Irish Driving Drama

IrelandI don’t tend to do many dangerous things, but when prompted to write about a dangerous situation that I survived, what came to mind was driving in Ireland.

First issue – when driving in Ireland, you need to remember that not only is the steering wheel on the opposite side of the car that you are used to but also, you have to drive on the wrong side of the road.  This may not be as big of a deal to a younger person, but when you’ve been driving for decades on the right side of the road, trying to do that differently does something to your mental well-being.  Lisa and I were continually reminding each other “Stay left” or “Turn right, stay left”.  

irelandSecond issue – measuring speed in kilometers instead of miles.  Here is another thing that messes with your head if you are from the US.  I was continually looking at the signs trying to figure out what speed I was supposed to be going and feeling as if my surroundings were speeding by way too fast. (But in actuality, I was going about 10 miles/hour too slow) For example, we’d see a sign saying the speed limit was 100 km/h.  When you are from the US, that seems way too fast, but it turns out to only be about 62 mph.

IrelandThird issue – When driving in rural parts of Ireland, the roads are incredibly narrow, yet they are meant for 2 way traffic.  As Lisa and I sped along the road, if we’d see another car coming, whoever was driving would move as close to the shoulder as possible, but as the passenger, you were convinced that there still wasn’t enough room, therefore the passenger would also be sliding themselves over to the outside of the car also.  (A lot of good that was doing).  In addition to the narrow roads, you had to be careful not to get too close to the shoulder, because there was usually beautiful greenery next to the road – covering a BRICK WALL! 

It’s hard to put into words the perilous feeling that driving in Ireland exposed us to, but suffice it to say, when we arrived at our destinations, we felt extremely blessed and wanted to kiss the ground.

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