“If winter comes, can spring be far behind?”
Percy Bysshe Shelley, Ode to the West Wind
A Wandering Widow Post
Sometimes you have to connect with your inner warrior queen to remind yourself that you are a lot stronger than you think. And you can have a lot of fun in the process. Weapons? Armor? Sign me up.
One of the things I have enjoyed most about my adventure is the friendships I’ve made. And you wouldn’t believe the bonding you can do over sword fighting and archery. My new friends are big Game of Thrones fans. I’ve never seen a single episode, but when they put out a call on an online Ireland travel group asking for people to join them on a private tour of Winterfell, I happily accepted. Hey, winter was coming. It was in the middle of my two weeks of grief milestones, so I figured it was as good a distraction as any. Wow, I lucked out, both with the company and the adventure.
Despite a late night with the Belfast Giants the night before, we met up at Oh My God O’clock one morning and headed out to Winterfell, about an hour outside of Belfast. Will, our amazing guide and weaponry coach, shared his vast knowledge of local history and GoT details. He was instrumental in getting GoT to choose the site for filming, and his stories were priceless. It was enough to convince me to think about giving the show a try.
After lunch, Will took us out to see the historic sights in the area associated with St. Patrick. As the only non-GoT peep in the group, this was my favorite historical part. St. Patrick is famous for ridding Ireland of snakes (bonus points to Ireland in my hunt for a place to settle), but is also credited for bringing Christianity to Ireland. If you read my post from my first trip to Belfast, I over simplified The Troubles as being between Catholics and Protestants. There was a helluva lot more to it than that, but what I found fascinating is that both sides claim St. Patrick. The kicker is that St. Patrick brought Christianity to Ireland sometime between 432-460, well BEFORE the two churches arrived on the island. (Please don’t message me about The Troubles. I am an outsider and have no opinion about it other than I hope like hell my country isn’t about to repeat the same thing).
We had a memorable day that included history and Hollywood. If a person like me, who has never seen an episode, can have this much fun, you GoT peeps have to give this place your full attention. You can actually get lodging onsite, so be sure to ask about it when you book your visit. And since you know my rule about life being too short for anything but the best, make sure you get Will as your guide. You can thank me later.
The Wandering Widow
Live Now. Dream Big. Love Fierce.
Click here to view my photos of Winterfell, St. Patrick’s Church and Inch Abby.
And if you need something for your Winterfell playlist, check out Winter Is Coming by Boise band The Sky Burns Brighter.