On my last day in Ireland I decided to ride the Dart train to the end of the line to the small town of Howth.
Howth had the prettiest train station I’d ever seen.
Howth is a fishing town and you could certainly smell it when you walked along the harbour!
I also found these fascinating ruins:
This sign outside of a cafe caught my eye:
I decided to have lunch at The Brass Monkey. I absolutely had to have fish and chips in this fishing town! And they didn’t disappoint–they were the best fish and chips I’ve ever had.
Walking back to the train station I found more bumblebees. When I stopped to watch them I noticed that all the flowers had a tiny hole chewed in them…meaning there were nectar robbers about!
I had read about those bees, who instead of crawling inside of a flower, would chew a hole at the base and suck out the nectar from the hole. I stood and watched for a while and sure enough, a Bombus terrestris queen landed on a flower with a hole and sucked out the nectar from the hole! It was the first time I had ever seen that.
Sometimes they hung upside down to suck out the nectar.
Earlier on my trip I had witnessed the same species of bumblebee crawling inside the flower to get the nectar. I’m not sure whether Bombus terrestris chewed the holes, or if another species did it for them. In any event, it’s interesting that the bees recognize the holes and realize it’s “easier” use them rather than crawling up inside the flower.
After a while I said goodbye to the bees and made my way back to my friend’s apartment. We were both greeted with a double rainbow!
We went into the nearby town of Dalkey and had dinner at the Dalkey Duck.
(Well, I admit we had dessert first at a gelato place up the street…)
We returned to her place and chatted into the night while marvelling at the huge almost-full moon.
It was rather hard to get on the plane the next morning and leave my friend and this beautiful country. I felt like I could have stayed for another week or two, or even three.
But when I walked through our front door I was smothered with hugs and kisses and, “We missed you, Momma!” I immediately knew where home was, and I was glad to be back.
These lovely roses and homemade card greeted me, too.
So farewell, Ireland! I had a grand time. Until we meet again.