The Beginning of the End
Trip Start Sep 10, 2009
29Trip End Oct 10, 2009
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Where I stayed
I woke up early to watch the dawn come to Dingle. The glass-like water in the harbor reflected the red and green lights of the buoys, and the mountains were just starting to get a bit of shimmer from the rising sun. It had rained sometime during the night, so everything was fresh and clean.
We ate breakfast with the Swansons and told them how to get to “our” beach, then said good-bye to everyone and got in the car. We stopped at the information center and bought a print of Slea Head that shows the beach before we left town.
We were both quiet as we drove away, but we do plan to go back and stay for a while. Dingle is our little piece of heaven on earth.
We stopped at Inch Beach near the other end of the peninsula and walked for a while. The most beautiful little shells were there, but they were too fragile to pick up and take with us. We just enjoyed looking at them and marveling at the different colors they had. Two tour buses pulled into the car park, so we took that as our signal to leave.
Our drive to Bunratty, our “home” for the next two nights was relatively easy and on good roads. We stopped in Adare, which is called the “prettiest town in Ireland” because of its thatched roof cottages. The cottages are now shops and restaurants, so we planned to eat lunch there. First, though, we stopped at the heritage center to get maps and information. We walked into the shops and found a beautiful sweater for John and a lightweight jacket as well.
We had lunch at the Blue Door Cottage, which did indeed have a blue door. The tomato basil soup was fantastic, and John had his ham and cheese sandwich. We walked around a bit and then drove to Adare Castle, which we really wanted to see. The gates were closed, however, because tours ended in September. John was able to get a picture, but we were a bit disappointed that we couldn’t get in
We drove through Limerick Town, which doesn’t have a nice reputation, but we found it to be a clean and very busy place. Traffic was a little bit heavy, but we were soon out on the highway taking us to Bunratty.
We found our b&b with no trouble. It’s a lovely country home a few minutes away from the little village. We have a view of the Shannon River as well as sheep and cows out our bedroom window. Our hostess, Dreiana, is friendly and hospitable. She and her husband, Barry have a nineteen month-old boy named Colm who is adorable.
I had arranged to have Dreiana book us into the Trad Night at the Corn Barn of the Bunratty Folk Park for tonight. We attended the medieval banquet in the castle five years ago and really enjoyed it. I thought the trad night would be fun as well.
We arrived early and were able to walk around the park a bit although all the exhibits were closed. The corn barn finally opened and we were shown to our seats after getting a welcome drink of our choice. The options were Irish cream or mead (honey wine), and we both chose the Irish cream
Our server introduced himself as Eddie, and we soon found out that all the servers were also the performers. Eddie was the emcee, so to speak, and there were two female dancers, a male dancer who also played the bodhran (drum), a singer, and the musicians (violin, guitar, and accordion). Our meal consisted of salad, Irish stew, and dessert was apple pie and cream. Pitchers of wine were on the table, and we enjoyed them. Between courses we were entertained with song, dance and stories. At one point we all sang “The Wild Rover” and it was a lot of fun. It was the perfect way to end our stay.
Back at the b&b, we’re wrestling with the luggage, and have decided to wait until tomorrow to get it all sorted out. How could we possibly have so much stuff?