Green clovers swaying in the breeze … the soft caress of my hair, and the passing warm embrace of the elusive sun breaking through the thick, rolling clouds. The scent of the ocean. The still life … the green. So many shades of green. In one sweeping look down the rolling hills, so many stories.
Traversing through the crowded airport, after 11 hours of flight, I felt the greatest sense of attentiveness. All my senses fine-tuned, blank files, empty notebooks, sharp pencils. I was ready.
Casey Blanton illustrated that human beings have a “desire to mediate between things foreign and things familiar” (2). I too, longed to go where I wouldn’t find others like me. Somewhere where they were. Bustling cities, underground parking, Guinness merchandise, red hair, and “Danny Boy, the pipes are calling,” were not what I wanted to experience in Ireland. The pub with the bicycles and the hardware for sale, with only three seats at the bar, and the owners live in the back … that’s where I wanted to go.
Mapping a trip to an unknown place can be very deceiving. I bought this map at a petrol station, after getting lost in a Gaelic maze of roundabouts. I found it interesting that it did not map the borders of Northern Ireland. I would have never been able to surmise the experience I was about to embark on, or the sights I was about to see by looking at this flat and pale map.
As a tourist, it is important to plan where you’ll be traveling through Ireland, as the laws and currency are different. I experienced this sudden encounter when I crossed over to County Derry from a drive from Dublin up the M2 motorway, and began to see British flags. The nice thing about Ireland is that there are very few roads. However, if you get lost its most certainly from the roundabouts pointing to 10 different locations.
I opened my map, I searched for the most remote areas. The peninsulas were of special interest to me, because I love the history behind all the small islands that surround the West coast. I especially wanted to see the Blasket Islands, and all the breathtaking scenes of County Kerry.
Although I traveled to many parts of Ireland, this is where I found the most beauty. There is a certain kind of peace here. The kind I could only find growing up within my father’s backyard during the fall. There are so many remote areas in County Kerry. Untouched. Many of its inhabitants still live in isolation. Three hours on a bus to Dublin if you want the city life, the nightlife.
I stayed at a bed and breakfast while in Dingle. Bambury’s Guest House on Mail Rd. because I wanted to stay somewhere close to the bay, and this was within walking distance. There is also a loop shaped road named Slea Head drive which I wanted to explore. From the breakfast room in the guest house I had the most breathtaking view. Cows. Green. More, and more green.
After having a full Irish breakfast and taking in the beauty of the place, I decided to go out with only my map to guide me …