Welcome to Ireland.
DAY 1: Dublin.
Personally I have never been into Guinness - but it is the national drink here and it seems rude not to drink it, so I order a Guinness 'Shandy' which is a revelation and the first time in Irish History that someone has ever asked for it. I make them name the drink after me: The Stouty Barrett.
Then we search all day for the Leprechaun Museum.
HA! We realise that the sign is a trick because there is no Leprechaun Museum.
DAY 2: Day of Fighting.
Basically when traveling with your partner it's just "fighting around the world". We hired a car to start our roadtrip and the fecking sat nav doesn't have any Dublin maps in it. AWESOME!!!!!! The Irish are against the English and also Roadsigns apparently.... a sign would be nice so we could navigate out of this stupid city.. Instead we drive around the city for about 2 hours bickering the whole time.
And because the bickering has already started we bicker all the way to our first stop KILKENNY. I mean once you're on a bickering roll it's hard to stop. We don't take any photos because "I don't particularly want to remember this moment Mark"... and come up with all sorts of creative slurs for the other person "I don't need to take the pill because I use your face as contraceptive"
Luckily we find a paper map and go old school 80's on it and find our way around the Olden Days Way. Now we can bicker over the map and slowing the car down so we can read roadsigns. We bicker all the way to Birr.
Now - I have a bone to pick with Lonely Planet. LP called 'Birr' a "quaint little village which has escaped the deluge of Tourists and kept its traditional roots" apparently it was a little gem that should not be missed. HA! Birr was such a piece of crap. There was ONE PUB and it was full of toothless old men. Every second shop was closed or boarded up. And the "castle" was a pile of grey rocks and it was also Closed. So we had ourselves in a little conundrum - because due to the glowing review of Birr in the LP guide we booked a night at a B&B.
So we went back, and decided to make up an elaborate lie about leaving our passports in Dublin and getting the fuck out of Birr. The fight was officially over - collaborating on lies against nice old ladies running B&B's will put an end to that. TEAMWORK!!
So we drove pretty much all the way across Ireland to get the stink of Birr off us and ended up in Ennis (Ennis - I swear). We also discovered that every restaurant in Ireland runs an Early Bird Special till 10pm (what kind of Bird is up that late?) and would gorge ourselves on delicious 3 course meals every night. I think I put on about 5 kilo's. The Irish know how to cook!
DAY 3: Bippity Boppity Do It Again.
We drive to the Cliffs of Moher and along the Irish Coastline.
Why is everyone now a national geographic photographer??
We make the best purchase thus far of the trip and decide to buy two Irish Music CD's to listen to in the car - Irish Folk Songs and Irish Drinking Songs. Now after about 6 hours of listening to Irish Music you realise that the formula is pretty easy - you just need to repeat the same thing 20 times: "put it in the hole. put it in the hole. put it in the hole. put it in the hole. and put it in the hole again"
Killarney Killarney Killarney
Very picturesque. Mountains. Waterfalls. Abbeys. Castles. Green.
I figure out there are about 45 varying shades of Green in Ireland.
Day 4: Getting back to my Roots in Cork.
We drive to Blarney Castle - and Mark kisses the Blarney Stone. HA! Sif you would - not after what happened to Shaun (say goodbye to ice-cream mark!!) Shaun kissed the Blarney stone and became Lactose Intolerant. Then we go drive down to our final destination on the trip - Cork. Which we have discovered by much information on coasters and keyrings that my ancestry name comes from Cork. It's good to be home!
I hate all sport equally. That is until I discover the game Hurling. OMG. talk about combining every sport around: Soccer/Rugby/Tennis/Hockey/Egg and Spoon Race. Plus Hurling has been around for 3000 years so all other games are just crappy knock-0ffs. Cork plays a grudge match against Tipperary and they lose! I am gutted that my home team loses. We Was Robbed!!!!!! It's nothing some Guinness Shandies and Irish Music can't fix though.
Now let's talk about our Cork B&B.... we arrive and are ushered to a room where they put a tv on, close the door and leave us with a giant pile of Scones and Cake. Now I am all for Scones - in fact I effing love scones! BUT it was pretty weird... are we allowed out of the room?? do we have to finish all the scones before they will check us in?? Is anyone coming to get us?? How long do we have to sit in this room for?? We did a reconnaissance mission out of the room and made them check us in.. and they decided to check us into a random house about 5 mins away from the B&B... "just follow me this way"........ out the door... onto the street... across the highway.... down this road... and into this house where the sign looks like this:
Perhaps we failed the B&B scone room test???? It's weird, It's random, It's definitely haunted. What is more is that the next morning we have to drag our bags back to the actual B&B for breakfast and to get in our car, and the breakfast room is full, so rather than waiting for a table to become available they go "just follow me this way" and once again lead us out of the B&B and into another house - take us to the back room where we sit alone in a kitchen. What the feck is with this place??? BUT the breakfast is amazing, and even though its the weirdest place I have ever stayed I would definitely go back.
At the end of our fist night in Ireland we make the biggest contribution to the trip and make up the game called 'Blarney'
Rules of Blarney:
When you score a goal - it's called a Blarney
When the game is tied it's called 'Blarney - Blarney' (1-1) 'Blarney Blarney Blarney Blarney' (2-2) and so forth.
The first person to get to 5 Blarney's gets a Blarney Castle and wins.
If you fail to say the score correctly 'Blarney Blarney Blarney Blarney Blarney Blarney Blarney Blarney' (4-4) you lose one Blarney.
If you score a goal and your coin goes off the table you have to go down and get it whilst the other team mates kick you.
We also found out that the best way to look good in a photo is to 'Say Blarney! Blarrrrrrrrrrney'
Blarney Blarney Blarney