Ireland Trip - Personal Log
Ireland Sept - 2000
I'm on my way to Ireland, too watch my friends Margot and John tie the knott. As i sit here, finally in a room with a hot shower, i look back on my first day of travels and realize everything went as planned. After Dean dropped me off at ohare, i just simply got on my flight and left. Now, i was a bit concerned about flying Aeroflot (the Russian national airline). Thinking of all those horror stories of pilots having to land early because they where to drunk , or the other fabbles of Aeroflot's terrible maintenance record. But here is what i saw of Aeroflot. Awesome plane, more room than usual, cozy and clean. Good ventilation, super nice staff, in fact rather hot stewadress'. oh and great food, i never loved airline food this much. But it's kinda obvious Russians are new to this whole capitalism thing, they didn't charge extra for anything.
So i arrived at Shannon Intl. at 7am local time, got my righthand drive car(a cute little econo box from toyota) and threw caution to the wind and took off driving. wow, it was easy to pick up driving on the other side, even the roundabouts(traffic circles) were a cinch. now finding my way was a bit harder, as the signs are not as pronounced here, so after a few wrong turns, and running out of gas (yes i ran out of gas again, apparently in ireland they don't give you a rental car with a full tank like at home, and yes mom, i know you told me so) luckily in front of a service station,few!!!!. I made it to Doolin, county Clare. took me but a few minutes to find my guesthouse, had a cup of coffee with the nicelady(joan) who runs it, and set myself up for a walkabout. It's cold and windy today, then it rained on me. is this a vacation or what? think i will nap now as i have been awake for way too many hours. ohh and my power transformer works here , YEAH!!!! now i can play age of empires all night ;)
Last night i went to Mc Dermott's pub a quaint little joint with some live music. Met a bunch of americans there, and eventually Margot and John showed up(the two that i came here for, so i can see'um get hitched). we
had a few pints and called it a night. I fear that doolin is such a tourist town that most real irish folk avoid it like the plague and those that work here are a bit embarassed of it. time will tell.
hike by a 700 ft cliff in mud while raining? sure, i'll try anything once. the cliffs of moher are probably one of the most photographed spots in ireland, and all the tour buses stop there. so as a result it was to much for me, but hag's head was a watch tower some 8 miles down the coast, which could only be hiked to along the brim of the cliffs, which means no touristy types out there. it was a hike though, very neato. i didn't fall, but got very muddy. besides if i got killed hiking the cliffs of moher, it would make one hell of an obituary in the northbrook star.
have i mentioned my guesthouse is great? joan gave me a free upgrade to ensuite, with bathroom, and every morning i get a nice irish breakfast.....poached egg, bacon, sausage and tomato. so my cholesterol levels are skyrocketing. also i am living on dark brown liquids alone. coffee in the morn, coke at lunch, guinness for dinner...... i wonder what
this will do to my poop?
went out to the burren with jen and kendra, more wedding folk. the burren is a desolate barren area covered in limestone and dotted with prehistoric tombs(dolmen's). some of them were neat, some very lame, the cool part was there were no barriers so you can walk right up to them and even better, there are so many rocks around you can build your own
dolmen next to them. we then went on to the aillwee cave, by far the most touristy thing done so far on this trip, though it ain't no rock city. it was ok, but not much to write home about. So then it was on to lisdoonvarna and the matchmaking festival. boy was i dissapointed, i expected huge vats of magnesium boiling away and lots of little sticks that you dip in and .....viola, matches!!!! Then i found out it was a dating thing. apparently
all the scary loosers of the reqion(and some tourists) gather here to
try and get hitched, so actually i enjoyed the tacky dressed,
toothless freaks just lookin' for love. The town itself is nice and quaint, i'm sure on any other day it is a very enjoyable town. tonight is the boys go here and girls go there pub night before the wedding, so far everyone seems to be having a great time, and by the wedding i'll actually mention everyone that came over for the wedding.
woke up at 8am again, got me some breakfast and saw it was raining. hmmm what to do??? picked up some of the crew and headed to a town named Lahinch to do a little shopping. looked at irish themed trinkets. did not buy a thing. looked at more rocks. and i am now back in my room at 3pm, and it's still raining. think i'll go draw at the pub and write this day off.
last nights wind storm was incredible, now i've been in hurricane winds
and all, but last night walking home i was seriously doubting whether
i would maintain contact with the ground.
