We arrived at our new Irish digs after a slightly confusing drive from downtown Dublin. I have to say that “slightly confusing drive” while driving in Ireland is probably a redundant phrase. When you factor in driving on the left hand side plus the congestion of downtown Dublin and highway numbering strategies that don’t make a lot of sense to a foreigner, let’s just say that when we pulled into the driveway, we both exhaled rather deeply.
The house is charming, and is on the property of the equally charming couple, Pat and Una, who own and manage it. We had a very nice chat with them upon our arrival, but I don’t remember anything they said because all I heard was their lyrical Irish accent, which we floated on like they were singing a siren’s song and we were sailors ready to crash into the rocks to hear it. They could have told us they thought either of us looked a lot like Donald Trump and we would have just smiled and asked them to keep talking.
Their property is quite large and filled with cows and some horses and a whole flock of rabbits. Maybe you don’t call a bunch of rabbits a flock… but if they all were to back up at the same time, you could call it a receding hareline. Har Har!
This is the house from the outside, and our VW Golf, which is a great little car despite having the stick shift for its manual transmission on the left.
The first morning the two of us went to get into the car, we both opened the wrong doors at the same time, looked up at each other, and busted out laughing. Ah yes, the driver’s side is on the right.
Here are some views from the house looking the other way, from inside the main kitchen/dining area window. Quite a gorgeous view, all the way to Ireland’s second tallest mountain. I don’t think one would ever get tired of such a view.
And here’s what I look like working on the blog (and work stuff) from our kitchen. The house appears to be fairly new, and after being in a couple of small apartments and hotel rooms, feels positively like a mansion with its three bedrooms and two bathrooms.
I tried to ride this noble steed so Carolyn could always remember me riding up on a white horse in order to rescue her from the flock of killer rabbits, but had to settle for this photo instead.
So for our first Irish excursion into the countryside we decided to visit the area called Glendalough, which features an ancient (we’re talking 6th century) cathedral and monastic settlement, founded by none other than St. Kevin.
But first, we had to get there by car. And by driving on the left. With the driver’s side on the right, with the gear shift on the left, and the windshield wipers on the right, on two lane roads that are about as wide as a typical one-lane road in the states and generally no idea where we were at any given time.
On the drive, Carolyn was snapping pictures right and left in order to collect a sense of the Irish countryside. It is green, and beautiful, and only bisected by these teeny tiny roads. Here is a short slide show to give you a sense of the countryside.
Said roads are occasionally inhabited by some of the many sheep that can be seen just about everywhere. We even noticed a sheep pumping gas at one of the stations. Anyway, when driving on these roads, you certainly can’t afford to be distracted. In addition to almost creating a freezer full of lamb chops, one with a backwards “VW” imprinted on it, we also rounded a bend and nearly rear-ended a bicycle rider. You really have to be a little nuts to be riding a bike on roads with no shoulders and that can barely accommodate two cars.
Once we arrived at Glendalough, we were treated to a nice little tourist attraction which featured a fairly large cemetery, as well as a tower, a church, and the remains of a cathedral. The stone construction makes it look as if the church will stand for another 1,400 years.
Anyway, if you’re interested, here’s another slide show of all that we saw. Warning: It’s about 45 pictures so it may take some time to load.
It’s not often I find a saint named after me, much less an ice cream cone.
Afterwards we went inside to escape the hail. It hailed off and on the entire visit. Carolyn had herself an Irish coffee and I couldn’t pass up a locally brewed St. Kevin’s Ale.
Do you like sheep? If so, you’ll love Ireland!
Aaand just to prove that Carolyn is not the only person in the world to get excited about doors, I couldn’t help snapping a picture of this postcard, which will also serve as our closing Door of the Day picture: