Into the West

of Ireland

Photo: The Lakes of Killarney

A few years ago, I finally realized a dream and traveled to Ireland. We followed the advice of friends and quickly went west. While in Dublin, we visited Trinity College, St. Stephen's Green and Gogarty's Pub, a venue for traditional music, and then piled into our Euro-van and drove into the west.

Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland

The Irish carriageway or highway becomes a narrow roadway linked by roundabouts. We had no choice but to rent a vehicle that would accommodate all of us. Little did we know that in many places out west, the roads were hardly wider than two bike lanes side by side. The driver of our Yank tour bus, my husband, handled all of this quite well including the challenge of driving on the left-hand side of the road. We were even dubbed 'the Griswalds' by Patrick, our Irish friend. I had to keep my window rolled up in most places, as thick greenery on both sides of the road formed a tunnel and scraped constantly on the side of the van. There's a reason why the Irish drive such compact cars. By the way, it's true about the sheep in the road.

The stress of driving melted away as we drove deeper in the beautiful Irish countryside. After a few hours of rain, the sun broke through just as we entered enchanting County Kerry. We were completely captivated by the sight of rugged, green mountains as they emerged from a mist that evaporated before our eyes in the brilliant Irish sunshine. Everything was wet from the rain, which seemed to intensify the sun. It was so green and so immaculately clean and as untouched for centuries, as were the stone walls along the side of the road.

Stops in Kildare, Killarney, Kenmare and Glengarriff offered vistas and views that surpass the Ireland of your imagination. Along the narrow roads of the town centres, brightly colored storefronts in colors of pink, green and blue supported window boxes overflowing with flowers in a state of prolific bloom. We visited an ancient castle in Cashel and climbed a round tower in Kildare. En route to Glengarriff in west Cork, we looked down for what seemed like miles into a deep green valley dotted with sheep and cottages. While in Glengarriff, we took a cue from the locals and imbibed in drink outside a Pub as we enjoyed the glorious weather and the gorgeous scenery.

Glengarriff, West Cork, Ireland

The Rock of Cashel

The Rock of Cashel

A forest in Kenmare, County Kerry, Ireland

View of St. Brigid's Cathedral in Kildare from the Round Tower.

The Lakes of Killarney

Bridget in Glengarriff, West Cork, Ireland

A bookstore in Kenmare, County Kerry, Ireland that carries the novel, 'Whispers on the Wind'.

On the road back to Dublin, we stopped in Galway; a seaside town. The Galway horse races were underway and the Irish, in formal dress, came from all over for this annual event. Galway and Dublin offer a more urban, cultured experience, but I would suggest going west without delay.

Bridget Geegan Blanton's writing career as a newspaper columnist, a web-site contributor, content writer and French language translator has found new expression as a novelist. Whispers on the Wind, Bridget’s debut novel was the first installment in the Celtic Heart historical fiction series that continues with A Woman’s Equal Share. View more inspirational articles and motivational videos at Bridget’s web-site:

Recent Release: Book Two: 'A Woman's Equal Share'

View the Book Trailer and Learn More about Book Two.

Book One: 'Whispers on the Wind'

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