Today I went on a day tour to Connemara.
My roommate, Vanessa from Germany, was also booked for the tour so we headed to the bus station together to board our tour bus for the day.
Somewhere along the way this morning I tweaked my leg and for the entire day I had severe pain in my upper calf like I sprained a muscle in there or something.
Ironically the pain subsided when I was walking around but when I was sitting in the bus the pain was brutal and I couldn’t wait til we got to our next stop.
So, today’s day trip was a challenge for me.
The highlight of the trip was not actually anything we saw but when Vanessa and I strolled down a pathway to explore at a site and instead of heading back along the same pathway we decided to take the roadway back to the drop off point.
We quickly realized we potentially made a big mistake as we were now heading around the far end of a lake and only had 15 minutes to get back.
There was a good 5 minutes when we started thinking of scenarios for how to get back quicker – jogging, hitchhiking, cutting across the edge of the lake.
In the end the route wasn’t as long as we thought and we actually made it make in time with no one the wiser to what a crazy adventure we were just on.
The other thing that stood out for the trip was our tour bus driver who spoke the entire time.
I’m not even exaggerating. He spoke non-stop telling us story after story about Ireland and his life.
It was nice hearing the stories but after awhile you just wanted him to shut the hell up.
Vanessa and I kind of looked at each other and laughed as we were both thinking the same thing. In fact, it was even worse for her because English was her second language and the driver naturally talked in a thick Irish accent so she didn’t really follow any of the stories.
Anyway, here’s a couple stray notes from the day…
Remember when I was talking about the “window tax” implemented by the Brits back in the day? No? Well, basically if you were rich you could afford windows for your house so the more windows you had, the more tax you paid.
Anyway, the term “daylight robbery” comes from people who found a loophole around the tax by placing door panels where windows would go and thus robbing the house of daylight and sticking it to the tax collector.
The roads we traveled on today were narrow one lane rural roads. Amazingly the speed limit on them was a whopping 100 km/hr!
Left on the shelf
The term “left on the shelf” goes back to when daughters would live in the loft of the house to have privacy from the men.
If a daughter didn’t find a suitor to take her away and become his wife she would stay at the family home in the loft or, in other words, left on the shelf.
Saved by the bell
No, not the TV show…
Years ago some people were accidentally buried alive as they were thought dead but were just unconscious. Many a time a coffin was opened up to find scratch marks on the inside of it. Kinda scary way to die if you ask me.
Anyway, to fix the problem, a string was attached to a dead person’s finger and pulled through the coffin to a bell at ground level.
If someone thought dead actually woke up they would pull the string and a bell would ring and they would literally be “saved by the bell”.
Oh, and term “dead ringer” – yeah, same thing.
And the term “graveyard shift” refers to the people who would sit in the graveyard at night listening for ringing of bells.
Amazing the quirky things you learn on tours…