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Ireland: The Good & the Bad...and Guinness instead of Limoncello!

Ireland: The Good & the Bad...and Guinness instead of Limoncello!

Jul 17th, 2010, 10:04 PM
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Ireland: The Good & the Bad...and Guinness instead of Limoncello!

It's all about the rain. And there's a lot of it! I have an umbrella that fits in my purse when I don't need it. It doesn't spend very much time in the purse. As you can probably guess, this is the “bad.” I only have one day with no rain at all. During my entire ten days in Ireland, everyone keeps telling me about the two weeks before I arrived, when they had gorgeous weather. Apparently, it went downhill the moment I arrived. I assume that now I've left, it's probably great weather again!

Fortunately, it's also all about the music. I love music, and had plenty of it! Fortunately, rain can't ruin the music! The “good.” It can mean you're very wet while sitting there listening to the music (especially your feet!), but that's just the way it is. And when we finally get to the countryside you expect in Ireland (all those green patches and stone fences), that's also the “good.”

I'm looking at the Claddagh ring I bought, with the Connemara marble for the heart, and want you to know that I did enjoy my trip to Ireland very much, and I met some really great people, and I'd like to see them again. Read on for some great experiences!

For those of you who are wondering why “Limoncello” is even mentioned in the title to this trip report, maybe you never read trip reports about Italy. I've been to Italy a lot. “Limoncello” was in the title to my first Italy trip report, and I included it in the following six as well. Everyone who reads all the Italy trip reports then knew it was one of my reports.

I guess I should mention here that I had planned to return to Italy this July. However, unlike past years, the flight prices never went down, even though I checked daily since last November. I couldn't afford the $1200-$1400 prices. So about 2-1/2 weeks before I was to leave (I had reservations in Italy), I had to cancel the Rome apartment or I'd have to pay for it. OK, I was pretty depressed! Travel is essential to my soul...

Started checking other destinations (I had actually been checking Paris for a couple of weeks, but it wasn't much cheaper than Italy), and it turned out that Ireland was a lot cheaper (and I later discovered that accommodations were also a lot cheaper). It's not as though I didn't want to go to Ireland, so I booked the flight. So I'm excited about going to Ireland and looking forward to a great time.

Then I needed to decide fairly quickly which cities/towns I wanted to stay in. I talked to a few people who had been there and did a little reading and decided on three nights in Dublin (free with my Hilton points), three nights in Killarney and four nights in Galway. I had originally wanted to go to Dingle in the middle instead of Killarney, but the logistics of getting there (train, no car) were a bit difficult. Too many train/bus changes! Plus I figured I could go to Dingle for a day from Killarney if I wanted to.

I don't figure you need a lot of details about my flight, but we're all on the plane and they announce that we're going to be delayed due to mechanical problems. Seems as though one of the the rear thrusters is not thrusting. Doesn't sound good! I don't get too upset about this kind of delay. Much better to find out about the problem before taking off, when they can fix it! We're almost 2 hours late leaving, but due to a tail wind in our favor, we're only 20 minutes late arriving in Dublin. Not bad! Actually, I'm amazed that we're only 20 minutes late.

We arrive in Dublin and I take the Aircoach bus to the hotel. Seems like a good idea to pay E7 for the bus instead of around E25 for a taxi. It stops pretty close to the Conrad. I had originally booked the Hilton Kilmainham (I was in a hurry), and then realized that the other Hilton was in a better location, and the Conrad location (the European Hilton line) was even better. Fortunately, I was able to change to the Conrad. I'm able to check right in. It's a nice room, a typical Hilton. I think the Conrad hotels are supposed to be the cream of the crop of European Hilton hotels, but it seems pretty much like the others I've stayed in (Paris & Sorrento – oh wait, Sorrento has that fabulous pool!). I don't mean this as a criticism, it's fine.

