Saturday, June 8, 2013

Ireland 2013 – Day 3 – The Cliffs of Moher

I woke with a start, to a gloriously bright sun. We had overslept, and instead of our customary 6 am we were lazily waking up at 8 am! By the time we were done with our ablutions, breakfast, packing, and e-mailing it was good 10:30 am before we got on the road, feeling we had wasted the day away. “Calma, calma” I kept repeating. “We are in vacation.” And to force us to believe this we decided to take a long “morning” walk along Killary Fjord. It was fun and invigorating, and we fell we were alone exploring this magnificent bay (but this was only an illusion, because the fjord is being used for raising fish in long net enclosures).

Once back in the car, we braved the narrow roads of Ireland and actually got lost on our way to Galway, so it got even later. But Annie had requested a stop in downtown Galway because she wanted to buy a very special gold ring, referred to as a Claddagh Ring (pronounce it as klah-dah ring). We navigated successfully to the old center of this medieval town, and Annie engaged in the old art of commerce at Thomas Dillon’s Claddagh Gold, to get straight from the original goldsmith a pretty ring that has two hands cupping a heart, which in turn is covered by a crown. The message is one of eternal friendship, where you offer your heart and crown it to show that this friendship will last forever!

By the time we left Galway it was nearly 4:30 pm, and there seemed little use trying to fit something else in an already moribund day. But we did it anyway, and fast as bolids we worked our way around the limestone plateau of the The Burren, and twisted our way through the mountain path to finally reach the Cliffs of Moher. By the time we got there most people were on their way out, so Annie and I enjoyed in almost total solitude the most magical trail along the crest of 200 m-high cliffs, way above the swirling currents and crashing waves. The afternoon was glorious and balmy, and we very much enjoyed a slowly setting sun.

To finish the day we had a typical Irish dinner at a typical Irish pub, named The Roadside Pub in a town with the impossible name of Lisdoonvarma. The feast included their own brand of stout, a bowl of leek and potato soup, a salad crowned with a crisply breaded goat cheese, and “bacon and cabbage” (a lowly name for delicious pork cottelets, served on top of a mountain of mashed potatoes and a side of steamed cabbage, with the whole creation lavishly covered with a mustard sauce). And to finish a perfect meal what would be better than a slice of rhubarb pie topped with a ball of stout beer ice cream! Mmmm … a heavenly meal.

The hostel we stayed in was in Lisdoonvarma.

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