Ireland tidbits

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.

2-way road!!


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.

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16 thoughts on “Ireland tidbits

  1. Debby

    That was a quick trip! You guys were brave to rent a car. Although the roads sound similar to many around here– I would do okay with that part. Driving on the wrong side of of the road, not so much!
    Debby´s last blog post ..Swam a Mile

    1. Lori Post author

      It wasn’t all that quick. We were there for 8 days. I just had posts scheduled while we were gone. We didn’t want to be beholden to a tour schedule, so that’s why we rented a car.

  2. Fran

    LOL welcome to Europe 🙂

    About the check at the restaurant, that’s just being polite. It works here the same too, you don’t have to pay and leave after you are finished. Some people want to sit a bit longer after dinner and order another cup of coffee. But the waiting can be long, we usually ask for the check as soon as the last thing we want is brought, otherwise waiting can be long 🙂

    Sounds like you had a wonderful trip. And I look forward to your photos.
    Fran´s last blog post ..Hike #19, Friday, August 12, 2016: Groene Wissel Maarn

    1. Lori Post author

      Yes, you can sit as long as you like here as well, but if you want to leave, it’s nice to have the check so you can. In the busy restaurants, it was really difficult to track down a server.

      It was a wonderful trip and ended all too soon, although I’m glad to be back in my own house.

  3. Helen

    Part of the fun of traveling to other parts of the world is seeing and experiencing different things – sounds like you got that part down pat LOL!

    That check thing must be a European thing because the same thing happens when we dine in St. Martin (most of the restaurants are run by French restaurateurs). In fact, we have felt it you try to leave right away, it seems they are almost offended. On the other hand, I like that they don’t clear plates until everyone is done so I guess waiting for the check is ok.
    Helen´s last blog post ..And the Next Thing You Know, It’s been a Month

    1. Shelley B

      I remember when my parents went to Ireland how they commented on the very narrow roads, and backing up to allow another car to pass by. I think it’s great to experience a different way of doing things, from driving (I appreciated that large DRIVE TO THE LEFT sticker on the dashboard) to restaurants, to even toilets! If we all had the same low flow toilets, how boring that would be.

      Ireland looks so pretty; can’t wait to see more pictures!
      Shelley B´s last blog post ..The Return of Cranky Shelley

  4. lisa

    How fun! I’m looking forward to your posts! I’ve been enjoying your photos on facebook from your trip. I imagine it will take a long time to go through all your photos. When I went to London 10+ years ago it was all film. I had no idea if any of the photos I took were good until they were developed and I came home with like 20+ rolls of film. LOL Thank goodness for digital now!

    I like the sign in the car. I would find that helpful. In London I definitely appreciated the signs on the pavement that said “look right” or left. It’s easy to forget!
    lisa´s last blog post ..What Did I Do??

    1. Lori Post author

      I’m a little overwhelmed at editing these photos. We are going to have a viewing party this weekend, so I can’t dawdle!

  5. Lynn

    Lori, love hearing all about your trip. I visited parts of Europe when I was younger but never visited Ireland. It looks so beautiful there. Glad you both had a wonderful anniversary trip.

  6. Biz

    I’ve loved all the pictures you’ve posted thus far – sorry you were sick though! I sometimes get stuff for a couple days after a plane ride – I feel the germs have nowhere to go!

    And happy belated anniversary! 😀
    Biz´s last blog post ..Get It Together


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