Monday, March 14, 2011

Sharing a wee bit of Ireland

I recently took a trip to Kenmare, Ireland and thought I would share thr trip with you. I'm going to share the pain, the fun, and the images of where I went and what I did. Stay tuned for more to come!

Day 1 Ireland

After a very long trip and no sleep, I arrived at the Cork airport a little late with snow coming down. SNOW!

Nothing like New England snow, more like a drizzle of snowflakes. By the time I got into my rental car the weather had turned to a sunny rain. As I drove almost two hours to Kenmare on the left side of the road the first thing I noticed were the Daffodils popping up in giant patches of yellow along the road. These weren’t in someone’s yard. They were on the side of the road. It looked like spring everywhere.

Everything was going along smoothly until I had to drive through some tiny town where the two-lane road really should have been a one-lane road when cars are parked on both sides.

Here is where my passenger-side mirror slammed against a parked car’s mirror. It wasn’t until I had the living crap scared out of me that I noticed that most parked cars turned their mirrors inward. Apparently, for just such incidents. Good to know.

Oh! And just because a road looks only narrow enough to fit one car going one way, don't believe that's how the Irish use their roadways. As I drove down the narrow, one-lane road that led to the stone cottage, I practically ran headlong into another car coming at me. Holy cow! Talk about give a girl a heart attack.

Lucky for me the young man that almost took me out took pity on me and backed his car up until he found someone's drive and pulled in so I could pass. Yes, this is a regular occurrence on many of the roads in Ireland. At least where I have been so far.

Note to self and anyone else every traveling to Ireland...rent the smallest car you can possibly get. Think mini-Cooper or clown car.

Here is a picture of the stone cottage's front door. Notice the green paint color. Almost every door in Ireland is painted a different color than the surrounding neighbors.

I arrived at the cottage at 2 PM Ireland time and waited for the caretaker to show. The caretaker, a very nice gentleman by the name of Raymond, brought some daffodils with him to put in a glass and set them on the dining room table that overlooks the bay.

Raymond gave me instructions on how to turn things on and off. I had to flip a switch to use an outlet or turn the stove or microwave on. Interesting.

The cottage wasn’t as quaint and cozy as what I had hoped, but the view was fantastic. Water, birds, mountains. Breathtaking!

I made it into town, found my first pub called O'Donnabhains and had my first Guinness with Irish Stew. The Guinness wasn’t bad…This coming from a girl who is very fond of IPAs. The stew was excellent and too filling. Unlike our stews where everything is cut up into tiny bites, this place served it with half potatoes in the center, big slices of carrots, and chunks of meat that fell apart at the touch. Yummy!

After my walk and brief tour of Kenmare, I returned to the cottage my first night, curled up under a blanket in the living area with the gas fire in the fireplace going and read until my eyes and my body finally gave out. I am too old to stay awake for 48 hours, but not too old to enjoy doing it.

I hope you'll stop in tomorrow for more pictures and tales of my trip to a beautiful country with friendly people.

2 comments:

Emma Leigh March 20, 2011 at 8:21 AM  

Thanks for sharing, Denise. Can't wait to read more about your trip and see pictures.

Cathy March 20, 2011 at 9:18 AM  

Wow it sounds amazing! Can't wait to hear more! Happy you had a good time, glad u r home safe!

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