Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Days Four & Five, Moher or less

Let's see. Yesterday, we went to Galway, the Cliffs of Moher and through Limerick on the way back. I wish the reverse were true, since Limerick looked lovely. The Cliffs of Moher? Eh. They're big and have lovely green grass on the tops, so that looks nice. But we really weren't all that impressed. As for Galway, I suppose it would be good for a pub crawl, but that wasn't all that spiffy, either. Now Limerick looked great, but it was very late by then, and nothing was open. Besides, it was after 11pm, and we still had a long drive to complete, so we couldn't stop.

We grabbed dinner at an out of the way little place that our guidebook recommended. The drive was a challenge, since much of it was through farms with roads barely big enough to fit our car, and occasionally we had to find ways to work with another car coming at us, so we both could get through!

Lots of cows and sheep in this country. Their economic boom of recent years may have been driven by technology and such, but there's clearly still a gigantic agricultural component to life here.

I had heard that the rate of fatal and/or serious car accidents here is very high. Some had said that it was due to crazy drivers and too much drinking, but I don't think that's it. The drivers seem no worse than most places and better than those we encountered in some other countries, like France and Italy. Rather, I think it's the road system. The roads are beyond their capacity in many places. Even where they're not, we've encountered narrow roads with high speed limits (100 kph, which is 62mph) that are one lane each way with no shoulder and no divider. Last night's drive back from the west coast had several terrifying moments! The whole driving-on-the-left thing hasn't been as tough as I feared; I just have to be very conscious of lane choices at turns and such. But the drive home was scary. These roads need a major redesign!

Speaking of driving, we rented a BMW 5-series. The lower priced rentals were terrible choices for us, and the other cars were higher. Anyhow, this thing is expensive, but I have to admit that it rides and handles very well. I still prefer my Volvo S80, but this thing is nice. I don't think I could buy one (the whole German thing--wipe out a couple dozen of my family members, and we tend to hold a grudge), but it's a good car.

Today, we went into Dublin to visit the Blarney Woolen Mills store. Overrated, IMHO. Then we headed south and drove along the east coast, going south for a good distance. Nice. It reminds me of parts of the California coast, only colder! :)

One other nice thing. There are a lot of hot men around here! Very few redheads, interestingly enough, but there are plenty of guys around here who are very easy on the eyes.

One thing I almost forgot! I tried a pint of Guinness today. It doesn't suck quite as much as normal beer, but I still didn't like it. I gave Marc a sip, and he hated it. Not wanting to risk my own murder by others in the pub, I finished the pint. I think it's a capital crime to waste Guinness in this country. Still, I don't think I'll be ordering more! On the other hand, the pub where we stopped for lunch (and the aforementioned pint) had nice, inexpensive food. Considering what many of our meals have cost so far, that was a nice thing!

On that note, I will call it a night.


Another gay dad said...

Love your reports from Ireland. We are going on a 10 hike across Ireland in August rom Dublin to Dingle.

d. chedwick said...

Sorry you weren't that impressed with the Cliffs of Moher and didn't think Galway was that spiffy--I'm sure Limerick wouldn't have been more pleasing than Galway for you. There are always accidents when I stay in Donegal--people forget to drive on the left and there's a nasty head on collision far too often, it's tragic. But after a turn, many people go to the right instead of left. (that was the cause of death for two women in the Matthew Broderick accident years back--he simply forgot, and drove on the wrong side while hurrying back to Dublin airport) The roads are much improved over the narrow gravel roads of yesteryear, much much $$ has been spent on dual carriageways and by- passes that save so much time. You would have hated the roads ten years ago!

I'd love a Guinness in a nice Irish pub today! Lucky You!

Michael Vernon said...

I am *still* chuckling over the pun in the title of this post. LOL--continued safe travels!

Jess said...

AGD: Sounds like a long hike, but I hope you blog all about it! Be sure to share!

DC: I'm happy to report that we made it through the trip without a scratch! As for the sights, well, some are better than others. Such is life!

michael: Always glad if I'm keeping you entertained. That's probably why we're friends. Similarly silly senses of humor!