If I can sleep at least four hours on the plane over, I don't have any trouble staying awake the first day to get on their time (I have more trouble with jet lag on the way home), and I do sleep on the plane. However, I really don't feel that well, so I lay down for a little while. Later, I feel better and feel like going out. The #1 thing on my list for Dublin is the Book of Kells at Trinity College. I realize that I can get there for the last tour of the day (the college students give tours).

I decide to walk over because I want to see how long it takes me to get to the other side of St. Stephen's Green (very close to the Conrad) and then how much further to Trinity College. I can't go by most people's estimates, because I have arthritic knees and am a very slow walker. Generally, if a local tells me it takes so many minutes to walk somewhere, I figure on twice that long. That's usually pretty accurate! Another reason why it's good to travel alone...I never have to worry about holding someone back, or having someone get frustrated because I move slowly. I do think that is the one best thing about traveling alone...being able to do whatever you want to do whenever you want to do it, without having to worry about someone else's expectations or wishes or must-see's. You only have to do what you want to do.
SusanP is offline  
Jul 17th, 2010, 10:06 PM
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Forgot to say, lots more to come!
SusanP is offline  
Jul 17th, 2010, 10:20 PM
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Great! Keep it coming!
azzure is offline  
Jul 18th, 2010, 02:30 AM
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looking forward to the rest - great so far.
it's still raining here in dublin
littlejane is offline  
Jul 18th, 2010, 07:21 AM
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On average it rains for 6% of the time on the east side of Ireland and 9% on the west. Much of the rain is light because there are very few thunderstorms. More rain falls in London than in Dublin.
Sandylan is offline  
Jul 18th, 2010, 10:55 AM
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Susan, excited to see a new trip report...and to Ireland! I love it. Hope you are doing well.
JenV is offline  
Jul 18th, 2010, 12:14 PM
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Thanks, azzure & littlejane. Hope you get some sunshine soon! Sandylan, you may be right about more rain in London than in Dublin, but it sure didn't apply last week!

Hi Jen, it's great to hear from you. Can you believe it's almost five years since we had dinner together in Florence? Time flies!

Here's a little more, and I'll try to do some more later:

I walk over through St. Stephen's Green (a beautiful park), up Grafton Street and get to Trinity College about ten minutes before the final tour of the day, so I buy the ticket and have a short wait. It's E10, including the E9 charge for the Book of Kells, so that's a very good deal. The tour is interesting, with lots of historical information, and the guide has a good sense of humor. The two Oregon Maples on the grounds are magnificent trees. It rains lightly off and on (a forecast of much more to come!). The tour ends at the Book of Kells. There is a great display before you get to the book with large blow-ups of sections of the pages and a lot of information. When I get to the book, I'm surprised. Guess I thought it would be bigger, probably because of the large pictures going in. The work is beautiful, and amazing when you think it was done around 800. It's interesting that the monks traveled all the way to Iran (a very long way in 800) to get a certain beetle to make the red ink. Talk about dedication/determination!

Upstairs from the Book of Kells is the Long Room, where around 200,000 old books are stored. It's a curious filing system...the biggest books are on the bottom shelves and the rest get smaller as you go up, with the smallest books on the top shelves. Not much use to anyone trying to find a certain book! As a result, these books aren't used much. Nevertheless, it is a beautiful room and I enjoy sitting there for a while. I just would like to know what's in all those books!

When I come out of Trinity College, I see a travel information shop just across the street, so I stop in to see if they have bus route information. I'm sure most people would figure they didn't need a bus from the Conrad to anywhere in the city, but I try to save my knees a bit when possible. She gives me a map of the bus routes, but when I go out and sit down and really start looking at it, I find it totally useless. It doesn't actually tell where the various lines stop. Plus, the information the concierge at the hotel gives me tomorrow is not correct. I do later figure out a bus I can take from the hotel to get me part way to the center.

