Travel Diaries: Ireland - Part 2 ~ Diane's Vintage Zest!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Travel Diaries: Ireland - Part 2

It's Wednesday, so time for another weekly wrap-up, right?

Well, even though I'm back home now, I need to recap the last legs of my Ireland journey, so here is the second part of Ireland.  My normal weekly wrap-ups will be back next week!



*Update: See the whole trip here!*













Day 3 (Sunday, 4/21) - continued

  • Sights: Slea Head drive (Bee Hive huts), Conor Pass
  • Eats: Murphy's Pub, Murphy's Ice Cream, John Benny Moriarty's
  • Drinks: Flannery's, Dolan's

For our third day in Ireland, we got ready to do a ton of driving on the west coast.  Lucky for me, there was less navigating to be done, because there's only one road!

This was the view from the car before arriving in Dingle.




Once in town, we were greeted by a bronze sculpture of Fungi!  Everybody loves him in Ireland.  :)




First, we stopped at Murphy's Bar for a pint and fish and chips.  They're known for their seafood in this area, so we were more than happy to try it out.  :)




Now, I had a ton of sweets on this trip up to this point, so I wasn't particularly excited to try Murphy's Ice Cream, even though I had seen it on a few lists.  OMG, it was so good that I almost made us stop by to get another cone before we left the area...




The employees were so nice and offered us samples of four flavors each!  I ended up picking the Irish Brown Bread and Dingle Sea Salt flavors.  I'm not even that big of a brown bread fan, but it was sooo good!

With our full bellies, we started off on the Slea Head drive, which involves driving the entire Dingle peninsula, much like the Ring of Kerry to the south.




When you are driving the path, it would only take about an hour if you went straight through without stopping.  However, the way to get the most of the drive is to get out frequently for photos, hikes, and sightseeing.

One of our more interesting stops was the Bee Hive Huts.  Well, I say interesting because I read about this in college, while my guy couldn't wait to get back in the car!




Afterwards, we stopped back in Dingle.  I was tempted to get more ice cream, but we just decided to stop at John Benny Moriarty's before heading on our merry way.




The inside was decorated really cute, with tons of police and fire department patches around the place.




We shared a fantastic clam chowder...




... and a colcannon potato, which is mashed potato mixed with cabbage.




On our way out of Dingle, we decided to go through the Conor Pass, which would give us a different view of the area.  We knew it went through the mountains, but I was not prepared for narrow roads up against a cliff.

This picture shows one of those narrow roads, although it's well protected here with an earthen barrier.




So you must be thinking, "That's not a narrow road!  That car even has a little bit of space to the right and the road is definitely wide enough, even if it starts to curve farther down."

Then, I would answer, "Well, that's actually intended to be a two-lane road."  Yep, two cars are supposed to somehow pass each other on these roads...  I don't understand either.

So instead, we chose to ignore the precarious roads and focus on the pretty scenery.  It was a lot easier for me since I wasn't driving!




By the time we got to Limerick, it was pretty late and we decided to walk down O'Connell Street.  It was a Sunday night, and I was tired, so I wasn't in the mood to stay out.  My guy was sooo excited to be out, but it was certainly looking like a certain Golden Arch restaurant was the most hopping place.  My poor guy looked a little sad, so I suggested we turn off the road to a place called Flannery's that had a "Bar" sign sticking out.

Honestly, I didn't even take a picture because I thought it would be a bust for the night.  I was so, so wrong!


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First off, my man was hungry, so he ordered a roast beef sandwich along with his beer.  It was possibly the best sandwich of the trip.  Then, one guy saw us taking pictures and told us that I could take a picture of my guy behind the bar.  I was immediately wary, because my purse was hanging on the hook under the bar, and I didn't want to leave it.  He even interrupted the bartender to take a picture of the both of us with the taps, but the whole time I was wondering why everyone was being so nice to the obvious tourists.


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Then, the guy introduced himself as "Little Mikey" and asked us our names.  I was suspicious yet again.  Why did he want to know our names?  At this point, my guy started talking to him, and I had an old drunk guy start talking to me VERY closely, whom I couldn't understand.  Awkward.

