My family and I have been in Ireland for a week now. It is such a gorgeous place! In a lot of ways it reminds me of Oregon in the winter, green and beautiful. There is a lot of open space. Rolling green fields with stone or hedge fences. It’s stunning. There haven’t been as many horses as I expected to see but there are a lot of cows and sheep.
The roads are narrow and you drive on the left side. That has been hard to get used to! There are also a lot of roundabouts. We have a couple near where we live but these are 2 lane roundabouts located every couple of kilometers in some places. They are crazy! People also park anywhere they want; on the sidewalk, in the street, wherever.
We arrived in Ireland at 8am on Wednesday morning. They are 8 hours ahead of what our time would be at home, so for us it was really midnight. We were so exhausted! We had some driving to do but ended up being able to check in to our hotel at 3pm rather than 4pm. As soon as we got to our rooms we all crashed. After a 3 hour nap we braved the crazy roads to find some food then it was back to bed for all of us. The next morning we woke up feeling pretty good and we were off. We headed up to Northern Ireland to visit the Titanic Museum in Belfast.
We stayed one night in Northern Ireland before going to the Carrick-a-rede rope bridge and the Giant’s Causeway. The rope bridge was said to have been put in place by fishermen so that they could get out to better fishing. It was very neat and we all enjoyed it.
We stayed one night near Sligo and explored the city that morning. That evening we were able to get in to the house where we will be staying for a week. It’s nice to have a home base and not have to be packing all of our things every night. I also got to meet my first Irish horse, a beautiful grey Irish Draft named Colleen. When asking about the horse, I told the farmer that I ride. He asked how often I ride, and if I’m good. He offered to let me ride Colleen, and I asked if she was broke to ride….she’s not. Haha. At that point we had also taken a walk so that I could get some photos of two donkeys that lived up the road. On our way back we saw a beautiful horse way up on the hillside. We began calling and she came down! A beautiful 2 year old Clydesdale, who the farmer traded Colleen’s mom for.
Sunday we went to church in Galway and explored that city. In talking to the minister, we learned that unless you are a citizen of Ireland you cannot come in to the country and work, unless you can fill 1 of 4-5 jobs. The things he listed were a doctor, nurse, pharmacist, and I’m not sure what else. Otherwise, to become a citizen you have to live here for 5 years, but you cannot work. Crazy!
Yesterday we visited the Cliffs of Moher and had a dinner at Dungaire Castle. It was really fun! It’s amazing to think that castle has been there for 500 years. There is so much history around here and it really makes you realize how relatively young the US is.
Tomorrow we will get the opportunity to visit the old McPartlin home where my grandpa grew up. I’m looking forward to knowing more of that history!
I have a lot of beautiful pictures but a slow internet connection so I will try to upload more later.