I've always thought that someday it would be fun to visit Ireland, so when my daughter, Trizia, asked if I'd like to go with her, I said "Sure."
We had an awesome trip.
However . . . driving in Ireland is quite an obstacle. And it's not that they drive on the left side of the street and the steering wheel is on the right side of the car that was difficult. No. The real challenges were understanding their road signs and getting use to roundabouts.
Here's Trizia as she drove away from the Dan Dooley's Car Rentals.
See how she's gritting her teeth and both hands are white-knuckled. I wasn't much help. I was supposed to be the navigator. It was a little hard when most street signs were on buildings or the name of the street changed without warning OR the roundabout pointed in one direction, but actually meant for you to turn down the second exit.
We soon learned that when we became lost to pull into a gas station and ask for directions. I must say the Irish were very kind and patient with us foreigners.
We saw many castles. Here are three of the most famous ones that we saw.
|King John's Castle|
At Killarney we took the Ring of Kerry bus tour. Our driver's name was John.
He spoke with an Irish brogue and told us all sorts of delightful tales.Trizia asked his secret for driving a bus on those small Irish roads. He said, "What ye do when ye see an oncoming car is close yer eyes. That's what I do. Works every time." Of course, everyone laughed. She remembered his tip and for the rest of our trip every time she'd hear me gasp as a huge vehicle came our way, she'd say, "Close yer eyes."
John was nice enough to take a picture of Trizia and me.
|My hair looks wild, but in my defense the wind was blowing.|
On St. Patrick's Day we decided to drive down to see the Cliffs of Moher. On our way we saw the two million-year-old Aillwee Cave...
visited the Poulnabrone Dolmen the portal tomb in the Burren...
and saw the breath-taking Cliffs of Moher.
Oh, I forgot to tell you that one day we stopped at the Blarney Castle, and I even kissed the Blarney Stone.
|Yes, you have to lie on your back while a fellow holds you. You then bend over, take hold of two poles, and put your head way back so you can kiss the stone. But kissing the stone is supposed to give you creativity. So, yes, I kissed it.|
Our last day was spent in Dublin, and what a day it was.
We saw St. Patrick's Cathedral...
walked through Christ Church...
saw the Book of Kells...
|They don't allow pictures taken. I got this from photobucket.|
The last night in Ireland we took a ride on the Grave Digger Ghost Bus Tour of Dublin.
|Our spooky guide.|
drank pus from the River Liffey (it really wasn't pus, but I didn't take a picture), and had a night full of scary stories.
Here's Trizia driving at the end of our trip.
She looks more confident, doesn't she?
I haven't told you everything we saw and did. I forgot to tell you we visited the Waterford Crystal factory (The battery in my new camera needed to be recharged, so I didn't get pictures. Lucky you.)
We had the most wonderful time. But I was very glad to return home. Would I go again? Oh, yes. And don't be surprised if one of my future books is set in beautiful, magical Ireland.
Have you been to Ireland? Did you drive? Did you see some of the castles? Cathedrals? Or other historic landmarks? What did you find most remarkable? Would you go back?