A Drive Through the Countryside and Peeing Sheep
We had high hopes for today… ok, not really, but we did have some plans that fell through.
We drove up to Connemara National Park to walk around the grounds, but due to the rain and all around miserable day we didn’t stay. In fact, we got out of the car, walked around the visitor’s center and learned about the natural habitat and bogs, took one picture of a man-made waterfall and left.
I do have to say the ride to the national park was quite fun. For a week now we’ve been driving around the Irish countryside and a brunt of our conversations revolve around the sheep we see dotting the mountains. (Look to my Day 4 post of the trip for more on our sheep conversations.) This is a conversation we had today…
(After seeing sheep quietly eating grass by a lake)
Me: What if the sheep falls in?
Eric: It gets wet.
Me: But how does it get out?
Eric: I would assume they can swim. I mean, deer can swim so why not sheep?
Me: …pull over.
Eric: I am NOT pulling over so you can push a sheep in the water to see if it swims!
So, I didn’t get to do a little experiment about the aquatic abilities of sheep but thanks to some road side wanderers another sheeply question of ours was answered.
I’ve been wondering how the farmers were keeping track of all these sheep. Some of these guys are by themselves on the side of some mountain, totally removed from civilization. Luckily for us, we got up close and personal with some sheep today, so up and close that one felt comfortable enough to pee in front of us.
Actually, he tried to run away but ended up running in front of us, then on the side of the road he peed a little, then ran a little, then peed some more, then ran. It was quite amusing.
Not only did I get a close view of a sheep peeing, I got a close look at his ear that had a tracking device pierced through it. Mystery #1 was solved. Now if Eric would have only pulled over I would have had the answer to my second question already.
After saying goodbye to our sheep friends we headed to Brigit’s Garden, 11 acres of woodland with gardens and areas set up as each of the seasonal celebrations at the heart of Celtic mythology. If you’re interested in Celtic mythology including the four seasons (Samhain, Imbolc, Bealtaine, and Lughnasa) I highly recommend stopping by here, especially if its a new interest for you.
The first area is divided up into four areas, each one explaining the four seasons and their significance to Celtic mythology. There’s also a trail that leads you through the grounds that explains certain plants, trees and wildlife that played a part in Celtic mythology.
There is no doubt in my mind that this is an absolutely stunning and inspiring place in the Spring and Summer when the flowers and plant life are alive and beautiful. However, on a cold, dreary, wet day in the middle of October it was… well, it was wet. Luckily for me I have an imagination and I swore I could hear the fairies laughing at our misfortune with the rain.
Now that our feet were sufficiently soaked through we decided we had enough of the rain and drove back into Galway to buy some souvenirs. We walked around downtown Galway, bought some Celtic rings, ate at a McDonalds (it felt wrong) and got some jewelry and knick-knacks at the Connemara Marble gift shop. (Really, truly beautiful pieces here, friends. If you’re a cherished loved one or family member, you may see a little marble clover in your future.)
We ended the night at the hotel bar, eating spectacular food, drinking Guinness, Bulmer’s Cider, (strong!) Irish coffee and watching the Republic of Ireland take Armenia in a Euro 2012 qualifying match. It’s one thing to watch a soccer match at home, but in a country were soccer is a bit bigger than America and it’s their team you’re watching, um, yeah, whole new ball game here, folks!
Now its time to talk with my girls then tuck myself in. We have a long drive ahead of us tomorrow all the way up to Derry/Londonderry. Thank you, Galway, it’s been an honor!
***Note: Thanks to Kristi Silva for commenting on my Facebook page with this clip of Peter, the swimming sheep. Check it out! Amazing! http://www.youtube.com/wat