I loved Ireland from the start.
I mentioned in my last post of the two conversations I had with people when waiting for my replacement bus somewhere between Mallow and Killarney. It seriously hasn’t stopped. I have said hello to more people in three days than I had for three months on the continent.
I got up early on my first day in Killarney to explore the Killarney National Park. I decided to forego the bike and opted for my feet instead, a decision I would later regret. I set off for Ross Castle first, which was very nice indeed but I didn’t realise that to get to Muckross House, which didn’t look far away at all, I had to go all the way back to where I had started and take a different road, as a golf course was in the way.
Oh, how I walked that day. Ross Castle was four k’s away from Killarney and Muckross six, so adding that all up I trekked twenty k’s just getting to each place. In the heat. I kid you not, this was the headline of the Irish Times yesterday;
‘Students suffer during exams in twenty-three degree heat’.
It really was lovely though – the rolling hills, the dazzling lakes and all that jazz. I then ventured indoors for a good craic at O’Connell’s, an Irish pub, with four girls from my hostel – Fanny (poor thing) from France, a Dutch girl whose name I didn’t catch who had the thickest Irish accent I’ve ever heard, Anna from Germany and Yuki from Japan. We must have looked interesting. I nursed a Guiness (I had to at least try it I suppose) and listened to an Irish duo, who involved the whole crowd by getting everyone to play instruments – let me just call them shakers, clappers and beaters. I had the shaker at one stage and had to get rid of it quick smart.
Yesterday I went on a tour of the Ring of Kerry, a group of villages on the Atlantic coast. It was lovely, townsfolk waved at us as we went past, sheep perched atop cliffs (we were told sometimes they fall off onto cars) and the green hills just went on and on. I took a gazillion photos will probably all look the same to everyone else, and met a Finnish family who almost fell out of their chairs when I told them I was off to Finland next week.
I’ve just arrived in Galway and am off to see some Gaelic footy – I think it’s the equivalent of the VFA but ‘I no complain’.