I start a very leisurely walk up Dame Street towards Christchurch Cathedral to have an early dinner at the Bull & Castle, which is directly across the street from the church on Lord Edward Street. Someone here had talked about the delicious fish & chips, and that really sounds good right now. It takes me a while, but that's OK. I order the Galway Mussels (cooked with lots of onions and Chardonnay) and the fish & chips. I decide to order Buckley's Golden Ale, their own beer. I'm really not much of a beer drinker (not since college anyway, which was a very long time ago!), but it seems as though I should be trying some in Ireland. The mussels and fish are both great. I love batter-fried fish when it's cooked properly, nice and crispy on the outside with the fish nice and moist. The ale is OK, and it does go well with the fish. However, I realize that I would have much preferred a glass of wine. I'm not sure why I thought I would all of a sudden want to drink beer just because I'm in Ireland! I'm sure I will try some Guinness at some point, but I'll probably stick with wine with most of my dinners.

At this point, I've had enough walking, so I get a taxi back to the hotel and am asleep in no time.
SusanP is offline  
Jul 18th, 2010, 07:02 PM
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I'm really enjoying your trip report!

I've often thought I would go to Ireland (I sing and play Irish music and have performed in an Irish music band here in Los Angeles). Would love to do the James Joyce tour of Dublin. But alas, I find myself wanting to return to Switzerland. And yes, those plane fares are high, and that's what's keeping me from clicking "submit."

Looking forward to more. I like to travel alone, too.
susan001 is offline  
Jul 19th, 2010, 05:01 AM
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Susan; Where did you get your ring? We will be in Galway at the very end of September and I definitely want to get me a Claddaugh ring and some Connemara Marble. I hope to go to the factory in Moycullen. Becky
floridapugmom is offline  
Jul 19th, 2010, 08:03 AM
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"As a result, these books aren't used much."

As a Librarian in Trinity College I beg to differ. They are used all the time!
ter2000 is offline  
Jul 19th, 2010, 08:17 AM
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Susan...

Great start to this trip report. I always love reading your Itlay trip reports and when I saw Ireland ( a place near & dear to my heart since my grandfather was born there) I was surprised, but happily surprised!

I have a similar claddagh ring that I bought on a trip to Ireland in 2005...I never take it off!

Looking forward to more!
LowCountryIslander is offline  
Jul 19th, 2010, 11:58 AM
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We're ready for more---please continue!
TPAYT is online now  
Jul 19th, 2010, 02:26 PM
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I was very surprised to see Ireland and not Italy! So sorry you did not get back to Italy this year, but I am really enjoying your Ireland report so far and looking forward to more.
Barb is offline  
Jul 19th, 2010, 03:38 PM
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Not to throw a damper on buying claddaghs but... It is said to be bad luck to buy a claddagh for yourself; it must be given or received as a gift.

So, find a friend and buy one for each other!!!
joannyc is offline  
Aug 9th, 2010, 04:03 PM
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Sorry it's taken me so long to get back to this. Been very busy!
susan001, you definitely need to go to Ireland! I play the flute and was very tempted to buy an Irish flute.
floridapugmom, I bought the ring in Killarney, but there was one place in Galway that had them. I'll have to look it up. I was actually surprised at how many jewelry stores didn't have any Connemara marble.

ter2000, I'm very glad to hear that the books are used! How do you know where to find what you want? Note that it was the tour guide who told us they're not used much!
LowCountry & TPAYT, glad you're enjoying it.
Hi Barb, one of these days we still have to meet for dinner in Rome!

joannyc, how can anything that's Irish and has such lovely meaning be bad luck? I did buy pendants for a few people. Does that count?

Here's some more:

The next morning, I walk over to the National Gallery. I want to see Caravaggio's “The Taking of Christ,” plus I'm sure there will be much more of interest. I've seen lots of Caravaggio works in Rome and am looking forward to this one. I'm not disappointed and also enjoy the 18th & 19th Century Irish art along the way, as well as lots more. They have a nice shop, and as usual, I succumb to buying a couple of books. I come out the Clare Street entrance and turn right to go to Merrion Square, picking up a sandwich for lunch at a shop just down from the museum. I eat in the lovely park by the Veteran's Memorial. It's cool, but not raining, and in fact is clearing up. I go looking for the statue of Oscar Wilde. I had read that it's a good spot for a photo op, but I'm not getting up there! Plus, there's nobody else around to take the picture for me, so I settle for one of just the statue.

