I find it important to look back on old images. Your style changes, your eye changes, your processing style changes. And hey, it is just fun to revisit old memories through images.
On this St-Patrick’s day, I decided to look back on the images of my 2012 trip to Ireland. My life was in a different place. I had lost my father, I was on the verge of leaving my job, I got divorced. I needed some time alone. So I decided to visit the one country I had always wanted to visit… Ireland. Not on a tour bus, not with a bunch of people… alone. Meeting people along the way, no real plan other than my plane ticket in and my plane ticket out, and a pit stop in Galway to get tattooed.
There is no better way to get to know the people than just be with the people. I made a rough plan of where I wanted to go… landing in Dublin, stay there a few days, head off west to Galway and use that as a landing point to tour the western part of the country. I sent my very rough idea of the trip to a local shutterbug I vaguely knew on a camera forum to see if what I had in mind made sense. His first question was where I was staying when I was in Dublin. I had no idea. So René, without hesitation, offered to put me up with his family and give me the local’s tour for a few days.
Upon landing, I made my way to his house outside of Dublin near the town of Howth. His family took me in like one of their own and his fabulous mother made me a huge Irish breakfast. And an hour later, we were already in a pub… our first of 4 on the first day. He showed me not only some local sights, but he mostly showed me how warm and welcoming the Irish people are.
Our second day was in Dublin, where I believe we did a total of 6 pubs along with plenty of walking (best way to burn off the alcohol I figure). With an average of 3 pintes of beer per pub along with a few Jack and Coke’s to cleanse your pallet. Some quick math…. that’s 18+ pintes of beer and 6 Jack and Coke’s, meeting friends and making new ones.
I remember our last stop (vaguely) the Gypsy Rose. A kind of dive rocker bar. I met an old man in his early 80s, and due to a mix of loads of beer, his old irish accent, I had no clue what he was saying. But yet, we talked for 45 minutes. When I got back to my bar stool after stepping outside, he was gone… but a pinte was left in front of my seat. The bartender, Phil I believe, said the old man enjoyed our chat so much he left me a thank you. Seriously love the irish.
The rest of my trip was driving around, without drinking, on the other side of the road and in the other side of the car. Stopping in towns that at times had no rooms, finding small bed and breakfasts off the beaten path. Heading to a few touristy sites to see them closed due to high winds and bad rain, only to go back the next day with beautiful blue sky.
It was a remarkable trip. Another highlight was walking alone into a small pub in a small town. There was music playing, and the average age of the crowd was probably 60. As I stepped in, the music stopped and everyone looked at me with a “What are you doing here?” face. I just said out loud “I’m just stopping in for a pinte”. Everyone cheared, the music started, and I had some wonderful chats for a few hours.
Back to the photos… here are a collection of images that I mostly never published or even looked at. There are some that I have re-processed. All in all, I can say that I will go back to Ireland one day… but with much less drinking of course. 🙂
Happy St-Patrick’s day ! Slainte !