Halcyon Repose

Ireland, The Journal Part 3

by on Oct.08, 2008, under Life

On and on we go.

Day 6
Wednesday, September 24th

Upon waking up, Joe and I started off with another round of breakfast. I finally realized that the traditional Irish breakfast is way too much meat, and leaving a bit on the plate keeps me from feeling weighed down.

After getting ready, we packed up the car and then walked back to the town center to do a little shopping. Joe wanted to get another polarization filter for his second lens, and we stopped by a music store to pick up some CDs for the drive. I also wanted to stop by Fig Coili and pick up their tshirt as a memento.

Once we finished shopping, we headed back to the car and set off to the Cliffs of
Moher. The country side on the way was definitely different as we traveled south. It was almost all being used for raising animals and it was extremely rocky.
The rock fences are out in force here, adding a little something different to the ambiance of the area.

The cliffs themselves were absolutely amazing, though a bit underwhelming at first compared to all the build up. We went out to the overlook to left and seeing a bunch of people out, beyond the lookout point, we hoped the wall and headed out to join them. I could complain about the bugs, the narrow ledges, or the stink of cow, but I won’t. Instead I’ll mention the amazing views further down the trail. It has obviously seen much use over the years, and for good reason, the shots we were able to get were amazing. On the way back, we noticed everyone seem to be enjoying some soft served ice cream. We decided to try some out, and it was some of the best soft served I have had in a long time.

From there we headed toward the portal tomb Poulnabrone Doleman, of course the fastest route from where we were was another narrow one lane road. After a death defying trip down the road, we arrived in Kilfenora and stopped at the local church which was noted as having a large display of High Crosses, and which had a small graveyard.

After taking some pictures, we continued on to Poulbabrone Doleman.
The landscape had gotten so rocky that trees were starting to get scarce. The man made rock formation set atop a very small cairn, and it was as eye catching as they were meant to be.

From there we decided to stay at the first small town we came to, which ended up being Corofin. We found a beautiful B&B, called Corofin Country House, which was the most expensive we have stayed at in the republic, but it was also by far the nicest.

After settling in, we walked back down to town in search of dinner and stopped at a little place called Bofey Quinns. I got the Lasagna and chips (and if you give me chips I will eat them), and Joe got a fish pie that was really good. We then split a chocolate cake which really did hit the spot. Beer of the night was Smithwicks.

We spent a few hours sitting and talking and around 9pm, a few locals showed up and started tuning their instruments, by 9:30 there were a full dozen musicians in a circle playing. The little local gathering was much more fun and interesting than the paid musicians you normally find in the pubs. We stayed for as long as we could stay awake, and then walked back to the room.

Day 7
Thursday, September 25th

We got up that morning by 8 so that we could eat (the blood sausage was not to my liking today, but Joe enjoyed it), and we were out the door running.

We made it to Bunratty Castle in short order and once in the park we made a B-line to the castle itself. It was in great condition, having been fully restored about 50 years ago, and a lot of the furniture was really interesting. After taking pictures around inside the castle (thank you 50mm 1.4… I love you), we checked out the rest of the park. It was of those restored village, ‘see how the people lived’ kind of things, which means it was pretty hocky and over played, but there were some nice pictures to be had.

On the way out we stopped in Limmerick for lunch. Our first choice for lunch was closed, so we stopped at small deli called The Wild Onion. I had an Irish style hamburger, and some hash browns both of which were really good. We also took the time to write out all of our postcards, and basically relax for a bit. On the way out I got a homemade chocolate chip cookie to munch on later.

Joe and I then made our way to Cork, and just as we pulled up to the Jurys Inn (Dagmara, the receptionist at the Blizzard Cork office was awesome and hooked us up with the corporate discount), Alex gave us a call. We took a few minutes to get checked in and unwind, and then I called him back.

We met Alex and a local (David) at St Patrick’s St at the bridge and we in search of a pub before dinner. We found An Bodhran and sat down for a Murphy’s since I had not tried it yet. Murphy’s was just as good as Guiness, and when in the south, it is the drink of choice.

An Brog was the next stop. It smelled of very old smoke, BO, and sex, but we got a beer anyways. This is where we tried Beamish for the first time.

Next, for food, we went across the river to a take out Indian restaurant called Spice Route for some really good tikka marsala and naan. After that we stopped by Greene’s Restaurant to set up a reservation for dinner Saturday night. Then we went for one more drink and we ended up at Bar Thios. After a pint we made plans to meet up with Alex the next morning for our trip to Kerry/Blarney.

Day 8
Friday September 26th

We started things off early, picking Alex up by 8 o’clock. We immediately headed out to Killarney. We made good time getting to the park and we spent some time taking pictures around the garden, and we drove down the road to Torc falls. After taking some pictures we started around the Ring of Kerry. Stopping pretty regularly to snap some pics.

We stopped in Kenmare for lunch at a small Italian restaurant called Prego by Day, I had a filling sausage and onion baguette. After lunch we got back to the journey. The roads were narrow, and while I was too busy driving to check out a lot of the scenery, I did enjoy driving to the utmost, taking advantage of the 100km speed limit around the tight corners.

We stopped regularly for photo ops, about one third as often as Alex wanted. After covering the south part of the ring, the roads straightened up and we were able to make a lot better time. We finished up the drive and made it back to Cork by 8:30.

Dinner was at Wagamama, a Japanese fusion restaurant. We had a large Asahi each, with some duck gyoza, and I had some fried Yaki soba, which was not too filling, so I didn’t have to worry about getting too full to drink.

After dinner we went South’s Bar so that Alex could meet up with his Russian friends. We had a black current Guiness (a little to sweet), and Smithwick’s to finish off the night. I asked the bar if they could do a carbomb but they said no since it would get us too drunk, what a waste. :(

3 comments for this entry:
  1. keyla

    I cannot wait to see the photos! Sounds like Ireland isn’t so great for veggie lovers? Breakfast seems like a ‘sausage’ fest!

  2. Jaime

    You could get a veggie breakfast, Joe got one a couple of times after he got sick and tired of the full Irish breakfast. Normally it was an egg, tomatoes, mushrooms, baked beans, and toast. Personally I couldn’t get behind baked beans for breakfast.

  3. keyla

    Baked beans? the rest sounds so yummy!!! Like a veggie omelet! Mmm..

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