It struck me that I hadn’t written about Ireland on here. I wanted to share some things with the trip and such with everyone, so I’ll do a shorter version of what I wrote as a Lifestyles feature for the paper.
In fact, I’m going to just number a few things that I did in Ireland to highlight.
One thing if for sure, if anyone ever gets the chance to visit Ireland, I would highly recommend doing it. I had an absolute blast and look forward to doing it again one day. Though I’d like to visit Dublin again, I’d also like to incorporate other spots in the country — such as Shannon, Cork, and the northwest part of the country, where speaking Gaelic is still common practice.
This was my first trans-Atlantic flight. Thankfully, it was direct. But I still didn’t sleep well. See, we left an hour after scheduled and it was about 11:30 p.m. New York time. By the time it was 2:30ish, we were in the middle of the ocean, the time was changing and the sun was coming up. Though it made for some beautiful views.
The flight wasn’t too bad.
It only lasted about 6 1/2 hours and we got two meals. I was a bit restless, however, with the changing of the light outside and not being able to doze off too much. I was probably a bit anxious, too, but that’s what happens on the first big flight.
Of course I geocached while in Ireland. Though I got a few here and there while out with the family, the bulk was done on a one-day trip with two local cachers — Windsockers and Hezekiah. This day proved to be a wonderful experience as the two took me down the countryside and to some small towns, capped with a trip through the Wicklow Mountains.
The day started rather gloomy with clouds and a bit of rain. We hiked to Europe’s First, where I made my 2,000th find. An excellent cache to do such a thing. The cache was a nice stroll along a good trail, but the final 75 feet or so went up a rocky embankment with ferns and such. And being that it was raining, it was a little tougher than expected. Alas, I made it, found the cache and signed the log. I also snagged a geocoin to move on and left one of the pathtags I had made for the Ireland trip.
It was definitely cool to get this milestone in Ireland. I had been slowly planning it, watching my caching at home and such to get this one there. I’ve done special caches for each 1,000 milestone and now I’ll have to start plotting which cache will be for No. 3,000, but I have time for that one! Maybe Mingo, the oldest active geocache? What a road trip that could be!
There’s plenty of time to plan that one, however.
Back on topic, the geocaching adventures continued down the coast. I was taken to some wonderful scenic areas and as the day went on, the rain halted and sun broke through, which was really nice. I saw the coast and the mountains and did many a cache.
How nice are the Wicklow Mountains though?
The geocaching day ended with an event, which Windsockers put on at the hotel where I was staying. I then went out with a couple of others cachers after the event to grab a few more to end the night. Good times!
I sprinkled around my pathtag, too, so I hope some will be logged at some point.
Of course we did a lot of the tourist things. We visited a lot of popular places, such as the Guinness Storehouse, where we had the opportunity to pour our own pints.
It had to be done.
To pour the perfect pint wasn’t easy, but a fun time. I enjoyed learning it and tasting the finished product, too.
And yes, it tasted as good as it looks!
Other things we visited included Dublin Castle, the Chester Beatty Library, Jameson Whiskey, National Leprechaun Museum and a few other things.
We had good meals and the hotel we stayed at was excellent.
One of the days, we ventured to the coast and to the town of Howth. It’s a seaside town in the old-school meaning. Boats, lobster and crab boats, fishermen, lighthouses and scenic walks. It was beautiful there. Just sitting and looking out into the water was fantastic.
I also had the chance to meet with a couple others from Flickr and go on a night photo trip, which was a total blast. As of this writing, I haven’t finished processing all the photos from the trip, but I have a collection set up where you can see the photos.
One note — the photo that is acting as my header now was taken during the night flickr walk while in Dublin. It’s a shot of the Ha’Penny Bridge, a foot bridge that got its name because it used to cost a half-penny to cross it.
I loved it.
I want to go back to Ireland and discover other parts of the country such as Shannon and Cork. It was surprisingly affordable and I didn’t spend nearly as much as I thought I would. That’s a good thing because I have a three or four day trip to Maine coming up this fall — a relaxing solo trip that I am really looking forward to going on.
I’ll have to report on that trip as well. I have some other things coming up I need to share also.