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View Diary: * New Day * - Coming Up: Road Trip to Party with Los Angeles Kossacks! Your Favorite Road Trip? (119 comments)

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  •  Monument Valley was part of one of my favorite (12+ / 0-)

    trips when I was a kid.  SF to Reno to the North Rim to Bryce to Zion to Monument Valley to Chaco to Taos to San Idelfonso to Santa Fe to Carlsbad to Juarez to Lordsburg to Safford to Phoenix to LA (including Disneyland) to Santa Barbara and back to SF.  The kind of trip families don't make any more.

    But my all-time favorite trip was the first time I went to Ireland.  It was the first time I had ever left North America.  It was 4 1/2 years sober.  I had always wanted to go to Ireland, but never made it off the bar stool.

    Flew into Dublin, and picked up a rental car.  Spent my first night in a hotel downtown, although I walked to an AA meeting in, what I found later from new friends who walked me back downtown, the worst heroin district in the city.There was a new guy claiming to be an IRA member.

    Drove north, hitting all the best Neolithic sites, and ended up in Omeath, right near the border with northern Ireland.  I wanted to stop there, because it was on the Cooley Peninsula, of Red Branch/Cuchulain fame (Cuchulain was the pagan Irish mythololgical equivalent of Achilles).  Crossed the border on some back road, missing all the troops.

    Drove up the Ards Peninsula, and spent the night in Donoghadee.  In a nice counterpoint to Dublin, the fellow who greeted me for the AA meeting in town was a skinhead with the tattoo UK or Death!.  I should mention that my Republic of Ireland rental car was followed at least twice on this leg of the journey.

    Drove hard the next day, skirting Belfast, where APCs were keeping an eye on travelers on the highway, and made it as far as the Giant's Causeway, a truly impressive sight.  Spent the night in the next town over, which was, in an ironic twist for me, the town of Bushmill's.  

    Crossed the border into Donegal, and drove up the Inishowen Peninsula to Malin Head, the northernmost town in Ireland.  It was also the place whence my O'Brien ancestors left Ireland for America.

    Next day I spent the morning at Glenveagh Castle, then drove over to Glencolumbkille, where the true Irish saint lived for a time and the site of the highest cliffs in Europe, and ended up in Glenties.  I drove to go to the AA meeting there, and asked an older man where the church was the meeting was at.  He was confused, until I just directly asked him where the AA meeting was; that he knew.

    The days I spent on the Connemara Peninsula in Galway were glorious.  I actually stayed at a bed and breakfast just across the road from the cottage from The Quiet Man.  And I picked up a nice piece of green marble at Kylemore Abbey.

    After that, it's a blur on the way to Shannon.  What a wonderful trip that was.

    Ancora Impara--Michelangelo

    by aravir on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 08:59:44 AM PST

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