Sunday, May 24, 2009

Whole Lotta Green

No photos at this stage, although there will be plenty once we get home. Just imagine a gorgeous land with really green fields, and the fields are irregular in shape and broken up with lines of shrubs or trees or stone walls or all three.

Although it is a beautiful place and there are tons of ruins and ancient churches and even more ancient tombs made from rock, the most beautiful part of Ireland has been the people. Friendly, so helpful, so willing the chat and easy to be with, full of good cheer much of the time, they are also intrepid drivers on their narrow roads, made all the more interesting with stone walls at the verge on both sides in many places. In a small town in the Burren area our rented auto refused to start one afternoon. The owner of the local garage was amazing...he did all the talking to the rental company and arranged for us to ride with the car back to our B&B many miles away, then for the car to be exchanged at Shannon airport and the new car to be delivered to our B&B. Tommy and his son Jason could not have been nicer or more helpful.

The brown bread, sort of a soda bread made with whole meal flour, is very good, but the scones have been excellent!

Each B&B we have stayed in filled us up each morning with a huge breakfast which included cereal, fruit, juice, coffee, toast, brown bread, and a plate full of eggs, blood sausage, pork link sausage, bacon (closer to what we call Canadian bacon than American bacon, but quite delicious), and another type of sausage that was similar to scrapple. Nice presse coffee, too, and lots of milk. Often we've not needed any lunch, just a scone and some tea or coffee in the early afternoon.

Enjoyed some good pub grub in Ennis. Had dinner in a town called Tarbart on the river Shannon, near where the ferry that goes back and forth between Co. Clare and Co. Kerry comes in. The restaurant is called Enrights and they were extremely lacking for customers, but served some of the best salmon I've ever had, prepared very simply with a coat of flour and pan cooked in butter until golden. At the same restaurant Sweetie had a plate of delicious lamb chops. Except for the brown bread, white soda bread, and scones, artisan bread doesn't seem to have come to this area, although there are many bakeries we have not visited :)

Did meet up with some cousins in the town where my grandfather was born and had a wonderful time with them the last few days. Our older cousin is charming, with the sweetest smile, and serves a fine glass of port. We chatted with her a while on the first day we were in Glin and again the next afternoon. A younger cousin (closer to our age, but a bit younger) tells wonderful stories and has a lovely family and sweet Russian wolfhound dog. We are hoping that they (except for the dog because he is too old to travel) come to visit in America one day.

We drove today to the Dingle Peninsula on the west coast...a strongly Gaelic speaking area...so more news later of our adventures there.

8 comments:

DaviMack said...

Glad you're having fun! Perhaps you'll travel here again, and we'll try to meet you when you do! We're looking forward to the pictures - we haven't made it over to that island yet. ;)

Elle said...

DaviMack, Hope to get to Scotland and England one day...would be easier to meet that way. Photos will have to wait...no card reader here...lucky to have unlimited internet access as it is! Foggy here this morning...and cool...guess you are familiar with that kind of weather :)

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Always wanted to travel there. Sounds like good times are being enjoyed.

A_and_N said...

nice to hear that you had a good time. I'm waiting for some pics of those fields :D

Dharm said...

What? No Strudel? Then I remembered you are on vacation.... silly me!! Good to hear you're having fun!

Peabody said...

I'm so jealous!

Mimi said...

Hello Elle! Wonderful that you and Sweetie had such a nice trip. Can't wait to see the pictures. My Dad's family is from the Dingle Penninsula. Did you go to the James Long pub by any chance? xxoo

Elle said...

Tanna,I would add Ireland to your list of places to visit...it is beautiful and has such nice people.

A and N, Lots of photos in following posts! Probably too many :)

Dharm, No cooking or baking at all...after a while it felt odd.

Peabody, your time will surely come, but I'd be jealous, too, and have been when friends returned from Ireland.

Mimi, It was fun and we did get to Dingle but didn't visit any pubs in Dingle. Would have gone to the James Long pub if we had known. Dingle is a truly lovely town.