Sunday, May 14, 2006

Driving in Ireland

Since I had already driven on the 'wrong' side of the road before Lisa and I agreed that I would start off driving and that she would get the feel of it from the passenger side first and then take over when she felt comfortable on a medium sized road outside of a major city centre ... well ... we tried really we did.

It didn't help that we got lost right away and so instead of being on a National road we ended up on a county road ... a county road by the sea (with signs warning us not to drive the car off into the water, signs warning us to drive "Dead Slow" ... not just slow or very slow ... dead slow), signs warning us not to drive with one wheel in the ditch, signs warning us that there are wagons turning ahead (yup pardner, you heard that right ... wagons!)

Lisa gamely drove on though, handling the car like a pro, only once pulling out in front of oncoming traffic ... Initially our main concerns were the sheep and the border collies on the roads ... then the rain started in earnest (not spitting, nor showers but real Irish rain!) and while our "Wee SUV" seems to handle the roads well, it does this funny thing with puddles ... instead of spraying the cars beside of or behind us with water it manages to quite neatly send all the water up on the front winshield, completely blinding the driver until the wiper blades swing by again. The roads got narrower and narrower and there were no ditches to worry about but there were stone walls right next to the road and oncomming buses to look out for. Lisa handled it all like a pro though.

Only once did I exclaim in panic "EEEEEEEK" as Lisa got rather close to a parked truck in town - have we mentioned the unique nature of Irish parking??? There actually don't seem to be any rules governing parking. You can park in any direction on either side of the road, either parallel, on an angle or just straight on - however your car will fit best in the spot. Oh, and if there isn't a spot ... well just double park or even better yet - park right on the road! :-) This can make for some interesting navigation through towns, past the church on a Sunday morning.

And you know what one of the best things is ... we have only just begun, we still have 2 whole weeks here. How awesome is that?


At 5:37 PM, Blogger Ivana BeLean said...

I can hear the Irish Descendents singing, "Walk in the Irish Rain" in my head. Thanks for the imagery. I wish I were there. My newfie blood would feel quite at home there.



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