A Nice Day for a Drive in the Country (Day 9)

…more tales from the travel journal…

[5.16.09]

First day of driving in Ireland.  Of course it was raining when we checked out of the apartment and walked to the bus stop to catch our bus to the airport. =)

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Took the bus and then got misdirected (whilst still walking in the rain) and had to back track to catch the shuttle to the “car hire” park for Hertz.  So… we got our car and our “Never Lost” navigation system whom we have named ‘Maggie’, cause she’s British.

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I have pictures of all of this of course.  John driving on the wrong side of the car…the road.

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And all those stupid Roundabouts.  I believe that the Irish hate stop signs (stopping in general) and lights – they just use roundabouts instead. No one has to stop.  So getting out of Dublin was a bit challenging at first – but John did great and we made it out alive [On the left! On the left!]  So it was pretty  soon that we got into the Wicklow Mountains.  They were beautiful and green and yellow and just amazing.

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However…

The roads were reminiscent of a few racing video games I can think of, and John loved it.  His first description of the roads were that they were like Gran Turismo.  Me and my car sickness would have to agree 😉  I had taken Bonine, which is supposed to help with motion sickness but not make you drowsy.  Not even close to helpful under these conditions.  So, trying not to make myself more sick, I dug out the miracle drugs Dramamine and took some.  Thankfully, our first stop was only 30 minutes into the drive and afterwards the roads weren’t quite as winding and bumpy.  So we stopped at Glendalough to see some old cemeteries and Celtic high crosses and a tower.

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For the record - I made NO EDITS at all to this picture. It was really that green.

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Beautiful and there were water ‘rapids’ running through.  So gorgeous.

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Ah, the tour buses. At least this one seemed to have a sense of humor.

Ah, the tour buses. At least this one seemed to have a sense of humor.

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Keep in mind, over the entire time we are driving around Ireland, the rain was literally on/off all day. Every day.  So while my Dramamine kicked in we enjoyed Glendalough and visited a little craft/souvenir shop.  Got my postcards of course and a few souvenirs and some toffee.  Toughest ever.  John got a kick out of me trying to tear off toffee bits.  We also stopped at the little town grocery and picked up sandwich meat (we had leftover bread) some drinks, and snacks including some “Ginger Nuts” (ginger snaps) and were on our way.

Well, what do ya know...

Well, what do ya know...

The countryside was just gorgeous wherever we went.  Next stop was the Rock of Cashel in … Cashel.  The weather was a bit nastier by the time we got there and it is very windy up at the Rock.  It is an old church, most of which has no roof.  Very cool and the view was great.

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Freaking cold and wet though.  Got some postcards and headed out of town to Killarney.  It was apparently a big weekend for first communions around Ireland this weekend. In Cashel alone I saw two parties with bounce houses.   Off to Killarney, about another 2 hour drive.  The roads got a bit better (and a little less winding) after we were out of the Wicklow Mts.  We pulled into Killarney and found our one “American style” hotel of the trip – Best Western International.  NICE.  Sweet girl working at the front desk (who is apparently always there)  was very helpful.  And… they actually had free working wifi!!!!  So we were finally able to upload pics from the camera!! I think we uploaded pictures at least twice before we left.  Our room was great, and I think one of the better rooms at this hotel.  We were in the Executive rooms area – woohoo.  Very comfy bed and nice shower.  [Incidentally, I feel like I’m taking the Tour of Europe’s toilets]  The woman at the front desk gave us a recommendation for a nice place called Bricin for dinner.  They served boxty and John really wanted some.  So we splurged a little and had really good boxty with roast lamb and vegetable filling. YUMMMY!!!

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Did our best to ignore  the other American tourists at the next table (who were being pretty  loud and obnoxious).  There were a LOT of Texans and Ohioans – all over.  I’ll save the tourist discussions for another time. But we didn’t go to see tourists, we went to see Ireland. =)  We had done a little shopping downstairs before dinner and found a great [SURPRISE SOUVENIR FOR SOMEONE] and of course, postcards.  Went back to the hotel and crashed.

Up next…more driving and some coastline!!!

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  • mommyknows - My GAWD these photos are fabulous! It looks like a wonderful day (except the motion-sickness). I am ‘green’ with envy.

  • Heather - Beautiful!! Love the pic of John looking contemplative. Levi and Jes liked the “wrong” side of the road pics. I could feel your motion sickness through the pics, the rain, the pills, the relief in the hotel. : )

  • Katie in MA - Lovely! We have “roundabouts” back home in Massachusetts – but we call them rotaries. I miss them so much! Except, of course, the one in Kelley Square, which does not really have an island in the middle. You (almost) seriously just cover your eyes and charge blindly through it.

  • k - I don’t mind the occasional ‘traffic circle’ – we have one over here that takes awhile to get up the nerve to attempt -however. imagine a world with only traffic circles, including exits and entrances for the highways…..

  • Another Europe Post – Day 10 – Yes, We’re Still in Ireland — Mundane Details - […] you’ve totally lost track of where we are in our vacation story. HERE is the previous Europe […]

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