Sunday, May 17, 2009

Project 365: Day 136 -- Arrival on the Emerald Isle

We arrived in Shannon, Ireland at 9:45 this morning (Ireland time) to rain and about 54 degrees. Getting through passport control and customs was a breeze. And all of our luggage arrived with our flight, too, which is always a plus. Of course, the most important luggage--my camera equipment--was carry-on of course. But of course there were lines and waits...lines at passport control, lines at the baggage claim, lines at the rental car counter, lines at the rental car pick-up...

And the rental car--OMG, I didn't realize they made cars so small! I mean, of course I really did, but I have never been in one or known anyone that had one. I drive an SUV, for crying out loud. But this little car--a little Kia--was so small that only our carry-on back packs would fit in the trunk. Our suitcases had to go in the back seat!

And of course, in Ireland you drive on the left side of the road (in other words, the wrong side!) Now, Kelly decided at the rental counter that he was not about to let me drive in Ireland. Probably a wise decision on his part. Especially in hindsight...But he took to it remarkably well. The part that was really scary is the roads that are barely wide enough for one tiny car, yet allow two-way traffic! And worse yet, there are hedges right up to the edge of the road. And the speed limit is 80km an hour! (Note to the politicians who get the signs posted all over Ireland stating there have been 47 people killed in traffic accidents in County Clare in the past year--widen your roads and lower your speed limits!)

So, even with the death-defying act of driving, in the rain no less, we made it to Ennis for lunch. What a quaint little village! We found a little place that had the best Creamy Tomato Basil soup my tastebuds have ever had the pleasure of meeting. However, the Coke was barely cool, and there was no ice to be had. Frustrating, but not surprising.

From there, we drove on to Lisdoonvarna, then Doolin, over on the western coast of County Clare. We had reservations at the Harbour View Bed & Breakfast, and were quite pleased with the accomodations. Our hostess was friendly and helpful, and her little munchkin was adorable. By this time, we were exhausted, having been traveling for nearly 24 hours, and having only slept for about 20 minutes on the miserable flight. So before we could even consider exploring any more, or having dinner, we needed to sleep! We took a nap for about 2 hours, then headed into the village for dinner at McGann's Pub. Kelly had Irish Stew and a pint of Guinness, and I had the Fish & Chips and a cold Coke--with ice! Bless that bartender! The food was excellent, and the pub was friendly and cozy. But even with the nap, we were too tired to stay out late, and headed to bed fairly early. Of course, it was still daylight at 10PM!

1 comment:

  1. "Hi, beautiful pics! Thanks for the travel advice. Sue (Jenny from 2Peas mom)"