Recent Entries


October 24, 2004

Round Ireland without a Fridge


We land in Belfast at 7 in the morning. There's a feeling of tiredness creeping into the group, maybe it's just the 4:30 am start but more likely it's the unrelenting pace, driving us 2000 miles in just over a week in a crazy push too see it all and get our money's worth out of the car. Somethings gotta give and I hope it's not our sense of humour.

It's early in the morning when we land, so we head straight for Dublin. When we arrive we find that the price difference between a hostel and a cheap hotel is minimal, so we splash out hoping to get a good nights sleep. Dublin has what they call a single bed subsidy, meaning that it would cost Cita roughly the same to get her own room as it would for Emily and I to get a double. We're tired and it doesn't make sense but we've been sharing rooms all the way in the hostels so we don't mind. After a quick power nap we head out to get lost in Dublin stopping for our first "Real Pint". It's delicious. I'm not usually a Guinness drinker, in fact I'd have trouble finishing a pint at home but this one is superb (it really does taste better in Ireland) and leaves me wanting more. We find ourselves a bar with a nice atmosphere and a live band, order some food and start work on pints 2, 3 and 4. The band plays an eclectic mix of covers (including a hilarious impromptu version of Tenacious D's "@#$% her gently"), injecting humour and their own style into them but when they pull out the Steely Dan (somewhere around pint 5) it's time for us to leave, "reeling in the years" all the way home. The next morning we head to Kilkenny, a charming olde town that looks like it was built for tourists, but has been that way for hundreds of years. There's no accommodation in town because of an international golf tournament, but there's Foulksrath Castle that's been converted to a hostel a few miles out of town and we jump at the chance for another night in a castle. This one's a lot smaller, more like a fortified Tower and is run by a crazy Irish artist, but it has a cosy feel and the loud Irish harp versions of Celine Dion add to the surreality. The castle also has it's own pet goose who follows us around, eats out of our hands and is happy to be patted, she is a little camera shy though and goes into hiding when Em tries to get a close up. We sleep fairly well (apart from the drunk Americans who wander into our room in the middle of the night claiming to be lost) and in the morning explore the Castle till we find the hidden door to the roof. We decide to head for the Dingle peninsular, it's a long drive there and back but it's supposed to be one of the most spectacular areas of Ireland and if we go straight there we'll have the chance to sit still for a day. We drive past Blarney Castle and decide not to share rock spit with bus loads of tourists. I'm already full of it (the gab that is, not rock spit) and anyway I'd rather spend 7 euros on two pints of Guinness once we arrive (a more reliable path to eloquence). More driving, we arrive and are stunned.


"The Dingle" has been the setting of a couple of movies (Ryan's Daughter and parts of Far and Away) and thoroughly deserves it's reputation for rugged beauty. On one side are green pastures full of sheep and on the other are sheer cliffs (where is he going?) and jagged rocks, pounded by bad tempered seas (the sea was angry that day my friends, like an old man sending back soup). It's also an area where Irish (similar to Gaelic and Welsh ) is the first language spoken, giving it an authentic feel. When we arrived the finals of the Gaelic Football League (a distant relative of Aussie Rules, played with a round ball that can be carried and soccer goals topped by rugby posts) had just been played and County Kerry were the victors leaving the locals (liberally doused) in good spirits. After a night in a remote hostel we slowly head around the coast, seeing a crucified Jesus gazing glumly out to sea and some flintsone-esque stone-age houses almost as old as the pyramids. We pull up in the small fishing town of Dingle and check into Murphy's Pub and prepare ourselves for our last night in Ireland. The night is spent in a typically Irish fashion with many pints in many pubs complete with spontaneous eruptions of traditional music and an invitation to another "seshion" that sadly we must decline as I'm already seeing double and we're driving back to Belfast tomorrow morning to catch the ferry back. Needless to say, the next day wasn't as much fun as the night before.

Posted by Zach & Emily on October 24, 2004 04:07 AM
Category: Ireland

Ireland looks truely wonderful. Can't believe you drove so far in so short an amount of time. At least you have the photos to prove you were there.

Posted by: Lorma on October 27, 2004 09:54 PM

hey, travelling sillberries
you made travelling sound like so much fun, i'm planning on moving to london and working in a tiger suit.
or maybe in a nursing home. or maybe in a tiger suit at a nursing home. at least it would be warm.
i might see if cousin jeremy will let me sleep on his floor there for a while, in my tiger suit.
anyway, hope you're still up to enjoyable stuff
love sarah

Posted by: sarah on October 31, 2004 04:14 PM
Email this page
Email this entry to:

Your email address:

Message (optional):

Designed & Hosted by the BootsnAll Travel Network