The Great Escape

tobias_Flag_of_Ireland

The great escape is what I call June 1st. The oven is opening, school is out and many people are fleeing the 100 + degree temps to cooler climates, the pool, mini vacations, or the living room with the shades closed and the AC on cold. When going for walks or hikes, they happen in the early AM or PM (these times also protect paws from burns), where the weather is perfect though still a bit warm. Thank God it’s a “Dry Heat”.

Emerald Isle

I am taking my annual Journey to the Emerald Isle- where hot is 85 and muggy and that is sweltering for Irish standards (and doesn’t happen very often). Even I think it’s pretty darn hot without fans and AC to turn on because of the humidity. Wet heat?However, weather doesn’t matter because I am in Ireland! Escape with me…

Imagine…

After flying across the world in about 14 to 16 hours (layover times vary), you wake up to an Irish sunrise as the plane approaches Ireland. As you look down over the land, you see the varying shades of green that truly justify the nickname “Emerald Isle”. The land is in grids of fields of varying hues and forests of dark green. The terrain is made up mostly of meadows and pastures and land for crops. There are also peat bogs, mountains, plateaus and rivers. The biggest river is the River Shannon. There aren’t a lot of trees due to deforestation, but there is a lot of green vegetation.

The climate varies with the seasons. The winters are mild, but it can snow. Summers are cool, but last summer they had a heat wave. It is very humid and mostly cloudy. The weather is like the Northeastern US, except the winter weather lasts a bit longer and the summer weather is a bit shorter in Ireland. The North Atlantic Drift brings warmer ocean waters and warmer weather to Ireland. As you walk out of the airport the damp cool air hits you- you are not in Arizona anymore…

Land of the Biscuit

There were clues as you took your last plane- in the US things were changing. Perhaps you heard accents from some passengers and flight attendants. The food even changed. As you left the US you had coffee with half and half and when you were served your wake up coffee or tea there was milk to put in it instead. Scones may have been served as a breakfast snack…Scones on an airplane? Yes… You are heading to the land of tea and biscuits- which mean cookies of some sort or another.

The buses from the airport are great and leave at all times, hotels may have a shuttle to get you or you may rent a car, but be ready to drive on the other side of the road, AND with a stick shift ( unless you pay more $$$). So not only are you driving down the opposite side of the road, but if you are not familiar with manual transmission, you have to remember how to do it(if you ever knew) and with the opposite hand you learned to do it with.

It is an adventure. If I can do it, you can too. After living in AZ, a drive across the country of Ireland is a breeze. It is very small. The whole country is about the size of the state of West Virginia. It takes about one and a half “Irelands” to fit into the state of Arizona.

Dublin

When you arrive in Dublin, you will see skyscrapers next to historical landmarks. There are modern facilities next to crumbling castles. In the fields, the sheep graze with modern windmills nearby. People come from all over the world to see Ireland and what it has to offer.

You could spend your whole vacation in Dublin where the restaurants, shops, pubs and historical sites would keep you busy for the whole trip. But the vacation is not over yet, in my next post I will take you to some of my favorite places near Waterford, Cork, and Galway to experience Ireland.

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