No commentary or photos as I was asked to video the wedding
and i will let the movies speak for myself.
ahhhhh, what a great thing awakening to a new day with nothing to do but
be a tour guide. as i have seen most of the sights around by now,
i volunteered to show them to a few others. mostly we revisited
the spots aforementioned, but i did stop by a new town named Ennitymon.
here we found a great cemetary at the top of some hills, i must
have taken 30 bazillion pictures there. Tonight another wind storm
hit and knocked power out to the town of Doolin, i think this is great,
a real experience with all candle lights going in the pubs. Carry, Drew,
Jen and I ate at the Loopy Lobster restaurant and thouroughly enjoyed
our first meal outside of a pub in 6 days. we then said our goodbyes
to the rest of the wedding crew and tomorrow I shall be shuttle boy
driving everyone to the airport........after they're all gone i can
FINALLY start having some fun. just kidding it's more like my first vacation is now over and i'm starting a whole new one on my own.
i did lot's of stuff today, butt rigth now i am drunk , for the first time in ireland. i hung out with mr oconnel or oconner or whatever from margot's wedding and i drank tooooooo much. he compared jen's boobies to th cliff s of mohert.....hrehehe it was fun. all the ghermans liked me tonight
cuz they thought i was irish. Butt the best part about 2nite was when 3 irish chicks wanted to order 3 blue hawaiiians????????? i was right there sayin,"ohh my gosh", and no one behind da bar knew what to do........Nels does, and came to the rescue. Thanks to Margot and her Neo blue Hawaiian receipee i had a good start. all i know was i just made a blue hawaaiian , in ireland with all sorts of liquors, though the y had no blender. and no parasol's. i will try to write what really happened during the day to morrow.
I am leaving the above paragraph in tact, as written as proof of what
guinness is capable of.
OK, so yesterday i dropped everyone off at the airport and headed out to see the sites in the area. Actually i enjoyed all of it; went to Knappogue castle which was built in the 1400's and smelt like it. it was very neato. but my favorite was what they call the craggaunowen project. It's one of those irish heritage, the way they used to live, places. It probably gets a lot of bus tours but on the day i was there i was completely alone and i could talk to the staff at my will. It goes through various living enclosures
like ring forts and how they were used from 300bc up to 1700ad. anyway
i thought it was great, and i won't ramble on.
Today was mostly a driving day, took the ferry across the river Shannon
and arrived in Dingle. Compared to the other towns Dingle is huge. I also
just watched TV for the first time. what did i watch???? futbol? no!
Inspector gadget in Gaelic? Yup, apparently Dingle is the last hold out
for Gaelic, even the road signs are in it. I went out to yet another
pub last night nothing exciting though and i found out there is a
"big game" on saturday with Galway, best if i cruise before that. I did
eat at the Irish equivelant of Nikkos though, and it was just as bad.
Being that this town is Dingle, i have been asking around where
i can get some of the infamous berries. But alas so far
i have had no luck finding these so called dingle berries.
Drove the Dingle circle, what a waste, I think i'm getting sick of looking
at pretty scenery. also sick of writing this, I give up.
It's a long way to Tipperrary but i think i can make it,
besides i have identified 16 castles i wanna see, i have
three day's left. Sick of scenery, i wanna play
in castles like when i when i was a lad.
Some Notes on Ireland:
I believe drink prices are a constant here, 2.20(pounds)
(as i venture further i see they do vary 2.10-2.30 which is very reasonable)
Technically there are more women here than men, you just wouldn't
know it by looking in the Pubs. (except for 1 night when there
where tons of hot chicks in Dingle, hmmmmm...... lack of men,
perhaps i was at a lesbian bar.......:)
bussiness idea that would fail here, car wash. it rains so much
that when your car gets dirty just wait an hour and it will be clean again.
the Irish are quite friendly, but i have a feeling they are getting sick
of tourists, you can feel it. as it is now, their national identity is for
sale and i don't think they approve. during the high tourist season
there are more tourists than Irishmen.(stick to the non-trendy towns and they will welcome you whole-heartedly)
I think it is very cool that they named a beer here after the guy who
played Obi-won Kenobi. Now that's the die hard Star Wars fans i like.
The Irish are still a bit innocent. When getting a room here there is no
deposit, no credit card required, to get a room. IE, if you wanted
you could get a room and split in the morning without paying.
I tink they put vinegar in everything here, I just saw a guy put it in
his whiskey. Well I bet the chicks never have too ....
I have thought many a thought that i would have never thought unless drunk.
I think every chick here over the age of 20 has a kid,
The Irish are fearless drivers, even with narrow roads that wouldn't
even hold a SUV.