Night 1 of 2
09.08.2009 15 °C
Almost immediately after my last post I thought it would be a good idea to sleep. Of course the Paris airport doesn’t really lend itself to such accommodations. Raquel and I, however, would not be deterred. Within 20 minutes of ordering a quick breakfast after my last post we were sound asleep on the airport floor. Seriously. And it was probably one of the best rests I’ve had in a long time.
After that we boarded our flight to Shannon. The real problem with traveling with a cold is not so much the discomfort that prevents sleep (which certainly doesn’t help), but rather the inability for your ears to properly equalize with the changes in air pressure. Going up isn’t so bad, but going down, as the pressure grows, its an acute form of torture. My ears still have not fully recovered.
After a brief stop in customs we were officially on the Emerald Isle. Despite Europe’s fantastic transit reputation, Ireland is somewhat underdeveloped in its rail capacity. As a result, Raquel and I decided to rent a car. For those of you who do not know, drivers in Ireland, like the UK, drive on the left side of the road. This, after a red-eye flight from the states, is a bit of a challenge to get used to. It’s a lot like getting the “flip” pill in brick breaker (for those of you who have a blackberry), except you really only get one life. Everything is backwards and it really takes a conscious effort to make sure you do things right. Despite this effort I still had to go twice around the first roundabout we arrived at and made at least one turn the wrong way down a one way road. Despite these trials I think its fair to say that Raquel and I were blown away by the scenery on our drive from Shannon to Ennis. Everywhere we looked there were green rolling hills. It was fantastic.
Upon arriving at Ennis we checked into our bed and breakfast and took a walk around the city (really just a large town). Its a beautiful yet quaint place with narrow roads and clustered buildings. We walked up to the Ennis friary and toured it – a 12th century monastery that had since fallen into disrepair. After that we had a nice dinner where I ordered the Irish stew, which, less than surprisingly, was 89% potatoes. Still, it was excellent. I must also say the Guinness here really is completely different from the states – its just so much smoother. I am not ashamed to say I had three this evening. After my third, we decided it was best to head back to the B&B. Both Raquel and I had been hopeful of seeing some live traditional music tonight but we’re completely exhausted. We’ll hopefully have many more opportunities to enjoy the Irish nightlife.
I am very happy to be in Ireland.