Ireland — Day Two Thoughts

Continuing thoughts from my trip to the Emerald Isle..

  • My wife and I have never watched Game of Thrones. Yet, many of the sights we’ve seen and places we are going have been filmed or otherwise served as inspiration for the show. Many of these once relatively unheard of and serene places have become overrun by the Foreign Selfie Brigade. They are easy to spot pouring off of the large tourist busses in their “Winter is Coming” t-shirts. Therefore, instead of snorting and mumbling disparagements under our breaths at them, my wife and I have set a goal of joining in the fun by taking our selfie at as many of these places as we can. We thought it would be funny to do a blog post of Game of Thrones selfies having never seen the show with witty captions like “we have no idea what scene or season this is but we asked some random American and they told us something about a shadow lord and some chick’s dragons so here we are in front of these caves”.

  • I was able to see Scotland only 12 miles across the sea from where I stood today (it is in the background of the picture of Beatrix at the tip of the post). It then becomes obvious how the two places are so connected by culture and language and family and song. They might as well be neighbors.

  • The Irish believe in meat. Not with the zeal and fervor that Spanish believe in it. More like the Methodist believe in God, with a quiet steadfastness of purpose towards what’s right. Meat, to the Irish, is what’s right. It makes breads more right. It makes the humble potato more proper. It adds glory to the plate it rests on. Just as one can find God in everything, so it is with meat in Ireland. Vegetarians here might well be considered atheists. The Irish know they must exist but they are unsure how one could be so lost. They may throw an option for them on the menu in case one might darken their doorway. A curry, perhaps, they’ll think. Perhaps they may offer them some chips and a salad. But, that’s all they have to do to consider themselves in godly treatment of even the lowest sinner. Bacon, if snuck into said salad, might one day finally convert them after all.

  • If you are not of these lands, and love music, find a cafe to sit in, remain quiet, and just listen to the conversations around you. The Irish accent is the most musical of sounds. It’s like the chattering of angels.

  • Even the rain here, thus far, has been gentle and sweet. Never harsh. Like a soft wet kiss from mother nature.

Now to the pub for a nice dinner and some whiskey.

Ireland — Day One Thoughts

Here are some thoughts from my first first full day in Ireland.

  • The photo above is the view from the kitchen window at our friend’s place where we are staying. Heaven.
  • Major sights seen today were; Dunluce Castle (stunning), Bushmills Distillery (so much fun), Giant’s Causeway (a whole new respect for the power of natures beauty), White Park Bay (breathtaking), and The Dark Hedges (mysterious and amazing).

  • This particular part of Ireland where I currently am (a small seaside town in the North) is perhaps the only place I’ve ever visited where every sight, every town, every view, in any direction, could be on a postcard. It’s almost unbelievable. Dream like.

  • You may remember my bit of nervousness about having to drive here. We got “upgraded” at the car rental place from a compact to a small SUV. Now, under other circumstances, this would be fine. But, I was already wary of having to drive a manual (for the first time in years) on the “wrong” side (and, thus, shifting with my left hand in reverse direction) on very narrow roads because we were driving from Dublin to our small seaside hamlet to stay with friends, so… Let’s just say it was a less exciting upgrade and it took every bit of white knuckle concentration and my wife screaming “TOO FAR LEFT!” at me from the passenger seat for us to make it to our final destination in one piece. That said, since now having driven all day following a “native” in her SUV with ours from sight to sight, down these narrow roads, I’ve become scarily comfortable with it. I’ve gotten so used to it so fast that I’m now a bit worried that I won’t remember how to drive “normally” when I return to the states.

  • You will hear this from anyone who visits the Emerald Isle but you won’t believe it until you are here: The people of Ireland are the friendliest people on the planet.

  • Everything they say about the weather is also true. Cool (except when it gets suddenly warm), Rainy (except when the sun comes out of nowhere) and Windy (except when it’s suddenly calm). That said, if you are properly prepared (bring a good rain jacket and leave the umbrella at home, lest you wish to lose it in the wind), you won’t care a bit because you are in one of the most beautiful places on the planet with the friendliest people.

  • This is one of the best days we’ve had in a long time.