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Published: June 22nd 2017
Geo: 53.8011, -9.52221
Greetings from Ireland. We started our day at the crack of dawn in order to catch a 7am cab to Schipol Airport in Amsterdam. The cab was a cheap 28 Euros compared to the 45 we got taken for a few days ago, thanks to Paul, our host. We had two flights, the first from Amsterdam to Dublin and then a quick change across the airport to board a second flight from Dublin to Shannon. We were all a bit tense that our luggage would not be making the same journey we did, but perhaps we're a little paranoid after previous experiences. All of the connections were actually unbelievably smooth.
We had lunch at the airport and then picked up our rental car. It's called a VW Jetta, but is nothing like the US equivalent of that make. The trunk was perfectly sized to fit all of our gear, which was a pleasant surprise. We have a lot of stuff. Initially mapless, we began the drive north toward Westport. A quick stop at a gas station armed us with a map, and on we went. Winding around on narrow roads, on the left side, sitting on the right side, with
the stick on the left side, has been an adventure. We all tensed up every time a big truck came along. Some of the roads had a stone wall on one side (no shoulder) and so there was no room to make room. It's amazing we still have our mirrors. On several narrow, windy roads, the posted speed limit was 100kmh (61 mph). Wow.
Today was a huge change from yesterday's wanderings through the streets of Amsterdam. The Irish landscape was amazing during our drive. There were little plots of land divided up with stone walls or hedgerows, livestock grazing in the fields, and ruins of old churches. Here and there we even found some pockets of new construction -- Irish subdivisions. This must have been a result of Ireland's economic boom (well, until recently).
We have now arrived safe and sound in Westport and spent the evening wandering around town. Our dinners consisted of beef and mushroom pie, seafood chowder, and fish & chips. Mmm.
Tomorrow we continue our Irish adventure, stopping off in Castelbar, where one of Jeannette and Jake's ancestors emigrated from in the 1860s. Later, we head to the South in search of more natural wonders, landscapes, and hopefully
a little live music.
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