I had planned to go to the National Museum after lunch, which is in the same area, but as I come out of Merrion Square, it has really cleared up, blue sky and white puffy clouds. The sun is warm. I don't want to be inside! I do a little shopping, then head over to St. Stephen's Green and pull out one of the books I bought and just enjoy the sun, watching the people (one of my favorite pastimes) and reading. The park is beautiful. Later, I'm very glad I did this, as it was the nicest weather I had the whole trip.

Later for dinner, I want to go to The Winding Stair on Ormond Quay. I see that it's on the other side of the river and am having a bit of trouble figuring out which bus to take. I ask the concierge at the hotel, and he assures me that I can't get there because Ormond Quay is one way in the wrong direction. I go out to look at the bus sign again for the stop right outside the hotel. I do notice Eden Quay, but I'm not sure how close that will be to the restaurant, as there is Ormond Quay Upper and Ormond Quay Lower. I decide to try somewhere else and get on the bus with the plan to get off near the center or near Trinity College (where I think it stops). I pay attention to the stops to see what's close for future reference and figure I need the next stop. Well, the next stop turns out to be Eden Quay! I decide I might as well walk down towards Ormond Quay and see if I get lucky. I actually do get lucky. The Winding Stair is right at the beginning of Ormond Quay Lower. Sometimes, mistakes do work out well!

I decide to try and order off the fixed menu, a considerable savings, and order Gravlax with Pickles, Dillisk Bread & Crème Fraiche, followed by Slow-Roasted Pork Belly with Pearl Onions, Savoy Cabbage & Baby Carrots. The Gravlax is wonderful. Then comes the main course. I guess I didn't really think about what pork belly is! It's a thin piece of pork with a huge layer of fat on top that gets crisp. The fat must have been over an inch thick! Pretty awful. Even after you scrape all that fat off (I can't imagine anyone eating that, do people eat it?), the meat is still pretty fatty. OK, lesson learned. Don't order pork belly! Then, it turns out the fixed price was only pre-theatre, and I'm too late for that, so the meal is a good deal more than I expected. With 2 glasses of wine, E48.90. My own fault, I didn't read the sign carefully. I would go back there, though, just for that Gravlax, and just have a different main course!

I leave the restaurant and cross the Ha'Penny Bridge (lovely view from the bridge up and down the river) to Temple Bar for some music. The music will be starting shortly, and luckily, I get a seat. Now, on the plane on the way over, the gentleman next to me lives in the US but is from Dublin, and he had told me about a couple of places to go for music. He said the main thing to look for is no microphones. I realize Temple Bar is more touristy, but I want to check it out anyway. Sure enough, there are microphones! The group is called Lad Lane, a flute, fiddle & guitar. The music really is excellent. The place is not really that big, so I do have to think that they would sound even better without the microphones, but I still very much enjoy it. When I finally leave, it's late and I get a taxi back to the hotel.

I'm not feeling the best the next morning, so I sleep in and then plan to go to Dublin Castle and the Chester Beatty Library. It's overcast and rains lightly off and on. The bus I took last evening will get me partway there, stopping by St. Andrews Church, which is now the Tourist Information Office. I walk the rest of the way, stopping for a BLT Bagel on the way. When I get to the castle, there is a sign for pedestrian entrance, so naturally I go in there. Once you go under that arch, however, there is absolutely no sign anywhere to show the entrance or where to get a ticket for the tour (the only way to see inside the castle). Hmmm...maybe it's around the back. I get around the back, still no indication of an entrance, so as long as I'm back there, I go to the Beatty Library first. This is a very interesting place, wonderful displays about world religions, ancient books, illuminated manuscripts, etc. I spend quite a bit of time there, but you could easily spend half a day there if you really want to read all the detailed explanations.

