Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Once we go the rental car, I was completely on edge, telling myself over and over to stay on the left (stay on the left, stay on the left) over and over. Patrick was tasked with staying alert and making sure I stayed in my lane as well.
What I did not anticipate was how difficult it would be to gauge where I was in relation to the far left side of the car (and the cars parked along that side of the road). There's a reason that the left side of every immigrant's car is scratched up in Ireland. It's also the reason that rental car companies do not let you opt out of insurance coverage. I think it took almost a week before feeling like I really knew how close I was to the parked cars on the left. I don't remember having to learn this when I started driving, but I assume that I did. Maybe everything was so new at that point that I just didn't identify that particular part of the newness.
Our first week was spent in Dublin with only a little driving between our guest house and our friend's house, which was only about three miles. Once we left Dublin, it was real driving every day.
For anyone planning a trip to Ireland or the UK, don't be too afraid of the driving. It's not too difficult to get the hang of it, as long as you keep thinking about it. I also recommend public transportation in the bigger cities. The problem with Ireland is that there aren't great connections to get to smaller towns if you don't have a car. And you have to see the beauty of the countryside. It is not to be missed.