Monday, March 11, 2013

And then we stole the Paddywagon: Ireland Day 3

Not to ruin the intrigue created by the title, but I should point out that we never actually stole the Paddywagon. Although, it was considered until one of us (okay, it was me) pointed out that no serious crime starts with "We'll just steal the Paddywagon." It would probably hurt my street cred substantially. Now that I have thoroughly confused all of you, as you are probably wondering what a Paddywagon is and why we would want to steal it, I guess I should start from the beginning...

Day 3

Day 3 started out with all the joy and grace of a bird flying into a window. By that I mean I had to wake up at 6am after getting 4 hrs of sleep and get ready in the dark. We rushed to the Paddywagon office (which is also another hostel) only to learn that the bus didn't actually leave at 7:00, but instead at 7:40. So we a 40 min to eat, and they were kind enough to let us steal food from their free breakfast. We then boarded the Paddywagon. Ok, I will finally explain what a Paddywagon is. It's not even that great, it's just an obnoxious green bus with an awesome name. Here is a picture of what it looks like:

I wasn't smart enough to think to take a picture of our actual
Paddywagon so this picture is from the internet.
It's basically identical, except ours was (sadly) just a little
bit less obnoxious. But yeah, this is a Paddywagon.
So yeah, that's the bus that took us all the way from Dublin to the Cliffs of Moher. We made some stops along the way though. First at a convenient store to use the bathrooms and buy food/coffee. I wouldn't even both mentioning it except that it's where I somehow got the nickname "Salt". Funny (not really, more like you-had-to-be-there) story: I was walking out and I though I heard my friend say "Face it Salt" so I was like "Face what? Also why are you calling me salt?" And the name stuck. A thrilling tale, I know. But anywho, from there we drove for a while and I was either passed out asleep or listening to our tour guide/bus driver's entertaining anecdotes for most of the trip. After some time (I have no idea how much, because of the whole sleeping thing) we stopped at a castle along some sort of body of water. My descriptive skills are impressive I know. I forget the name of the castle but if you walk around it clockwise and make a wish it will come true. If you walk around counter-clockwise you get your virginity back. Supposedly. Also if you ask the gate a question, you will get an answer by the end of the day.

I'm calling shenanigans on the whole wish thing. I wished
for a red panda and do I have one yet? No.

I couldn't think of a good question to ask
 the gate, so instead I just tried to break in.
Ignore the fact that I'm not even holding the lock
After the castle we were herded back onto the Paddywagon (which had been parked illegally btw, but really who's gonna ticket a Paddywagon? In case you can't tell, I really like the word Paddywagon! Spell check still refuses to accept it though) we drove for a bit more through these beautiful back-country roads where you could see all of the stone walls and the green and it was rather lovely! Our next stop was Corcomroe Abbey, which is an early 13th century Cistercian monastery. It is rumored that the people who built/designed it were killed afterwards to they could never build another one like it. Which sounds kind of violent for a monastery, but it makes a good story so as far as I'm concerned, that's what happened. It's a cool place to see but kind of eery because it's basically a giant cemetery now, with some very recent graves, so I felt kind of sleazy taking pictures.

Corcomroe Abbey

I'm still really fascinated by all of the stone walls in Ireland, mostly because there isn't actually anything holding them together (except more stones) and people were often forced to build them either as punishment or to get rid of all o the rocks in the earth in order to grow things. Which means in some places you see series of stone walls built that have no purpose, and never had a purpose. Crazy.

One of the many stone walls of Ireland

Anyway, we got back on the Paddywagon, I passed out again and we arrived at a new place. All I caught of the name was something about Mini-cliffs. So that is what I am calling them. We got to play and climb on them (with only a slight risk of death) and I got cool pictures like these:

On the other side of the road there was a big rocky hill, which is where we got this awesome picture:

So much street cred, I know.
From the Mini-cliffs we stopped for lunch in the town of Doolin, which took forever to get through the line, but I had some amazing seafood chowder so it was okay. We then headed to the Cliffs of Moher. Which are amazing, to say the least. It's also where that scene from the Princess Bride (The Cliffs of Insanity!!!) was filmed. So be impressed!

I'm not even going to bother trying to post a lot of pictures
of them because it's just impossible to capture their beauty!
We also walked to O'Brien's Tower, built on the highest point of the Cliffs of Moher. The guy who built it did it to impress the woman he was courting. Not sure if it worked or not, it's not a very impressive tower, especially compared to what's around it. I tried to take the tourist-y holding up a tower picture but it was a fail in every way possible. I also got heckled by a group of old Irish men when I was posing for it, and of course thought the best way to respond was to try to spazz-ily flex my muscles. I mostly just looked like a lunatic, so nothing new.

SO realistic looking, I know
But the view of O'Brien's Tower on top of the cliffs is pretty amazing because it's a good way to judge just how big they are (702 ft at their highest point, according to Wikipedia)

It's kind of hard to not feel so very small

Returning to the idea of stealing the Paddywagon (because I almost forgot and I bet you did too), you are probably (now) wondering how that factors in to breathtaking Irish scenery. Well, get ready for another disappointing, over-hyped up story! We all loved the Cliffs of Moher and the Irish countryside so much that we weren't ready to go back to Dublin, even as much as we love Dublin. So we decided when we were told to come back on the bus, we would just take it over (Freddy - our bus driver - probably wouldn't care tooo much) and stay in Galway. But then there was the whole "no serious crime starts with 'then we stole the Paddywagon'" so we decided against it and bid farewell to the Cliffs of Moher.

On the way home we stopped at a castle/pub next to it for a bathroom break. The castle was kind of like the one show in Monty Python and the Holy Grail so I was disappointed you couldn't actually go closer so I could get a better picture, but oh well. The pub was memorable because there were a bunch of rugby players there and we may have again plotted to steal the bus so we could stay longer. But not really because we were all pretty exhausted.

We went back to O'Shea's for dinner and a pint (because it was close by) and ran into Freddy, our tour guide and bus driver there. I spent a lot of time just sitting and listening to music though because they had two guys playing Irish folk music and it was a nice way to unwind after a long day.

And that, was Day 3! I was finally able to move into the same room as everyone else and I fell asleep early and actually got over 8 hrs of sleep for the first time that whole trip! So stay tuned for our last day in Dublin, which involves Guinness, Shamrock Shakes, and a jail!

1 comment:

  1. I can't believe you didn't ask a question at the gate! I do hope your wish comes true eventually though.

    Your photos are great, by the way. Glad you enjoyed your trip!