Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Ireland, Post 1

I'm back! And what a time we had. Now, where to start telling you about it?

We started our time in Ireland by driving straight across the country for our first airbnb night. You know, it's a real challenge to be in the air all night (with a stopover in Iceland), then immediately jump into a rental car that has you driving on the wrong side of the car and wrong side of the road right off the bat.

The first of many stone cottages I would photograph. I could
not get enough of them, it seemed.
It might sound odd to say we drove across the country in a few hours, but it's true. Ireland is a small place, only three-quarters the size of Ohio actually. The roads are not quite as good as we're used to however, so it takes a bit longer to go the same distance. Which was fine with us because we wanted to see the countryside, not zoom past it.

Inside Mary's
 We were really tired though, so as soon as we got a chance we started looking for a nice pub to stop for lunch. We found one in a little place called Coralstock called Mary's Public House. It was almost 1:00pm, but we hadn't had breakfast, and I was craving some eggs.

Mary had just opened, and when I asked about breakfast she said she didn't really serve it, but she could fix us up. Heaven! Eggs, good sausage and bacon, big pieces of toast and jam, and tea, all in the most quaint of pubs. It was a great start to our trip.

We drove onward to Easkey in County Sligo, and Carmel's b&b. It took us a while because we were tired and still getting used to the roads, but we arrived in good time, and were welcomed into a warm kitchen heated with a peat fire, and the smell of bread baking and soup cooking. Carmel made a big pot of tea for us, and we sat around the kitchen table talking like old friends with her, her daughter and her daughter's boyfriend. The scent of lilies added to the good smells--the boyfriend had brought them. Soon another b&b guest arrived. John was from Brooklyn, NY, a surfer who had come to try out the waves. We all sat and talked about folklore and history and American politics, and soon Deidre (the daughter) was inviting us to stay for dinner. Who could resist? The sweet potato soup was heavenly and I intend to try making it myself. And the bread--warm with Irish butter, perfection.

After dinner and more talk, we all decided to go to the pub. Deidre and her guy stayed behind to take care of yet more guests that had arrived, but Carmel took us and John to her local, as they call their local pub. It was small and comfortable, wood-lined and warm. The setting was pure Irish, out in the countryside, with a ruined church across the way. The church, Carmel told us, had been burned out by the IRA back during the troubles, a reminder that Northern Ireland and its hard history wasn't so far away.

We had a blast in the pub. One would think we'd have been ready for an early night, but we ended up staying until closing, talking and laughing and singing, and Carmel recited a couple of Yeats poems. What an evening.

Next morning we were up and out by 10am, ready to drive on to our next destination, Roundstone. We took Carmel's suggestion as to the route we should try, and it turned out to be excellent advice.

More on that in my next post.

Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.


Brig said...

It all sounds wonderful, thanks for sharing the journey.

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

"We don't do breakfast but we'll cook you bacon and eggs!" That reminds me of a friend of mine who called into a bar to be told that they couldn't sell him anything because they were closed till 5 o'clock. But would he care for a drink while he was waiting!

Granny Sue said...

Funny, John! We had that experience in Wales--the pub wasn't open, but the painting crew who was there gave us a drink while we waited!

Michelle said...

This sounds like a perfect start to your trip and I am looking forward to hearing more!

Bbj said...

Have missed your posts
Fun trip

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