Two months (and one day) after we returned home, I wanted to write down some final reflections of our trip. I’m delayed, yes. But I’m also doing this for myself, so being on time matters less.
This will be question-and-answer style—the questions that I asked Daddy as we mused over our last pint of Guinness in Ireland, at a pub in Dublin, at a table next to two Canadians who were having their first.
You have to find your own adventures.
Q: Where was the best meal?
A: The Pie Maker, hands down.
Q: Favourite place we stayed?
A: For personality, The Olde Bakery. Chrissie was fun, engaging, warm, genuine, and so welcoming as to one-up everybody else without even trying.
Q: Anything you could have done without?
A: Not what you think! On the other side was some of the most beautiful scenery we saw.
Maybe nothing. Even on days that were cold or dreary, we were still presented with beautiful photographic opportunities.
Q: One thing not to miss?
Any of it, really! Everything exceeded expectations.
Q: Next time?
Galway. Kinsale. Dingle, Ring of Kerry. All of Northern Ireland. Donegal [Ed.: Elaine and Norma, our Irish friends from the hurling match, were from there and said that it’s not to miss.]
Q: Any times you were most concerned/stressed/fearful for your life?
A: Driving any of the peninsula roads at 100km/h. [Ed.: Ahem…]
Q: Anything you wish you had packed?
A: Heavier hooded sweatshirt, but that could have been done without had it not been quite so unseasonably cold.
Q: Anything you wish you hadn’t?
A: One of the pairs of pants and maybe three fewer shirts, because you can get along with a whole lot less than you even think you can. One pair of pants for two weeks is enough.
Q: Top travel tip to share?
A: Bring half as many clothes as you think you need…and twice as much money. Two pair of shoes is more than enough/enough. (I respectful disagree, but three is probably fine.)
Q: Three most useful pieces of clothing?
A: Hat, scarf I recommended, weather-resistant jacket.
And a comfortable pair of shoes. Then bring underwear and socks, and anything else is extra.
Q: Any stereotypes that rang particularly true? Or any that were unfounded?
A: There’s greater diversity in big cities than I would have expected. Dublin is much more cosmopolitan that you’d be led to believe.
Germans are oblivious—not rude and crude, but could use a little brushing up on their etiquette. [Ed.: I love how the stereotype was about the Germans…]
These were all unexpected. You can’t orchestrate that. What the tour books say is likely over-promoted. You have to find your own adventures.