Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Ireland: Part 2 (Out of Dublin)

So, we left Dublin on the 15th of June after having been there really only 2 days. It was hardly enough time to see the city, but it was good to have gotten a taste for it and we were really excited to get out to the countryside, as this is where everyone who visits the country raves about. We hoped very much to buy some yarn, too, gosh darn it, but as you know from the previous post, we had difficulty finding yarn in Dublin, so it was hard to imagine finding it anywhere else....

After discussing our route with the woman at the car rental agency at Dublin Airport, we decided to drive along the eastern coast on our way to Dingle, which was our ultimate stop. Dingle is on the far west side of Ireland (on Dingle Peninsula, just north of the Kerry Peninsula), so the other people at the car rental agency thought we were crazy. They all said it would take too long. We did it anyway. And it was worth it!

We went south and east from Dublin. We went through Wexford, where we got a flat tire, thank you very much:

What we learned about Wexford, though, is that 1) they have vegetarian food despite not being a very big place, and 2) the people there were pretty darn friendly. In addition, they had a space with crafts for sale, which as you can imagine had a certain pull for me as soon as I heard about it, and it was located in this really cool old church. Because I'm not so good with the foresight, I didn't get the name of the church, but here is a picture of it:

As I'm sure you can see, it is missing its roof. That's how old this place is! There is a church area on the grounds with a roof that is much more likely to be the actual location of worship. It was fun to think that if we hadn't gotten a flat tire, we never would have stopped in this town.

Next major town we went through was Waterford. Yes, as in the place that the crystal is from. We even drove past the plant. Here is a picture of what Waterford looks like:

Because of our flat tire, or flat tyre, as they would spell it, we were driving a little later than planned, so we didn't stop and do anything in Waterford.

We ended up spending the night in Kinsale. If we get a chance to go back to Ireland, I would definitely want to go check out Kinsale some more. It is a cute little town (a picture from our hotel room at The White House ....).

This was the first night we were awake enough to take advantage of the old music in the pubs, which was excellent, as we had read so much about this. It was also advantageous as we were stuck in the room directly above where they were playing (at our Inn) since all the other rooms in town seemed to be booked. It was a good time and I was shocked at how many people (young and old) could sing along with the old music. I thought this was just something one heard about. Very impressive. If you can tell from my blurry picture, these guys are pretty young themselves. The real reason I took this picture is because of the jersey on one of these guys (the guy on the right).... Boston friends, do you see it?!?!?

I know it's hard to see. Blow up the picture. I think you can imagine what it says. Their name, by the way, was ... brace yourself... Streams of Whiskey.

On a whim, the next day, we looked for yarn shops and asked around. There were none. However, we did stop into Heather Mountain to look at the sweaters for my mom. Guess what? We found ... yarn!! Oddly, we found yarn only by one company and packaged in large amounts. Since we were never going to find anymore yarn on our vacation, though, we went ahead and got some. Here it is:

We almost got a multi-pack instead, but decided for green for our blanket. The color is prettier in person than it is in this photo. We did, for the record, ask about why there weren't any yarn stores anywhere when we were at Heather Mountain. The women there said that this was because most of the people there found yarn to be too expensive, so they would get together as a cooperative and buy large amounts as a group to make it less expensive. This made sense, I thought -- particularly for all of the people who must have been making the sweaters that were for sale at this store. There were a lot of sweaters there. Seriously. Maybe not a lot for the Gap or something, but when you figure that all of them had been hand knit!?!? Wow.

After FINALLY getting some yarn, we left Kinsale happy, and on our way to Dingle. Some where on our way to Dingle, we saw this thing:

I think it's a statue of something vaguely sheepy.... What do you think?

1 comment:

Evin said...

Ooh, great about Heather Mountain. How much was the Kilcarra there (Euros/Grams/Yards), if you don't my asking? Sounds dreamy!