Right Hand Drive ~ Left Hand Road 10/16/04
Steve arrived in Dublin mid-morning raring to start our Ireland driving adventure. We picked up our rental car, sat in the front seat trying to wrap our jet-lagged minds around how we would ever get accustomed to right hand drive on the left hand road! Brave Driver Steve took the wheel first as Excellent Navigator Karen reminded him to “stay toward the right”, “drive on the left”, “oh God, here comes a round-a-bout!” Whoever coined the phrase you can’t teach an old dog new tricks hasn’t met these two old dogs! Woof!!
Though Ireland is an English speaking country, we had some road-signage translating to do.
Dual Carriage Way = 2 Lane Highway
Overtake = To pass on a highway
Slow Bends = Curves ahead
Traffic Calming = Traffic slowing down
Getting Clamped = Parking monitors put a clamp on your wheels so you can’t drive away before the tow truck comes to TAKE you car away. Serious business those parking violations…
Our goal the first day could have been from a song I wrote except someone beat me to it. From Sea (Irish) to Shining Sea (Atlantic) was the theme as we made our way across the entire Emerald Isle. We followed the N6 highway from Dublin almost to Galway with a lunch stop in Moate. We ate at a traditional pub named Brownes that had bright red doors and the Guinness (of course) flag beckoning to all the passer-by. On our way back to the car a sign caught my eye proclaiming “Washed Roosters 5kg for 2.49”. So they wash their roosters here in Ireland and then sell them, do they? Steve, too curious to pass this up, snapped a photo of the shopkeeper and inquired about the sign that tickled us so. “Roosters, my lad, are Irish potatoes,” he said, grinning from ear to ear.
All the pre-trip research I did recommended bed and breakfasts as the preferred accommodations. Ireland is famous for their friendly people and gracious hospitality so we were eager to arrive at our first destination. Proud of our navigational skills (OK, we did have to ask for directions a couple of times) we arrived in the town of Oranmore at Birchgrove Bed and Breakfast just in time to witness the loveliest bright yellow sunset. Pat and Mary Curren greeted us warmly, gave us a quick tour of their home and showed us to our room. We settled in for the night and I wondered if we’d have fried roosters for breakfast in the morning….