Life from Ireland – Day 1 – Doolin

3 Sep

Location: Doolin, County Clare, Ireland
Population: 500
Random Fact: Traditionally a fishing village, now the traditional music capital of Ireland
Accommodation: Daly’s Guest House, Doolin

We’re finally here!!! After a very, very long day of travel we are finally settled in and enjoying ourselves in Ireland!

Things got off to a rough start, I won’t lie. First our flight out of Newark was delayed for 3 hours. And we’d already been there for 2 hours. So as you would guess, nothing good comes from 5 hours of waiting. Nothing good at all.

This was followed by a most dreadful 6 hour flight that included approximately 15 minutes of sleep. The turbulence was so bad, that I actually got scared when the plane wasn’t bouncing up and down. As we made our approach, we pretty much just stared at each other. Running on about 6 hours of sleep in 24 hours, we were excited about absolutely nothing.

Then the thick cloud cover opened up and we saw this:

40 shades of green, just as promised. We were excited again! Fast forward through baggage, car rental, atm hassles and we were rocketing down an Irish interstate in a nasty looking Ford Focus and the only phrases being shared were:

“Left! Left! LEFFFTTTT!!!”

“Yield right! Yeild right! Riggghhhttt!!”

This was accented with a lot of “Oh my God.” “Help me Jesus” and assorted other calls for the assistance of Christ.

Our first pitstop was the town of Ennis, a larger place where we planned to stop at a Tesco (think Irish Walmart) for an international SIM card and some food supplies. Long story short: Lost. Very lost. Cruising Irish subdivisions lost.

By the time we were found, we’d gotten directions and assistance from a number of very lovely people but our nerves were shot and we were considering all the options. Those of course being: sleeping in the Tesco parking lot for the next 10 days and divorce.

We opted to take a breather and push on.

More yelling, more “LEFFFFTTT”, a minor run in with a row of hedges and about 40 more miles of lost.

By the time we pulled into the first B&B we were running on empty. Personally, I mean, not the car. The car is very fuel efficient thankfully as gas is running about $10/gallon.

When we walked in the door of Daly House we were greeted by our host Susan, who could not be more fantastic. She is cheerful, friendly and amazingly hospitable. In an instant, it felt like we were staying with family and before we knew it we were sipping coffee and baileys (or hot chocolate and baileys for me), munching on cookies, scratching the ears of George the resident dog and laughing with Susan about our misadventures. She showed us to our lovely room, which to our surprise includes a view of the Cliffs of Moher and a castle.

We grabbed our first pints and a lunch at a pub just a few minutes walk down the road and after refueling headed to explore the Cliffs of Moher.

With the jet lag in full force I seriously wondered if I had the strength to make the climb to the top, but as soon as the view opened up before us we were good to go!

We spent a few hours walking around, taking in the view from several vantage points and repeatedly saying “Oh my God!!” Thankfully this time we weren’t crying for help, but marveling at everything around us. Literally every time we turned around there was something more beautiful, more storybook like.

So even if the day started rough, it has played out even better than we could have hoped. The Irish scenery and the Irish people have charmed us more than we imagined, the weather is completely perfect and we’ve even gotten used to this whole tiny road-giant bus-no shoulder business.

We’re off  now to get dinner at a pub and catch some live music and pints at another pub. They’re within walking distance, and I’ve got my walkin’ shoes on baby.

Here’s one more of Doolin – the town we’re staying in – many more pictures to come, but the connection is slow and the files are huge and this girl is hungry!! Be patient with the pics, they might load slowly  : )

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3 Responses to “Life from Ireland – Day 1 – Doolin”

  1. betsy September 3, 2011 at 6:11 pm #

    How beautiful…wish we were there to share it with you, except for the parts that involve driving!!! by the time your vacay is over you will have mastered that wrong side of the car and wrong side of the road thing! or should I say opposite side…not wrong just different lol!! Have fun!! watch those pints…heard they sneak up on you!!

  2. Heidi September 3, 2011 at 9:18 pm #

    I love day 1 of this blog. Thank you for sharing your adventures. I was laughing so hard. I hope the rest of the trip including the driving is smooth! Enjoy yourselves!

  3. claire September 6, 2011 at 8:17 am #

    Beautiful! So glad you made it safe and sound!!!

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