I Thought It Was Springtime.
BABY, IT’S COLD OUTSIDE – and it’s cold inside for that matter.
We have arrived in Ireland in the midst of one seriously nasty cold snap. I’m not up on my Metric/Celsius scale of measurements, but I remember enough to know that 0 degrees Celsius equals 32 degrees Fahrenheit, which in my world equals freezing. I do not like freezing. I am not a quart of ice cream. I am not a package of pork chops. I am not an animal, I am a man!
Sorry, I got carried away there. That last bit is from an old movie, “The Elephant Man.”
What I’m trying to say is that it was cold. And rainy. Why do I act surprised? It’s Ireland and I’m a Yankee Flatlander used to central heating.
We have arrived at our first destination at the Station Master’s House in Belturbet, County Cavan. The House (See photo) is attached to a Railroad Museum. At one time Belturbet was major rail center in this part of the country. We are northwest of Dublin and about 8-10 miles from the border with British Northern Ireland.
But, back to the cold. This house was built in 1885 – not exactly an era known for Central Heating. The rooms are smallish, but nicely furnished. There are heating units in each room which, in my opinion are not very effective. We have learned that for them to actually warm up a room you turn them on, leave the room, and close the door behind you for a few hours.
In the dining room, which is where most civilized life occurs anyway, there is also an oil fueled radiator heater that is quite good. Even with that we have had the temperature top out at 68°F. Properly dressed, that is passable, and in Ireland there is no such thing as too cold – just improperly dressed.
After that first day of travel from Terre Haute (That’s French for, “I love central heating.”) and getting from Dublin to Belturbet, We were exhausted. That was when we made the discovery of a lifetime in the bedrooms.
Our bed came equipped with heating pads underneath the bottom sheet that could double as a pancake griddle. All you need to do is, turn on the heating pad, set it up to 10, and by the time you are ready to crawl under the comforter, that bed is heaven on earth. I turned my side down to a 4 and I would still be there if I did not have to eventually go potty. It was like sleeping inside a tea cozy – with each side of the bed adjustable to whatever heat level you desired. I desired “Let’s make steel.”
Our fellow Yankee Travelers will be joining us on Saturday and we are looking forward to playing heat-sensitive tour guides.
Our host, Kevin, is a South African in Ireland who, along with the entire Belturbet community, has established and maintains this museum and guest house. Highest praise to them all for this. Kevin will also offer to take you fishing if you’d like. I don’t like, but I appreciate the offer.
We will be here for another week and then move on to Westport, County Mayo – our main resting place on previous trips. We have been there often enough that some of the local shopkeepers remember us. I like that familiarity.
As this blog continues during the next seven weeks I will throw in all sorts of bits and pieces. Minutiae of travel and life in Ireland – all seen from the twisted point of view of the “Not Quite Ugly American.”