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The Rower and Other Important Place Names in Ireland

It’s become a ritual. The first time we drive through The Rower, everyone speculates on the origin of the name. From a nearby viewpoint you can see River Barrow where we row, but The Rower is too high on Brandon Hill for water to flow through it.  A little research tells us that...

Rivers with a Gender

This week we are announcing rowing trips on three different rivers in Europe: Neva in Russia, Dordogne in France and Mosel in Germany. English nouns are neutral but in French, German and Russian, nouns are generally feminine or masculine. In their native languages, some of our...

Rowing in St. Petersburg is Neva Boring

Zdravstvuyte. You will impress when in St. Petersburg by learning this one word only. This link takes you to an entire article on how to say hello in Russian. Thank you is spasibo. Or, you could just greet everyone with the far easier gresti?, which means row, and meet some new...

The Vocabulary of Water

Recently I finished reading “The Old Ways” by Robert MacFarlane.  It is a beautifully written book about journeys on foot, illuminating his love for paths and landscape. He also talks about the paths of the sea. At the end of the book is a glossary of some of the more esoteric...