Welcome home! I hope all is well with you and that you had a wonderful trip to Ireland! I had the best time of my life!
Rental car: I was disappointed in its size, barely able to get both my suitcases in the back ...BUT, later I was SO grateful that the car was small! Roads are very narrow! I managed well driving on the "other" side of those narrow roads thanks to its size.
Accommodations: B&Bs were very comfortable. People that ran them, very gracious, friendly, and helpful ...BUT, when I got to Grange, I felt as if I had come home to a place I'd never been there before! SO... I cancelled reservations at moat other B&Bs, and made arrangements to spent the rest of my time at Mount Edward Lodge B&B in Grange. Maureen McGowan, host at Mount Edward Lodge B&B, is such a warm caring helpful person! I felt like I was staying at the home of a dear friend The view out my window overlooked fields divided by stone walls filled with sheep and cattle, the ocean waves crashed on rocks along the shore in the distance with the Donegal Mountains and Inishmurry Island in the background... took my breath away every morning! When I went outside and looked behind me, there was Ben Bulben! I LOVED it there!
Adventures: This was my "Bucket List" trip, and it far exceeded every expectation. I rented a car in Shannon and drove up the "Wild Atlantic Way" by myself. I celebrated my 71st birthday while I was in Ireland. I rode a horse through fields, up sand dunes, and galloped across a beach. I hiked to the top of Ben Bulben on 2 different days using 2 different paths. I hiked as far up as the paths allowed me, which was further up than all of the young people I encountered along the way, but not as far up as the local sheep! Maybe next year I can make arrangements to go to the very top! I quite unexpectedly stood in the middle of a stone circle with a group of women celebrating Summer Solstice. One evening I walked along the Cliffs of Moher accompanied by a border collie that belonged to a local farmer marveling at the sights. We played "fetch the stick" along the way. I snapped pictures of the lesser known Dubh Lin tower as the sun was setting at the far end of the Cliffs of Moher path ...stunning! I sat inside the church my ancestors attended before coming to America in the late 1700's. Afterward I walked through its graveyard filled with my McCurdy ancestors. I saw some of the most breathtaking scenery I have ever seen in my life. I encountered some of the most kind caring people I have ever met, and I left my heart there.
Thanks, Amanda, for making the arrangements that led to the greatest adventure of my life!
Connie Preece, June 2016