I went on a 10-day tour of Ireland before I lived in Dublin many year later. It gave me a good introduction to the warm and beautiful country.
We started the tour of Ireland spending a day in Dublin, then onto Kilarney, the ring of Kerry and Galway. Highlights included kissing the Blarney Stone, the ring of Kerry, Muckross gardens, the cliffs of Moher and a catamaran cruise on Killary Harbour where river dolphins frolicked around the catamaran. We also managed to see some historical points of interest including the Book of Kells, Trinity College, Blarney Castle, the natural history museum, the rock of Cashel and the monastery of Clonmacnoise. Ireland is a beautiful country with forty shades of green, rolling hills, dramatic landscape and beautiful lakes. The locals are warm and friendly with plenty of jokes and long stories to tell.
As luck would have it, I wasn’t the only person travelling alone on my tour, fortunately there was a 31-year old American man from Panama City, Florida with a shaved head and eight tattoos. He worked as a full time butcher in Panama City and he had a deep Southern accent, politely replying “yes mam” when he was asked questions… some might even describe him as a “redneck”. We ended up sitting together for all of the meals and on the bus, started talking and a quiet holiday romance blossomed from there. I didn’t think I would have a lot in common with a high-school educated, tattooed, butchering, southerner… but it turns out I did and he was very refreshing.
I was sad to board the economical Ryan Air back to England and kiss the American goodbye knowing that I would never see him again. But I think a holiday romance was just what I needed and I felt very lucky that we were on the same tour together.