I thought it would be a good idea to blog some words of hindsight wisdom for those thinking about a trip to Ireland.
First and foremost…..Ireland is cold, whether it is May or February…..pack a warm, waterproof jacket. I just came home and there were many times I longed for my winter coat. The wisest move I ever made was to bring a scarf. The women of Ireland embrace scarves as a number one accessory….now I know why.
The Blarney woolen mills must make a killing on all the tourists who come ill prepared for the cold of Ireland. One woman on my tour bought a hat warm enough for the Iditarod, and she was glad to have it.
The winds are fierce, I thought the winds of Gettysburg were strong…….wait until you experience what blows in from the Irish Sea.
Second, pack an umbrella…..but understand, it may be useless. Opening an umbrella in the Irish wind is like rowing out to Noah’s ark in a canoe…I think you get my drift….and your inside out umbrella will be drifting as well.
Next, if you have a fussy diet, be forewarned……the Irish love ham and bacon. It was in salads, wrapped around other meats, from breakfast to dinner. It was strange though, in the fields, I saw countless cows and sheep, but not one pig. They must all have been hiding …….
You are set if you love potatoes, some meals had three versions all on one plate…..from scalloped, to mashed, to fried, to boiled.
And if you love the catch of the sea, the fish and chips are plentiful.
The Irish people were the warmest and friendliest of all the countries I have visited. There was not one rude salesperson or waiter….
It is true what they say about one Irish day combining all the seasons into one. So be prepared for the harsh winds of winter and the warm Gaelic Summer sun…..and wear a comfortable pair of shoes that will withstand mud and rain and arduous climbs.
Lastly, be prepared for magick. Be prepared to believe in fairies, maybe even leprechauns, Ireland has a way of making the seemingly impossible, possible.