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"Sláinte" from Ireland

In an Irish pub, instead of saying, “I drink to your health,” patrons say, “Sláinte!” (pronounced slaan-sha) as they clink glasses of Guinness. Derived from the Old Irish adjective slán (which means “safe”), sláinte literally translates as "health." So, yes, we often clinked glasses for our health in Ireland at pubs and as guests toured the Guinness and Jameson factories, where we also learned the phrase: sine metu “without fear” or as was translated to us to live more and fear less.

And have you ever pet a baby lamb? It is one of life’s secret joys. They are softer than imagined and so trusting. Most of our Globe Treks guests took a turn at holding them and feeding them. It was a definite off-the-beaten-track highlight of the tour.

July tends to be one of the warmest months in Ireland (high of 70°), with longer than long days. As the Irish say: “there’s a grand stretch in the evenings.” It didn’t get dark most nights till 11 pm, so of course I thought to stay up to see the sun set…alas, I didn’t make it (in bed by 10).

We enjoyed true Irish fare, eating Irish Stew, soda bread, and many even trying black (blood) and white (without blood) puddings, and visiting a carvery where the servings were piled high.

We drove along the Wild Atlantic Way, viewing the Sleeping Giant, beehive huts, saying hello to Fungie the dolphin at the Dingle peninsula, and stopping at the Blasket Center museum to hear the story of the Island and partake of another delightful meal. We rode on jaunting cars through the Gap of Dunloe and followed that up with a meandering cruise within the five rivers of Killarney, guests exclaiming this as the highlight of the trip.

Glorious weather, glorious food, even a step-on guide who seemed like a Leprechaun and brought a bit of the blarney with him. So sláinte everyone and may the luck of the Irish be with you!

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