After our 4 days in Dublin, B and I piled back into one of the public busses in Dublin (after having around 10 drive by that didn't go where we needed them to) and headed out to the airport to pick up our rental car, and begin the driving section of the journey.
This particular section of the holiday (the major part) was something new for me, in that we hadn't planned or booked anything, rather that we just piled into the car and drove. Luckily I had "navi" with me in my phone, so if we ever got lost, then I could just say "home, James!" and we would be saved... :)
So, as I said, we piled into the car with our luggage and headed south in the direction of Bray. As we arrived in Bray it was around lunchtime, so we decided to go looking for something to eat. Unfortunately the heavens decided to open up at this point in time too, so we took refuge in a small snack shack place on the beach and had toasted sandwiches and tea. Strange thing about these toasties, although they were sensational and reasonably priced, was that they came in and were cooked in these little plastic baggy things. Very very weird.
After the toasties, it was back into the car, and further down the coast via some back roads through Greystones, Kilcoole, Wicklow, and to Arklow before heading inland. On the way to Wicklow, I saw one of these brown tourist signs on the side of the road that had a picture of a castle with a flag on top on it. I thought "Sweet! Castle!", I chucked a u-turn and headed down this little side-road in search of my castle. After a few minutes we arrived at a funny rail-crossing right on the beach - no castle in sight. I got out of the car, crossed the tracks, and had a look along the beach for my castle - no luck. Getting back in the car, Bel and I had a discussion about the sign, and it turns out that she had seen this sign before when it was referring to a beach with sand, where kiddies can apparently build sand-castles. In a land with a lot of old castles and ruins, don't you think you would save this sign for the freakin' castles, and come up with something else for a beach, like - I dunno - WAVES?!?!?
Something else about roads in Ireland. They seem to be fairly free and easy in deciding what is a "National Road", which is second only in size to a Motorway. Some of the "National Roads" that we took on this trip were barely wide enough to squeeze two cars past each other in opposite directions, and a lot of them had basically no room for error on the side of the road before meeting a 3 foot (or more) high stone fence.
Continuing on, we decided to head inland from Arklow, to try and find a High Cross for me to have a look at. I had seen one on the map in Moone which comes from the 7th century and stands 5m high, so we headed off in that direction.
Trying to find this thing wasn't easy though, as this isn't the kind of thing that shows up in a navi system. So, we followed a few signs towards the High Cross, drove through a puddle that would have been 1 to 1.5 feet deep, and ended up confused and in the middle of nowhere, but stumbling across the ruins of an old church and graveyard (photo below). Unfortunately, after we took a few shots here, our camera decided to give up the ghost...permanently. :(
At little disheartened that we hadn't found the cross, and that the camera had died, we piled back into our little Cleo with about 1HP, and headed back towards the highway.
Just before reaching the highway, I managed to spot a brown sign pointing towards the cross, which was previously blocked by a tractor. U-turn, driving, parking in some farmer's yard, climbing through a hole in the fence, we finally came across the cross, which has been superbly captured by the crappy camera in my phone...
Back into the car, we headed off in the direction of Carlow. We thought that Carlow may be a little small in order to find somewhere to repair the camera, so we drove through there and on to Kilkenny. On the way, to avoid my head exploding with stress, we called ahead and booked a bed and breakfast in Kilkenny. Turns out that Kilkenny is even smaller than Carlow, and that basically nobody drinks Kilkenny beer here...
Next time it continues with Kilkenny to somewhere, and then to somewhere else. But for now, some pictures for those who have had the patience to read this far.
2011: A Year In Music [Part 4 of 4]
5 years ago