Tuesday, September 9, 2014

J and K's Excellent Adventure: Ireland, Day 1

My friend, Kate, and I went to Europe for a couple of weeks. It was absolutely fantastic. Here is an overview of all we did.....at least for our first day. WESTERN IRELAND!

Day 1 (Thursday and Friday)

We flew out of Kansas City (to Charlotte, NC) around 2 PM on Thursday. We bought our tickets in February. The very next day Kate called the airline to get our seats switched so that we were next to each other,  and the airline confirmed that the switch had been made. However, when we got to the airport, that was not the case. Thankfully the people at the desk by our gate were really helpful, and so we got our seats switched for that flight, and got to be next to each other. Unfortunately, they said for the next flight we wouldn't be able to swap seats....the flight was already full. We just figured that we would ask the people around us to possibly switch when the time came. Anyway....so we departed Kansas City, and the most eventful thing that flight was that the change in air pressure caused my water bottle to turn into a fountain, and water went all over my pants. The beautiful thing about water is that it dries, so by the time we got to Charlotte all was well. :)

After our layover, it was time to head to Dublin! We boarded the plane, and then after talking to the lady next to me, she agreed to switch seats with Kate! Don't get me wrong, the lady was really nice, and it would have been fine sitting by her for 7 hours, but it is always nice to sit by the person with whom you're traveling. The other person in our row was a nice man from Ireland. He had come to the States to go to some San Francisco Giants baseball games....he was randomly a huge fan of that team. The flight was good overall. Our earphones wouldn't work (tons of static), so we didn't get to watch the in-flight movies. And we couldn't fall asleep because the stewardesses were in the aisle like every 15 minutes, and the kids behind us were kicking our seats. Oh well....we survived.

We landed in Dublin around 7 AM, Dublin time. Which meant it was about 1 AM back in Kansas. We were ready for bed. However, that was not a possibility. Also, when we left Kansas it was about 90 degrees, when we landed in Dublin, it was 40 degrees there. SO COLD! Anyway...we rented a car, and headed West. So little known fact about me: I have never learned how to drive a manual car. It was just never a priority, even though we had manual cars in which I could have learned. I took a few lessons from one of my brothers when I'd visit him in Utah, but I haven't attempted to drive a stick shift in 10 years. Thus, Kate got to do all of the driving in Ireland. She rocked it. Not only do you have to drive on the opposite side of the road, but you also have to shift with your left hand. Plus, the roads were crazy narrow and windy! However, Kate did a really great job. And after a few hours, it wasn't so weird to be on the opposite side of the road. From Dublin, we drove about 4 hours across the country to a little town called Dingle. It was so beautiful. We were absolutely exhausted, but the amazing scenery helped us stay awake.

When we got to Dingle, we found some lunch---Fish and Chips! It was so delicious. Then we walked around the town for a little bit, and had some ice cream. It was divine. After a bit, Kate went back to the car to take a quick nap, and I continued to wander around for another hour. Then we drove the Dingle Peninsula....about a 30 mile loop. In a guide book Kate had, it suggested biking the peninsula. That was our original plan, but since it was cold and quite blustery, we decided against it. And after seeing how narrow the roads were, and cars coming quickly around curves, I was glad we didn't ride bikes.

The peninsula loop was absolutely gorgeous. We stopped at a beach area, and touched the Eastern side (for us in the States) side of the Atlantic Ocean. Unfortunately by halfway through the loop, I could not stay awake anymore. I definitely kept dozing off. But I still got to see a lot of beautiful views anyway.

On our way to Dingle, we drove through a small town called Adare. When we were passing through, we noticed some really pretty ruins. So on our way back East, we stopped in Adare to find those ruins. ....we maybe trespassed on a Golf Course in order to get some pictures. There was no way to get good pictures from the road (like nowhere to stop), so we went to the Golf Course instead and walked to them. Then after that, we went to our hotel in Limerick, and completely zonked out.

Here are a few pictures from Day 1:

 Ireland is absolutely beautiful! Just green everywhere. This is one of the views as we were driving from Dublin to Dingle. But really it looks like this everywhere. It is just stunning. 

The town of Dingle! I love it. One of the best parts: Even though it is on a harbor, it doesn't smell strongly of fish. 

Another picture of Dingle. 

An area we stopped at whilst driving around the Dingle Peninsula. 

 The ruins at the Golf Course in Adare. 


Another view while driving around the Peninsula.

A beautiful train bridge, and view, outside of a really rundown gas station. 

Us at the Atlantic Ocean. 

There are so many rock walls all across the landscape. It is awesome. 

Another pretty view while driving around. 

Another picture from the Golf Course. 

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