Monday, May 23, 2011

And Today, Some Signs

But first some wordy wordy thoughts.

Troll Tolls.
The first day, to get to Castle Blarney, we had to cross a small bridge. In the water below there were hundreds of coins -- and this wasn't a man-made pond. It was a running stream. It reminded me of a conversation with a Japanese family about the koi pond outside their restaurant -- a bridge over it was the entryway. They just couldn't keep people from tossing coins in no matter how many signs they posted that the coins degradation in the water damaged the fish.

Sister and I realized right then that the faeries must have trained that into us very early on and we each paid our toll for the trolls who must have once collected them -- hoping the fish do better with it in running water than in ponds.

I think I'm getting better at it. I'm moving automatically to the left side of the road now though I still see cars parked on the left side (facing us) with a bit of panic. Am I wrong? Did I suddenly start driving wrong? But people seem to park wherever here. 'Sokay. Just something to get used to.

Oh, and also along the driving front, much thanks for the typical Irish driver who is so very nice for those of us learning. They adjust quickly, and communicate well with their cars. Blinking lights, they're letting me make a right across busy traffic in front of them. Someone blared their horn at me today (remarkable because it's only happened twice since I've been here), but how else were they to explain that I was misunderstanding the three way intersection and that I had the right of way. We got it. Sorry for confusing people and backing up traffic in all three directions as you waited for my lane to get out of the way.

And traffic circles. They're everywhere here -- and they work better than the ones I've run across in the States where they're so unusual people seem confused to see them and don't really know what to do. Here everyone knows exactly where to go and seeing one in the distance does not strike terror into me anymore -- as long as I can tell it's a traffic circle. That tiny one outside the grocery store missed me for a minute, but we figured it out, and without hitting anyone either.

Oh, and the really nice guy who heard us asking directions in the gas (petrol) station, who caught us at the light when we had decided to go straight and we're supposed to go right (overpasses are called tunnels here, we were looking for a tunnel). He explained, then told us he was going our way for a while and we could just follow him. Then he waved and pointed enthusiastically when we were to stop following him. So very helpful.

So much thanks to everyone who has been so unfailingly helpful while we've been here. We do appreciate it.

Also internet. It's not as bad as we'd heard. We have not yet had to deal with the pains of internet withdrawal and this is being written at the cottage we've checked into. We're here for three nights, then on to Dublin. I will be truly shocked if this little rural cottage has better internet than they do.

But the signs I promised. This one amused me.

Well, they all did, but this one has wordplay.

These were in the schoolhouse at Bunratty Castle. I don't know why they amused me, but they did.

And on to...
In opposition to those totally safe cliffs.
If you weren't sure WHY the cliff might be dangerous,
here's a hint.
If you thought, perhaps THIS cliff was more a gentle decline.
It's not.
They're the Cliffs of Moher. There are many pictures of them better than mine (lots taken ocean-side). Look them up (google images is great for that) and be amazed.

Those are all from yesterday when we did stuff and didn't have the energy left over for posting. Also there weren't very many good pictures. Now if they set a camera on a post looking up from the side of cliff that showed the tourist and the drop all in one dramatic shot, that would have been good. Really that last one was the best we were able to get.

Today we drove all day. All freaking day. That is exhausting in its own way.

And terrifying.

You should see some of these tiny roads that the gps thinks we can go 96 km/h down. Tiny, hilly, curving roads with rock walls on both sides. We tried to take pictures of that too, but the photos don't convey steepness very well. We'll figure it out. I'm sure there will be other opportunities before we're home.


  1. So how does a troll or fairy for that matter spend the money they collect? Can they walk into the local pub for a swift pint without raising the general alarm?

  2. Now you have to make signs that say, "Slightly less dangerous cliff edge," and "Probably not dangerous cliff edge, but you should stay clear anyway."