Wednesday, September 25, 2013

I'm a Little Slow...

A Snail on The Burren
A week ago today I returned from a week long trip to Ireland - "on holiday," as it is properly referred to.  I have over 700 photos to go through, and have been dragging my feet on posting about it due to that large number - but have no worries, because I DO intend to post about it - probably more than once because we had so many lovely experiences!

The Narrow Roads

What follows is a brief overview of where we were at, because we only visited a small part of the country, and places are different.  We flew into Shannon (at 7a.m. with about 2 hours of airplane sleep from a transatlantic flight), and hit the ground running by renting a small manual car.  (Here's some free advice: the smaller the car, the better - better yet, get an automatic next time, and buy all the extra insurance they offer - because you WILL drive too close to a hedge!)

Cliffs of Moher...trust me, they are there!


Then we drove to the Cliffs of Moher along with the other 299 people from the plane (ok, not really).  By the way, I have no idea how they get those shots that you see in the travel brochures and online of actual cliffs; we were told that they look like this most of the time.

We pretty much kept to the Atlantic Coast and traveled The Burren, Lough Corrib and Achnanure Castle in Oughterard; Connemara National Park (where we hiked to the top of Diamond Hill, or Ben Gooria), drove the road that goes around Killary Fjord, through Doolough Pass and the Famine Walk Memorial, then north along the coast to Westport.  Our furthest point north was on Achill Island, where we experienced the most beautiful sunny weather and surely what was the loveliest day of our trip!

Big Happy Sigh on Achill Island, Co. Mayo
Our last couple of days we traveled back down to the south, as we wanted to "Do the Dingle" - yes, that's really how they refer to it.  The raw power and majesty of the Atlantic at every stop around the peninsula continues to stir my soul just thinking about it. An unexpected tour of the Blasket Museum was an added bonus.

So I will keep this one on the short side - to whet your appetite, as it were, and urge you to keep your eyes open for future posts.  Without revealing all, I can tell you this much of what I discovered on my trip:

People can tell you things about Ireland until they are blue in the face, but some things you just have to experience yourself.  Like the narrow streets.  Like the Irish phrase "The Little People." (I think they are referring to the stature/size of those who will fit in the showers and beds in the B&B facilities!)  I love the fact that they don't use box springs on the beds - just a bed platform of some sort.  And they never skimp on the thickness of their toilet paper. And that all the public restrooms have doors that lock.  And air blowers for drying your hands.  A very green country in more ways than one - the Irish are surely some of the most accommodating people in the world!

Stay tuned...