Monday, February 23, 2009

Ireland

We had a wonderful time in Ireland; I cannot overemphasize how friendly everyone was! Here is a taste of what we did and I hope everyone reading this can go there themselves someday. It's fantastic!

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On our first day there, after dropping our luggage off at the hotel, but before being able to check in (and shower), we went for a walk around the city, including stops in this lovely park. There was quite a bit of urban wildlife. This seagull lucked in to a large piece of bread:In this same park were ducks:************************
We went to the Botanical Gardens (we love Botanical Gardens!) The visitors obviously feed the wildlife, which were rather tame. As we had seen in London, squirrels would climb up people to get to food they held in their hands.

This squirrel was digging for nest material. Even though I live in an area with a lot of squirrels, I had never seen such a thing before. I did take another video of him climbing up the tree, but lost sight of him. As the video turned out mostly to be of a tree, I decided not to post it.

video

And a close-up of the adorable little fellow, with a mouthful:************************
Later in the week, we took a train to the coastal town of Howth, where we saw this unusual (to us) bird:Also, my dog-envy was in full swing, with many people taking their dogs out on promenades. We were walking along the dock, when we came across these two older gentleman with an adorable dog. The dog carried a tennis ball in his mouth.

When they came to this part of the dock, the dog jumped up on the ledge and walked along it (you can see the dog towards the right of this picture):We imagine this is a daily routine for everyone. Shortly after I took this picture, the dog ran ahead and dropped his tennis ball at the feet of another gentleman standing on the dock. Obligingly, he kicked the ball, and the two of them played fetch while these two men caught up to their dog. Then, they stood around chatting and playing with their dog. What a life!

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We also went to the town of Bray, where we got in quite a bit of hiking. Towards the sea, we found this fun little tidal pool. The only living creature we could see was a snail:There was a large hill that we climbed, and were rewarded with this view:
Too bad the skies weren't clearer, but still quite breathtaking to my eyes.

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Finally, we took a bus to Glendalough, and the driver stopped so we could get out and see this beautiful sight. It was quite misty as you can see, but I think that only adds to the magic of the place.Once we got to Glendalough, we were able to hike for about an hour until we had to meet the bus. This was one of the many waterfalls we stumbled upon:************************
When we were waiting for the train to take us from Bray to Dublin, a young boy of about 4 years old came up to me and the following conversation took place:

Young Irish Lad (YIL): Hi

Me: Hi

YIL: I like your shoes.

Me: Thanks. They're kind of muddy. I like your shoes, too.

YIL: Thanks.

Me: You look like you're from the future (his shoes were silver).

YIL: I am from the future.

It was such a funny conversation! We talked a bit more (his grandfather was right there, laughing along) and then the train came.

3 comments:

Meg said...

Wow! What a great trip! The pictures are amazing, as I bet all the hikes were. Do you get into birding much, or just enjoy taking pics of the ones you see?

Your conversation with the YIL sounds quite funny! One of my favorite parts of traveling (or due to my health watching traveling shows and talking to friends/family that travel would be more accurate) is hearing about/seeing the people.

Tony Wildish said...

Hi Mary,

welcome back! The unusual bird you saw is an oystercatcher. I've never seen one myself, but they're quite distinctive.

You're the second blogger on my list to post one of them today. The other is at Everything is Permuted, if you're interested.

Mary said...

Meg -- we just try to take pictures of any kind of animal we see. We've thought about taking up birding, but that would entail work on bird IDs, so we're taking the easy way out now. Ireland is definitely a great place to meet the locals, at least from our experience.

Tony -- thank you so much for the ID and for the link! As I said above, we're quite bad about IDs of the birds which is probably why we've not taken up birding in a more serious manner!