After a week long holiday in Ireland, I’m back home in Edinburgh. And, I must say, it was a terrific trip. As I mentioned in my last post, I was quite stressed in the days working up to my departure from the Burgh. I wanted a perfect week for Lauren and myself. Nearly everyone I voiced my concerns to in the days before the trip had the same response, “Matt, you’re going to be in Ireland – it will be great no mater what happens.”
They were probably right – plus, everything went as good as I could have planned. A special week in a special country. Numerous times we’d be driving through a small Irish village, or sitting in a small pub, or taking in the beautiful scenery that Ireland provides and I’d just smile. It was such a terrific feeling to be back in the country and taking it all in with someone who had yet to experience the Irish way – their laid back attitude, the ambiance of their pubs, the spontaneity of traditional Irish music, and of course the many beautiful landscapes on the island the size of Iowa.
Considering the time and money we had at our disposal, we saw a good deal of things in the South and West of Ireland. We kissed the Blarney Stone at the Blarney Castle. We spent two nights in the picturesque seaside village of Kinsale in the posh accommodation of Dempsey’s Hostel (sarcasm). We toured one of the best surviving examples of a 17th century star shaped fort in Summercove. We somehow hired a car (when they gave me the keys I said to Lauren, “Run before they change their minds!”). We made the slow, meandering drive around the picture-perfect Ring of Kerry. We experienced Doolin and impromptu trad sessions in its three lovely pubs. We did the Cliffs of Moher. We made it back to my favorite County Galway town and had the craic with my mates. We drove the Sky Road of the Connemara which brings tears to one old Irish fisherman’s eyes. The craic was mighty.
The week flew by and it was difficult to say goodbye to a face from home – but, goodbyes are never easy. It was indeed an unforgettable week. Thanks Lauren for coming to visit.