Posts Tagged ‘Guinness’

A Drive Through the Countryside and Peeing Sheep

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

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.

We go all the way to a beautiful national park and took a picture of a man made waterfall.

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.

"Whatchu looking at?"

"You literally scared the piss out of me!"
















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. 🙂

Diarmuid and Grainne's bed - a secluded hollow where mythical lovers can rest and watch the stars above them. (Bealtaine)

Walkway through the forest










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! (I like his little wiggle at that end!) 😉

Guinness, Anyone?

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

Well, hello good friends! It’s almost 11pm here and I’m just about to get on skype to talk with my girls back home, but before I do I needed to catch you up on my first day in Ireland. We arrived at Dublin Airport at 6:31am, which is not terribly early, however when you factor in that our flight left Newark at 7pm the previous evening and we time traveled five hours ahead, it was pretty rough for me. Somehow I got into a routine of every 30 minutes changing my position in my seat in fruitless attempt to find comfort. You can imagine my elation when with an hour left in the flight I realized that I sat in every combination possible except for just sitting there and crossing my legs! Seriously people, it’s the little things for me and sitting in that position, first one leg crossed, then the other, kept me sane for that last hour.

Off the plane and ready... for bed. Just kidding. We're off to our hotel.

We’re doing a self-tour around the beautiful country of Ireland arranged by CIE Tours. Our first two nights are spent in Dublin in the Davenport Hotel. Today we were lucky enough to be able to check in when we arrived in the morning. After a quick cat nap, we hopped on the “Hop On – Hop Off” bus, a tour that takes you around the city of Dublin and allows you to get off at different stops, explore, then get back on at your choosing.

Davenport Hotel

Some of our stops on the tour…

St. Patrick’s Cathedral

St. Patrick's Cathedral

Inscription: This stone was found 15th June 1901 six feet below the surface of the traditional site of the St. Patrick's Well


















St. James Gate for a Guinness Tour

Getting ready to go into the Guinness Storehouse 🙂


My Goodness! My Guinness!










I couldn’t believe how smooth Guinness is over here. I really don’t know if I’ll be able to drink Guinness back at home after this… ok, I know, that’s a stretch, but still, I’m telling ya folks, it’s like drinking silk. At one of the cafe’s in the Guinness Storehouse we drank the water that is used to make the beer and that was the softest water I’ve ever had. I’m not sure if you can use “soft” to describe water, but really, I can’t describe it any other way.

For dinner we ate O’Neill’s a true, traditional Irish pub. It was quite an experience since we had no idea what the hell we were doing. Used to the American way of dining of walking in and being seated, we meandered around three floors trying to figure out where do we sit and where everyone was getting the food. We couldn’t see any waiters or waitresses but food was appearing and drinks were disappearing.


Mustering up some courage we jumped in a line and low and behold we ordered food and were served. Now that we had our food, we needed to find a place to sit. Which was no easy matter. Balancing an overflowing Irish stew with an overflowing Guinness we did our best not to spill everything. There were clusters of tables in the corner, one random table with two small stools by the stairs, a row of chairs by the bar; it was nerve-wracking and exciting and relaxing all at once. The Irish music streaming down the steps lulled our tense traveling nerves and encouraged us to just sit down and relax, and we did.

Mmmm, Irish Beef Stew with Guinness and a Guinness. (Seeing a pattern here, folks?)

So, that was our first day, now it is way past my bed time (I talked to the girls in between trying to upload these pictures!) so I’ll be going to bed now. Tomorrow we’ll be visiting a church with crypts, a gaol and we’re doing a ghost tour around Dublin at night! Hope to see you tomorrow night!