Sunday, June 18, 2017

To Ireland and Back Again

Well, that's a wrap. We did Ireland and can check that off our list. Lots of talk yesterday on our way home about our next trip.

The trip home was LONG. Not only was our flight out of Shannon 2 hours delayed (which we discovered when we got to the airport), but on the flight from JFK we sat on the plane for 1 and a half hours. They said there was "traffic" ... we were number 27 in line for take off. Ugh.

The plus side of the plane ride home from JFK was that the Sounder players were on our plane. A bunch of them...My favorite goalie Stefan sat one row in front of me.

As I was sitting in my chair on the plane yesterday I was thinking about how incredible this trip was. It was a whirlwind, no doubt, and I'm sure I can't remember 90% of what we saw, but man Ireland is beautiful...inside and out.

The people of Ireland were so friendly, welcoming and a joy to speak with. There's a long standing relationship between Ireland and America. So many people immigrated during the great famine that Ireland has some strong bonds with the US. The land of opportunity.  We heard so many stories about the immigration, the hardship of it and the glory of it. Families split apart by an ocean, but still keeping in touch as much as they could. Young people sent away from their homeland on "coffin ships" so that they could possibly have a better life. Imagine how hard that  must have been for the family left behind?

The Irish love their food and their culture. We ate so many potatoes on this last trip. It became kinda a joke with us. "Yes, I'll have potatoes, with a side of potatoes." Lots of mashed potatoes.  I had a Beef and Guinness stew over mashed potatoes. The stew had potatoes in it too. I loved it.

Their beef...oh my word was their beef good. Very beefy tasting. They love their livestock. The hills were scattered with sheep and cows. Our tour guide gave us all the names of the cows as we passed them and I only remember a few.

The Kerry cattle were everywhere. All black cows. Along side of them were the Friesian cattle...basically what we call Holsteins. And then my favorite,...the Belted Galloway. They look like Oreo cookies.

Sheep Sheep everywhere. That was what I thought throughout the trip. And somehow I wanted to photograph them constantly. It's like I've never seen a sheep before. These were my favorite types of sheep though...the Highway Is Bumpy Sheep.

What we didn't see were goats. For some reason I thought we'd see goats. We saw one goat along side of the road where a traveler was selling his items and had a goat as a pet.

Cats were another thing we didn't see too many of. Dogs everywhere, but no cats. Janet saw one and I saw one from a distance. We asked our tour guide and she said people have them, but they generally keep them in doors. So that explains it. I guess.

Horses were all over the place too. We saw so many out in the fields, but they were often farther from the highway and we were unable to photograph them.

So somehow this blog turned out to be about their animals when I started talking about the Irish people. Weird how my jet lagged brain works.