I recently returned from a week-long tour of Ireland with my sister and a close friend. We had a rental car and reservations at castle hotels across the country.
It was, without a doubt, the trip of a lifetime.
We drove the winding (and thin and sometimes terrifying) roads through patchwork farmland, up mountain sides and onto cliffs overlooking the Atlantic. The country is breathtaking and boasts a taste of every type of scenery. It’s a little different from North Dakota…
I had a few goals.
I wanted to see a vibrant Ireland rainbow. I saw one.
I wanted to experience being on top of and on the edge of the world at the Cliffs of Moher. I experienced it.
I wanted to have a drink in a small-town pub and see if the Irish country folk are really as kind as I’ve heard. I did. And they are.
And I wanted to shoo sheep off the road like in the movies. Check.
Yep, it was exactly like I imagined. We came around a curve and there they were — munching on grass on the edges of the roadway, and leaping and trotting down the middle. (I’m talking about sheep now, not Irish country folk).
I had my first (and second and third) taste of lamb meat on the trip, and of course bought plenty of Irish wool scarves and hats for myself, friends and family.
It’s tough to leave such a beautiful place, but I suppose the flat, expansive prairie of North Dakota would be beautiful to someone accustomed to a more Ireland-like terrain.
I’d love to go back someday.
There will always be more sheep to shoo, a Shamus with a Guiness in hand eager to give a traditional Irish toast, and a rural convenience store owner with detailed, landmark-based directions to Limerick on the tip of his tongue.
And besides, I never did find me a rich farmer to marry.
Here is a photo I snapped of the sheep on the road.