Friday, 30 December 2005
Having just returned from my xmas trip to Ireland, am feeling refreshed. It rained today for the first time—I’ll be arrogant and say Ireland was in tears at my leaving;) Saw quite a few places I hadn’t been to before, including Tralee, Doolin, Dingle, Killarney, Blarney, Cork and Cashel. The Blarney stone itself seemed like a load of touristy hype to me…I would imagine those who actually kissed it might have gone away with a few extra germs, yuck. Despite our tour guide leaving us behind at the last stop yesterday, the tour itself was quite nice. Before you gasp, he did return, after taking a vote from those on the bus, half of whom raised hands to leave us behind! In all fairness, we had walked a bit too far out at Glendalough, getting back at least 20 minutes late, but still. Later on that day, the bus was broken into, and the bus driver and one who protested loudly to leave us behind had some personal possessions (hence the title of the post…although I’m never glad to see someone get their things stolen). Met some excellent people and saw some amazing sites. We had a fantastic Christmas dinner cooked by one of the tour guides, while staying in a hostel/pub in a small town on the Dingle peninsula. Guess the villagers protested the pub being built, as it is right across the street from the church, and called the Randy Leprechaun;) Despite this, they tolerated the tour group going out to the beach with them Christmas morning and having a swim. Crazy feckers—I stayed behind with the newspaper and had a nice chill out. On the day after Christmas, which they refer to as St. Stephen’s Day in Ireland (Boxing Day in the UK), they have these Wren Day parades, in which the villagers dress up (similar to Halloween type costumes) and go in and out of the local businesses and pubs dancing and playing instruments, collecting for charity. This year, in Dingle, they were collecting for a new sports center for the town. Beats taking it out of the taxpayers pocket, hey? More later…
modified to add: description of pics—the wren in dingle, myself and a fellow traveller from my tour, cliffs of moher, glendalough, and…well, read my comment.