It rained steadily when I left the ferry in Dublin Port. By the time I had reached the hostel, water was sloshing in my shoes and navigating was nearly impossible because I couldn’t make the pattern on the wet surface of my smartphone to unlock it.
History of Ireland
On Wjkipedia I read that the earliest evidence of human presence of around 10,500 BC was ‘a butchered bear bone found in a cave in County Clare’. That was very poetic. It was followed by Neolithic field systems, dry stone walls and then the old Bronze Age that came with bronze (duh), the newly invented wheel and the brewing of alcohol.
Soon followed by the first road casualty.
In Ireland I made it a point to read James Joyce. A portrait of the artist as a young man. It was nice to read about Stephan Dedalus expounding his theory on aesthetics in the streets of Dublin and not much later walking around there myself.
My favourite street was Moore Street off Talbot. It was lined with fruit stalls where I could buy cheap pears and oranges. At the end of the street was a Lidl supermarket. Walking around that part of Dublin it struck me that there were very few benches to sit down and have a moments rest. They want you to keep moving, to buy stuff, to do things.
On my way to the museum I passed Sweny where Leopold Bloom (the main character in Joyce’s Ulysses) bought a piece of lemon soap.
Ireland meant back to kilometres and euros but for some reason everything looked further away and more expensive. The island was much bigger than I had anticipated and so I had to skip a large chunk of my itinerary and missed the western part of country. I was running out of Summer.
From Dublin I cycled in two days to Kilkenny. The second half of the day it rained. After that it cleared up and I got some nice days in Kilkenny. Or Kilkenny Rogers as I found it easier to remember, humming Islands in the Stream, as I strolled through the town.
Some roads allowed a speed limit of 100 km/hr, which was way too high. Curves in the road and at some points a complete lack of shoulder meant it was dangerous. Signs that say 100 km/hr also have a psychological effect on drivers. It creates a sense of entitlement: I am allowed to drive it, so I will and everybody who is keeping me from it is wrong. This sentiment can result in severe road rage. Irish drivers proved repeatedly to be reckless and dangerous. What would mean a scratch on their paint or at most a small dent, might fling me into a tree with fatal results.
Ireland differs from Wales in the fact that there are noticeably fewer sheep.