After living and teaching English on my sub-tropical paradise island of Jeju, South Korea for one year, I waved goodbye to friends and jetted off to the U.K. once more (after a brief stop in Hong Kong). Although I was extremely happy to catch up with J’s family, whom I hadn’t seen for over a year, I was craving a new adventure with him. After all, the last few years had been characterized by ridiculous raft-building, cross-continental cycling, hitchhiking (the good and the bad), and a whole lot of beer tasting. With minimal money to spend on a trip, we opted to fly the short distance to a country that I’d never been to and that he’d only seen very briefly: Ireland. If you know anything about the country, you’re probably asking yourself, “Why the hell would they choose to go there with a small budget?”; we later asked ourselves the same thing.
I’d always wanted to go to the land of leprechauns and luck, and to be honest, it delivered on all counts. Although it was mid-November, the entirety of the country was still blanketed in rolling green hills. Sure, it rained about five times a day on most days, but I consider us extremely lucky for the many hours of sunshine we did receive. Our dear Polish friend, Pawel, whom we hadn’t seen in over a year, decided to join us, making it a road trip for three- we had too many places that we wanted to see, so we figured driving around offered the best and easiest way to see them all. Even though Ireland was certainly one of the most expensive countries I’ve ever visited, I think every penny- or rather, Euro cent- was worth it- especially the extra ones that we spent on rental insurance, as J (“nearly”) crashed the car on the pitch black motorway. Here were some of the highlights.
Veggie Sandwiches and Murphy’s Stout- Temple Bar, Dublin
We did try to find the end of the rainbow…and failed. Howth, County Dublin
Ireland has many stone ruin castles. They are amazing. Unfortunately, I can’t remember where this one was- somewhere between Limerick and Killarney, on a golf course.
and this one…Ross Castle, Lake Killarney, County Kerry
The lake isn’t too shabby itself. Lake Killarney, surrounded by the famous Ring of Kerry, County Kerry
The rainy weather facilitated greenery like this, even in November…
flooded swamps like this…
and skies like this.
The seaside can look one way…unknown village, County Clare
or even another…Cliffs of Moher (Yeah, that’s a 700 foot drop), County Clare
and got lost in the fog…somewhere.
Ireland, you amazed me. Thanks for the good times, good people, and good beer.