When in Ireland, don’t drive like an American.

20 Jun

Well, I’m here! Yay yay yay! My mom and I flew into Dublin this morning, and we are now staying at a B&B in Glendalough, which is near Wicklow Mountains National Park. It was a very long day of traveling yesterday, but after sleeping for a solid 6 hours, I think we’re both feeling a little better.

Probably the funniest part of today has been getting used to driving on the left side of the road and having the steering wheel on the right. My mom’s been the one driving, so thankfully I haven’t been in the hot seat. However, it’s been quite an adventure. First off, since the steering wheel’s on the right, that means that the passenger seat is on the left. So when I’ve gotten into our cute little dieselΒ rental car, it’s been strange to not have the steering wheel in front of me on the left side. At first, when my mom and I left the airport in Dublin, it didn’t seem that weird because in the beginning all the cars where going the same direction. More often than not though, I had to remind my mom to stay in the middle of our lane because she’d start drifting to the left. Thankfully, since my mom has had to get used to not driving like an American in Ireland, she’s been driving slower than usual. However, that isn’t to say that I haven’t gotten nervous. There were a few moments today when my breath would catch, but we’re still here.

Truthfully though, it hasn’t been that hard for me to remember that we’ve got to drive on the left. I just keep thinking…..opposite, opposite, opposite. However, we’ve had our share of scary moments. See, the thing about Ireland is the roads are really narrow and many of the lines separating the lanes are pretty faded. Therefore, relying on the line in the middle of the road isn’t too smart. We’ve just been hugging the left shoulder of the road. However, on the super narrow roads, especially when a car is coming from the opposite direction, it seriously looks like the other car is just going to plow right into us. We can only hope that there aren’t a set of Americans coming from either direction, because then we might be in a bit of trouble!


17 Responses to “When in Ireland, don’t drive like an American.”

  1. merlinspielen June 20, 2012 at 5:42 pm #

    The hardest part is getting used to right turns – there is this mental pull towards the right-hand curb! Otherwise just remember the driver always rides on the crown of the road πŸ™‚

    • ameliaclaire92 June 20, 2012 at 5:57 pm #

      We’ve actually done better than I thought with right turns. I’ve had to remind my mom which side to be on, but for some reason it hasn’t been too difficult for me to do the mental switch. Maybe that’s also because I’m not the one driving, haha! πŸ™‚

  2. Letters to Little Man June 20, 2012 at 5:52 pm #

    When I’m in America I don’t feel like I should be driving like an American! Kudos to you πŸ™‚ It looks beautiful!

  3. Laura June 20, 2012 at 6:35 pm #

    Glad you made it safe! Good luck to you and mom driving around πŸ˜€

  4. belasbrightideas June 20, 2012 at 7:46 pm #

    Oh my goodness! And don’t arrive late, jump into a rental car and find yourself in the drenching rain, driving on the wrong side of the road around a twisty mountain highway like I did years ago! Thankfully I didn’t encounter an oncoming vehicle before realizing what I was doing! Have too much fun, Amelia!

    • ameliaclaire92 June 21, 2012 at 1:38 pm #

      Haha, whew! My mom and I were considering going out yesterday evening after we took naps, but once she realized that it was dark, she opted against it. Getting used to the driving during broad daylight was hard enough. In the dark would have been even worse!

  5. Stephen G. Hipperson June 20, 2012 at 10:48 pm #

    For me the most embarrassing in driving on the opposite side is when you rush out to drive home or go out and physically get in the wrong side of the car – doh!
    And there’s always your first roundabout to negotiate….. though I’m not sure if they’ve all that many in Ireland.

    • ameliaclaire92 June 21, 2012 at 12:38 pm #

      Oh, they have more than plenty roundabouts. We’ve gotten our share of those for sure!

  6. Claire June 21, 2012 at 9:26 am #

    Welcome to Ireland. Staying in a B&B is a great way to meet the locals and you are always guaranteed a warm welcome. Remember to keep to the left-side of the road and you’ll be fine. Happy holidays!

    • ameliaclaire92 June 21, 2012 at 1:39 pm #

      Thanks. We are in our 2nd B&B of our trip, and we’re loving it. πŸ™‚

  7. prscoast2coast2012 June 22, 2012 at 7:25 pm #

    ANY opportunity to take the lead out of MJW – I would take full advantage of that!

    • ameliaclaire92 June 23, 2012 at 4:59 am #

      I don’t doubt you would! I, on the other hand, haven’t been scared out of my wits often enough to switch places with her. Wait…maybe I have….

  8. byroisinhealy June 22, 2012 at 7:53 pm #

    Welcome!! πŸ™‚ Have the best time!


  1. When in Ireland, laugh at the road signs. « lifeintheblueridges - June 24, 2012

    […] make us American collapse into a giggle fit. For instance, I explained in my first Ireland post, When in Ireland, don’t drive like an American, that driving on the opposite side of the road has been enough of a challenge. However, when you […]

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