After a 3am start, we flew into Dublin and had breakfast in the city. We then rented a car and took the 3 hour journey across Ireland to County Mayo. Much as my companions had planned for a road trip, I spent the majority of the time asleep :) We stopped occasionally at more and more rural petrol stations, stocking up on Irish crisps (which beat British crisps by MILES) and stretching our legs walking to outside toilets.
We arrived late evening on the Friday to the cottage, after detouring to look at the scenery and the beaches. There is nothing quite as refreshing as proper sea air in the middle of nowhere after a London summer. The cottages were in the middle of nowhere, simple, seaside and warm havens from the elements. Dinner was Mammy's casserole- just what we all needed. I loved the details- from the lobster pots to the tin foil wrapped fire/heater fuelled by turf.
It was definitely pub time. Huge family groups shouting over each other, Guinness for the boys and cider for the girls, banter and pool. You know you're accepted into an Irish family when they take the mick out of you. It's when you're not wound up it's time to worry!
After the pub, being in Ireland means it's sing-song and sandwich time. There is nothing like an impromptu jam session at 3am. I was delighted. I love sandwiches, I love having a few too many ciders in the country, and I love live music.
The rest of the weekend passed in a blur of sightseeing amazing cliffs for the wind to blow the cobwebs away, a lot more cider and sandwiches, and air so crisp and quiet that you had the best sleep of your life.