While we were living in Gdansk, Poland, we went on a work trip to Ireland. We ended up extending our flights so we could stay a little longer and do some exploring, and I’m so glad we did.
As we were flying over Ireland minutes before landing, I remember looking out the window and awing at the sights. Dan and I were watching the bright blue water crashing onto a winding cliff edge and an endless green plain as far as we could see. It was nice not to be hit by jet lag when landing in a new country for once, so we hopped straight into our hire car and drove through the countryside to Slane.
The minute we left the airport I was already enthralled by Ireland. I loved the long stretches of road as far as the eye could see and how luscious and green it was wherever you looked. I remember passing through so many towns on our drive from Dublin to Slane, and each town was cuter than the last. The pubs were decorated with flowers and the houses were either painted in bright red or were made out of stone and had bright yellow or blue doors. We arrived at our bed and breakfast that we had booked the night before by dusk. We drove up the winding driveway through huge oak trees and pretty flowers only to arrive and find out we were the only ones staying in this beautiful cottage mansion on a Monday. We spent the rest of the night shooting portraits of each other in the garden where we met a cat that reminded us of Sneaky who we missed so much back at home.
The next morning there was one thing on Dan and I’s list that we had to see. We woke up at sunrise to get ready and made a short one minute drive to our destination. Slane Castle. This has been on both of our bucket lists even before we met each other! Our favourite music DVD that we used to watch while we were in high school was Red Hot Chili Peppers live at Slane Castle - and for some reason we both never thought we’d have the chance to visit the grounds until we were actually there - together! We spent the morning on a small tour of the actual castle and spent some time taking pictures around the grounds.
The rest of the day in Slane was spent visiting the sights. We visited Hill of Slane among a few other spots and purposely got lost while driving on the streets only to stumble across beautiful endless fields, rows of trees, lakes, rivers and front yards covered in flowers. It seemed wherever you turned in Ireland was another amazing location.
We fell in love with asking for directions in Ireland. When you ask a local where something is, they will usually say something like “follow the road to the left, when you see a cobblestone fence keep going straight, turn right at the bridge and you’ll find yourself in the town. When you reach the only set of lights, turn left, keep going straight until you reach an intersection. Turn right and you’ll be there!”. We’d stand there for a minute trying to recall the long, winding list of directions and by the time we’d drive out onto the road we’d already forgotten. But getting lost in Ireland is all part of the adventure.
I’ll never forget the roads of Ireland. They’re nothing like what I was used to at home or what I got used to while in America. In Ireland, (aside from the highways) a lot of the country roads look like they are one way, one lane roads - but they are two way roads! Dan was driving our manual car while we were there, squeezing past cobblestone fences and oncoming locals who were driving just as fast as Dan. Trees and bushes lining the roads, so overgrown you can’t see what’s coming until they are seconds away from you. I couldn’t help myself but to squeeze my eyes shut every time!