It was mixed emotions on my part to actually leave Paris. But we had a week to spend in Ireland and looked forward to some new adventures there. I had been there before, but would be seeing a few new places. So we loaded our bags into the taxi and took off for Charles De Gaulle airport. Wow! Huge airport and half the population of the world was there. Or so it seemed. Long, long, long line to show our passports. Then long, long, long line to go through security. But, I’d rather they be thorough than not.
The terminal itself was very nice. Good stores … expensive stores. And nice eateries. Not to mention the lounge to rest our weary feet. Anyone need a nap?
But, alas, no time for a nap now. Where were these when I needed one?
Two hours later — Hello Dublin! We got our cab and began the drive to the hotel. Our cab driver was a riot! As soon as we got in our seats, he wanted to know what the heck was wrong with Americans? And then he started in on Trump. We couldn’t argue with him because we shared his views. The world’s watching and we had to accept the fact that we were a laughing-stock. A country to be made jokes about. Clearly not on a path toward making America great again. Sad.
Dublin. Hmmm … not a favorite city. Don’t get me wrong. There were plenty of historic sites and history here. My favorite being the Old General Post Office where the Easter Rising of 1916 began. I’ve had a fascination with that event from Irish history for quite a few years. And with Michael Collins, but he didn’t enter into much that occurred at the Post Office. More about him later.
Next would be Trinity College and the Old Library, not to mention the Book of Kells. I loved the library. All that was needed was a recliner and I could live here. Well, and a bathroom too.
Why didn’t I care much for Dublin? It felt crowded to me. Lots of buses and people. And too many Americans, it seemed. Going into pubs or restaurants, all around us — Americans. I wanted to get to know locals, not people from my backyard.
The last night, we walked to the corner and entered a restaurant/bistro — Copper Alley Bistro. We were the first ones in there and began to question our decision. There was music playing in the background and lo and behold a song by Eros Ramazotti came on. Okay — now I loved this place. One of my favorite singers. Turned out the owners or managers were Italian. And our food was wonderful. We enjoyed every forkful as we did our drinks and desserts. As we were eating the place got very busy. Glad we arrived when we did. We definitely recommend this place.
The next morning, we took a taxi to pick up our rental car … a Skoda. Some compact model that used diesel fuel. Marie did a fantastic job of driving us out-of-town. After all, this was left lane driving with the steering wheel on the right. I am confessing to one and all that I am the worst passenger. I truly am. I know it. And I apologize for it. I rode in the front left side because I was navigator. That put me front and left looking close up to all the rock walls, etc. There was a lot of grabbing the dash, pushing of my imaginary brake, hand going to the roof … you get the picture, I’m sure. Thankfully both Marie and Jim allowed me to remain in the car. I’d have tossed my butt out. I did direct her off the M6 or M9 or whatever it was into the lane of oncoming traffic. Luckily, there was no oncoming traffic at the time. Yikes!
After several days, I decided I wanted to ride in the back. My nerves just couldn’t take it anymore. This was a small car, after all. When Jim rode in my former seat, I did hear an intake of breath several times.
Our first stop was Kinsale, by way of Waterford to pick up some crystal. Kinsale, we could have done without. It was a small town on the water, but extremely crowded. Too many cars. Streets too narrow. Street signs almost non-existent. This was September and I can only imagine what it must be like in the summer. We finally found the B&B we were staying at by accident, I should admit. Scratch Kinsale. I have since found people either love it or hate it.
We found this wonderful old church on our way to our next stop…. Killarney, County Kerry.
We were driving through a town called Macroom. Michael Collins (remember from my Dublin opening?) was outside of this place at a crossroads called Beal na Blath when he was ambushed and killed. I really wanted to see it, so I was watching for a sign but we were heading around a curve when I saw it, and there was no place to turn around. Sad. This was true of most of the roads we drove on.
We were staying at Muckross Riding Stables B&B in Killarney. When we got there, we kept seeing signs for Muckross House and thought that was where we were staying. Not! We stopped by a horse and buggy lot to ask if this was the right place and when told that no one stayed there, we decided to seize the moment and take a horse and buggy ride to the castle. What a treat! The horse’s name was Joey. I don’t know what the driver’s name was but I do know he was having a nip or two when no one was looking. But, he had been doing this for 30 years, so I’d have been nipping too. The only issue? It was cold and drizzly.
Since we had no idea where our B&B was …obviously not what we just saw … one of the buggy drivers gave us directions. Boy, look at this place! There were horses and cows, too. I guess that’s why it was called Muckross Riding Stables. We could have ridden the horses had we so desired, which I did not. This was a neat place and the breakfast was wonderful. Between Paris and Ireland, Marie and I couldn’t get enough of the bread. Yum … yum. The Irish bread was heavy and dark. And moist. I ate bread a lot.
How neat was this? This was definitely not Holiday Inn Express. We spent our day in Killarney and I believe … but I might be wrong about this … that Marie bought the city out of Irish wool sweaters. She chose to have them shipped which made us very happy as her suitcase weighed at least 100 pounds, I think.
I could continue on with this but I don’t want your eyes to glaze over, so I’ll continue in my next edition. This ends our fourth night out of seven. We were loving Ireland!