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Recovered from Ireland Trip

Old Oct 20th, 2004, 04:27 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 3,571
Recovered from Ireland Trip

We landed in the dark in Shannon. Aer Lingus forgot to serve our breakfast, and we were hungry. Then Hertz told us we had to take the shuttle out to the parking lot to get our car since we had rented through O'Scannlain, so still no tea. We were going to have to wait a while for our reserved automatic, so DH said why don't you give us an upgraded standard, and we were off in a Citroen Picasso, shifting all the way. Quite roomy and sort of a fun car.

We breakfasted in Adare, since we had never been there. We planned to hook up to the main Cork road (I don't have my map out, but I think it was N something. ) That was the first of several times we got lost, but getting lost is half the fun! We arrived in Kinsale around 4, and were welcomed at Kilcaw House, where we stayed two nights. Great place! We dined at the Blue Haven, free oysters with each Guinness, then I had mussels for dinner.

The next day we walked around Cork some, where the streets are torn up for the upcoming festivities: Cork is European City of 2005 or something like that. We parked on Market Quay in a garage, no trouble on a Saturday. Then we were off to Cobh for a bit, where I didn't buy the first of many things I should have bought! Dinner back in Kinsale at Jim Edwards. (We won 25E on a scratch off lottery card in the Supervalu, then spent it in the store!)

The next morning we hit the coast road to Kenmare. This was the day I had fish for all three meals, kippers for breakfast, fish chowder at Maryann's, and a lovely lovely salmon at Foleys in Kenmare. I found that I don't care much for kippers. Along the way we stopped in Clonakilty for tea and then strolled around Bantry, where the town was pretty much closed, since this was a Sunday.

The only part of this day that freaked me out was the Caha Pass above Glengarrif. Now, we have been to Ireland before and driven on some pretty narrow and windy cliff roads, but this was too scarey for me! A lot of work is being done on the road; as a matter of fact, it was closed today for some blasting. So I was quite happy to land in Kenmare that afternoon!

We stayed in Seanua with Andy and Allison. They are fairly new to the B&B business and are also raising 3 young daughters in addition to several cats and a guinea pig, Fluffy. We were their only guests, which was pretty nice, and we got to spend some time getting to know them. Our room had Judy Greene lamps, so I knew we were meant to be there. (I love her stuff!)

The next day was our ROK drive. It only got really interesting when DH decided to take an inland route on another small, winding cliffy road, and me with a death grip on the oh-sh*t bar for miles. Then we had lunch in a place in Allihies, looking out over Valencia Island. The sole was the best meal I had on this trip, fresh out of the local sea. Yum Yum Yum! Otherwise, there was some nice scenery in areas, and skinny roads in others, but I guess I have now been there and done that.

Well, if I keep going on with this blow-by-blow, meal-by-meal narrative, I will bore everyone to death. So I'll continue later in a condensed version!
allisonm is offline  
Old Oct 20th, 2004, 06:02 PM
Join Date: Jul 2003
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Lord, I remember that Caha Pass construction! We traversed it twice in late September, and the part that got us was the huge scraper swinging out over the road, over and over, and the road guard giving you the high sign to come ahead when the scraper was about to come back...

Spectacular view if you don't fear for your life, however...
JimF is offline  
Old Oct 20th, 2004, 06:25 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Allisonm, welcome back. Looks like you had an exciting time. Wonderful roads in Ireland?
Budman is offline  
Old Oct 21st, 2004, 08:23 AM
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Welcome back allison. Sounds like you had a great time. Don't worry about the blow by blow on the restaurants. It's always nice to hear what you liked.

wojazz3 is offline  
Old Oct 21st, 2004, 10:03 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
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I agree, don't skip the blow for those of us who might like to print out the info.
Please reconsider.
collector is offline  
Old Oct 21st, 2004, 04:56 PM
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Turns out I lied about lunch on the Ring, it was really in Port Magee, not Allihies, which is where we ate the next day.

