On our second day trip, we had a lovely excursion to the Wicklow Mountains and Kilkenny. I enjoyed being immersed in nature for the first time on our trip; it was a nice change of pace. Starting out with the sheep farm, we got to see a sheep farmer in action. Watching those sheep run was a sight. It was amazing to see something like that as I have never before, and it reminded me of the contrast between a rural Irish worker and an Irish person who works in Dublin. On our trip out of Dublin to more rural areas, I noticed immediately that the people were nicer. Most of the rougher interactions I have had with servers, or just Irish people in general, have happened in Dublin, or a more populated city. When we went on our day trips, I can say I had only good encounters with people; everyone was friendly and understanding of me as a tourist. Looking back, this does not really surprise me because that is what it is like back home. When I am in my little home suburb in Pittsburgh, I am always treated kindly and the manners are a little different; whereas, when I am downtown Pittsburgh, or even Oakland, the friendliness is more inclined to happen if the other person needs something from you. To me, the people I met in a rural area of Ireland wanted me to appreciate and understand what Ireland truly is and the culture, but the people I encountered in urban Ireland were less likely to be understanding that I am a tourist.
This is not necessarily a bad thing as it is pretty common for the urban areas to be
on-the-go and straightforward, and for the rural areas to be more laid back and simple, where it is easier to learn and appreciate the culture for what it truly is.
Lastly, Anita and I stopped at a cafe before we had to leave Kilkenny where I ordered a carrot cake. Boy o boy was it lovely. Will I remember Kilkenny for the castle I got to tour, or the carrot cake I got to devour?