Friday, July 10, 2009

Tursday - The Cliffs of Mohr

This morning Tursday - not Thursday - we took it easy – Irish breakfast of eggs, sausage, bacon, toast, croissants. Again we sat next to the only other residents of the hotel – a lovely Irish family with tree children – 2, 4, and 6. The two year old had strawberry blond hair and was so cute. Speaking of strawberries, yesterday we bought a small basket of Wexlow strawberries for the princely amount of E7. At the current exchange rate, that’s a lot of Euros.

We didn’t leave until 1:00. Turns out it’s not such a long way to Tipperary. We stopped at a bakery in Tipperary for crunchy bread and sweets, Irish butter, salami, and turkey at the market and we had ourselves a feast in the car trying to figure out the way to Limerick. Passing thru Ballysimon. On the way from Tipperary to limerick, and so begins another day of road travel for our dynamic wild boomer women duo.

Now that we’ve both had a day behind the wheel, today with Janice at the helm, it is much smoother and so far no peeing in pants because of something that happened whilst driving incorrectly and scaring the pee out of the passenger. Except – once again, Janice did hit the windshield wipers instead of the turn signal, something she did about 150 times the day before yesterday. Sue, on the other hand, only hit it wrong twice, however, she did take out a curb or two or tree not to be confused with an actual tree.

We got directions to Limerick (or at least we tried). Again, the Irish have an interesting way of giving directions. There is no straight way since there are so many round abouts, but they direct you to go straight, this time keeping the Golden Vail (a landmark in town) on your right shoulder – however sue was thinking it was her right and made Janice turn left. This is a big city – Limerick is – has shopping malls and everything. Very busy town – the arrows on the road were put there for Janice.

On the way to the cliffs of mohr – since the garmon bitch broke (our name of affection for our horrible GPS) about an hour into our trip the first day, we’ve been winging it, which is why we’ve seen so much of this countryside. Roundabouts – what can we say about them except they are frequent and plenty – just arrived in county Claire. Now Shannon town. We keep driving and driving but again, with no road signage we are just keeping faith that we will eventually arrive at the Cliffs before it’s too dark – and Rick Steves said they close at 6:30 or half 6 as the Irish say. We finally do make it up and find it’s open till half nine.

And so we begin the climb. First we go to the right because we see a small castle of sorts. A hefty climb and then we are there – so beautiful – we climb up to the top of the castle up very steep, very thin circular staircase, then pay 2 Euros for going up but the view is amazing – it’s the highest point at the Cliffs. Janice finds her family crest, the Mullalys, and purchases it for 20 euros. No Barenholtz, Dubrinsky or Krohns – guess they didn’t have too many Irish Jews back in the day, as there are only about 1,000 in the whole country today.

Next we go to the left which is very long and we climb. This is amazingly beautiful. One wrong step and you are down hundreds of feet. The water in the N. Atlantic is a beautiful emerald green with the waves crashing up against the cliffs. Again, too beautiful for words, you just have to see the pictures which don’t do it justice, so you must go to Ireland to see these sites.

Left the Cliffs at half 7 and our priority for this night was an internet connection since we haven’t had one for two nights. Laundry is getting higher on the priority list. We find a wonderful place with a full spa with over 30 treatments, the Falls Hotel in Ennisymon County Clare. It has a lovely sitting porch and tables and chairs in the gardens below. It is the busiest place we’ve stayed in Ireland so far. They told us it was $75 per person and when I asked if that was the lowest price, she said $55 was the lowest she could go, so we were in. The room was newly updated in our favorite color – purple with green accents. Very contemporary and very comfortable beds. We headed down for dinner – we keep getting to places just as they are ready to stop serving – 9pm, but we got to order. The restaurant was high above overlooking a waterfall that leads into a stream and more waterfalls with cranes and burros walking amongst the guests. At the highest point was the remains of a castle. These remains are usually part of cemeteries, which this was too.

Janice opened the packet of katshup with her teeth and it squirted on her face. Another episode of riotous laughter, but Sue was wearing her Depends this time. The entertainment for the evening was about to start and we were looking forward to it. It turned out to be one man who played canned music and sang, the worst singer alive. He must have thought he was a cowboy of sorts and sang only the worst country/western music – all to the same beat and mostly the same tune. Sue couldn’t take much more and urged Janice to eat up quick. One of the best meals in the country so far. They are not known for their food.

Then we headed to town to have another pub experience, however we were disappointed again. The street we parked on had two pubs and lots of cars. We went into the noisiest one, hoping for fun. Instead the back area was filled with people celebrating a birthday. We had a drink at the bar but no one was up to talking with us, so we went to the next bar – walked in and everyone looked up at us – they were all at the bar - all elderly gentleman and one very trendy lady at the end of the bar with her younger guy. They too, were not very friendly. Sue had another shot and we went back to the hotel.

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