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    Posted March 5, 2014 by
    Austin, Texas
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Glorious Ireland

    The End of the Rainbow

    My girlfriend Rena and I decided to go to Ireland in the springtime a few years ago. Unbelievable as it may seem, we did not realize that we would be in Ireland for St. Patrick's Day until the second day we were actually in Ireland.
    We flew into Dublin from Paris, rented a car, and proceeded to do a clockwise drive around the entire southern half of the country. We were in Waterford on the 17th and watched the parade, then went to the Waterford Crystal factory, which was closed because of a strike, but a very nice man brought us in and showed us around anyway.
    After leaving Waterford, Rena and I stopped and hiked all the way up Mahon Falls. We then drove to Blarney, hoping to kiss the stone on St. Patrick's Day, but got there just a half hour too late. We spent that night in Cork, then drove over to Killarney the next day, where we visited Ross Castle and took a boat out to Innisfallen in Lough Leane...another fantastic day!
    We were totally amazed that we had gorgeous weather every single day in Ireland, and made the most of it by being outdoors most of the time.
    The next morning, I got myself psyched to once again drive on the "wrong side" of the road, with blue-butt sheep, gorse bushes, stone walls, and other drivers all seemingly trying to kill us. But, on we went to Portmagee, where we had a truly memorable lunch of fish stew, muscles, and Harp beer. We then headed up to Galway, stopping first to hike along the Cliffs of Moher at sunset.
    We spent a lot of time walking around Galway, loving that they closed many streets to cars, and had many open markets with great food and arts & crafts. I had one of the best meals ever at a pub in Galway...an open-faced duck sandwich with melted cheddar and fruit confit on top. Wow.
    We then drove straight across the country back to Dublin, stopping in Athlone for lunch, and walking through a beautiful local cemetery.
    Since we only had two more days in Ireland, I had made the decision to ride a motorcycle in-country, since I've been riding for over 30 years, so I called Paul at CelticRider in Naas (just south of Dublin) and he was very kind to rent us a bike, even though it was not only Sunday and they were closed, but it was Ireland's Mother's Day as well! Paul rode through the Wicklow Gap with us, stopped and had some lunch with us, showed us a cemetery with a tower built by the Vikings (!), then let us proceed on our own out to Bray on the Irish Sea. That day was an incredible dream-come-true for me personally, and capped off a memorable trip to the Emerald Isle for Rena and I.
    You can view some photos at: share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=0Acs2zNm5cs2LSmg
    Go raibh maith agaibh!
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