Under the Spell. A travel tale. Ireland.

Essay by Danny O'brienA+, March 1997

download word file, 19 pages 3.9 4 reviews

Downloaded 175 times

'The great advantage of having an ancestry like that of a mongrel dog is I

have so many ancestral homes to go home to.'


A travel tale by Danny O'brien

We caught the ferry from Le Havre, France to Ireland, land of my ancestors. Every since I was

a wee lad, my mind has been used as a canvas by every Irishman who has been displaced

from the Emerald Isle. A picture of quaintness bordering upon myth. Cute I thought it would

be, but never as much as the tourist hype I had read. I donned my suit of armor constructed of

cynicism, forged by age. Protected thus from the hype, I the ancestral child would see Ireland

as it really is. Mind you, no tourist hype for me.

The ship pulled in to Rosslare Harbor near Wexford and lowered its gangplank. I made it most

of the way down before I was sucked clean out of my armor into, head over heels, and under

the spell of the Emerald Isle.

We had arranged for a rental car, to be picked upon arrival at the harbor. I thought perhaps we

would be shown how to operate it. Instead the attendant said in his sweet Irish brogue, 'It's

the wee red one over there,' and handed me the keys.

Still dazed by the sudden entrance in to 'The Spell' we sped off in our wee red Ford Fiesta.

Every so many hundred yards along the road signs reminded us to 'Drive to the left.' On the

open road it was no problem, however moments later in the congestion of Wexford I was near

panic, yelling at Travis to help remind me what side of the street I was on. It didn't help that

he often mixes...