After we left the Giant’s Causeway, I took over driving because the roads were wide and easy at this point. Sandy tried to take a nap, but what I assumed was a bypass of Belfast took me through Belfast at rush hour. He got a little taste of what it was like to be a passenger in harrowing traffic, and I am still working on unclenching my fingers.
We stopped in Dundalk for one last dinner in Ireland at Eno Bar and Grill, across from Dundalk Cathedral. I had my favorite salad, with beets and oranges, and Sandy had pasta. The chef sent out a free calamari appetizer – a very nice dining experience.
As we left Dundalk, I was trying to reset the GPS and Sandy grew absent-minded and neither of us noticed that he was driving on the wrong side of the road until we saw a car coming at us head-on. Sandy swerved and the other car swerved in the same direction. Sandy swerved back to the side of the road. The other car stopped and a small red-faced elderly gentleman jumped out of his car and marched up to us and chewed us out. We apologized sincerely and abjectly, and promised the old man that we would be off the highways of Ireland in less than one hour and that we would be supremely careful (if he would just let us drive away!) for the short remainder of our trip. Finally our pleas of fatigue and stupidity calmed him down and we drove the rest of the way, adrenalin pumping, to the rental car return at the airport.
Then we flew home to Greensboro the next morning after an uneventful night in an airport hotel and TWO security checks and a long line at U.S. Customs.
The end. If you made it this far with us, thanks for reading my Ireland adventure story! I hope that you enjoyed it. Now go plan a trip to Ireland – the people there will walk up to you on the street and thank you for being there. If you’re a nervous driver, I suggest that you take buses and trains. You won’t regret it no matter where you choose to go or what you choose to do because in Ireland there was beauty and craic everywhere. Be sure to order a pint of Smithwick’s. Sláinte!