Wednesday, 27 October 2021

Brom goes cultural


On the day of the fish, we went somewhere else in the afternoon. Mara had seen signs for a Saint Patrick Trail and thought: why not follow that? There would probably not be enough time in one afternoon though, so first we went to Downpatrick to see the Saint Patrick Experience.

I knew Saint Patrick was the patron saint of Ireland, but didn't know much else about him. Well, apart from Saint Patrick's Day on March 17th, when the world goes green. But Mara said that didn't really happen when he was alive. She thought. 

And she was right. I learned that Patrick was living in a nice home in England somewhere when he was captured and sold as a slave to Ireland. He possibly already knew about Jesus and God and when he was herding his sheep and pigs while freezing his behind off (bears have it easy), he started praying more and more. 

He eventually escaped back to his family. From there he went to France and trained as a priest or something similar and then he wanted to return to the country where he had had such a bad time. He was not the first missionary to arrive, but he made the most impact. He landed in the area where we were as well and that's why the trail was there. 

We also saw a film that made me a bit seasick, but was very interesting as it showed his life and travels even better. He really made an impact with all the monasteries he helped found. He wasn't the only one though, there were others who were there at the same time or just a bit later. 

Through time his story became a bit of a legend and things that never happened, suddenly happened. Like the snakes that he supposedly cast out of Ireland. There were never any snakes to begin with, but Mara said it was most likely something that was more a metaphore (whatever that is) than anything else. 

And so Patrick died, but his words flow on
from Ireland to Dark Age Europe and Beyond
When we had finished, we asked about the trail and were given a map which showed a very long trail, taking us from Armagh (close to where Gera lives) via Downpatrick to Bangor. We decided it was a bit too long to do and we would only do a few things in and around Downpatrick. But that was for another day, as we were heading home to enjoy our cottage.


  1. Hari OM
    Well, that was most interesting, Brom bear. I knew a little bit of that, but not all of it - like Patrick going to France to study, or that there actually no real snakes. But I am inclined to think that Mara is correct about the metaphor thing... the casting out of demons kind of thing! Hugs and growlies, YAM-aunty xxx

    1. I only knew part of it as well, so it was really informative to read and learn.

  2. Now I know the real story, or the basics, at least.

  3. Thanks for the history lesson about St. Patrick. We too only knew about the day in March when everybody wants to wear green.

  4. Brom you are such a lucky Bear. Just the purrfect size for Mara to tuck you away safely for fun trips and adventures
    Hugs cecilia


Any weighty (and not so weighty) comments are welcome!