In the meantime, my guy was talking about how he had wanted to find a bar with music and that he was a bit disappointed.  Mikey referred us to another bar, and then asked the bartenders where we should go for live music.

What???  In what world would an employee direct their customers to another establishment?  Well, apparently in Ireland!  They bickered about the best place for us to go next, and then settled on a recommendation.  How funny!

Then, Mikey called us a cab and wrote down his phone number so we could get a hold of him afterwards.  He walked us out to the cab, so I was still a bit wary.  I should have known better by now, but the fact that everyone was so nice was definitely a 180 from things at home!

Then, we got to Dolan's!




There were two musicians, one older guy watching them, and a few patrons scattered about.  All of them were obviously locals.  I was sure that the music would be wrapping up because it was almost 10pm, but I was wrong again!


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The guy on the left is also in a bluegrass band, called Banjaxed!


Lucky for us, the musicians were really awesome and played for at least an hour longer!  Coincidentally, there was a music program about Irish music that featured Dolan's, so everyone watched the TV for a couple minutes during that section, and then we went back to the live music.

At the end of the night, the musicians told us that they were happy to have us there listening because it had been a slow night before we came in.

Definitely one of my favorite days of the trip!




Day 4 (Monday, 4/22)

  • Sights: Bunratty Castle, Cliffs of Moher
  • Eats: The Creamery, The Pie Maker
  • Drinks: Taaffe's


After leaving Limerick, we took a peek at King John's Castle, which is still under restoration, but it looks like it's going to be awesome!

Then, we headed to Bunratty Castle.




It reminded me a bit of Disneyland with the map and the paths and the little homes that they set up to mimic traditional homes.




For lunch, we stopped at The Creamery.




Lamb stew please!




Then, we had a long drive to the Cliffs of Moher.  IT WAS WINDY!  I mean, I felt like I was going to be blown away a couple of times.  Whew!





It was so beautiful and even with the insane wind, the steep cliffs were amazing!  I was not like one of those crazies who got to the edge of the rocky parts, however.  There was a nice buffer distance between the edge and the two of us because I wanted both of us coming back.  Eek!

Then we headed over to Galway to our accommodations for the night.  First, we sorted out the ferry to the Aran Islands the next day, and then hit the town.

For dinner, we stopped at The Pie Maker.




Ever since "Pushing Daisies," when I hear The Pie Maker, I immediately think of Ned from the show.  I LOOOVED that show.  :)

I got a roast beef pie with mashed potatoes and snap peas, which I started to attack before I took a photo.  Oops!


Travel Diaries: Ireland - Part 2 on Diane's Vintage Zest


Then, we had an amazing strawberry rhubarb pie.  It's my guy's favorite flavor, so he was extra happy!  There was a big rush before us, so they were out of real silverware.  No problem, because we would have eaten it with our hands if necessary.  :)




The sweet pies were small, so we ordered another Banoffee pie.  I never understood the allure of Banoffee until this pie.  It's a good thing I don't live in Galway or else I'd be here every day.




Afterwards, we headed to Taaffe's, which had music in it.  Honestly, it was louder and more lively in the bar, but the music from the night before totally beat it.  We did talk to a nice American couple on their honeymoon who was driving around Ireland like us.  They had already lost a side mirror, so I crossed my fingers extra hard that the car and us would come back in one piece!




Day 5 (Tuesday, 4/23)

  • Sights: Aran Islands (Seven Churches, Dun Aonghasa)
  • Eats: Martine's, Kettle of Fish
  • Drinks: The American Bar


The next day, we went to the Aran Islands by ferry.  Honestly, I don't have many pictures from here because we took a tandem bike around Inishmore and you know my track record with bicycles by now.

The rocky beaches were absolutely beautiful!




These pictures are from Seven Churches, which was composed the ruins from seven churches.  Just on the other side of this picture was the ocean!




