Rona the Ribibiter: Using Travel to inspire Quilters out of their comfort zones and come alive!


Ireland Traveling Game #2: Traveling by Toilet

Rona Herman

Seeing EVERY side of the Emerald Isle

Ok, I’m sure your imagination is running wild about now wondering just how crazy and disgusting was this trip? Let me set your fears aside and explain.

In 2017 I was fortunate enough to attend a Craft Tour trip to Ireland with master quilter Mark Sherman where he debuted his amazing Book of Kells quilt. The experience was, shall we say, life altering.

When we first landed in Ireland (3 AM their time) it hadn’t really set in yet that I was in a different country. In fact, the Dublin airport in the wee hours look very similar to the average American airport. While waiting for our baggage I had to run to the restroom.

Y’all, that was the moment reality set in. Even though it looked like a toilet, I and this crazy contraption was SO not in Kansas anymore. It took me entirely too long to figure out how to flush the darn thing! So, of course I took a picture. Being the dutiful traveling companion that I am, I had to warn my fellow Americans of the forthcoming confusion to prevent them from falling into a similar state of humiliation. As it turns out, all I had to do was look up. The magic button was above me on the wall.


Headed out West

Now we’re on our way across the countryside. Our first sight seeing stop was at the Cathedral in Galway. What amazing architecture! And, those stained glass windows! Ugh. I could go on for hours. However, this discussion is more sewer inclined.

Our bus was stopped across the street from the Galway Cathedral. Directly next to the drop off area was this little house looking building. In all honesty, I thought it looked like an elevator that took you underground to a subway system. Alas, I was mistaken. It was a toilet. An ‘outhouse’ if you will, complete with ‘his’ and ‘hers’ compartments. I guess the church didn’t supply such luxuries, being a few centuries old and all. This time, my roomie took the picture.

Once we finally reached our hotel in Galway, we headed to our rooms for a much needed rest. As I’m unpacking my suitcase I hear my roomie fall out laughing. Eager to share in the hysterics I ran to her side. There, in our hotel room, was this amazing commode.

Now, this one was probably my favorite of the trip. I almost wish we could have more free time so I could figure out the mechanics of it. With the pulley system at eye level I wonder if it’s purpose was logistic or more to prevent strain and over-exertion. Either way, we belly laughed for a good 20 minutes.

Going on the Run

Later in the trip we explored the Cliffs of Moher. It is a MUST stop for everyone traveling to Ireland. The place is peaceful and inspirational. It’s pure Irish magic blowing in the wind.

Ducking in for a quick privy stop I felt I was now prepared for whatever awaited me. Until I opened the door. Amazingly, the john was nearly an exact replica of the airport debacle however, there was no magic button this time. All that stared me in the face was a pipe protruding through a cutout in the wall. What in the world was this mess? Let alone the fact there were 2 garbage cans. Do the Irish make it a habit of recycling in the bathroom? The can goes in the can that’s in the can. I was so confused!

Our next stop was in Kinvara for a quick bite to eat. We found this lovely little pub called Keogh’s of Kinvara. The food was amazing and the bartender/owner Chris was a shameful flirt. He’s also solely responsible for igniting my slight obsession with Irish coffee. We had the best time!

Best place to eat in Kinvara, Ireland

Once again, the urge stirred and off I went. I couldn’t even imagine what was next in store on this whirlwind of toiletry. Was this one going to be missing pieces again, have floating parts or just simply a hole in the ground? With fevered anticipation I walked through the door and stopped dead in my tracks.

An American toilet!! It even had the little lever attached at the side where good little levers live. I finally felt at home. If only I had my slippers and a great book to read to top off the experience.

Party in the Potty

Killarney has to be one of my favorite places we visited. Apparently, it is the capital of hospitality. And let me tell you, the hotel did not disappoint! On the grounds of the Brehon hotel is a rather spectacular Fairy village complete with a worry tree. You place your hand on the tree and it takes your worries away. Outside of the lavatories, I really had zero worries in Ireland.

In fact, the bathroom at the Brehon hotel was so relaxing, it truly was a ‘rest’room. I could have taken a nap while being serenaded by ole Louis Armstrong.

Once we arrived back in Dublin, I thought I’d seen it all. Alas, Dublin had one last little trick up it’s… sleeve. A square! Seriously! Our room had a square toilet! Have you ever even imagined such a thing? I just about peed myself laughing on that one!

By the end of the trip I had just about everyone in our group checking out the restrooms just to show me pictures. Pretty sure that makes me a bad influence or something. Peer pressure maybe? I like to think of it as encouraging inquiring minds. After all, who wants a boring ole run o’ the mill tour anyway!?

As always, Hoppy Quilting!

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