Remember Braveheart? Well, this is where the movie was partly set, and mind you, only 5% of the movie was shot in the Highlands of Scotland, so don’t be fooled. The Wicklows display truly magnificent scenery, which we thoroughly enjoyed, in spite of the unreliable mood of the weather. We almost felt like walking into a dream, had our frozen limbs not reminded us that we were experiencing the real thing. Wicklow is quite a sight in autumn, and I could solemnly endure that evil cold again, just to smell that fresh from the rain air, just to see that explosive variety of leaves’ colours surrounding us, some holding on to their branches, some paving our way to the lake, some flying like crazy in the restless wind. I wondered how the landscape would transform itself in summer. Yet I was convinced that this was what I wouldn’t have wanted to miss out. So I froze and stared.
It was time for us to get back on the bus. When the driver opened the doors to let us in, a strong smell of alcohol rushing from the inside caused me to ask myself whether it was thoughtful for a bus driver to drink on duty! Especially since the roads that crossed those places needed the driving skills of an expert. But the poor man had not been drinking; he had prepared samples of genuine Jameson whiskey for us, tourists with petrified face expressions. The man surely knew how to cheer people up. We spent the following hours chattering, laughing, singing and blessing father Jameson. Happy times!
Still euphoric from the mixture of alcohol, exhaustion and happiness, we regain our hostel room. I was only to lie down for one hour that night, before saying good bye to Dublin, again. I did not mind being out in the streets alone at 3 a.m., only the noise of my luggage on the pavement following me. Nor did the pouring rain bother me much. When I’m happy, I’m untouchable, invulnerable to anything that might want to extract me from my high spirits. I waited for a bus, but I did not know where exactly it was supposed to stop and collect us for the airport. Someone called me and asked me if I wanted to share a taxi with him, explaining to me that we would pay more or less the same price as for the bus, but we would gain in comfort. I said yes, and the guy grabbed my luggage and forced it into the taxi trunk. He was going someplace sunny, I was merely going home. I might not have been fully awake: I do not normally accept a stranger’s proposal. But there I jumped in. Clearly, I was out of my regular system and I needed sleep. Problem solved as my Ryanair took off.
I’ve been to Ireland four times. It’s a difficult place to leave behind.