Ireland: Part II of II
My husband and I spent ten days driving around Ireland. The blue line on the map below illustrates our route, beginning and ending in Dublin on the east coast. Part I was from Dublin, in the Republic of Ireland, to Derry, in Northern Ireland. This is Part II, from Derry, down and back around to Dubln. For Ireland: Part I of II, click here.
We loved Ireland! The people, the rolling green hills, the pubs. Oh, we loved the pubs! We had a grand craic (a wee bit of Gaelic for you, pronounced “crack”) of a good time!
"It rains in Ireland. A lot.
But the Irish laugh and say,
"It's a good day for a high stool"
(in a bar that is) or
"Today's rain is tomorrow's whiskey""
—Come on rain!
We watched a stunning sheep herding demonstration by Roy, a Border Collie, at the Killary Sheep Farm in Connemara. Make no mistake though, Roy is NOT a pet. He’s a working dog plain and simple, and one that really wants to attack the sheep. Not herd them, eat them. Or so said his owner/handler Tom. It was a bit strange to meet a dog that had absolutely no interest in being petted. None. Mo mooning looks, no please pet me. He only had eyes for ewe. LOL
But what a work ethic. The moment the demo began the winds and rain picked up making it hard for us to hear each other, yet Tom never once raised his voice. Roy responded instantly to each command, driving the sheep through a series of pens over a quarter mile away.
Cliffs of Moher
Off to the Cliffs of Moher on the southwestern coast. These cliffs rise almost 400 feet above the sea and shockingly, you’re allowed to walk along the very edge. [Crazy] People sat on the edge, taking selfies and I heard later that one person falls to their death every year.
One woman asked me to take her photo as she sat on the very edge, legs dangling into space. I did, then wondered if I’d be culpable if she fell.
a colorful fishing village that’s a “must see” on any tour of Ireland
We spent one rainy day at Dingle Crystal where we bought shot glasses designed and hand made by ex-Waterford master craftsman, Sean Daly. So cool to get to meet and watch a master artisan in action.
The Blarney Castle had surprisingly large and beautiful grounds. To kiss the stone, you stand in line to enter the castle. Once inside, you climb a steep circular staircase up to the roof. When you finally reach the stone, a guide helps you lay on your back and arch backwards. I tried very hard not to think about the 100,000's if people that kissed the stone before me. Antibacterial spray, anyone? Anyone?
As our trip to Ireland draws to an end, I leave you with one final image. The first is a classic view of Ireland, rolling green hills with stone walls, white farm house, and a sheep (who posed nicely for me). Only thing missing is a pint of Guinness.
"Hills as green as emeralds
Cover the countryside
Lakes as blue as sapphires-
And Ireland’s special pride
And rivers that shine like silver
Make Ireland look so fair-
But the friendliness of her people
Is the richest treasure there."
—Old Celtic Blessing