Thursday, January 07, 2010

The land of Limericks and Leprechauns part 1.

We were invited to Ireland to spend a little time with Susan's biological sister, ( Susan was adopted as a small child and only managed to connect with her mother and siblings (9) 18 months ago at the age of 51. Thank you Lord for adoption society records). What a fantastic family, they remind me of my family when I was growing up, close knit, caring, loving and honest. We stayed with them in a small village called Glendalough about 50km south of Dublin in an area known as Wicklow county. We flew into Dublin arriving at 10 in the morning and spent a few hours waiting for my friend Steven, also a South African who has been living in Ireland for about 8 years. His bus from the north was delayed due to the icy conditions but eventually arrived and we spent a few hours catching up before he flew out. Steve gave me the bible I use more than 23 years ago, thank you Steve, it was good to see you again. Our arrangements with Noel and Mary were that we would drive down to Glendalough the next afternoon which gave us a little time in Dublin to do the tourist thing before heading out. Rain and more rain and icy weather and since neither Susan nor I had any idea where to go in this amazing city we first booked into an hotel and then got some advice from the lovely receptionist as to where we should go for the evening.
She directed us to the Temple Bar in central Dublin and advised us to rather catch a bus than try to drive into town. Good advice.
The bus trip was interesting in that it allowed both Susan and I to see all the amazing Christmas lights with which the Irish people adorn almost every building. Very pretty indeed. The bar was an experience in itself. What an amazing atmosphere. There was a guitarist singing and being accompanied by almost everyone in the place, and the place was packed. It was truly great. I had my first Guiness and loved it. Very festive.
We had a fantastic evening. It was well worth the effort and I would highly recommend the Temple Bar to visitors to Dublin, in fact I would highly recommend a visit to Dublin, it's a great place.
The following morning we had breakfast at the hotel where I had what is called "black and white pudding", an Irish sausage type thing that they are very fond of but I cannot say that I enjoyed especially after being told what it is made from. Of course being a tourist I soldiered through but must admit I can think of far nicer sausages. Next time I'll give it a miss thank you very much.
After that, having discovered that I had lost my reading glasses and that Susan's shoes were treacherous on the frozen ground, we took the car and went into the city centre to do a little shopping. It was still raining and cold but after finding parking we went walk about looking for a Vodaphone agent To recharge Susan's mobile and then off on a quest for non-slip shoes and glasses. Ireland is truly a lovely place and the people are so friendly and unassuming. I still cannot get over how at home I have felt in this country.
Well having accomplished all that we set out to do we decided to head for the country. Sounds so easy but for the life of us we couldn't find the car. Where on earth did we park it? After a couple of hours wandering about and racking our brains we eventually managed to recognise a few land marks and lo and behold there was the parking garage where we had left it. What a relief and so, off the country we went.
Fortunately Susan has visited her sister a couple of times so finding our way was not too much of an event and the drive through the countryside, which is very quaint and agricultural, was an absolute delight. Of course there was the ever present rain all the way but the trip in itself was very pleasant. I'm just a little sorry that I didn't take more photos but I was running out of battery life for the camera and since I had foolishly left my charger in South Africa thinking that Susan would have one, which she didn't, well I leave the rest up to your imagination. The trip took only about an hour and we both enjoyed it. Thank you lord for your kindness. And now onto part 2.
What city do you find fascinating? let me know.


  1. Enjoyed your blog...Ireland seems like an interesting place. My children would like to go visit that country sometime...they are part Irish.
    Stay safe and warm....E-

  2. Elizabeth, I think that a stack of Americans are part Irish. Didn't the Irish flock to the states at one time? I seem to remember something about a gold rush or something. Sorry I'm not clued up on American history, I could probably tell you about South Africa's past though. Ireland is definitely worth visiting.

  3. Wow! Ireland is one of my favourite places on this planet!!! We were there in August last year for our Honeymoon - we spent 9 days driving through the country (thank goodness for GPS)!!!

    And, even more incredibly, I met my sister just over a year ago - she was adopted as a baby and decided to look for her biological mom (my mom) and found her in November 2009. If you want, you can read about it on my blog
    Take care & God bless!

  4. I just now came upon this post... I Googled your black and white pudding--"blood sausage". I remember my mother telling of when she was a little girl on the farm, and they would butcher hogs and made blood sausage. I read that it was popular with German-Americans, and her relatives were from Germany.