I have a ton of pictures to go through and edit and assemble, so it will take a bit for me to share pictures of our trip.
It was wonderful! We saw spectacular natural views, castles, ancient forts and dolmen, modern larger city and smaller cute villages.
I did end up getting sick, though. After not being sick for a couple years, of course it would be on vacation. On Sunday, I started to develop a very sore throat, which lasted a few days and then I got stuffy. It wasn’t a really bad cold, thank goodness, and never affected my sense of taste or smell, but it was annoying.
For transport, we rented a car, which was an experience in and of itself.
How the hell is this supposed to work?
Some of the roads are really narrow, and I mean narrow. One car width with 2-way traffic. Someone has to back up to find a place to pull over enough to let the other one by. That was interesting. Then the times when it is a narrow 2-way road and your side is either a wall right to the edge of a road or brush, so you are just about hitting that, and there were a couple times we were scraping the brush.
Of course, there was construction and we had to deal with that as well. John and I kind of alternated driving and on Saturday, I finally said “I’m done with the left side driving” and told John he had to drive. It was the last full day, but he didn’t mind the driving as much as I did. Each of us hit a curb, but that was the only mishap while driving. Still beats the tour bus, though 😀
Some interesting differences: When asking if they can take your order or if you have been helped, the phrase is “Are you all right?” That threw us at first. We were sitting at a table waiting for a server. I was looking at my phone and saw the battery was low and I was frowning at it. A server came up and said “Are you all right?” I said, “Yes. I’m fine. I’m just wondering why my phone battery is low”. Then she replied, “No, you’re not” and left. That was weird. It wasn’t until it happened again that we realized what was meant by it.
They don’t seem particularly water conscious. There were no low-flow toilets to be found and they (the toilets) used a ton of water. A lot of sinks had separate hot and cold taps. Two of our B&Bs had these interesting shower units:
They run on some sort of electricity and you turn the dial and the shower starts. They are a little noisy, but effective. I wonder if there is something like that available here. It would be good for a small bathroom and less plumbing, I would think.
The Irish do some things that would never fly code wise in the US. One example is at cafes, there were little pitchers of milk left on the tables. Left for whoever sits there next and not refrigerated. Don’t know how long they have been out and who used them before. Ick.
Getting a check at a restaurant is really difficult. Normally, here when the server takes your plates and asks you if you want anything else, the check is then brought (sometimes before you are even finished). We had the hardest time trying to get checks. They would clear the plates and then disappear, making us have to hunt them down after waiting a long time. That happened pretty much every time. Very strange. Or we were told to pay at the bar, which you can’t get to because there are too many people around it.
Brown sugar there is not the brown sugar here. John asked for brown sugar for his porridge and each place brought out natural sugar (Sugar in the raw). I noticed the juice area in one place had a bowl of actual brown sugar, so I am not sure what they call it.
Hopefully I will get some pictures up soon, but it is back to work for both of us right away.