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"Happiness always looks small when you hold it in your hands, but let it go, and at once you learn how big and precious it is."
Maxim Gorky

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Ring

So after a relaxing train ride back from Belfast through farmlands and along the coast we are back in Dublin before heading out for our next adventure. Part of this adventure is the renting of a car and finally trying to be brave enough to master the Irish roadways….This is not for the faint of heart or the slow driver. Irish roads are winding, narrow, rock wall lined and speed limits are very high compared to similar roads here. A quaint two lane country byway will have a speed limit of 80 kmh plus the added fact that you are driving a right hand drive car on the left hand side of the road.

We decided that our first Irish driving experience would NOT be renting a car from the Dublin airport and trying to find our way to Killarney from there….no, we took the safer way by hopping a train to Cork (a much smaller city) and renting one from the airport there. We picked up our car…smallest one on the lot…and headed out…The right hand drive thing was fine since I own a Delica van with right hand drive. The bizarre part was turning on to the road way and everything that had been habit was now in reverse and I actually had to THINK about it..thank god dad was there to confirm which lane I had to be in! The other thing is wrapping your head around those oh so wonderful roundabouts! Not too many traffic lights…just lots of roundabouts..Of course we got lost in the first one but brilliantly stayed on the proper side of the road…As my daughter says..”you haven’t lived until you go the wrong way in a roundabout”.  So we arrived in Killarney in one piece and fell in love with this pretty Irish village.

It is definitely a tourist town but still holds on to its qauintness and has that wonderful small town feel about it. It is in County Kerry…which is my namesake and the area is commonly referred to as “The Kingdom of Kerry”….gotta love that! The Kingdom is proud of its tradition of independence and disregard for Dublin rule. Everywhere are signs with my name on it which I thought was really cool since its not a common name here .
We decided to have dinner in O’Donahues…which looked like a nice Irish place on the outside but when we walked in it was kind of glitzy and was owned and run by 3 Chinese guys…anyway the food was good and the meals are huge! Actually every place we ate in Ireland was excellent and you were given more food than you could eat. After dinner and a rest at the b&b, we wanted to go out and see some music…did a few pub hops …
…and ended up being entertained for hours by this guy..didn’t catch his name…but he could sing! And had everyone singing along too…the great thing about the Irish is no matter how young, old or cool you think you are, you will find everyone joining in on a good singalong…so much fun…after singer guy a young group of lads came on with the traditional instruments and sang some good Irish tunes…

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