Sunday, January 5, 2014

Ireland :: Gathering Moss

While they say a rolling stone gathers no moss, I would say that in Ireland the wind blows too hard to stand still. I took a short video (at the end of this blog post) standing along the coast of the Dingle Peninsula, and as you can see I had quite a bit of difficulty trying to stand still (with 60-70 mph winds) for any length of time. We did find an abandoned bike seat walking around Dublin covered in moss. Given the rain, it probably didn't take that long to grow.

We started our trip to Ireland by renting a car and driving down to Dingle. I think driving in Ireland rates as one of the more adventurous things we've done. But we didn't realize it until we were there. Before our trip we checked with our car insurance, to see if we had coverage in Ireland. Nope. Huh, really? We've never had any issue before, so we were very curious as to why. We discovered why driving in Dingle. 

The road narrows like I've never seen before. There is no shoulder, and the gnarled shrubs are trimmed back just to the painted edge lines of the road. No joke. At one point they seem to have given up on a center line, so that on-coming traffic buzzed past you on the one-lane road, including around blind corners. Add to that the speed limit was 100 kilometers (that translates to roughly 60 mph). A 'white-knuckle' experience! When we returned our car I noticed a smashed rental that had exploded from a crash, and only the burnt shell of the car remained. Ok, now I understand why insurance is outrageous in Ireland. One of the Dublin cab drivers asked us where we had been so far in Ireland and when we said we'd been to the Dingle Peninsula and had driven ourselves, his only response to my husband was "brave man."


video

18 comments:

Patty Woodland said...

It looks gorgeous. Well, I got to see Shannon airport for a bit when a plane was re-routed out of Paris but that was all I've seen of Ireland...

I've heard it's just glorious.

Liz E said...

That bike seat picture is great. I had to drive in Australia once, not even under very crowded circumstances. Driving on the left side of the road was so odd. After a few months there, when I came back to the states, I really had no idea which side of the road to drive on. Glad you made it safely, it does sound harrowing!

Therese's Treasures said...

Beautiful Cynthia, I am so glad you had a wonderful time and glad that you all made it back home safely.
Therese

Monique (A Half-Baked Notion) said...

County Kerry is the ancestral homeland of my maternal grandfather... I believe if I ever make it over there, I may avoid Dingle LOL. I guess the insurance exception was a good clue!

BeadedTail said...

Love the bike photo! I'd love to go to Ireland one day but will make note not to drive to Dingle! It kinda looks like Oregon there but with castles!

Shel said...

Love your photos! That wind sounds truly wicked! Thanks for the 'heads-up' on the driving in Dingle. My sis drove while we were in Italy in 2012 and after witnessing her back down a winding Cliffside road in the Cinque Terre, along with 5 other cars in a row, with no rail on the cliff side and the construction ditch of 10 feet on the other (just because some idiot wasn't paying attention to the man with the go/stop sign) she became my driving 'hero' for life!! If I'm ever lucky enough to get to Ireland, she'll have to be my driver! (Either that or I'm calling you!!) :-) Can't wait to see more of your Ireland pics - one of my best friends is going there in February - sure wish I could tag along w/her!!

Miss Val's Creations said...

The shoreline is stunning Cynthia! Yes, the roads are a trip! My friend and I were on tour so we were on a bus the whole time. It was a riot how the bus kept having to pull over to let cars go by coming from the other direction! Driving must have felt a little crazy. The wind is totally howling in that clip!

Claudia Aguilar said...

Very nice pictures of the shore :) ...that driving experience sounds scary fun :/

Plowing Through Life (Martha) said...

What a wonderful place to visit, but the driving sounds a little unnerving!

Patti Vanderbloemen said...

Beautiful photos! I remember a trip to Rome Italy about 4 years ago - though we opted not to drive ourselves, just being a passenger was a harrowing experience! I was most amazed at the teeny tiny cars that everyone drove - a must, since parking was terrible! Sounds like you created memories for a lifetime! :)

Duni said...

Cynthia, the coast looks gorgeous, if a little too windy for my taste! I get why artists and photographers come here :) Too funny about the mossy seat!

Paige @ Little Nostalgia said...

How gorgeous! And I had to giggle at that bike seat. We were in Ireland briefly on our way to Paris in November, and it was such a great place. We'd love to go back and see it for real sometime. It's hard to get much done when you only have a few hours.

Christine Altmiller said...

Thankfully, you lived to tell the tale!
Great bike photo

Additionsstyle said...

The driving in Dingle sounds crazy, but it looks amazingly beautiful!
Valerie
Everyday Inspired

Natashalh said...

Oh my gosh! I lived right out side of Dingle for a little while. In the winter, actually. It was quite an adventure and we always had candles on hand for when the power would go out!
Beautiful mossy bike photo.

Magic Love Crow said...

Such a beautiful place! I would love to visit there one time ;o) The roads seem to be a little scary though! LOL! 100 kilometers is pretty fast on roads like that! I am so happy nothing happened! Big Hugs ;o)

Memories for Life said...

Great capture of the bike seat! Oh my...the driving sounds very interesting. I'd be scared to death!

Janet Bocciardi said...

Oh my -listen to that wind!

I would've been the worse backseat driver if we'd done that drive! Driving in the UK is an experience - isn't it? Roads so narrow and driving on the WRONG side of the road.

Your seaside photos - just breathtaking.

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