Originally published 14 May 2012.
Day 2 started well–better than Day 1 ended! I was surprised at how well my body had already adjusted to the time change. At 7:00 am Ireland time (2:00 am DC time), I felt like it was time to get up! Cherie said she just never wants to get up in the morning, so it was no different to her, and Matt took Sleep Aid, so he was passed out before either of us and said he didn’t have much trouble waking up. Hopefully it won’t hit us later!
We all met the lady of the Aaron House B&B, Ena, who was such a cute, sweet Irish lady! She asked if we were the group that got lost… yes, we said. She laughed and said she was glad we found the house and asked if we wanted a hot breakfast. We got the full traditional Irish fare, including a fried egg, bacon, sausage (which had a different look and texture than what we’re used to in the States—it was softer, I think?), a broiled tomato, baked beans with ketchup, and toast with butter and jam. It was delicious, but it was a lot! She sent us off on our way with full bellies and smiles on our faces!
And then it was my turn to drive—woohoo! We put the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Center into the GPS, and off we went! Matt was a little freaked out being in the passenger seat (which to the US is the driver’s seat), but I only came too close to the left footpath (shoulder) once, I only started down the right side of the road once (no one was coming—no worries!), and only once did Matt think I came close to hitting another car. Overall, I think it was a good experience to have!
We had a bit of time on our hands, so we took the opportunity to stop when we came upon a random castle on the side of the road. It had been drizzly, but I didn’t think it was rainy enough to need an umbrella… until about 5 minutes into our venture when I realized I was soaked! That slow, steady drizzle is pretty effective! I learned my lesson and took my umbrella with me next time! The castle was nice.
And finally, with a bit of time to spare and only one other miscommunication between the Galway Tour Company and me, we made it to the Cliffs of Moher! They have a nice visitor center built right into the side of a hill, and inside they’ve made it look like a cave, which was pretty cool! We learned all about the natural wildlife, including a bird that swims (Puffins), a fish that is born female but can turn into a male if need be (the Cukoo Wrasse), and the fastest animal on the planet, which is a bird that can go 300 km (185 miles) per hour (the Peregrine Falcon).
There are also many legends about the Cliffs, one of which is about a mermaid. A fisherman was out working one day, and he saw a beautiful mermaid. While they were talking, he stole her cloak that she needed to wear while living and swimming in the water. He hid the cloak and married the beautiful mermaid, and they had two children—a boy and a girl. One day while the fisherman was out at sea, the mermaid found the cloak hidden away! She put it on and left, never to return. So there you have it. Mermaid in the water, half mer-children walking the cliffs, and a heartbroken sailor who should have just done the right thing to begin with. Lesson learned!
The cliffs themselves were quite beautiful, but unfortunately the fog wanted to hog the views. We were able to get a few pictures when the fog rolled out, but it would quickly roll in again when we weren’t looking! For those who may be thinking, “What’s the significance of the Cliffs of Moher?” Why do I care? Perhaps your interest will be piqued when I tell you the Cliffs were featured in The Princess Bride, and Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince, as well as others!
And we set off again! This time headed to Killarney! We found a good place that served hearty Irish fare (and LOTS of potatoes with a side of potatoes!) called Caragh Restaurant in the Killarney city center. Matt and I got shepherd’s pie again. Really good! Cherie got the fried cod—fish and mash instead of fish and chips. Speaking of mash, I knew there’d be lots of potatoes at every meal, but potatoes with a side of potatoes? Impressive!
So then our next adventure was… finding the next B&B! No one around here really uses addresses much, as we were told at the beginning of our trip. I think it’s pretty cool that they don’t need to, but for outsiders, it’s a bit of an adjustment! We had to ask directions twice, but we made it! So far things are good at Mystical Rose B&B. Noreen, the owner, is incredibly sweet. She loves animals and has several roaming around the house. She has at least two donkeys, a cat, and the cutest dog named Lucky. He’s tiny and adorable. Matt and Cherie went into town to find a pub with live Irish music, but I think the jetlag finally hit me (maybe that five-hour energy I drank yesterday finally wore off!). I’m headed to bed at 4:30 pm DC time/9:30pm Irish time. Whew.
And for tomorrow… Dingle! We’ll see what’s there, then make our way to County Cork. Lord willing we won’t get lost! Hopefully we’ll find our way to the next B&B and on to Bible study with some people there Cherie found out about. Nice that it worked out for us to be there on their weekly Bible study night! More tomorrow!