Wandering around Dingle

Trip Start Sep 06, 2004
Trip End Nov 23, 2004

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Flag of Ireland  ,
Tuesday, November 2, 2004

While eating breakfast (the "full Irish," of course), I jotted down some notes about Ocean Wave B&B. The proprietor fishes, so the breakfast room had a nautical theme--though not too overdone, as there was molding on the walls, a frosted-glass chandelier, and lots of knick-knacks and bric-a-brac (great words, aren't they?). There was a sea chart of Dingle Bay on the wall, showing guiding lights and lighthouses and the unique patterns each one uses to blink on and off.

On the mantelpiece were red and green lanterns (meaning port and starboard, for you landlubbers). There was a grandfather clock (functional) in the corner. The walls were painted blue and white, with well-placed photos, paitings, and black-and-white photos--mostly with a nautical or rural theme. The proprietor and his wife were both very friendly--he sang and whistled while making breakfast!

After being fueled up for the day, I wandered down to the tourist office to discover that I'd missed all the tours for the day (or possibly they weren't going anyway). That was all right because I'd intended to spend the day wandering around Dingle town. Which I did. With 1600 people, it was pretty little! The streets were steep from the harbour, the houses and doors brightly coloured. It was a tidy little town. Just beyond the end of the houses rose low mountains covered in fields. I browsed in several "bookshops" but resisted buying because I didn't want any more weight. Also looked through a cheerful, airy art gallery, the sort where you can buy the paintings if you have an extra €500 or €2000.

Discovered a surprise treat in my email. I'd sent a message to the travel editor of The Edmonton Journal, pitching an article about Galway and the surrounding area. She emailed back, expressing guarded interest--would be interested in seeing an article from you, sounds like a good topic, but we do get a lot of stuff about Ireland, what's your angle? Yippee! Wrote back immediately--budget/independent travel, atmosphere of the area, but unfortunately I'm travelling at the moment, can you wait a few weeks? (I knew that now was the time to pitch an article about a summer destination.)

Had an early supper in an artsy section of town, in a cafe called the Homely House or something like that. Excellent nachos. Chatted with one of the counter staff, a Californian who has lived here for 6 years. Very friendly.

After supper I ended up at John Benny's again. No trad, unfortunately, but I had a much-needed hot chocolate--I'd been cold all day. This time I sat at the bar in the hopes that someone would talk to me, but nobody did except the girl who was bartending. Noticed what they had on tap--Guinness (of course), Smithwicks, Harp, Carlsberg, Heineken, and Bulmer's. Pretty typical of Ireland, from what I've seen so far.

Walking back to the B&B past the very moist air off the docks (sea breeze), I looked up and saw the stars. Haven't seen them much lately since Galway has been so cloudy. Here, especially on the pier away from the street lights (which aren't very bright in Ireland anyway), there were plenty of stars. Well, to be specific, I couldn't see that many more individual ones than at home, but I could see the Milky Way--the tilt of the galaxy. There were few lights over the water from the other side of the harbour, but those few glimmered over the water through the darkness. A quiet evening in a small town in Ireland.

Back at the B&B, I hung around in the living room area for a while, watching TV ("telly") with the proprietors. The American election results were trickling in and alas, Bush was winning a second term. Oh well, so much for the free world. Went to bed cozily enough anyway.
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wonderer on

Re: From Dublin....
Hi there!

It depends how much time you have or are willing to spend. I spent one full day (6 hours or so) on the train from Dublin to Galway (you can also take the bus) and another full day (6 1/2 hours) from Galway to Dingle. That wasn't a big deal for me because I was in Ireland for several months, and I enjoyed seeing the countryside, but if you have limited time you might want to fly instead. Also, I mentioned in the previous entry to this one that travelling by bus is a little tricky, so take that into consideration as well.

If you have any other questions, I'd be happy to help. :)

Good luck and have fun!

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