From there we had planned on visiting the Blasket Islands but the sea was too rough so we had to postpone. Instead, we took walking tours of the area and took in the nightlife scene, getting to partake in some of the local craic (pronounced crack- it means the sounds of the bar or a good time). We heard traditional jigs and reels at O'Murphy's and then woke up early the next day for a sobering Gallic mass. The intonation of the language was different than we expected from seeing it in writing. Hard and gutteral, which we were told was because it is from Germanic origins.
After mass we caught the bus to Tralee where we stayed in a gorgeous hostel in a converted Georgian home. Each of the rooms were named for famous Irish authors and we were set up in the James Joyce dormitory. The area is famous for the Rose of Tralee, a beauty pageant held annually in August. The lights were up for the ceremony which was to take place the week after our departure.
In Tralee we rented a car, which made us feel very grown up.
Some of the areas we had wanted to see in our mini- break were beyond the domain of Bus Eireann. Ian gave me a quick lesson in driving on the other side of the road before I got behind the wheel. Almost immediately, despite his constant cries of "Hug the right! Hug the right!" I tapped a rubber tube hanging from a truck and came within two inches of hitting the truck itself. Since we had decided not to get the extended insurance I was no longer allowed to drive.
Ian then took us to see the Cliffs of Moher, amazing sea cliffs amidst the backdrop of the Burren.
The cliffs are half on private territory, half a public park. The private land is well- frequented by tourists but doesn't have the safety railings of the park.
Each year the wind blows a tourist or two over the side. The wind was so extreme that when the waves crash against the cliffs the wind pulls the foam up the side, 2,100 feet, and over onto the land. With white foam dispersing everywhere it looks like you are caught in a snowfall.