I come out of the library and go back around towards the pedestrian entrance. I figure I have to go up to the left to find an entrance. I first come to the castle's chapel. It's a lovely small chapel, and I sit in there a while just enjoying its beauty. I come out and continue up and finally come to the tour entrance. I go in and the woman tells me that the afternoon tours have been canceled due to state business. She says that the chapel is still open. Arghhh! Very frustrating, since if there had been a sign showing where to go, I would have toured the castle first and done the library and chapel afterwards. Oh well, no tour of Dublin Castle. She says that there is a tour just finishing that still has the excavations to see, so I do see the end of the tour where they go down to see the original sections of the castle. Better than nothing!

I'm thinking about seeing something else on my list, but am still not feeling that great, so I decide to go back to the hotel for a nap, with the hope that I'll feel better later. I do feel better when I get up, so I get a shower and get ready for dinner.

More later.
SusanP is offline  
Aug 9th, 2010, 07:52 PM
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Hi SusanP,

Enjoying your trip report! Looking forward to more.

The claddagh was originally designed to be a wedding ring, so it's not something that you'd buy for yourself. My sister and I each bought our earrings for the other! LOL! And, yes, I do agree that it is a lovely sentiment.
joannyc is offline  
Aug 10th, 2010, 03:03 PM
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Susan, Your Trip Report/Journal is absolutely wonderful! I can't wait to read more! Bonnie
bmathes is offline  
Sep 13th, 2010, 03:43 PM
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Can't believe how long it's taking me to get this written!
floridapugmom, if you're still reading, the store in Galway with a lot of Connemara marble jewelry is McCarthy Jewellers, 8 Shop Street. Here's some more:

I had decided to go to O'Neill's on Suffolk Street, because I had read it was good and the bus stops right in front of it. When I go in, though, I see that it's cafeteria style, which is not really what I had in mind. I head back over to Dawson Street to The Farm. Very nice atmosphere. I start with the Crisp Baby Back Ribs with Sea Salt & Chili Sauce, which are delicious, then have the Roasted Organic Salmon with Creamy Tequila Sauce & Chips. Also delicious. A good choice! With two glasses of wine, it's E39.40.

I continue on down Dawson Street looking for the smallest pub in the world. The guy on the plane had told me about it. Indeed, the sign says “Probably the smallest pub in the world.” Maybe because of that, I figured it was going to be really tiny. It is very small, but actually not as small as I expected. Next, I go to O'Donoghue's on Merrion Row, which he also recommended as having great music, no microphones. There is a group of men playing who are very good. However, it is very noisy in there. I really feel like turning around and telling everybody to be quiet so we can hear the music! That's probably not a good idea, so I just stand right over by them so I can hear better. There is a nice group of people around the musicians. I had been there quite a while when a young lady next to me wonders out loud if there are any stools vacant anywhere. I say, well, I've been wondering that for over an hour! Next thing I know, she has brought me a stool and another glass of wine. Very friendly people!

When the musicians are through, I start talking to one of them. Before long, he moves over and asks me to sit down. I play the flute and a very little guitar (folk music a long time ago), so it's fun talking with him. I mention that my son would like the harmonicas, so he asks me how old my son is. When I tell him he's 28, he is shocked. He says no way, he can't believe that. I say, well, thank you, you've just made my day! A couple of the others who had gone to get something to drink come back and I mention how I had wanted to tell everybody to be quiet. One says I should just get empowered and do it! A very lively group, and I have a great time.

I get back to the hotel around 1:30. Uh oh, I have a very early train the next morning. I would have taken a slightly later one, but the later one had three changes, so I booked the early one. I tell the desk clerk that although I already set the alarm clock, maybe I should have a wakeup call as well just in case. He asks me if I want a second one, too, and it seems like a good idea. He says OK, go enjoy your four hours of sleep! As you can imagine, it wasn't enough. I get up and take a taxi to Heuston Train Station, get a muffin and catch my train. I'm very tired and doze a little, but not much, because I do have one change and don't want to miss it. The Irish trains are very easy, just one step up into them. None of the ones I was on was even half full. The thing is, I keep wondering where all that countryside you're supposed to see in Ireland is. You know, the patchwork fields of different greens, the stone fences meandering across the land. It looks more like Upstate New York, except that we have big trees on the mountains. Now, Upstate New York is beautiful, just not what I'm expecting to see.

