The last time I went to Ireland was in 1977 and it was with three other teachers. We rented a car and drove all over the place and being young and fearless (foolish) didn’t worry too much about driving on the opposite side of these narrow roads with stone walls on either side. And yes, we did scrape the side once or twice. If I remember correctly, the car rental agency just shrugged and told is all tourists did that.
This time we decided to play it safe. CIE Tours has been marvelous. Yes, it’s nice to be able to take side routes, stay longer if you’re interested and get on the road if you’re not, make plans depending on the weather and find cute little bed and breakfasts in tiny villages. But the benefits have far outweighed the negatives. We’ve seen so much and had so little to worry about (except what time our driver told us to be back at the bus) and which pub to pick for lunch each day
Yesterday was another stunning day that didn’t rain. We wandered around Killarney for awhile in the morning. I’m not a shopper but I still love poking around tourist traps and gorgeous sweater shops.
We did a “jaunting tour” through Killarney National Park, poked around the sweet little town of Adare and toured King John’s Castle in Limerick. The sculpture you see below was untitled. I called it ”teacher at the end of the first day of school.”
We got a healthy dose of early Irish history but I’m still not clear on when Ireland became a free, independent country. I told you it was 1922 but Erin says they only got Home Rule then(can’t remember exactly what that means) and they didn’t become a sovereign country until 1946. She should know. She’s more Irish than the Irish. Her kids think St. Patrick’s day is a bigger holiday than Christmas.
Last night was a medieval banquet at Bunratty Castle. Delightful. We ate everything with our “stabbing thing” (knife) except the soup. We drank the soup straight from the bowl
Today was our first cold, rainy day. Today was the first day that fit my picture of what I thought the trip would be like. It was chilly (I had my quilted jacket, Trevina) and it rained off and on. We got out of the bus at the Cliffs of Moher and it was raining. Put on our blue ponchos (ak trash bags) and headed for the bathroom before we climbed the hill to get a good look of the cliffs. Came out of the bathroom and rain had stopped. Wandered around, took ten thousand pictures of the cliffs with and without pictures of us and it started to rain about the time we headed back to the bus.
Enough. We toured Galway City, had lunch and wandered around. Then it REALLY started to rain. It didn’t matter. We were done wandering for the day.
Tomorrow we’re heading to Shannon Airport to pick up a car and head back toward Killarney (Glengarriff, actually) for a wedding. Not looking forward to the drive but can’t wait to see good friends and celebrate my godson’s marriage to wonderful girl.
Love to all…