Been a while since I’ve had access to any internet or phones here in the true Irish country of the west.  I’ll stick 16 photos down below…

Of course I shouldn’t have been so arrogant about how driving on the other side of the road wouldn’t be a problem for me.  Shifting on the left is easy, but I constantly feel I have to lean to the right to make sure I stay over far enough.  Only 10 minutes after picking up my car, I got a bit too close to the lefthand side of the road on a tiny side street in Dublin.  I thought I’d only knicked my leftside mirror, but it turns out I have a major dent in my bright red Corolla (and no, I’m not telling you which rental company I’m using).  Thank God they forced me to buy the insurance since I’m taking it across the border into Northern Ireland! 

I thought it was scary enough driving on the road from Dublin to Galway (which for a lot of the way was not dual carriageway).  However, ever since it’s gotten progressively more difficult.  I’m the slowpoke going 100 kph on these 2-lane roads with no shoulder, trying to avoid knicking the side of cars in the oncoming lane while negotiating hairpin turns without running off into the numerous lakes or hitting the sheep on the side of the road.  Some Irish lass got fed up with me and blazed past! 

I had no idea so many people actually spoke Gaelic over here!  All the signs are in both Irish and English (sometimes no English!), and the Irish television programmes fascinated me (they had English subtitles). 

On Monday I drove across the country from Dublin to Galway, and although I had a deposit on at a place to stay in Galway, I decided to pass by and head straight for the Aran Islands ferry another hour down the road.  I missed the last one of the day by 10 minutes thanks to Galway’s rush hour and a couple of wrong turns off of the numerous roundabouts there, so I stayed at a literally adorable B&B where the lady told me how to greet in Gaelic (don’t ask–already forgot) and about the stone walls you see EVERYWHERE in that area. 

If you’re ever in Ireland, I recommend renting a bike on Inis Mór (largest of the Aran Islands).  You can spend the whole day riding all over it, and there’s a fort on a cliff that you hike up to that was begun about 1000 B.C.  The island is so small that you can often see the water on both sides as you peddle along.  Last night after getting off the ferry, I just headed north, and stayed at the Old Monastery Hostel in Letterfrack with about 40 English geology students on a school trip and some Italians and a Belgian guy.  Met a half-Irish, half-Italian guy watching the match at the pub who’s a camera man working on a documentary about bees nearby. 

Right now, I’m chilling in Westport and then I’ll drive straight up to Donegal county to see about doing a bit more hiking in the Slieve League mountains.  I met some ladies on the islands who have offered me a place to stay in Donegal town, so I might try to make it back to their place for that.  They’re sisters, but one of them now lives in California and goes to Saddleback Church, if you can believe it…

By the way, the black stuff is really good!  I’ll have to try it when I get back to Houston, because the last time I had it there I thought it didn’t taste good.  The Guinness Brewery in Dublin is a pretty snazzy place–well worth a visit.  Seems like they’ve fixed it up a lot recently.  I found out that some Irish folks actually have a disease from having too much iron thanks to Guinness. 

The Gherkin in the financial district in London. 

 

La Defense, possibly my favorite place in Paris. 

 

From La Defense, you can see Napoleon’s Arc de Triomphe since it was built to mirror it. 

 

To me it feels a bit like a city of the future with all the skyscrapers surrounding you. 

 

À la Seine sans femme.

 

My humble abode in Dublin’s Temple Bar area. 

 

Cliff at Dun Aengus fort on the island of Inis Mór. 

 

Got a Swiss gal to take my picture. 

 

That lil’ lady in the distance had to come and tell me to get down from the wall. 

 

One of the little villages on the island. 

 

Couldn’t resist.  So springy and lovely! 

 

Limestone everywhere.  Unbelievable. 

 

 

These ancient walls were all over the island and mainland as far as one could see. 

 

The sheep are a bit more colorful over here. 

 

It’s hard enough to drive through the Connemara without trying to take pictures at the same time.  No, there aren’t really any places to pull over to the side of the road–there is no side of the road!!! 

 

Nothing like a good Irish breakfast to keep you going strong.  Already finished my cereal, as you can see. 

 

 

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13 Responses to “”

  1. Awesome pics! That breakfast looks mighty yum.

  2. Oooh, nice grass.  And it looks like that sheep got mixed up in a paintball match.

  3. Forced to buy the waiver on your car, eh? Must be Enterprise.

  4. such a change of pace from the first leg of your trip! It looks beautiful, though.. hope you’re soaking it all in…

  5. Anonymous Says:

    Gosh, that Irish breakfast looks exactly like Singapore’s western breakfast. Yum.

  6. man that sheep is lucky.that breakfast doesnt look appetizing at all, but it did make me hungry. so now im gonna go get some taco cabana.

  7. look at the black pudding!

  8. looks incredible. yeah for barefootedness, tie died sheep, limestone valleys, crashing waves, other wolrly archtecture, and the beauty of the LORD evident in every corner of this earth! thanks for sharing. . .

  9. go out with me! will u please go out with me!!!!

  10. your pictures are so cool! It looks like you’re having a great time! I would LOVE to go to Ghana! I have been thinking and thinking about Africa so much lately. I’m graduating in December (SO SCARY!) so I have extra time now in my life it seems, haha. Thanks for the info about it all and stuff Hope you’re doing well! I’m still in the library… wishing I was in Africa somewhere with all this information already in my head, but alas… Anyway, have a very blessed day!

  11. wow. I love the cliff pictures… so beautiful!

  12. Anonymous Says:

    once again, great pictures!  Will you please stop bugging the old ladies at the ancient walls?!

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