I landed in Dublin airport without a problem (the line for EU citizens was enormous but I simply walked straight through customs. First time this has happened ever) and caught the airport bus into Dublin which, quite conveniently, stopped directly in front of my hostel on the banks of the Liffy river which runs through Dublin.
Courtney and II wandered around Dublin on my own for a few hours but I was eventually driven back to the hostel by the constant rain. I cooked a fairly haphazard meal from whatever odds and ends they had lying around in the corner store near the hostel (pasta in Malaysian curry sauce) and kicked back to wait for Courtney in the hostel with Jack Kerouac's "On The Road" (bear that in mind for later). Courtney eventually showed up around midnight and we turned in because tomorrow was an early start.
We had arranged to do a Paddy Wagon tour of Ireland. I know I've done a lot of tours but literally every person I spoke to who had gone to Ireland did one and they all raved about them. It also seemed like a good way to see a country like Ireland, where the main tourist attractions are scattered around in remote parts of the country.
The next morning we met everyone else on the tour, climbed on the bus and set off. The first day was probably the least interesting of the four days because it contained so much driving but even so, it was still pretty spectacular. Ireland is a super beautiful country and exactly like you expect it to be. It really is endless lush, green fields divided by low stone walls, filled with sheep and a constant light drizzle of rain.
The first stop was in the bizarrely named village of Cong in County Mayo. Cong was the stereotypical quiet, Irish village. There was a river running through it and the ruins of an old abbey and a few shops and houses. And a pub, obviously.