Instead of doing the more common drive along the Ring to Killorgin, DH decided to cut down through Loch Caragh, which looked like a scenic drive, and it was. Then we came to a typically not-so-well marked junction. Should we go straight ahead or bear to the right? We chose straight. Well, it was a green road on our map, this was good. Then the road started to narrow. Okay, Irish roads are narrow. Then grass started growing in the middle of the road, and this worried me, but we carried on. Green on the map obviously meant ?grassy.? Finally, we reached the end of the road: a gate to a cow pasture. I said let?s open the gate, you turn around with haste, and I?ll close the gate before the cows get out or the farmer chases us. DH decided a better plan would be to back up for a ways until he could turn around, and that worked out. I met him down the road, since I don?t do backwards in cars. By now I was breathing a sigh of relief as we headed back to the road not taken. Little did I know that we still had miles to drive through no-man?s land, in the middle of the Ballaghbeama Gap, which we later heard was one of the last places in Ireland to get electricity. Desolate, rocky, spooky?.I hope my pictures will convey this. (BTW, we drove the ring clockwise and luckily only met 2 buses along the way.)

That evening we had dinner across the street from Foleys at O?Donnabhains, and it was probably fish. I believe that when I am in Ireland, I should eat lots of fresh fish, and it is usually very fresh!

We walked around Kenmare a bit after dinner, and found ourselves in a really ? well, let?s say ? rustic local pub, the Roughty. We sat near a young American couple and watched the goings on, such as a fellow who came in after apparently having been in a fist fight. Face and said fist were bloody, and he left a bit later, all patched up. A young man standing at the bar broke into song and we heard the loveliest two ballads of our trip. I think he was singing for a beer, and it was worth many! The bartender here was sorry that he had no lemon for my hot whiskey but assured me that it would still be tasty, and it was!
Beara was more enjoyable for us, and the scenery was more interesting. By now, this was Tuesday, and the weather gods had been with us all the way. We dined in the Thady Quill Pub, part of the Lansdowne Hotel. I had stuffed mussels, which are actually little breaded mussels in the shell, DH opted for a burger, which was rolled in a spice he couldn?t identify. This was a nice but very quiet place, and it was here I learned I could differentiate a Kerry accent from a West Cork accent.

I'll start a new chapter here!
allisonm is offline  
Old Oct 21st, 2004, 05:03 PM
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Our Wednesday turned out to be a little more iffy. We stayed the night in Carriglea Farmhouse, a truly beautiful old home overlooking Killarney National Park and the lakes. We walked around the park, eating our Tesco sandwiches in the little gazebo near the house, and then make it up to Torc waterfall, and I do mean up! I was winded by the time we got to the summit, and it was sprinkling. I said, let?s take this road down, it will be easier. HA! It was very long, and DH kept saying the main road would be just around this next bend. He also said I wasn?t going to like my hair. Thank you, please just get me to the car. (Insert seethe here.) We made it to the main road and still had another mile to walk to where the car was parked. Walking along the roads in Ireland is not a good thing because there is no shoulder anywhere.

We finally got to the B&B for a short recovery, and I said we had to get to the Gap of Dunloe, even though the time was getting late, because there would be no time tomorrow.

We were met by Patrick and his horse, Dolly, who easily convinced me (DH had to put up a bit of a fight), to hop into his wobbly cart and take the tour. We didn?t even try to bargain with him. What a fun ride! He was very entertaining and we talked a lot about our respective lifestyles. We were very happy to have taken the ride, even in a light drizzle. It was late in the day so we didn?t see many other tourists, just a surprising number of cars belonging to people who either lived or were staying in the few homes in the Gap. I think I would like to go back and do the whole walk and boat ride sometime. Thanks, Wojazz, for the extra little nudge to go here!

Killarney itself didn?t really impress us too much, it was more like a huge hotel area. We found Murphy?s pub and had a nice meal of joint of the day, which happened to be lamb. Ireland has a lot of something-of- the days. Our favorite is soup of the day, or soup of the moment, which is usually ?veg,? and it is almost always creamed. DH had seafood chowder once, which was creamed. He had cream of chicken and mushroom once, which we expected to be creamed, and was. I am happy to say that my seafood chowder at Maryanne?s in Castletownshend was full of chunks of seafood and quite delicious. It was also at Maryanne's where I started to notice that many of the servers were not Irish but - I think - German. Alas, no banoffee that day, and I even asked about it. They were featuring something in raspberry, which looked good, but of which we did not partake.

Last stop: Dingle. The big finale next time!

allisonm is offline  
Old Oct 22nd, 2004, 07:35 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I can not ever recall having clear soup in Ireland - it is always creamed. FYI.

Allisonm -
Am very much enjoying your trip report. Thanks so much for sharing!


waffle18 is offline  
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