Of course, we stopped at Dun Aonghasa fort, which was completely amazing!  I actually touched the edge of the cliff this time.  Ballsy!  We took out our sandwiches and had a mini-picnic.  Fun!




Then we got lost.  And I mean really lost.  Yes, it's only a 9 mile x 2.5 mile island, but we ended up on some rocky, rocky roads that couldn't have been meant for bikes.  It was crazy!  I'm guessing it's because we took the low road instead of the high road first, but it seemed like we were constantly biking uphill.  Ugh!  It was just miserable, and now I was promised that I never have to take another bike tour again.  Thanks honey!

At the end of the day, my guy needed a beer and I almost needed one too!  He stopped at The American Bar, which was right near the dock.  We took a peek at some Aran sweaters, originally from these islands!




After arriving back, we walked around to find a place to eat dinner.  At first, we wanted to go back to The Pie Maker, but we knew that it would be better for us to try somewhere new.  We settled on Martine's Restaurant, which had a pretty good prix fixe menu.




They're a bit messy looking, but I kind of like these wine bottle candle holders.  :)




I started with a salmon cake.




He had a salad with goat cheese and pomegranate seeds.




Then, he had a nice big steak as his entree.




I had a lasagna, which seems strange to order in Ireland, but it was delish!




And for dessert, we popped around the corner to Kettle of Fish, which was next door to The Pie Maker for a fried Mars Bar.  It was so good, I am craving it right now!!!




With tired legs and full stomachs, we skipped the nightlife so we could rest a bit.




Day 6 (Monday, 4/24)

  • Sights: Eyre Square, Church of Saint Nicholas, Spanish Arch, Galway City Museum
  • Eats: Sheridan's Cheesemongers, Gourmet Tart Co.
  • Drinks: Sean's Bar


The next day, we packed up and started on our way around town.  First, we stopped at Eyre Square, the main park in the middle of town.  After reading a little about it, we headed to the Church of Saint Nicholas.  It's a terrible picture, but it's hard to get a good picture since the streets are so small and it's impossible to get the whole building in frame!




There was a cheesemonger directly across from the church, so we stopped in!




There were also meats for sale...




...but we were interested in the cheese!  We bought a sharp cheddar (Irish, of course) and some crackers as a snack.




Then, we went to the Spanish Arch, part of the original city walls.




The river flows quickly through this part of the town, just next to the Spanish Arch.




Then, we went through the City Museum and saw the statue of Pádraic Ó Conaire as well as old artifacts found in Galway throughout the years.

Afterwards, we headed back home to pack up and drive the last leg of our journey before Dublin.

On the way, we passed by a tart shop that I had spied the day before.




Cute mini tarts!  I thought we might get 3 tarts, but the guy said we should get 2 apiece.  Great!  Then, the girl told us that we could get 6 for the price of 5.  Why not?  My guy tells me that my eyes are bigger than my stomach, but at this point, they're kinda even.  :)




On the drive out of Galway, we enjoyed the first two tarts.  Creamy Lemon and Plum & Roasted Hazelnut.  The lemon was sooo good!




On the way to Dublin, we stopped for a bit at Sean's Bar, the oldest bar in Ireland dated from 900 A.D.




It was early in the afternoon, so it was just us and the bartender.  He gave us a tour of the place, chatted with us, and was generally a nice guy.




I couldn't pass up a chance to take a picture of the Ladies Room sign.  :)




And on we continued to Dublin, with a couple of tarts to accompany us for the ride.  :)




*Update: Continue with me on my journey to Dublin here!*




6 comments:

  1. So beautiful! I cant wait to get over there and visit my family and friends!

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  2. It really is! Even the colors of the blue sky and green grass are amazing. :)

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  3. Wow! Gorgeous! The food look divine!

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  4. I was really surprised at how much I liked the food! All the restaurants definitely broke the stereotype of not-so-good food in the UK. :)

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  5. Awesome! I so want to go to Ireland! Thanks for sharing your trip with us!

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  6. <--Is jealous!! I want to go to Ireland. I will just live it through you! Thanks for sharing!!

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