The summer after I graduated from college, I went to Ireland with two girlfriends. We rented a flat in Galway for three months and, from there, traveled all around. It was an excellent and hilarious trip, mostly because because Cara and Marisa were a lot of fun. Whenever St. Paddy’s rolls around, I think of them and the country we traveled together. Here are some things I learned while there:
That it can actually be quite sunny in Ireland – it didn’t rain for our first 10 days there. Lots of pale people (myself included) flocked to the beach. I probably got more of a tan there than I have ever gotten since. The news reported lots of cases of sun poisoning and first degree burns. This photo was taken at Salthill beach in Galway:
There’s a preponderance of stones and rocks and they do impressive things with them – this photo was taken on the Aran Islands:
They let you walk all the way to the edge of cliffs! We wondered: Would they let you do this in America or would there be a fence? (And I wonder now: should I have been that close to the edge? Sorry Mom.) Also taken on the Aran Islands:
The road signage is brilliant. These kinds of intersections would surely drive anybody to drink:
Funghi, the Friendly Dolphin, who resides in Dingle Bay was exactly as friendly as promised but I failed to catch a picture of him with my disposable camera (I was probably winding it) when he made an appearance – Anyway, this photo was taken on the boat, while in hot pursuit of him. (Notice that my love of polka dots was well underway even at this young age):
The castles, abbeys, and forts are simply stunning – this was taken at Kylemore Abbey in Connemara. (This is, for me, the iconic photo of the trip – I have kept it framed on my shelf for all these years):
Understanding the rules of cricket is not exactly a cinch for tourists who are passing through (in other words, not even remotely possible) – taken at Trinity College in Dublin:
Three things about Guinness – 1. It does actually taste better the closer you get to the source 2. It’s so thick that a match will indeed stand up in the foam 3. One pint of it will fill you up more than 47 milkshakes. Taken at the Guinness Brewery in Dublin:
You can only carry so many souvenirs (and hand-knit sweaters) in your backpack. But I did pick up this little tchotchke in County Cork. The back says: “Triple Spiral from New Grange, Co. Meath, 3000 B.C. (Symbol of three: male, female, child: birth, love, death; the flowing continuity of life.)” I keep this on my office shelf all year, but just brought it out to our living room in honor of March 17:
And finally, the coast of Ireland is simply breathtaking:
What an incredible country and an amazing trip. Have you ever been?
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!