It’s our first day in Ireland and we already have many stories to share. Our flight from Florida with a stop in Boston left at 7.15pm so as we flew East over the Atlantic our view from our window seat morphed from an eye level view of Orion’s Belt and the setting of the pink moon to lakes of fire shimmering on the horizon. We arrived at Shannon airport at 5.30 am so all was quiet as we skipped through customs and retrieved our baggage. Luggage carts are free to borrow if you return them to the corral outside.
They say there are two kinds of travelers, those that travel light and those that wish they did. We, of course, brought too much and still didn’t have what we needed handy. Nancy needed first aid supplies for a wound on her hand and they were already stowed in the overhead compartment. We always have mints or gum in our purse, but we both had changed to travel purses and mints didn’t make it to the checklist. So checklist for next trip starts with first aid kit in personal carry on and refreshing mints for a long masked night on an airplane.
On a happier note, we recommend flying into a smaller airport. Fewer people seems to translate to a more relaxed atmosphere. Also our choices in clothing kept us warm and dry through intermittent showers. My Columbia hiking pants also made good traveling pants, impervious to coffee spills and comfortable enough to sleep on the plane. Our Columbia waterproof hiking boots allowed us to tromp around country lanes to get todays treasured photos.
Thanks also to the lovely Mr. Lyons , who allowed us to trespass at his gate. Instead of shooing us off his driveway, he stopped, asked us if we were ok and chatted with us about his travels to North Carolina, Alabama and Florida.
A friend warned me to be leary of Irish men. As we were getting on the Aer Lingus flight, a gentleman in business class started a banter with us and said you just had to look at Nancy’s twinkling eyes to know that she was trouble. When I replied that I had been warned off talking to charming Irish men, he said that he had been given the same advice. He said that not only did he not heed the advice, but he ended up marrying one.
So lots of lessons today. Take what you need, but not too much. When you get into a car and there’s no brakes or accelerator pedal on the left side, move to the right side. Hug the middle line so you don’t lose the left side mirror of your rental car and frighten your passenger. Yield to the right in a roundabout. Stop and talk to cows and watch the calves and lambs frolic in a spring meadow. Don’t pick the dandelions, the bees need the food, although we considered pulling the young leaves for a salad. Do talk to strangers and allow them to be a blessing to you.
We hope to get back and see more of the Burren, but made sure we got some hot smoked Atlantic salmon, local cheese and soda bread crackers from the Burren Smokehouse. For nature lovers and foodies, it was a good start of our tour of the West Coast of Ireland. We started in the Midwest and will head to Sligo this weekend . Come back and hear the rest of the story.