When I think of Ireland, I remember it both in snapshots of moments in time and in fluidity of the senses. I remember an exhaustion that seemed to permeate by body all the way to the bone. Perhaps because we left on election night, perhaps because of the overnight plane ride and 3 hour bus ride, perhaps because the sun set by 4:30 each night. I remember the bus ride through Connemara and feeling like I might explode if I were able to adequately take in all the sights before me. Hills and sheep and a double rainbow and famine walls and loughs and stories of killer sheep and mussel farming and sheep dog training. Driving through these rural and isolated villages, I began to feel as if one day, I too could live a simpler life. I learned how peat is collected and dried for home fires and I gradually began to appreciate the smokey smell that permeated my clothes and nostrils and all of the night air as we walked through Salthill on our final journey home each night. Like the damp, you can never quite shake it.
I wish we had slowed down a bit. It was lovely, but rushed, as so many trips are.
Dublin –> Galway –> Connemara –> Galway –> County Clare –> Galway –> Dublin
I want more time. Time to stroll along the Salthill Promenade. To sit on Quay Street, drinking a Coffee Werk + Press latte. Eating woodfired pizza and delicate cakes from Kai. Listening to music with a Guinness. Savoring a cup of tea. Soaking in the people and bars and parks and gardens and sitting with pen to paper and pouring it all back out.
It was such a quickly planned trip during such a personally and globally wretched time, that I don’t know if it lifted me up or wore me more down. But I suppose that since I can look back and remember fondly the natural and architectural sights, the timber of Irish voices, the taste of black tea, the feel of rain and salt air and wool socks, the smell of peat, that it was the right decision after all.
Congrats! You made it all the way! This country was so beautiful that I couldn’t decide on fewer photos. These encompass Galway, Connemara, Kylemore Abbey, the Burren, and Cliffs of Moher.