Well, I fear that I have waited way to long to post the last of my adventures in Ireland. But, here it is in all it's glory. My last day (which was last Thursday.....feels like a really long time ago.)
#21: Galway Bus Stop
I said goodbye to Meghan and Galway early Thursday afternoon and headed by bus to what would be my final destination of Sixmilebridge.....a small village that has the closest hostel to the Shannon Airport. It was difficult to say goodbye, but it made it easier that I was sleepy. :) And Meghan, I saw you get teary-eyed (even though she NEVER does). Oh, what a wonderful time with a wonderful friend! And now I set out on my own.....
#22: Limerick & King's Island
I changed buses in Limerick and had a few moments to catch some sights there. Most notably, I passed by King's Island, a small piece of land situated in the heart of Limerick which holds the 13th century King John's Castle and the 800 year old St. Mary's Cathedral. It's a beautiful view really. I feel like there have never been any other times in my life when I just PASSED a castle on my way somewhere. But that's exactly what Ireland is like. And while I am sad that I never actually got to venture inside of one, I am incredibly satisifed for having the experience of being in the near vicinity of several of them within a week.
Ahhhh....and here we are.....Sixmilebridge. I would venture to guess a population of about 300 people. It is an incredibly tiny village which is accessible by bus only three times a day. How lucky that I made it to the Limerick station JUST IN TIME to catch the second one of the day! You can literally walk this village in a matter of an hour or so. I spent about half of that time due to the cold and rainy weather, but I found it quite a quaint and interesting place. Everywhere you walk you notice signs and buildings that refer to "ducks". Read on the #24 for more information....
#24: Duck Park
On the way to the hostel, I passed by this duck park, not really paying much attention to it. I thought, "Oh yeah, ducks." But when I walked around the village I realized that these were special ducks somehow. There is a small Duck Inn that sits on a pond by one of the pubs made especially for these ducks. There is also a "Ducks Crossing" sign (which you can notice the in picture above.) At this park, there is a also a little row of houses for them. And when you look up Sixmilebridge on Wikipedia, it makes a point to highlight the significance of the ducks in this village. Never have I visited a place that so covets its bird population. I feel special now.
#25: Sixmilebridge Public Library
Ummm....when was the last time you went to the library and it looked like THIS? That's what I thought. I noticed this building calling out to me over the village and so I made my towards it, sure that I would discover it to be some ruins or a church. But instead, I found the village library. it was closed, naturally, as is almost everything in Ireland after 5pm, but I contemplated how much more often I would visit my local library if it was half this historically rich and beautiful.
#26: Jamaica Inn
What an odd name for a hostel in Ireland. Still, even more odd, I spent my first time in a hostel which was completely empty....except for the owner. The upside was that I payed for a shared room but enjoyed the benefits of NOT sharing it with anyone. The downside was that it was awfully lonely....especially for my last day in Ireland. So I took a shower and finished a book and passed out at what must've been 9pm. I was a bit disappointed to miss out on the social experience of staying in a hostel, but I guess in a village this small in November in Ireland, there's not too much business for Jamaica Inn. However, it was a special moment in my life because it was the first hostel I had ever stayed in and the last place I visited in Ireland....save the cab driver's front seat on the way to the airport.
And so, there you have it......my time in Ireland is over and done with. I made it to number 26 (oh man, just ooooooooone more to make my goal, but I feel proud for what I accomplished.) and had the time of my life with friendly faces and absolutely beautiful sightseeing. It was worth every hundreds of thousands of pennies I spent! And now I am back, catching up on phone calls and work, and making up for lost time with my dog.
And I'm already thinking about where I will travel next.....