Baile Átha Troim, Leinster, Ireland at 10:52pm IST.See the trip: Sarah & Jessa Take On Ireland
Urgh... Internet service has been shady. There are definitely some luxuries worth coming home to!! Like access to my 3G network.
I'm mad because my last text post didn't post. And it takes time and energy to write when I'm tired and sometimes mildly intoxicated.
So... To try to keep it short: the last you heard I was in Killybegs Co. Donegal. We ended up only staying one night there and heading though into northern Ireland. We stayed 2 nights in the cute sea side town of Ballycastle while we toured all the important sights of the Antrim coast - which is apparently one of the most beautiful in the world (#5 to be specific). It was picturesque as you can see by the photos. The giants causeway was especially spectacular with the oddity of its geometric perfection (sorry for the odd descriptions- I'm tired and mildly intoxicated!)
We had an interesting mishap when trying to do a short walk/hike along the coast in that we ended up held up by a landslide and a good two hours walk from our car. The bonus was we found a nice old man by the water and visited the smallest church in Ireland - which was once the smallest in the world and a guinness world record holder.
We drove quickly through Belfast - the traffic was intimidating after so much time in the country. We did stop at the brand new titanic museum though and might have been the youngest people there. And the most polite! If we were in Belfast Longer I think we would have liked it, the city was really nice.
We stayed one night in a town called Newcastle. It was an experience. Let's just say there were signs warning us about the 'elderly' crossing. Otherwise it felt deserted. But we had a room with an ocean view.
And before we knew it we had left northern Ireland! We drove all the way down to Trim in Co. Meath where we had a couple things still on our list of things to see. Yesterday we got to town early found a great little B&B and then toured Trim castle which is in the middle of town. It, unlike every other castle we've seen, still had some parts standing and we were able to tour inside and all the way up to the roof. Pretty cool.
Today, our last day in Ireland, we went to one of Ireland's most historic sites: Bru na Boine or Newgrange/Knowth which are world heritage sites that are 5000 years old and contain the largest collection of Neolithic art in the world. And apparently 60% of all Neolithic art in Europe? That's what they said! It was really Neat to see but cold.
Tomorrow we drive Lanigan (the car) and Valerie (the GPS) back to the airport and sadly depart back to Canada where we can thaw out and recuperate from our tiring travels! But with lots of great memories and even more photos.
We left our beautiful little hideaway in Dingle for the big city of Galway. We arrive the first night late an exhausted so sleep was our main priority. The next day we walked around town and did a little shopping. The weather did everything within an hour: rain, sun, hail... And then did it all over again. But the sun finally won out and we took to the road to explore Connemara.
W stopped in the tiny town of Spiddle to find my first geocache in Ireland!! Well, technically Jessa found it. But it was great fun for me!!
We drove the short and narrow Sky Road on the far coast to see the amazing views of the atlantic. Was definitely worth it. Then stopped at Kylemore abbey for a tour of the abbey that's still in use by the nuns (used to be a girls school but closed last year). It was really beautiful and strategically placed on a lake.
We spent the night out in galway - after a very tasty dinner at a place called the malt house we went to the kings head for a couple drinks and some live music. The boy-girl ratio there was 10 boys to every 1 girl. At least!! Haha... So opposite from Vancouver. We did however drink a bit too much and were a bit sleep deprived the next day when we headed to stay with my friend and co-worker Victoria. We got to meet her lovely and welcoming family in the beautiful home she grew up in, saw her nieces and nephews and new week old baby niece!! And it was all topped off with an amazing home made dinner (Victoria, you have to give us the recipe!) and some wine;)
Today we drove back towards the coast to Strandhill, Co. Sligo for a seaweed bath, which is exactly what it sounds like, apparently an Irish tradition we didn't want to miss out on!! It was lovely and relaxing and a good refresher for us. Then after a windy and rainy drive we have arrived in the small fishing town of Killybegs, Co. Donegal where we will hopefully be for 2 nights to take in the beautiful coast before we officially tour northern Ireland and the Antrim coast. There is currently a pretty crazy storm happening so even though we are at a B&B with an amazing view we can't enjoy it to much. But the people are friendly, the tea is warm, and maybe tomorrow it will be nice:)
Cliffs Of Moher. Ireland at 9:16pm IST in Galway, Connaught, Ireland.See the trip: Sarah & Jessa Take On Ireland
Every time I type 'Dingle' into my iPhone it autocorrects it to single - it seemed appropriate.
Today we slept in - a much needed luxury. It's the first time since dublin that we have spent more than one night in the same place. And we were happy to be so. Dingle has been good to us. It's a lovely, quiet, and quaint little town. Our goal today was to do some local shopping and drive the peninsula.
We walked the streets looking for the perfect souvenir and found it in this sweet little art shop called Dingle Artworks. The shop contained many paintings all by the same artist! Jessa and I both bought a piece. I bought two:)
Then we were off on the Slea head drive of the dingle peninsula. It was beautiful and picturesque - probably more so than the ring of Kerry and not just because the locals say so! As an added bonus the drive was only 50km. We saw bee hive huts that were over 2500 years old, an old famine village, beaches, and beautiful coastal viewpoints. And sheep - always lots of sheep.
For dinner we went to a place called 'out of the blue' which serves only seafood and only seafood that is fresh off the boats that morning and then a new menu Is created daily. Jessa and I both ordered fish that we had never heard of that was caught locally. It was amazing.
Then we went to a pub/hardware store (recommended by my friend Mark and by Marie who was previously mentioned) called Foxy Johns for a drink - but ended up staying for two because the company was so good. It was so nice hearing the locals tell their stories and being able to tell them ours. It was a fantastic way to pass time. And the Irish have truly learned the art of this pastime!
The only thing that was missing was music - but that would have ruined a great moment. And that's saying something coming from me.
Left Cork this morning with our lives intact - I tried to run a red light in the middle of the most complicated round about I've ever seen. I have gotten quite comfortable driving on the left side and guesstimating the space around our rental car (which we named Lanigan) but I'm not sure I can get used to the poorly marked street lights! Good news is: we survived!
Today, our big stop was actually many stops. We drove the 179km around the Ring of Kerry. On a very narrow, marginally safe, poorly marked road (coincidently with a speed limit of 100km/hr - pretty sure the Irish have a death wish!). It did offer some amazing sights: the atlantic ocean, hills ( mountains?), grazing sheep, 2500 year old forts in ruins (less exciting than it sounds!). We ended up on an island called Valencia where we drove to the highest peak for an amazing 360 degree view. And more sheep!!
Finally we headed towards Dingle where we will be spending the next 2 nights!! Apparently the dingle peninsula is even more impressive than the ring if Kerry - and requires less driving. The town itself is quaint and unique and colorful. We found a very nice B&B in the middle of town and thomas, the man helping us, advised us to eat at the most amazing restaurant called An Canteen (mmm crab cakes and smoked salmon salad) and then to a fantastic pub called the courthouse where we had a pint of Irish beer and listened to real trad music!! (in Canada we would probably call it a somewhat informal jam session). I was in heaven:) There was guitar, flute, tin whistle, and vocals with traditional Irish tunes. And random patrons called up to sing! My next purchase will be a cd or two!!