The last time I was in Ireland was December 1999 at the end of my study abroad, around my 22nd birthday. I’ve written a lot (maybe too much) about my time in Ireland, but now I get to go back for the time in nineteen years!
Working at Automattic, we gather with our teammates on a trip or two each year. Being a distributed company, my particular team has members in Australia, New York, and South Africa. We’ve decided on London for meetup this year and I’ll extend my trip for a few days in Dublin.
I’ll fly into Dublin on a Wednesday night and sleep in a hotel near the airport. In the morning I’ll make my way into the city and do some exploring. Afterwards I’ll stay with a college friend and her husband about 40 minutes south of Dublin. We’ll spend Friday hiking and exploring Glendalough or other areas nearby.
Though much of what I’d seen in Ireland on this trip could easily have graced a postcard, Doolin, at least in my opinion, was the most idyllic up to this point. The village center contained a tight grouping of colorful buildings, Doonagore Castle (really a round tower) was visible in the distance, and the Cliffs of Moher were just a stone’s throw away. There were musicians playing Celtic music and jugglers on the street, though I later found out they were likely Celtic-music enthusiasts from Germany (it’s a thing).
My time in Tulsk lasted only a few days, but it provided a few home-cooked meals and a roof over my head. Staying here also gave me the chance to save money I’d need to continue the trip to school in Ballyvaughan. The farm was so far removed from the village center that there was no possibility of spending a few pounds here and there on food, drink, or activities. Like my time in Dublin, I mostly kept to myself while on the farm, taking pictures and reading my travel guide. Over the course of just a few days I had two very different Irish experiences – the bustling city life of Dublin and the isolation of a Roscommon farm.
To help brainstorm titles for the Ireland pieces I’ve been writing, here’s a list of all the films and TV shows set or connected to the Republic or Northern Ireland that I’ve seen. Is there something Irish that I need to see and don’t have listed? Maybe I’ve seen and forgotten, but either way, let me know!
I boarded the bus in Dublin and set off for the tiny village of Tulsk in County Roscommon. I’d be staying at Conor’s mother home before moving on to the West. The 100-mile journey provided my first glimpse of the Irish countryside. After a couple of hours, the driver announced our arrival. Exiting the bus I was greeted by… nothing really. The stop was a dirt lot in front of a private residence.