I have to say that Dublin isn't my favorite place. I had some good times and saw some things which I'm glad I saw, but the city itself doesn't do much for me. I always think that when you get to Rome or Paris, you know it immediately, because there's an electricity in the air (different between those two, but the same idea). Dublin just doesn't have that. Just my experience.

As we get closer to Killarney, I finally start to see some of that scenery. I get to Killarney and call Ann at Kingfisher Lodge (E60 per night including full Irish breakfast), as she had told me they would pick me up. It's not far, so I don't wait long. As I'm coming out of the train station, it starts to rain a little. By the time we take the short drive to the hotel, it's raining a little harder. This was the beginning of rain, rain, rain in Killarney! The B&B is nice, the room and bathroom are both a decent size. A little worn, but that's not a problem. It's early and I'm still pretty tired, so I decide to take a little nap. When I get up, I walk down to the town (Ann says four minutes, so sure enough it takes me more like seven) in the pouring rain and have lunch at Murphy's Bar. The Deep Fried Fillets of Plaice with salad and fries is very good, E10.50.

It's still pouring, but I decide to explore the town and see how far it is down to the High Street. I end up going all the way up the High Street and back to the hotel that way. I pass Gaby's Seafood Restaurant, which I had thought I might try, as someone raved about their special lobster dish. However, I see on the menu posted in the window that the lobster is E50 just for the main course. A bit steep for me. Back at the hotel, I put my feet up for a while and dry off.

Later I head out to dinner in the pouring rain with the idea of going to Bricin, also on the High Street. They're full, so I make a reservation for tomorrow night. I have to choose 6:00 or 9:00. I don't really like to eat early, so I choose 9:00. I move on to The Silver Fox, where there are plenty of tables available. They bring brown bread with butter and olive tampenade that is fantastic. I order the Baked Goats Cheese with Wild Berry Compote on Salad and Herb-Crusted Leg of Lamb with Rosemary and jus. Both are great. With a glass of wine, E35.85.

Breakfast the next morning is very good, and there's plenty of it. You can order what you want of eggs, bacon, beans, and it seems as though there was more. There is also cereal and fruit on a buffet table with juice. I won't need lunch! Guess what? It's pouring, a real downpour! I had planned to go to Killarney National Park and rent a jaunting cart to see some of the park and lakes. Not much fun in the pouring rain, so I stop in to see the Franciscan Friary and then do some shopping instead. Killarney is good for shopping.

Later in the afternoon, even though it's still raining, I decide that I will go over to Killarney National Park and at least go to Muckross House. I get a taxi and make arrangements for him to come back and pick me up later (around E10 each way). Muckross House is OK but doesn't thrill me. I think the big attractions are the garden and park. I enjoy history, but it's such a depressing story, how they went into huge debt, spending $90,000 on renovations and decorations for Queen Victoria's visit, which lasted two days. The house has been left the way it was decorated for her visit. The thing is, they figured the grateful queen would give them land that would greatly increase their income. Then Prince Albert died, the queen went into deep mourning, and they didn't get anything. Had to sell the house some years later because they were bankrupt. Anyway, the best part of the house is the weaving set up downstairs in what was formerly the servants' quarters. Lots of beautiful scarves, etc. However, they don't market them very well. You can't buy them while you're on the tour; you have to go back in after the end of the tour. I'm the only one who does from my group. They did have some in the gift shop/cafeteria, but there was a much better selection in the house.

