|Not long after arriving in Ireland.|
|A view from the top of|
"Is it a big ring? You fell off a table while Lester rode around the ring of kerry. You and I stayed at a caravan park. You were about 10 weeks old."
Imagine my surprise to learn that I had, in fact, visited Ireland before! Sure, I was only 10 weeks old at the time, but still, it counts!! Right? ;) Oh, and Lester's my Dad in case anybody wondered. Anyway, let's get back on track. During my Blog O'Hop post, I mentioned the following expectations that I had of Ireland:
What am I expecting of Ireland?
|Blarney Castle gardens.|
- Cold(er) weather
- Lush green landscapes
- Possibly some depressing dinginess, but also cool medieval-ness
- A lot of old history
- Groovy little old Irish pubs with hot stew...and potatoes.
And I can say that, for the most part, I got what I was expecting. But let me break it down for ya:
|I did get a bit of mist,|
which made me happy.
|The Cliffs of Moher.|
I didn't get the sort of cold weather I was hoping for, and yet it was perfect weather for sightseeing. We were some of the lucky few who saw the Cliffs of Moher without mist obscuring the beautiful views. We had blue skies and hardly any mist most of the time, and while I personally adore a dark, misty landscape, I was still thankful that I could actually see the stuff I'd come to see. I was disappointed by all the overbearing central heating, but not surprised. It's a chronic fault of countries in the colder northern climes, I find. ;)
|This is my kind of scenery!|
Depressing dinginess & cool medieval-ness
I didn't really see much of the dinginess, which I suppose is a good thing! ;) I guess the most depressing part was various monuments to the awful history, i.e. the Potato Famine and the like. Speaking of that, I once read a great book called STAR OF THE SEA by Dublin-born Joseph O'Connor, which while it was pretty tragic, was also a great read. As for cool medieval-ness, yep, saw that. I will talk more about it lower down, when I mention Blarney. :)
|I also sampled a fair few wines...|
mostly Chilean. The rest were
Well, yes, I found a lot of Guinness, but I only had one pint of the stuff! I actually found that my favourite Irish beverage was Kilkenny, similar to Guiness but with much more creamy goodness. Yep, I'm a Kilkenny konvert!
Of course there was a lot of this, and probably my favourite example of it was our visit to Blarney, and more importantly the castle that resides there! It was an amazing experience, climbing those tiny stairwells and imagining people of hundreds of years earlier doing the same thing.
Irish pubs, stew, potatoes
There wasn't really much stew that I saw, but there was soup...and we ate a lot of soup. There were also potatoes left, right and centre. As for pubs, oh yes, there were plenty of great pubs. Mostly though, we stuck to the bars at the hotels because we were too exhausted from the gruelling tour schedule to wander too far out.
|Hunting for Phil Lynnot's grave.|
|Walking back down Blarney Castle.|
See my silver Doc Martens?
|Some place I can't remember...|
There were things I saw and did that I hadn't planned on. They included a visit to the Trinity College Library (my friend and I, both being librarians, got a little bit giddy as we stepped inside that mammoth vault of history), a trek out to the site of Phil Lynnott's grave, and an awe-inspiring walk up the Blarney Castle (I didn't kiss the stone; too worried about who else might've kissed it. haha). All in all, my favourite place in Ireland was Blarney, but there was a lot of amazing stuff to see in that country. Someday I wouldn't mind going back and doing things properly, i.e. by driving myself around!
I hope you enjoyed my revisiting of the Irish experience, and that if you haven't visited yourself yet, you get to someday soon!