Reichart Ramblings
The Thoughts & Travels of Shane & Amanda Reichart

Ireland

Oct 2, 2023 - Amanda Reichart

Two countries down and I thought I was starting to get this traveling process down. But Ireland decided to prove otherwise. After our flight we headed to the busses and purchased a ticket to get us the majority of the way to our accommodations. Once on our way, however, Shane realized the bus they had told us to get on was the wrong one. We confirmed this with the bus driver and he told us which bus stop we needed to get as close as possible to our destination. After a quick lunch in downtown Dublin, we caught our next bus only to find we either needed to pay either with euros or a bus card. Thankfully the bus driver took pity on us and let us on without paying. This is not an uncommon occurrence. They don’t want to hold up the bus schedule and if they can clearly see you don’t know the process, they often just tell you to get on. In gratitude, Shane got into his bag and pulled out some euros in bills. The gentleman next to me had asked where we were from and kindly began to explain Ireland’s public transportation system. As Shane got up to take the bills to the bus driver he said, “It’s not going to work, they only take exact change.” Sure enough, Shane came back with the bills. The same gentleman then traded Shane euro coins for bills in an effort to help us out. Shane once again went to the bus driver to pay. We were trying to do the right thing! The driver still declined the money. Unfortunately our journey troubles still weren’t over. While now we had exact change needed, we missed our next bus and had to wait at the bus stop for 50 minutes! If only that was the end of our transportation troubles in Ireland…

Thankfully, our Airbnb was wonderful once we finally arrived! It was located on a college campus

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The Burren

but the room was set up exactly like a hotel room and also had a common space with couches and a kitchen for us to use as well. Even though it was a pretty good distance from they city center, for this trip it ended up being exactly what we needed!

We walked over to a local grocery store to get some food for dinner and settled in. Only then to realize we had no way to get to the next day’s excursion. We didn’t have enough coins for both of us to take the bus and hadn’t purchased a bus card. Shane was beginning to not feel well. He was really tired and didn’t want to make the twenty-minute round trip walk back to the same grocery store to buy the bus cards. But because I didn’t have data on my phone and would have no way to contact him if I had problems, he decided to come with me. Have I mentioned I married a good man?! And good thing he came, because the grocery store did not have any more bus cards! This added another ten-minute walk to our trip to where we were finally able to buy the bus cards. By the way, if anyone is going to Ireland soon let us know. The bus cards are five euros each and you can have ours!

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Giants Causeway

The bus card was well worth it as the next day it got us to our excursion at Giant’s Causeway. It was incredible! And despite still not feeling great, Shane ran all over those perfectly hexagonal rocks! How sick could he really be? Our tour guide was an Irish man who had stories to go on for days! Stories of religious persecution in Ireland like being unable to buy property in certain areas. And stories of the challenges of getting in and out of Northern Ireland. He also talked of bombings in Belfast and the IRA.

Our next day was a rest day which was perfect as Shane was still fighting something. The following day we were off to the Cliffs of Moher!

Our journey had a very interesting beginning. As our tour guide was filling us in on some general details she asked that no one talked while she was speaking. An older couple, probably their early 70’s continued talking. It appeared they spoke little English and likely did not understand much of what she was saying. The bus driver walked past them at a stop to pick up more passengers and said, “Do you understand my English? Please don’t talk while she is talking.” The husband took great offense at this and let the tour guide know. The tour guide backed up the bus driver but apparently the matter was not dropped. Shortly after the bus driver began our trip again the gentleman got up and employed physical contact to get the drivers attention. The tour guide lost it! Not only was it scary to be physically distracting the driver, it was clear from this and previous comments that he was not going to be a reasonable or safe passenger. The tour guide told him he must get off the bus which he did not do until she threatened to call the police. Thankfully it was all smooth sailing from there! The cliffs are stunning! Pictures cannot do them justice! We took pictures from so many different angles which required a lot of climbing. I was so tired and wondered how I was so out of shape! We also drove along the Burren which is a beautiful and vast rocky plane. The scenery was almost too much beauty to take in in one day! I kept telling Shane, “I’ve seen too much beauty, I need to look at some ugly things to balance it out!”

PXL_20230816_1014394991.jpg PXL_20230816_1024533291.jpg PXL_20230816_1133297021.jpg PXL_20230816_1139030701.jpg PXL_20230816_1140123211.jpg PXL_20230816_1111088461.jpg PXL_20230816_1023194891.jpg PXL_20230818_1220348881.jpg PXL_20230818_1029060361.jpg PXL_20230816_1024206641.jpg PXL_20230818_1033279491.jpg PXL_20230816_1119496911.jpg PXL_20230818_1051005601.jpg PXL_20230818_1221086331.jpg PXL_20230818_1015131931.jpg PXL_20230818_1029394891.jpg PXL_20230816_1121280611.jpg PXL_20230816_1113199741.jpg You probably all have been thinking, did you have COVID? Well, we never tested but the answer is likely yes. My mother-in-law, Annette, informed us there was a huge outbreak in Ireland. Those of you who know Shane may be thinking, “That sounds right as he also likely spread COVID throughout Europe, possibly being patient zero in several countries in 2020.” And this was the main reason I was so thankful for where we were staying! We had a king sized bed that was extra comfy and while we often stay in someone’s home in an Airbnb, thankfully we had the room and bathroom all to ourselves. We spent the rest of our time in Ireland recovering.

I do regret not being able to see my friend Hannah who had moved to Ireland and had plans to show us around. But I felt it best not to share our germs and we really needed that time to recover because Portugal was coming up next and it would have it’s own share of transportation problems. And of course so much beauty as well!


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