Last updated on May 14, 2024

No, there are not only sheep in Ireland. But there are more sheep here than people. Allegedly. I don’t think anyone really knows, because how do you count them?

Seagulls at the cliffs of Slea Head
Seagulls at the cliffs of Slea Head (photo by Ulrich Knüppel-Gertberg)

Often enough they roam free somewhere. They are allowed to roam freely on the mountains and in the nature reserves. And otherwise they do it too – because they think they are allowed to and the fence is broken anyway…

Now I have a flock of them on the road again. There are lambs with them, I don’t want to shoo them. The owner? Not to be seen. Never mind, they will turn into the next meadow at some point…

Stress? No way! Ireland decelerates!

And that’s exactly what this is all about: I used to have a stressful job as an engineer in project and management positions in industrial companies. Into the plane, rental car, a week in the factory, back into the plane, weekend, packing on Sunday, and back to square one….

Historic pub in the town of Donegal
Historic pub in the town of Donegal (photo by Ulrich Knüppel-Gertberg)

At some point, my wife had given up the idea of a planned holiday. But not the subject of holidays per se: after several nice trips to Ireland (which had somehow taken place), we finally bought a house in Ireland where we could fly there at any time, even at short notice.

Today we have our second home here, south of Dublin. The Wicklow Mountains National Park is my motorbike home and it takes me just over half an hour to get to the miles of sandy beaches on the east coast. The Wild Atlantic Way is a 3-4 hour drive from us.

In the summer months I run a motorbike rental business here, south of Dublin, see: www.easycruiser.tours. We also offer nice guest rooms.

Ad for our own business Easycruiser.tours
Ad for our own business Easycruiser.tours

Why Ireland? We are often asked that. Because we have always felt incredibly comfortable here – we could always relax here.

We often observe the same thing with our clients: stressed when they arrive, completely relaxed when they leave.

Why is that?

First of all, there are the road conditions, especially on the small and particularly beautiful country roads: You get used to driving on the left surprisingly quickly, but the very narrow roads make you drive a bit more carefully at first – and slower.

Motorbike at the Wild Atlantic Way
Motorbike at the Wild Atlantic Way (photo by Ulrich Knüppel-Gertberg)

There’s a tractor behind the first bend, a truck coming towards you in the second, and you can’t see the course of the next 10 bends anyway because of hedges and walls.

And if you do see something, half of the farmland or half of the road construction is on the road. So drive slowly.

The grandfather in the ancient Landcruiser creeps around the bends and then suddenly stops at his sheep pasture – he doesn’t need to signal, he knows where he’s going. Now comes the tractor with the neighbour. Both in the middle of the road – a little chat, then they wave you by in a friendly manner.

OK, now we can get going! Bend – sheep on the road…….

Sheep on a mountain in Killarney National Park
Sheep on a mountain in Killarney National Park (photo by Ulrich Knüppel-Gertberg)

After a while you just let it go and basically slow down. That’s how road safety education works in Ireland!

Then there are the many new impressions: Rolling hills, a castle on the corner, colourful villages, churches, “the mountains look very different from here”….and then you get to the sea: miles of sandy beaches on the east coast and mighty cliffs on the west coast!

On one trip I got into starting trouble. What had happened: I had stopped about every 100 metres to take photos and after about 30 repetitions my battery went sour. “Ok, I guess I’ll have to drive a bit to recharge….”

In the small harbour of the colourful town, children are eagerly learning to sail. A little further on, on the beach, people are squeaking and swimming. It looks cosy, but hunger is also a problem – lunch break.

Ad for our own business Easycruiser.tours
Ad for our own business Easycruiser.tours

Well fortified, we continue full of energy “Wow, the castle looks great” – sightseeing. A little further on, photographing the cliffs. A little further on: a walk on the beach. A bit further…I think you understand what I mean.

After only 250 kilometres I feel completely exhausted – the B&B is already booked. Plush little room, lovely elderly hosts. They provide me with tips for dinner – so sweet.

A short walk to the next pub. “Hello dear, what can I get you?” Super nice service. “No it’s not too big of a meal for a man” Shortly afterwards comes a huge portion of bacon with cabbage and mashed potatoes – “do you want some chips (fries) extra?” No, not by any stretch of the imagination….but delicious, as is the Guinness.

Motorbike at Blessington Lakes
Motorbike at Blessington Lakes (photo by Ulrich Knüppel-Gertberg)

Flat and satisfied, I roll into bed. The next morning, the lovely elderly lady serves up a huge Irish breakfast: “This will get you going through the day”. She also has homemade scones and brownies and the jam is homemade too. Her friendly husband provides me with tips for the most beautiful route and then I roll into the day – literally.

“The neighbour at the petrol pump wants to know “Where are you from? He was in Germany once, he liked it. Which football team? …. and so on. “Have a nice day.

A few corners further on, I unfold the road map. A car pulls up next to me, a plumber is standing on the car “Are you lost? Can I help you?” the friendly driver asks me. No, I just look at the map for a moment, all is well. “Where are you going?”……no further conversation…. “Nice bike” he calls out as a farewell.

Several days and many sheep further on, the Irish travel rhythm has become established.

Motorbike at Courtown Harbour
Motorbike at Courtown Harbour

Eating and drinking a lot, chatting with friendly people every now and then, great landscapes, beautiful beaches, spectacular coasts, that’s what defines your day now. The usual “higher, faster, further” fades into the background.

How many kilometres did I ride? What was my average speed – no longer important.

What was the name of my boss? Never mind.

The sun is shining, I take a break on the beach. Children are playing in the sand. I doze a bit and get back on the bike – the mountain stretch is winding and wonderful to ride. After the hilltop, I look back at the cliff: “Wow – stop – photo!”

Ireland decelerates!

Ad for our own business Easycruiser.tours
Ad for our own business Easycruiser.tours

Try it out for yourself! And if you still need a rental motorbike, you can find us here: www.easycruiser.tours.

I wish you a great motorbike holiday in Ireland and – take it easy!

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Photo credits cover photo: Motorcycle at the harbour of Greystones, photo by Ulrich Knüppel-Gertberg (www.easycruiser.tourswww.irland-insider.dewww.ireland-insider.com)

Uli Written by:

Hello and welcome to my blog. Originating from Germany, my family and I now live in Ireland (at least part time). We have travelled this amazing isle many times and know many parts of it very well. In this blog, I would like to share valuabe tips and information for your next trip to Ireland with you. Enjoy the content, yours, Ulrich Knüppel-Gertberg