In a green bus
14.09.2012 - 17.10.2012
After nearly 60 days of sunshine and warm weather I again packed my bags and headed for some place slightly cooler and slighter wetter, lovely Ireland! My rain jacket got a work out for the second time this trip as did all the winter clothes that I had been lugging around pointlessly for the last 2 months. I did a 6 day ‘All Ireland’ tour with Paddywagon and we packed a lot into this short time. Dublin, Derry, Belfast, Galway, Dingle and Killarney were all on the itinerary and my highlights/memorable moments were:
• Northern Ireland – I found the history fascinating and hard to comprehend at the same time. Learning about Bloody Sunday in Derry and then the Black Taxi tour of the Peace wall and political murals in Belfast were standouts for me.
• Uncomfortable night in Belfast – Dirty and very cheap (5 pound) hostel called Paddy’s Palace. This hostel came with surprise items in your bed and topped off by a wakeup call from an unknown visitor shining his phone in my face at 5am claiming he was ‘a nice lad.’
• Morning run to a lake in the mountains (near Dingle) and not even getting rained on!
• UNESCO sites and amazing scenery
o Giants Causeway (this time hearing the Irish version as opposed to the Scots)
o Cliffs of Moher
o Lunar landscape of the Burren – I have never seen anything like this
o The coast line around Slea Head – even stopping for a quick swim (not me!)
• Kissing the Blarney stone was memorable for the 1.5hours that we lined up for (and nearly missed the bus because of it). All that waiting meant we had great expectation on the experience and I can’t say it lived up to it!
• Meeting a great bunch of Aussies, Kiwi’s, South Africans, Scots and an American aging from 19-35! And having a few fun nights out, in particular in Galway (apparently Ireland’s party capital)!
• Realising that I am getting old. There were a few 19 year olds on the tour and they affectionately named me GAK (Great Aunt Kate)…now I know what ‘yolo’ means!