Category: Honeymoon


We failed to take any pictures of the town of DIngle. Here is a classic, beautiful Irish redhead instead. See? Ireland is full of 'em.

We failed to take any pictures of the town of Dingle. Here is a classic, beautiful Irish redhead instead. See? Ireland is full of ’em.

As I said yesterday, we left Kinsale in fairly short order and with a twinge of regret. Nevertheless – onward! Our destination is the very popular Dingle peninsula, home to all manner of touristy delights. We arrive in the town of Dingle, where we shall stay for two nights, and check in to the most commercial B&B we’ll see all trip: Heaton’s. This isn’t a bad thing, just noticeable. The dining room is spacious and contains a dozen or so tables, and the place can probably accommodate 50 people or so. Still it is laid out like an overgrown B&B and thus shall I think of it. Lunch that day is at a fairly commercial restaurant with laminated menus and quickly-produced food. Dingle sees a lot of tourist traffic and has the infrastructure to prove it – the quaint seaside town is only found after peeling back a layer of multi-lane roads, parking meters (!!) and, well, laminated menus.

I kid about the food, but it wasn’t actually fast food; it was pretty good and we ate there again the next day. For one thing, they had cold Bulmer’s, a hard cider that my blushing bride had by then developed a fondness for. It is not to be confused with Strongbow, which a tour guide in Dublin would later tell us was “unadulterated piss.” I’m not sure which one leans where, but I got the feeling that even the ciders had fallen into line along the Catholic-Protestant border. Thank God for the Good Friday Agreement.

 
Lunch by the walking path. We were passed by Germans.

Lunch by the walking path. We were passed by Germans.

I am not a religious person. (Hi, mom. Now you know.) I think people who are certain that there’s “nothing else” out there are arrogant in the extreme; nevertheless, I’ve never been persuaded by … well, anything, really. At least, no-body that has attempted to present an argument. Sometimes, though, an argument presents itself.

We arrived at Drombeg Circle with food. I don’t really remember how this happened; it wasn’t good food, it was sammiches and a bag of chips or something. Fruit, too, I think. We follow the sketchy signs (again, the Irish really could not give a shit) to the car park, then sit on a patch of grass (there are no seats of any kind) and nibble.

 
The normal route.

The normal route.

Don’t let the title fool you, it was a good day; we just wish we had stretched it out. You’ll see. We made a slow start thanks to a misplaced itinerary and a recalcitrant internet cafe that deigned not to open. Ever. Unshaken, we finagled access via neighborly iPad, re-oriented ourselves to our plans, and wound our way out of town. Now, the drive to our next destination, Kenmare, required us to resolve a small decision tree. The accepted route, via google maps and the advice of the tourist center, would involve a slight bit of back-tracking to get to the major highway system, after which it would be a pleasant, speedy trip. Speedy but, you know… dull. Irish highways are a lot like American highways – put in the middle of nothing because that’s the cheap, flat land, and devoid of much to look at. If, on the other hand,  we were to  go south, we would enjoy the seaside view as we drive along. The road is “N” caliber, which is the same as the other highway we were being directed to.  Besides, Courtmacsherry is that way and will make an excellent cutesy photo-op. No no, much better to take the scenic route.

 

Doesn't look all that different, does it?

Doesn’t look all that different, does it?

 

sce·nic
/ˈsinɪk, ˈsɛnɪk/

adjective Also, sce·ni·cal.

1. having pleasing or beautiful scenery.
2. a scenic tour: to arrange scenics in advance.
See also: a means of attempting suicide in Ireland.
 
Brigids_Well_1286

The highlight of the day.

As I said yesterday, we were up early this day to…

… what?

That’s right, yesterday. You want to fight about it, or do you want to read about our honeymoon?

So as I said yesterday… *peer*… we were up early to catch a flight back to Dublin. No problems there, and picking up our rental car was no hassle at all. Now, this series of blog posts has been pretty light on actual travel advice, but here you go, the literal payoff to faithful readers:

GET THE COMPLETE AUTO COVERAGE.

No matter how expensive it sounds, it is soooo frickin’ worth it. Hedge damage to paint, dings from concealed stone walls, under-carriage who knows what from innocent looking puddles that conceal 17″ potholes… the look on the guy’s face when we turned that car in after 2 weeks and he saw we had the coverage was worth it alone. Anyway.

We peeled out of Dublin, still fresh in the morning thanks to an early flight, but that’s good because we actually had a bit of an agenda for the day. First stop: Saint Brigid’s Well.

 
My bride and Arthur's Seat.

My bride and Arthur’s Seat.

Having spent a quiet night recuperating, watching tv, and generally existing in a “powered down” state, we were ready to tear through the sites of Edinburgh, right? Right. Wait. I’m bad at words. No, that was completely wrong. We awoke to a dull, gray, rainy day and decided almost immediately to succumb. I mean, we looked at the tourist map and plotted a route – Edinburgh looks to be a very walkable city, at least the central tourist-y bit. Nevertheless, our absolute best plan for the day was to go past some interesting looking things… on our way to a movie theater. To see The Avengers. Yep.

Look, we aren’t proud of it, but honestly we were tired, plus it’s not like in one day we could really do that much of Edinburgh. So, we resolved ourselves to coming back some time and really digging in to the city, and in the meantime acknowledge that this was just a pit stop before beginning the Irish leg of the trip. We walked from our flat to the city core, through the rain (waaa waa, I know) and into a tourist information center, for the information we sought (plus internet access, cafes were not abundant here) was surprisingly hard to come by. Once situated, however, we made our way to a quaint local institution known as “a mall,” to view our film at “the multiplex.”

Actually, funny story, despite being in a country that ostensibly shares a language with ours, we accidentally ended up seeing the movie in 3D, despite Lisa’s long-held opinion that she did not like 3D and it would give her a headache. Turns out that she liked it fine and it didn’t hurt, so we’ve unsworn-off 3D movies going forward. So hey, that’s a plus.

So we watched the Avengers. Despite me writing this travelogue as though we just kinda got back, I’m not going to review a movie that’s a year old. Afterwards, we scrounged for food. Being in a mall, it was exactly as non-authentic as you’d guess, so we didn’t even try. In fact, we pulled a criss-cross and went to a cheesy joint with all “American” themed decor and food. The next time somebody rolls their eyes at how badly an American movie/tv show/commercial/whatever mangles something Scottish, roll your eyes right back; it’s a universal phenomenon, apparently, and they were just as bad at Americanisms. Not a bad meal, mind you, but seriously goofy takes on what signifies America. (And any excuse you might make for them, reverse the nations and you now have the excuse for when it goes the other way.) After dinner it was a stroll back to the flat and another quiet night of television and packing.

Tomorrow we switch into high gear, with a flight back to Dublin, another car rental, and an immediate immersion into real Ireland… for better or for OHMYGODWE’REGOINGTOCRASHLOOKOUT worse.