Most of our time in Ireland we were on the west coast, or the Wild Atlantic Way as they call it. This was my first trip and Mary’s third so we visited some of her favorite locations, including Clare Island which you’ll see more of in my next post.
Upon arriving in Dublin, we took a train to Galway for a quick overnight before picking up our rental car the next day. I’m proud to say that I mastered driving stick shift, left-handed, on the wrong side of the car and the road. Props to Mary, as the best navigator ever, especially at round-abouts! The roads of the Irish county-side are narrow, many with stone walls or hedges right up to the pavement, leaving no room for error, and hardly any place to pull off for photos. Most of the photos in this post were taken either when we were walking, or when we had a driver in Dingle. According to ancestry.com, the Dingle peninsula area is ancestral ground for both of us, so we spent more time there than elsewhere. Much of the scenery you see here is from County Kerry and the Dingle Slea Head drive.
The west coast of Ireland has quite a different feel than western Scotland. My impression is that the Scottish landscape, more brown and barren welcomes you with wide open arms, where the Irish landscape offers you more of an embrace. It’s greener, a bit gentler, and has lots and lots of stone walls, ruins and abbeys at every bend in the road. It’s also very windy! I have a new appreciation for the Irish blessing, “May the road rise up to meet you, May the wind be always at your back…” And, it rained at some point in almost every day, hence the emerald green. While Ireland doesn’t quite feel like home the way Scotland does for me, I’m enchanted nonetheless and would happily return to explore more.
Watch for more posts on Ireland coming soon.
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