Top of the morning to ya! Nobody says that in Ireland. However, everyone is ridiculously friendly. We looked it up and Ireland is actually one of the most friendly towards tourists nations in the world! So is Kazakhstan. Go figure. I’ve been to Ireland once, to visit my uncle who was working there at the time. I only got a day and all I remember is walking around in a park. Needless to say, I didn’t get a strong impression. That, in retrospect, was not a bad thing because this time I received a tremendously pleasant surprise at how lovely the country really is.
Our accommodation was about half an hour from the center of Dublin. We stayed with a sweet bohemian woman who strongly reminded us of Phoebe from friends. A short walk from the house was our bus stop, called “Galloping Green”. Seriously, how much cuter can it get? Once in the center, we had ourselves a hearty meal of shepherds pie and beef stew respectively. There isn’t much to distinguish Irish food from other cuisines save for the fact that it is extremely hearty. American food is grease. Irish food is gravy. It was delicious and filling, perfect to go along with our Guinness. The rest of this first day was spent walking around the center, going into little shops, and bar-hopping. The St Patrick’s day celebration was already in full swing even though the actual date only passed this Tuesday. We certainly weren’t complaining! I will say that most of the population we ran into was American. I don’t know why I didn’t expect this but it was still strange.
The second day we set out to hit a couple of key locations. The first thing on our list was a fair going on in town. We were expecting a market with vintage things for sale. Instead we found a carnival ride fair, again no complaints on our part whatsoever. I’m sure the families filming the merry-go-round will enjoy seeing our smiling faces in their home videos. We rode a couple of other attractions and then decided to venture forward to a more age-appropriate activity, namely the Guinness Brewery. This is basically a museum filled with the history and background of Guinness…and everyone walks around with glasses of beer. You can get a birds-eye view of the city from the top floor, walk through the exhibits and learn various fun facts about the Irish beer. The day ended in yet another pub after which we called it an early night and headed home.
Waking at the reasonable hour of 6am, we headed into town to catch our tour bus for the Cliffs of Moher. If you do anything in Ireland, you have to visit this beautiful landmark. Apparently it isn’t great if the weather is foggy but we lucked out with bright sunshine! The cliffs go right up to the Atlantic Ocean, which was obscenely blue, and sometimes you can catch a glimpse of marine life. There is many an opportunity for photo album worthy pictures. It may be one of the prettiest natural places I’ve been to date and completely reinforced my belief that I now have to live in Ireland at some point. Right after Italy. Kimmy (my lovely sister) has already agreed to come along. We finished off the long day of busing in Galway, a cute “hippie” town known for its flair with food. We did indeed have a meal of fish and chips and water. Water in Ireland (unlike Belgium) is free and we weren’t up to beer again just quite yet.
To finish off let me just gush a little more about Ireland. The people are so nice, and you never want them to stop talking. The food is amazing and inoffensive to even the pickiest of eaters. The countryside is lacking in nothing and the cities and bustling with life. I am thoroughly impressed. I don’t think Italy’s spot in my heart has been replaced, but there is a new close contender. I’ll be back soon Ireland, don’t you fret.