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Post Info TOPIC: Short and Sweet


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Short and Sweet

My flight over and back was uneventful (Thank God).  The best I could do for non-stop from Philly to Dublin was $800.  I have to drive 3 hours to get to Philly from my home, but it's worth it to be able to make the trip to Dublin in 6.5 hours instead of 21!biggrin I have a hard time understanding why there are no non-stops from Washington or Baltimore to Ireland, but oh well...

I arrived at the airport in Dublin to find a strange man holding up a sign with my name on it!  I was expecting my friend, also called Marie, with whom I had reconnected on my last trip after a 40 year separation.  It turned out she was also there, and the "strange" man was her brother-in-law, Henry.  He had left work, and driven her to the airport to pick me up.  This theme of helpful strangers is ongoing in Ireland, it seems.  So many went out of their way, and seemed to genuinely enjoy doing so.  Makes me proud to be (maybe) Irish.  (That's a really long story that I KNOW you'e not interested in hearing!  smile Suffice it to say that it involves a possible adoption, the truth of which I may never know.)

I spent the entire first part of my trip in and around Dublin.  Some may say what they will about avoiding the "big" city, but I have really come to love it.  I know ALL the stops on the Luas from Kingswood to Abbey Street, most of them in Irish.  I also have a Dublin license plate on my car.  Love it.  While in the east, I visited Newgrange and the Hill of Tara with Mary Gibbons Tours.  What can I say?  It was magic, especially Newgrange.  It made me feel very small and very connected to humanity to visit their. Standing in that ancient chamber was humbling and comforting.  I also went back to Glendalough.  The tour guide who drove us through the Wicklow Mountains on Wild Wicklow Tours was fabulous and a riot!  I highly recommend both these tours.  I visited the Dubiln Zoo, which was surprisingly impressive to me, even though it rained most of the time.  The baby elephants swimming in water that was actually deep enough for them to frollick in were a true delight and one of the most enjoyable exhibits I have ever seen in a zoo.  Kilmainham Gaol (Jail) was so historically interesting and moving, and I would not have thought to visit, but a local suggested it.  Great!

BTW, her majesty the Queen visited while I was there, and it was pretty interesting to hear what the Irish had to say about that...nothing hateful, just lots of wondering why she was coming to Ireland, and, "please God, don't let anything happen to her while she's on Irish soil!"  biggrin  Obama's impending visit was anther story altogether.  Everywhere I went, when they heard I was an American, they wanted to know what I thought of Obama.  I'm not saying here, but I did tell THEM.wink

Marie and I took the train across to Galway, where we were met by ANOTHER helpful person whom I did not know, and taken to the airport to get the rental car.  No hassle there at all.  I rented from Avis online from here.  Drove to Achill Island, which was not a difficult drive, but I still needed some directions along the way, given freely and happily by whomever I asked.  One guy was driving a truck from the local power company, and he started to give me directions and then said, "Just wait till I pay for my gas, and I will lead you to the turnoff."  He wasn't going in that direction, but went far out of his way to be helpful.  I love the Irish, I do.

We stayed at the Bervie on Achill Island.  OMG.  Gorgeous.  Gracious hostess.  Sheep peeking from behind palm trees.  The Minaun Cliffs.  Fabulous food.  The strong sea wind, the grey-green sky, the desolate beach.  LOVED IT.  Only stayed one night, and left for Donegal the next day.  I found my family again in Creevy, outside of Ballyshannon, Co. Donegal.  It was a very meaningful part of the trip for me, and hard to describe here.  Suffice it to say that they had me convinced within hours that I was one of them.  The most "reportable" part of that experience was going to the pub at the hotel on the pier, where I saw REAL GYPSIES!  They did not look like the travelers depicted in one of my favorite movies of all time, "Into the West."  Oh, NO...these people were very colorful, very drunk, very scantilly-clad, with TONS of rhinestones everywhere! The musical group that was scheduled to play that night refused to come when they heard there were travelers there.  Apparently, there was trouble at their last gig where the travelers were present.  There is a clear and undisguised prejudice against these folks.  It was unsettling, but interesting to watch it all unfold. 

We took the train (very enjoyable) back to Dublin, and a few days later, I flew home. Now I am thinking about how I will save for my next trip. Ireland is expensive, so it may take some doing.hmm I will bring my daughters again (I went alone this last time), and maybe even the grandchildren.  I had 3 offers of houses to stay in when I do go back.  I love the Irish.   



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Oh, that is very nice! I find it different and interesting even though it is a personal, atypical journey. We were both there at the same time. And I was trying to avoid the Queen and Obama! I have to admit that the weather was not ideal.

I'm so glad you got to stay at the Bervie. Now, isn't it everything I say it is? biggrin I'm happy to hear that Liz made you feel at home. 

Time to start planning for next time. Save those pennies! 



"Ireland Expert"  Michele Erdvig

Click links for Michele's Book or Custom Ireland Itinerary

Visit Michele's Irish Shop for unique Irish gifts and beautiful photos of Ireland.


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Thanks for that! I enjoyed Into the West as well...


May the light be your guide and the darkness be your comfort!

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