>Final thoughts on Ireland


To wrap it up, Ireland is definitely not the place where my family comes from. Far from it. However, I wouldn’t have been all that upset if they had.

To copy an Esquire column, here’s what I’ve learned about Ireland:

1. Bring a coat. No matter the time of year. The strongest wind I ever saw was the wind from Ireland.

2. Go cycling. I went cycling in Galway and County Clare, and, to quote my cycle guide Noel, it was unlike any experience one could feel from the motorcoach. Your touch on the land is uninhibited. It’s ridiculous how beautiful the terrain is. Mountains are reflecting off the water’s top in absolute clarity.

3. The cycling ride is better when your guide looks like a cross between George Clooney and Owen Wilson.

4. The cycling ride is even better on high-end Cannondales. This Florida gal’s not used to riding bikes on all these hills and inclines, so undoubtedly my quads appreciated the good steed.

5. Bring your camera. Everywhere. I forgot mine at key moments. And no, I’m still not over it.

I managed to get some more photos in, though. Enjoy!

Me at The Burrens

A sign at the Cliffs of Moher, a range that’s 400 feet high and overlooks the Atlantic Ocean (and apparently the final destination of those who aren’t very careful)… I was told some tourists fell over the cliffs last year when the wind picked them up. Don’t know if it’s true, but as the Irish say, “Never let the truth get in the way of a story.”

Another sign at the Cliffs of Moher

The watchtower at the Cliffs of Moher

Me at the Cliffs of Moher

Ah! The sport of kings, falconry, comes alive at Dromoland Castle. Here, Dave Atkinson (who runs the School of Falconry) holds Limerick, a rescued peregrine.


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