I timed it very well and am finished five minutes before my taxi is coming back. Naturally, I have him take me back to the hotel, not where I found him downtown. I decide maybe I would like to go to dinner at 6:00 and go someplace for music afterwards, so Ann calls Bricin and changes my reservation to the 6:00 slot. So later I go to dinner in the pouring rain. I start with the Seafood Chowder, which is wonderful. Then I order Boxty (Irish Potato pancake) with Lamb & Vegetable & Pineapple Curry Filling. I'm not that big on potato pancakes, so it's not something I would ordinarily order, but it's their specialty, so I decide to try it. It is delicious! It also comes with a great salad, light vinaigrette on greens, tomato, carrot, pineapple and mushrooms. With two glasses of wine, E29.

Ann had recommended Buckley's in the Arbutus Hotel for music, again local guys, no microphones. A good thing! I'm bit early, so I sit at the bar and order a glass of wine. I get talking to some people from New York who are on a bus tour, and their bus driver as well. The music starts, and they are terrific, violin, flute, guitar. After they've been playing for a while, a gentlemen comes in off the street and starts doing an Irish dance. He is wonderful. The bus driver insists that he is 79 years old and the dancing has kept him in shape. It's really hard to believe. The guy looks around 60. It's a fun evening, although it's still raining as I walk back to the B&B.

The next day, the weather prediction is that the rain will stop. I hope they're right! I've decided to take a bus tour to Dingle with Corcoran Tours. I'm usually not that much for bus tours, but in Ireland without a car, sometimes it is a convenient way to do things. I could take the public bus, then take a tour right from Dingle and the public bus back, but I would be catching the last bus back to Killarney, and if something happened and I missed it, then what would I do? And since the tour from Killarney is only E27 and seems to cover what I want (out around the Dingle peninsula), it seems the best way to go. They pick everyone up at their hotel and take them to their office, where everyone separates into the bus for the tour they've chosen. The Dingle tour is in an 18-seat van, but there are only 8 of us.

On the ride to Dingle, we see much more of that typical Irish countryside. Beautiful! And at least for now, it's overcast but not raining. Our first stop is Inch Beach. As we're getting out, I realize that I came without my raincoat. Guess since they picked me up at the B&B and I didn't walk anywhere, I didn't notice how chilly it was. It's very windy and very cold! We stop several more times to have a chance to get out and see parts of the shoreline, including the Skellig Islands and the westernmost tip of Ireland. I enjoy the 7th Century Beehive houses built by the Celts. A very sweet older lady owns the land and regular house, and we pay E2 to go up closer to the houses.

We continue on towards the end of the peninsula to the Gallarus Oratory, a 7th Century church. Both this and the Beehive houses are built of flat stones fitted perfectly together without mortar of any kind. It's still waterproof after all these centuries. Amazing. The grounds are lovely, lots of fuschia, which you see all over. We get back to Dingle in time for a late lunch. I've been very cold all day, so first I go and buy a sweater! Lunch is at John Benny's Pub. I'm not starving (that big breakfast!), so I order Garlic Roasted Field Mushrooms on Toast with Parsley Butter. It's very good. I decide it's about time I try some Guinness, so I have a glass of that with it. Mmmm...very smooth. I'll have to have this again! E11.50 for the lunch.

Of course, while I'm eating lunch, it starts raining again. I come out and walk around to see the town and boats and do a little window shopping, but it's starting to rain harder. The wind is strong and the rain gets harder, blowing sideways. It's almost time to start back anyway, so I make my way over to the bus. It rains a lot of the way back to Killarney. The bus driver mentions that he'll drop us all where we paid and got on this morning. Hmmm...I guess I thought they'd drop us off at our hotel, since they had picked us up there. I ask him if they don't do that (I'm thinking it's a 20-minute walk for me back to the hotel from where he's talking about dropping us off), so he asks me where I'm staying and agrees to do that. Great!

More later.
SusanP is offline  
Sep 13th, 2010, 04:12 PM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 32,129
The last 21 days I have spent in Ireland, it has rained for a total of two minutes. I feel guilty.
colduphere is offline  
Sep 13th, 2010, 05:46 PM
  #20  
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colduphere, as you should.
SusanP is offline  

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