Spring Break 1999:
The Van Dammes endure yet another European Vacation

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Thursday April 15 we (MM, Jim and Kateri) left for London, but we only got as far as Newark, NJ for the night, thanks to Continental Airlines. This messed up our first day, which was supposed to be at the Sellers' place. We spent the next night riding (and sleeping) on Brit Rail, and hanging out in freezing terminals with various wierdos and drunken Scots. 

Finally we got to Wakefield (way up North, in Yorkshire) and were treated to a concert by Leona.  

Then we watched  John  try to figure out what to do with a Turkey Joint, a hard-candy wrapped chocolate made exclusively in Rome, NY. 


We  left for the railway station in John's Rolls Royce. We had to push it in reverse, and you know how much one of those things weighs. 

Brit Rail

We went to Edinburgh and saw the castle  and Arthur's Seat (an extinct volcano), and saw the other side of Earl Haig's statue. Marieke already took a picture of the horse's bum in March. Naturally we had to sample the local brew - "Can I have some, Dad?"  - then took the ferry to Ireland.

It's not Belgian beer, but it isn't bad, really

We only got to see a wee bit of the isle, but it was pretty, even though it was mostly rainy. 

Powerscourt Falls (that's Kateri at the bottom)
The cemetery at St. Kevin's Monastery
Glendalough which you can't pronounce right
valleys of hawthorn in bloom
Horny Critters
Well, to see the real Ireland you need a guide, so we brought Maura Magee, who we met when she visited Rome years ago.
We went to Tara,  a fortress since the stone age. The funny rock is where the chieftains were crowned. There the weather was its most fickle, raining and sunny within a few minutes.
We put Kateri on the altar at  Newgrange,  a burial chamber older than the pyramids. The background of this page is one of the 5000 year old stone carvings there.

Back in England, we took the Tube The London subway (The Tube)all over. 

Kateri posed outside the Globe Theatre
....and watched rehearsals inside.
Mary Margaret straddled the Prime Meridian at Greenwich
Finally, we got to visit Marieke at Essex University (our supposed reason for going in the first place).