The Luck of the Irish

The phrase 'the luck of the Irish' has taken on new meaning for me as I have found the Irish countryside to be one of the most enchanting places that I have ever visited.

Dingle, Ireland is perhaps my favorite spot so far. It might be a tie between Dingle and Edinburgh. Somehow, we managed to visit Dingle during a week of incredibly rare, warm weather. The last two days were absolutely gorgeous- perfect weather for exploring a coastal town full of ancient ruins and rolling countryside.

On Monday, our first full day, our tour guide took us on a 6 hour tour all around the Dingle peninsula (Slea Head Drive and Connor Pass) to the major, must-see spots. I believe that I said my fair share of prayers as our happy-go-lucky, Irish guide swung around the corners of the very narrow road in our massive tour van, with sheer cliffs dropping into the ocean right outside my window. He didn't seem the least bit nervous to drive at such a speed, dodging other cars, sheep and even dogs, but the rest of us were gripping our seats at several points throughout the ordeal.

Other than serving to further solidify my relationship with my Maker, the sights of the tour were spectacular. The Dingle peninsula is home to several, ancient ruins from early Christian times- it was amazing to see. The Galarus Oratory- the ruins of an early Christian church- is the oldest Christian relic in Europe. We also stopped at Kilmarkedar Church which is one of the most important Christian sites on the Dingle peninsula as it houses a 6th
century stone carved with the Latin alphabet. Outside of the church is a graveyard, and Ireland's first clock- a sundial.

Yesterday was my favorite day of the entire trip thus far. Immediately following morning class, three other girls and I rented bikes and set off along the waterfront peninsula that we had toured the day before. The weather was perfect- not too hot, but not too cold- and as we had about 6 hours, we took our time stopping at several spots for rest, lunch or just sightseeing. It felt so good to be active after about a month of travel, and we estimated that we rode somewhere in-between 10-12 miles total. Although Kelsey and Sarah ended up riding much further than my friend Taylor and I (about 31.5 miles!), the sore muscles that I have today indicate that I did about as much as I should have.

The best parts of the bike ride were definitely our lunch spot- a secluded, grassy ridge over-looking the ocean, and the little, country church that Taylor and I stopped in on the way home for some silent prayer and reflection.

Early tomorrow morning, we are driving about 2 hours north to Shannon airport and then flying to London where we will be staying for over 2 weeks. More updates to come!

Pictures: Spring lambs/ The country church/ Our bike ride view

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