Okay, I took nearly 300 photos in Ireland, all on my iPhone, many of the very green landscape. While a better camera would take better pictures, I’m not much of a photographer and am lazy — much prefer having the phone in my pocket rather than lugging around a camera case.
Here are a few of the best pics, I think. Well, not entirely. There are a couple that are better, but they include family members, and I’m not going to post them without permission.
Anyway, first up is a door in the garden at Strokestown Park, a 17th century manor house. We went for the tour of the house and the Famine Museum — my great great (maybe one more great?) grandfather left Ireland after the famine, I understand. The museum was profoundly depressing but also informative. Can you imagine the amount of physical labor that the "average day laborer" did in order to burn through 14 lbs of potatoes per day? That was the average consumption prior to the blight. Anyway, the garden is quite lovely, even in the drizzling rain. Walking along, you see a variety of gates, borders, pavilions, etc. I loved this door, which doesn’t actually go anywhere. Behind it, there was some wire supporting the ivy…and nothing else.
Next up is a view of O’Brien’s Castle on the Cliffs of Moher. This was the number 1 thing I wanted to see on the trip, and it made the entire trip worthwhile. Photos do not do it justice. Did you know the Cliffs are being considered and voted for as one of the New Seven Wonders of the Natural World? Very cool. What was not cool was all the people trespassing on the private property marked nearby.
We rented a van to seat the six of us. It became The Little Red Adventure Bus. The Boy Uncle drove, and he was awesome at it. There were a few driving misadventures, though, including: a dead battery and push/pop clutch to start; a confusing detour in a very small nameless town full of one way streets; me navigating us through Dublin’s city center from the furthest backseat; and my adventures climbing over tollbooth barriers to pay the fellow five lanes over. [Never in a million years would I do that at home, but the toll booth attendant recommended it. ]
Okay, one last thing I must mention: the cows. I lived on a farm when I was a kid, so I’m not unaccustomed to bovinity. But Ireland has the biggest cows I’ve ever seen. And they all just placidly chew on the green, green grass. It seems to make them very happy cows (that and maybe the alcoholic barley malt waste?) and they produce amazingly good butter. I ate so much butter last week. And sausage! A year’s worth of sausage crammed into a week.