I went to Ireland and it was the most magical place. The people were so nice, the scenery green and breathtaking and the food was perfect for the weather (lamb stew…yum!).
Kelly and I took a very free-spirited approach to this adventure, which made it so much more fun. Our preparations included booking one night in a bed and breakfast and checking out a Rick Steves’ book from the library. Seriously, that was it. Who better to ask what to do than the Irish? So we did just that…asked people we met…”Where should we go tomorrow?” and the answers dictated our travels. We flew in to Cork, and journeyed to Cobh, Tralee, Dingle, and Galway.
Things that surprised me about Ireland:
- I didn’t expect people to be so nice! Everywhere we went, people went out of their way to talk to us, help us, or buy us a pint. I could definitely get used to that!
- While I know that Ireland is synonymous with Guiness/drinking in general, I didn’t anticipate seeing so many drunks. And beyond that, it was shocking to me how people seem to view public drunkenness. In the U.S.A, I would assert that being incoherently drunk in public is not exactly socially acceptable unless it’s your 21st birthday. It appears to be a commonplace occurrence in Ireland and no one really feels compelled to say anything if a drunken man you don’t know decides to sit down next to at dinner and shut his eyes (not that that happened to us or anything…).
- Also on the subject of drinking, I tried my first Guiness with black currant juice and it was delicious!
Something that I’m learning after each trip I take and each day I live in Spain is that it’s very difficult to re-count an experience in as glorious a fashion as it happened in real life. Not to discredit the value of writing, but sometimes the beauty of time spent with people or in a place (beautiful or otherwise) is best kept in your heart and in your brain because it may not be described as wonderfully with words. Ireland is on the top of my list of places visited, but it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly why. The company (Kelly), the new friends (many…Irish and otherwise), or the familiarity of an English speaking country could have all played a role in my love affair with Ireland, but more than anything it was a feeling of contentedness. When I got back to Spain, it seemed pale incomparison and part of me is hoping for another chance to go back for a more extended period of time. WWOOF? Working at a B&B? Kelly and I started plotting…but who knows.
More photos to come.