Date: 2009-03-23 22:40:00
islands of the world, part 1
Previously, I left off with us still in Austin.

20 March - Up bright and early to drive to Dallas for our next flight (it's Friday, must be time to fly to another country). We left off with a visit to Rudy's for breakfast tacos, the post office to mail some stuff back home to Christchurch, the Czech Stop for some kolaches, and then directly to the Dallas airport. After successfully navigating the rental car return we checked in for our flight to Dublin.

21 March - Arrived in Frankfurt after a fitful couple of hours sleep on an overnight flight. We evidently had the "screaming children" flight and combined with some turbulence and the time zone change, we were pretty knackered. However, we pressed on and took the train into central Frankfurt to poke around for a couple of hours. We bought some chocolate truffles, found a part we needed for Amy's camera, got some food, and visited a wool store before heading back to the airport. Much later that afternoon (long day!) we arrived in Dublin, picked up our rental car, and found our hotel. Having a real bed for the night was excellent.

22 March - Got up at a reasonable hour (I woke up a couple of times much too early), and headed into central Dublin to look around. We had breakfast at a small cafe and wandered around the streets a bit. By that time it was almost noon so we decided to leave the city instead of seeing more sights and head toward Cork, which was our next destination. It was nice to be able to drive on the left side of the road again, which is what we've become used to in New Zealand. We stopped at the woollen mill in Avoca (unfortunately they were closed because it was Sunday but we had a great lunch there), experienced the ubiquitous tiny Irish roads, and stopped in Waterford. Also unfortunately, the famous Waterford crystal factory has been in receivership for a couple of months and was not open for tours. Although we couldn't see some of the things we wanted to, we had an excellent day anyway.

23 March - We went to the Blarney Castle and yes, we both kissed the Blarney Stone! It's cheesy but we came all that way so we figured we might as well. Had a fantastic lunch at the local pub in Blarney, along with a proper Irish Guinness. Drove out to West Cork to the village of Schull. It was just after dark when we got here but we plan to explore tomorrow.
Greg Hewgill <>