Ireland in a nutshell

Ireland Travel Blog

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Capoeira in the streets of Dublin
Arrival:

After a nightfall of ocean flying I awoke (only in the literal sense) cruising above green mountains that broke a swirling mist upon morning sky.  My first glimpse of Ireland.
Anxiously I watched the heaving country give way to geometric patterns of stone upon earth.  As eventually all green was gone and man's creation rose to meet the descending plane.  Dublin.
I amused myself during a quick bus ride into town with short chat to strangers and glimpses of the city from inbetween windows, and from the wrong side of the road.  The streets interweave with a bit of chaos that mimics the neverending stairs.  Amusing, but always wandering in circles.
Dublin
  With mere hours of sleep under my belt and morning just stretching onto dawn I stumble across my hostel.  Of course not able to get into my room for another 8 hours.  Sleep, what a beautiful thought.
So I decided to tackle the endless stairs without logic of a rested mind, or a common thing known as a map.  Upon intersections masses of people struggle for right of way as no one knows or can seem to figure out what side to be on; so we play a game of pinball as I try to remember which way traffic will be coming from.   Beautiful architecture mingles with a randomness of shops, restaurants and tourism.  The river splitting the city in half is covered with bridges that at first capture awe and amusement, but quickly become ordinary after crossing - though the gentle bounce as a parade of feet pound its surface never seemed to get old.
Dublin

The main street runs proudly across the liffey with statues of worth and a simple spire pole shooting up to the clouds.  A simplicity that somehow captures interest and inclines you to stare up to the top, curious - but not exactly sure why. 
I soon forgot any objective I may have had, if there was one...and wandered far past the globs of people; finding some of what I found captured my eyes the most - life.
Under an old cement bridge that crossed a flowing river of brown and rock, a group of older men [or appearing such] lay upon the hard ground drinking and tossing around cards; laughing and talking in high spirits.
Around the corner houses lined both sides of what looked to be a one lane street.  Of which cars were somehow managed and crammed onto the entire stretch.
Guinness Storehouse
  A metal masterpiece held together by small fences and even smaller lawns.  Front steps spilled onto the walk as each led to a door of it's own spetacular color.  Beaming against the reddish brick of the houses, which became one continuous wall cradling the skinny street.
A soccerball bounces across the way, followed by a young lad chasing after it cheering to another in thick tounge. 
The scene did the city well, bringing a bit of real to what felt catered.
Though now entirely without a clue of my whereabouts I began to think towards getting back.  Down, up, in and out I went about and finally came across the spire in the centre that I became to loathe as a landmark.  Still hours till my bed was ready I passed out on a surprising comfortable sofa in the lobby; oblivious to the constant coming and going of tourists just like me.
Blarney Castle

At some point I mustered the clarity to get into my room and bed when the time came, passing out again - awaiting the arrival of being awake in Ireland for the first time.

First beer: =)

Turns out I was to enjoy the company of another american amongst the many rooming.  Which upon a hypothetical thought I would've imagined to be nothing of importance or possibly even a disappointment.  But in reality was a bit of welcomed comfort amongst the jumbled bit of difference crammed into one room.
So after finally waking up, and a bit conversation I got to have my first beer and my first pub in Ireland with a bit of home...making it all a wonderful experience.
I opted for the unknown and went for a Kilkenny - bit of a tourist Irish drink I find now, but none the less an excellent ale I still say.
Dingle Way
  Beautiful thick froth that swirled up through the dark amber to collect into what is one of the most perfect mugs I have seen.

...

Wandering the city by day; drinking it up by night is the pattern as the crossing crowd of shoppers, site seers and workers transform into cheers and empty mugs followed by refills.  Pubs eventually give way to the night and clubs pick up the slack.  Dance floors and DJs found down the alley, in the basement, on the roof or pretty much where you wouldn't think to find one.  Time passes more and finally all is spent, the streets are empty only occasionally accompanied by a random urination or puddle of vomit - and the inevitable couple embraced in song stumbling down the cobblestone against eachother's weight.  Another good night in the city.
Ross Castle


Country:

The countryside creeps slowly from the city.  Covered vastly by farmland; cattle and sheep speckle the scenery - herded by half walls of stacked stone that hold beauty of their own.
Rain or sun, not for moment does the green falter; enhancing any other color and causes it to glow of unnatural brilliance.  Of which effect villages and towns can be seen coming from afar in most areas.  Little havens amongst the rolling green.  Not once did I come across an area of civilization without a pub; as from what I understand would be something unheard of anyhow.  The social scene of life revolves around here, and it is not just the drink - but the atmosphere; this is where the day rests, the night lives, the traveler sits, the average says hello, etc.
Cliffs of Moher
  It is a bit to take pride in really, a good niche in life.
Oh yeah, back to the country. lol 
Eventually as west is traveled the ground begins to rise and the mountains I saw on my flight in start to show their reality.  Still green, but shedding layers in spots and bearing stone of grey and white.  Displaying it's strength with a bit of boasting, smiling grins of jagged walls and spitting boulders and stones alike along the plush surface.  And almost always keeping a bit of mystery, hiding their heads amongst the mist of lingering clouds.
The coast varies from fields to beaches to mountains to cliffs to forests to rivers to a bit of it all.
By far one of my favorite parts of Ireland; the camping, biking and hiking was refreshing and breathtaking.
Carrick-a-reed
..surely worth the trip alone.  Though one MUST come prepared to get wet.  I think that is more common than finding a pub even. lol

Ireland pics

The people:

Simply are grand.  Their hospitality is far beyond that of an average known american; as homes, rides, days and minds have been opened to me purely on whim.  As a whole they seem quite eager to share culture and thoughts; and seem to function on a much more often positive note than I am used to seeing. 
You may run into the occasional drunk man that bumps into you dripping of liquor, burps intoxication and tells you to, 'Fock ofh!'  But hey - even he still talked to you!  Or you may come across the random extremely drunk lass that cannot even finish a sentence that makes a bit of sense, irish accent or no.
Killarney Park
  But somehow carries a conversation with you - laughing and smiling so in the end you feel as if something worth was still said.  As she is stunned only for a moment when when your new found friend asks her to marry him.  (that's for you of course Eoghan)


Oh man - this getting a bit long and I a bit tired of writing; as you probably a tad sick of reading. :)
So I'll end on this note; Ireland is wonderful - every aspect is worth seeing and deserves an opinion of your own.  There are amazing people to be met and unforgettable scenery to be seen.
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Capoeira in the streets of Dublin
Capoeira in the streets of Dublin
Dublin
Dublin
Dublin
Dublin
Guinness Storehouse
Guinness Storehouse
Blarney Castle
Blarney Castle
Dingle Way
Dingle Way
Ross Castle
Ross Castle
Cliffs of Moher
Cliffs of Moher
Carrick-a-reed
Carrick-a-reed
Killarney Park
Killarney Park
Killarney Park
Killarney Park
Dingle Way
Dingle Way
Giants Causeway
Giant's Causeway
Ruins in BalleyCastle
Ruins in BalleyCastle
Giants Causeway
Giant's Causeway
Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
Campn near Kilkenny
Campn near Kilkenny
Dingle
Dingle
Cliffs of Moher
Cliffs of Moher
Dingle Way
Dingle Way
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