5/13/07

I have to keep my Ireland posts relatively short because i’m not very good at formatting the pictures in the post and it starts wigging out if i put too many in. Anyway, back to Sunday… Mass was wonderful. I must say, one of my favorite parts of being Catholic is the universality of the Catholic church and that no matter where I go, I feel very at home in a Catholic church, because Jesus is there waiting for me. It was no different here, and I felt blessed to be there, to be celebrating Mass with a community of believers, and to receive Jesus in the Eucharist.

Once Mass was over, I got back on the road heading south toward Dingle. I did stop briefly in a small town called “Reens” because I thought it was fun to have a town named after my nickname and because i was desperate for some caffiene. At the Reens bar, the owner made me a cup of coffee, and a couple locals asked me where i was from, what i’d see, etc. They were soooo friendly, and I felt terrible having to ask them to repeat nearly everything they said because of the thick brogues. The owner said coffee was on the house and to enjoy my stay.

I arrived on the Dingle peninsula to find that it is truly one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. I began driving around the peninsula, just taking in all the beautiful scenery- the green green pastures, going right up to the ocean; the mountains on the other side, quaint irish homes all very brightly colored, cows and sheep grazing in every direction, rock walls separating the fields… it was breathtaking.

The other thing that was breathtaking was getting used to driving on the wrong side of the road. I should also mention that the roads in Ireland are about half the width of the roads here in the US. A 2 lane road in Ireland is really more like 1.5 lanes here, with rock walls on both sides, very sharp blind curves, and the locals that like to drive very fast around said curves on said narrow roads. Anyway, for my first 24 hours on the Ireland roads, every time a car would tear around the bend, my heart would stop for a moment, because in my head, they were not only tearing around a curve, but on the wrong side of the road. I would begin to breathe again as i realized they were on the correct side and so was i and that we were not about to collide. Thank God!! it made for a rather… um… thrilling commute though, feeling a little like the roller coasters at cedar point!

At one point, on my way to the town of Dingle, there was a small road, that ended right at the ocean, with cow pastures on each side. I needed to stretch and wanted to see the ocean, so i pulled onto this road, finding that it ends literally on the beach. So I got out and walked along the shore for a few minutes, just taking in the beautiful scenery and the salty smell of the sea. I backed up to near the cow pasture to take a few pictures, and before i knew what was happening, the whole heard crowded to the fence, trying to see what was going on. It was hilarious to watch as they all pushed their way to the front for a better view.

I’d met my second local friend, or friends, i should say, since the entire herd stepped right up as to introduce themselves. The seagulls flew overhead, sea grasses swishes in the wind, a few drops of rain fell, and I stood there telling this friendly herd of cows that I was rather envious of their view, and they probably didn’t even appreciate it fully, etc. Again that stark realization hit, “I must look like a crazy person out here on my own talking to a herd of cows.”

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