The Boys in Green

Having left Paris just days before the start of Euro 2016, I was delighted to find I wouldn't miss out on all the football (soccer) excitement. Euro 2016 is a bit like the World Cup or Copa America, occurring every four years except with only European nations. To ensure I enjoyed an authentic Irish football experience, I inquired into the best game-watching pub and headed out with a few new friends. The game was Ireland vs Italy and a scoreless first half left the Irishmen frustrated, loud, and ordering more Guinness. As the minutes of the second half wound down, Ireland came through with a goal (the only of the game) and the crowd erupted in their celebratory song. Since "come on you boys in green" is sung in a round, I quickly mastered the tune and lyrics. A win for Ireland meant the Dublin streets were filled with painted faces and much celebration, in typical Irish style of course. 

The following day I was up early for a trip west to the Cliffs of Moher. A three hour ride from Dublin, the cliffs sit on the Atlantic Ocean and brave fierce wind and storms each day of the year. I was warned before traveling that Irish weather was unpredictable and to prepare myself to see absolutely nothing but fog as the coach drove the coastline. As luck would have it, the day turned out to be mostly sun with only scattered and brief rain showers. The view from the cliffs was astounding, various bird species dove and flew along the cliff sides and the sea crashed in varying shades of blue hues. The only downside was the constant fear of being blown off the side, as the wind is relentless and the edge too close for comfort. A million photos and a dead phone battery later, we climbed aboard the coach again to continue along the coast. The full day excursion included stopping for a castle, an abbey, Irish stew, and a chocolate factory. I couldn't have invented a better day in Ireland!

My three day jaunt to Dublin allowed me to meet some of the nicest and most welcoming individuals on my trip thus far. I know I'll be rooting for Ireland in the next Euro game they play; I'm a newly converted, but very committed, fan. 

 The cliffs looking north

The cliffs looking north

 A testament to the wind - a lot of my photos look like this 

A testament to the wind - a lot of my photos look like this 

 Irish coastline with famine walls

Irish coastline with famine walls

 An old Irish abbey

An old Irish abbey