The Irish Tour Begins

Screen Shot 2017-05-30 at 15.59.40Screen Shot 2017-05-30 at 15.59.01

Screen Shot 2017-05-30 at 16.02.10

So…taking off across Ireland in the Slow Coach, here’s the route we took. Love how I specified where I stopped and where I didn’t. Colour-coded, no less! Evidently I decided to start writing more and I think that with longer entries, it will show more of my age and, evidently, interest in meeting and hanging out with boys. So forgive me.

I think my problem with Kildare is that I got St. Brigid mixed up with Hildegard of Bingen. Remember having a thing for women saints for a time back then. And I grew up in the United Church – but women having power in a religious context was always of interest to me.  Here’s the cross the man gave me along with the info about it and a photo of the Kildare Cathedral.

But I had a hard time with the bigger cities. Once I saw what I had to see I found them kind of boring because you can access the same fast food restaurants as in other places around the world and you get such a better handle on the flavour of a country when you are in the smaller towns and rural areas as evidenced by my improved mood in Galway.

I like that I mentioned the things about the history and culture that I found meaningful to me. I felt consistently amazed by the preservation of these things. Here’s Newgrange (including the closer-up of yours truly) & Trim Castle from Braveheart:

I remember that pub we went to in Galway even thought I never put the name in. To the point that if you took meet Galway today and it was still there I would know it in a second. That’s the beauty that revisiting this experience provides…memories. Remember these guys well – in fact, Paul and I are friends on Facebook even now. But there was none of them for me like there was for my friend, Em.

Interesting how I analyzed the burger prices. That’s a 23-year-old talking that’s for sure, as I can tell you 43-year-old me doesn’t frequent fast food joints unless I’ve had several pints. But I loved that Veggie Bean Burger that Burger King still make today. It was progressive in Europe to be able to go to a fast food restaurant that you recognized and get a veggie burger – certainly couldn’t do that in Canada in 1997. I had decided to stop eating meat in 1991 and ended up stopping eating poultry in 1995. So cheap vegetarian options were a goal for me. Can’t remember if I was eating fish back then…I’m not sure I was. But I do now…still don’t eat meat or poultry though.

 

The Slow Coach

Turns out I didn’t write for the next few days as I started my time in Bath but found the info on the transportation I took around the UK: the Slow Coach.

Screen Shot 2017-05-15 at 10.30.00.png

The only articles I could find online about this company were from the ’90s and even Googling the phone numbers provided nothing, so I suspect they went out of business or were bought long ago. It sure was a great way to get around though. I met a ton of people (including, funny enough, my friends from Winnipeg that I ran into at the British Museum) and it took me directly to and from reputable hostels while also giving me an idea of what to do, so a great way for a solo traveler to start off.

I used a Let’s Go travel guide, which was a refreshing change from the Lonely Planets that most of the others carried around – it provided some different perspectives, including one in Hungary in particular. We’ll see that one later.

I also liked that it showed the route it took with things you could do – nerd that I am, I highlighted some of the things I saw when I was there here:

Screen Shot 2017-05-15 at 10.45.31.png

 

More on many of these things to come…