Thursday, January 14, 2010

the emerald isle

oh ireland.  how i loved ireland. 

i loved irish boys, irish beer, irish radio, irish scenery, irish hospitality, irish restaurants.  i didn't love irish weather though.

cold, cold, cold.  that was all i felt for two full weeks although it only ever got to -3.  but it didn't take away from venturing to the following places:
  • dublin - staying in a fancy hotel, wandering the streets on christmas day, introduction to irish pubs, invitations from strangers, window shopping at clarks, guinness!
  • kilkenny - a lovely castle, a really large bar that would have been fantastic had there been more than one bathroom in the entire place, a hotel room above a pub, my first true irish breakfast (sans black and white puddings), graveyards, long walks, fish and chips, smithwick's ale, learning that it is pronounced 'smithicks'
  • cobh - staying with a 'new' friend, sharing bottles of wine until the wee hours, talking and talking and talking, fresh fish, mulled wine, sharing ideas about development, careers, and relationships, rock of cashel, murphy's stout, boot shopping
  • kilarney - green rolling hills, gorgeous national park, fantastic clam chowder, a lovely little b & b, friendly people
  • cliffs of moher - stressful driving at dusk, gorgeous coastal towns
  • galway - happy new year!, charming company, oak bars, fresh oysters, more guinness, more boot shopping, extra long walks along the sea, warm cups of tea, my favourite irish city, italian boots
  • derry - no-fun protestant north, fascinating history, fresh ira grafitti, city walls, best b & b hosts ever, more irish breakfasts, funny accents
  • giant's causeway - photo shoots on the rocks, best weather of the entire trip, the ocean, beaches, surf shops, views of scotland
  • belfast - terrifying history, stunning queen's university campus, even more phenomenal meals, black cab tour of the protestant and catholic areas that suffered most during the troubles, scouring marks & spencer shelves.
driving on the left was far easier than i thought it would be and we couldn't help but laugh as everytime we listened to the radio (constant lady gaga, take that, and jason derulo...) or watched tv all they could talk about were the 'trecherous conditions' and really, they weren't that bad at all.  the roads were relatively clear as it was christmas holidays and only crazies like us decided to tour around ireland in the dead of winter.

i wish i could give a further breakdown of my trip, but i am sort of sick of recapping it for anyone and everyone that asks.  but i will soon be uploading my photos to facebook so keep a look out for them there.

would i go back?  yes.  would i go again in winter?  no, but only because i would love to see many of the places in the summer not because going in the winter was a bad idea.  would i like to spend more time in fewer places?  yes.  would i like to get to connemara next time round?  yes.

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