Greetings from Ireland! This place is as lush, green and drenched in Guinness and glorious music as you could ever imagine. We landed just over 3 weeks ago and after breezing through immigration (seriously, the immigration officer told has to have celebratory drinks that evening) we met up with Andrew’s sister Carly and drove to County Laois.
Since then we’ve been having an excellent time walking around the Irish countryside, taking day trips to beautiful places, trying Guinness and Bulmers in every pub, relaxing, trying to catch up on sleep and doing lots of yoga (handily, Carly is an instructor).
I can’t get over the amazing ruins dotted randomly around the countryside, you’ll be driving along a highway and suddenly there is a towering spire of stones half covered in ivy that was once part of something tremendously old.
And no one bats an eyelid! Let alone guards the entrance and charges admission to see it. The Rock of Dunamase is from the 9th Century. Ninth.
The early Christian settlement there was pillaged by Vikings in 842. It’s weird writing a date without a ‘1’ in front. It might not have been super successful as a fort but the view was pretty decent.
We took a pretty hike through the Slieve Bloom mountains. It poured with rain for most of it but the sun came out at the end. I can’t believe how quickly the weather changes here, and people complain about Melbourne!
Rain or not it was very picturesque:
We took a bus to Dublin for a few days and caught up with our friend Will.
The majority of our activities involved exploring Dublin’s thriving pub scene.
Particularly around Temple Bar.
There is live music pretty much anywhere you go but it seems all the bands have the same set list. We must have heard Hey Jude, Take Me Home Country Roads, Galway Girl and Dirty Old Town at least 10 times. Still, it was fun to see those songs on traditional instruments.
On our second night we caught up with our friend Darren, whom we met in Austin, Texas, last year. We drank red wine and devoured a cheese board before he took us to his local pub. Apparently the only Irish people who go out in Temple Bar are there to pick up tourists!
An excellent start to our European leg! More Emerald Isle to come.