Thursday, after our first class, Alex and I left for the airport and hopped on a rickety plane (courtesy of RyanAir) to Dingle, Ireland. Dingle is a little town on the west coast that is inhabited by around 2,000 people. It's so small that no matter where you go, they know you're a tourist. And their first language is Irish! They don't call it Gaelic. We were lucky enough to have pristine weather, but insanely cold temperatures. We stayed with Jeannie, a friend who graduated from school last year and is working at a theatre in town. Over the next two days we walked through Dingle, sang a few songs in the local pubs, walked to the beaches filled with surfers combating the freezing water, and had unbelievably fresh fish and chips. Also, dogs walk around everywhere. I saw a Corgie just trotting down the candy aisle of the grocery store.
Dingle is the most charming. With its harbor of glistening water, walking the streets is quite picturesque. A dolphin named Fungie is celebrated as the mascot of the town. He has apparently been swimming through the water interacting with humans since 1983.
The pubs are unlike anything I've experienced. Because it was so cold, we would take occasional breaks into the local haunts for a hot Irish coffee. Upon walking in, men and women would be sitting in cozy couches, nursing their pints, and playing their instruments. Guitars would be passed around and Irish jigs would be played. EVERY SINGLE TIME. This was one of my favorite things to take part in. I felt so welcome. I learned so much.
I met a man named Gerry O'Beirne at a local pub. To me, his music is the essence of Dingle. He asked Alex and me to sing a few songs, which we did, and its an experience I'll never forget.