes between 6 – 10 days to sand dry and 6 days – 6 weeks to air dry upside down.
We went into the garden and I wished for a butterfly in Scotland. One came and landed on a flower as if it responded to my wish. How amazing that EVERYTHING I’ve wished for in Scotland has happened. We haven’t seen a red deer, but maybe we will.
Tomorrow we go to Manchester, England to watch Riverdance. This is our last day in Scotland. 🙁 I love the signs that say, “Haste ye back.”
Father, thank you for all we’ve seen, heard, done, tasted, felt, spoke. I have loved every minute. EVERY minute. Thank you for the lovely gift. Thank You for this time away from regular time.. a stay outside of time. Please take us safely on and home at the end of our journey. Teach us what you’ve have us to know. Your will be done. Your Kingdom come on earth in us, even as it is Your will for us in heaven.
Bless this land, these people. Stir Your Spirit within them. All of the promises, all of the prophecies, all of the plans you have for Scotland, please bring them to pass. I speak by faith release of your plans in this land. I speak victory. I speak blessings over Scotland in Jesus’ name. Release your an gels to carry out Your will. Release Your Spirit to call people to yourself and to move those into position who will hear your voce and act accordingly.
Thank you, Father, for allowing me to be here in this place, in this hour, at this time in history.
I love you, Lord, with all my heart. 🙂