A wet sidetrip

Trip Start Aug 28, 2006
Trip End Aug 31, 2007

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Flag of Ireland  ,
Friday, July 6, 2007

Of course I end up in Ireland in one of the wettest Julys on record.  Of course I came here expecting rain, but even the locals are complaining, so I don't feel so wimpy.  At least it isn't cold, just damp.  But so pretty, rolling hills of green, sheep and cows are everywhere, and lots of super nice laid-back people, and the huge fry-up breakfasts!  Brigette you were right, after a breakfast like that I am not hungry again til 4!
I started the trip by taking the overnight ferry from Cherbourg and ended up in Rosslare. it was sort of rough seas so I stayed huddled up in my cabin reading...got there and got right on a train for dublin.  Spent a few days there walking around and took a bus trip up to Newgrange, which is a neolithic ruin and also to Tara, another tomb site.  I forgot Ireland has such ancient history, these places were built before the pyramids and are really fascinating. 
Next I headed to visit Percy and Patricia Donelly, you may recognize them from the India photos, the great Irish couple on my trip last december.  They graciously took me in, fed me, drove me around and made me laugh.  I had such a nice time with them.  They have a great little house in the countryside near Blessington with cows over the fence.  They took me out to Glendalough, an old monestary site. really pretty, but it felt like italian students were hatching from the hills, millions of them!!!  had a pint in hollywood, lounged all day sunday and watched wimbledon, and the big music festival Oxegen was just a hill away, so we could sit in the backyard and hear Snow Patrol playing (and imagined how muddy all the people were camping there!)  We also went over the the National Stud Farm where Percy used to work and looked around, great to get a tour from the master!
After such a relaxing time I headed off on the bus to Galway on the west coast.  Toured around the Connemara and had fun despite the rain.  Then headed up to Donegal, further up the west coast.  I stayed out by Kilcar and had a great all day hike on the Slieve League, some giant cliffs, and it was actually sunny! I was so used to the gloom that I wasn't prepared and actually got a sunburn.  I was at the Super Valu, buying some bread and I saw a guy that looked like Matthew Broderick.  I thought, hmm, mathew broderick must have irish blood, because that guy looks JUST like him.  Well, then I turned and saw Sarah jessica parker, so it really was him...how random that they were there in that small town.  Then I found out they have a house around there so everyone is used to them, it was just me that was gawking.
Next stop was up to the north coast, with a stop in Derry on the way.  The coast was beautiful, sort of like northern california with the greenery of the napali coast.  I stayed in Ballycastle and had a massive walk (about 15 miles) from town out to the giant's causeway.  Again, I lucked out and had sun.  luckily there was a really nice little pub at the end of my walk for a nice pint and some soup.  The accent is much thicker in the north too, it's interesting to here the change...and they have their own Ulster pounds too and some union jacks flying.  Sort of the same as the south, but different too.  It was hard to imagine all the troubles being here now, you don't see anything.  Just talking to one girl on the train, she whispered anytime I asked her about tensions, she said they are still high.  Hopefully it is a bright future for them...
So, on to Scotland!
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kimbym on

those sunglasses
aaack! you still have those sunglasses! they look like they are still working, i can barely see the crack! ireland looks soooo greeeen and beautiful-- i like that most so many of the photos that you posted are of sunny days (to trick us into thinking it is always nice there...)

looking forward to scotland!

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