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Sunshine and Summer in the land of rain.

IRELAND | Wednesday, 10 June 2009 | Views [608]

Ireland has been having some very un-Irish-like weather of late. Yes, I’m talking about more than a few hours of sunshine! So what does a bunch of Aussies do in the land of rain when the sun comes out for the first time in 6 months? Bake themselves in it, that’s what.

After a few days of doing a decidedly good impersonation of an Irish person (that means consuming as much Guinness/Smithwicks/Cider as one can) I jumped on the train to Kildare very hung-over and headed for the Carragh races with a bunch of other Aussies. The weather was relatively warm and we were all going to make the most of it. When we got there we found a nice little grassy spot just opposite the finish line to sit on, in full sunshine, for the rest of the afternoon. We took it in turns to climb the mountainous stairs to the bar for rounds and spent the entire afternoon drinking and enjoying the sun while we could. Funny thing was, we sat there cracking jokes about the red haired Irish and how sunburnt they would end up by the end of the day, but looking around, we were the only idiots who were sitting in full sun for the entire event. Needless to say, when we got to the pub back in Dublin, we were all comparing our sunburn, but excited about the prospect of a tan in the land of overcast skies and rain.

The clouds came back the next few days, just to remind us that we were indeed in Ireland, but by the end of the week, I was sitting eating my lunch outside in a cotton dress and working on my tan a little more.

A friend, Belinda, arrived from back home and I decided she was the lucky sunshine charm – having brought it with her from Africa of course. So I cut off my skinny jeans and made them into the only pair of shorts I currently own, excited at the prospect of a bit of vitamin D on my sun deprived legs. We spent the weekend sitting in St Stephens Green and enjoying the weather as many Dubliners were doing and then decided to head to the docs for the Maritime Festival that was on for the bank holiday weekend. In the only nice t-shirt I own and my new favourite shorts we walked, with the rest of Dublin, up and down the docks enjoying the sun and feeling like summer. We even went so far as to buy a picnic rug! Ambitious, I know.  After walking up and down, eating some lunch and listening to whatever music/buskers were happening – all the while enjoying the sunshine – we headed home to drink some of our €4 a bottle Cider.

Monday, saw us get in a car with some friends and drive to Galway for the Volvo Ocean Race festival at the docks there. This was to mark the round the world race that had stopped in Galway. Now, I don’t know what these officials call a Round the world race, but I would like to disagree. They don’t go anywhere near Australia! If someone could tell me how it’s a round the world race that doesn’t stop at all the continents, I would be very appreciative. Putting that aside, the day couldnt’ have been better. This time we were smarter and brought out the sunscreen and the hats, but it was perfect weather for the occasion. We seemed to need to drink a fair amount in the sun, so that meant more beer but you do what you have to. The atmosphere in Galway was great, just this massive party really; people everywhere enjoying what was on offer and soaking up the sun. The paddle in the bay was a bonus and I can now say that I’ve been in the Irish waters! Up to my knees anyway.

So after a weekend of loads of sun and a fair amount of alcohol consumption, due to the sunny weather of course, we headed back to Dublin and back to the rain – well a few days later anyway. Now I can say that I’ve had a summer heat wave in Dublin; above 25 degrees for at least 4 days in a row! Who says this country never gets sunshine?


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