Touring the Wild Atlantic Way in Ireland

5 06 2016

Sunday, June 5, 2016

We are starting to think Ireland is in the middle of the “Great June Drought of 2016.”  It is another bright sunny day here in Clifden and we wake up refreshed in the Napoleon Room of the Quay House.  Breakfast is served downstairs from 8:30-10 and since we didn’t wake until 9:00 we need to get moving.

The breakfast room is beautiful and set up with a delicious buffet of fresh fruit crumble, super fresh yogurt, museli, cereals, pastries and Rhubarb!  The stewed rhubarb is outstanding especially when paired with the yogurt.  I am definitely digging this.  We are presented with coffee and a wonderful menu of other special items that we may choose.  Rich wants the Haddock and Poached Egg while I go way out on a limb and order the Dish of Local Oysters.  Yes.  Oysters are for breakfast.

We have a hard time tearing ourselves away, but want to hit the road to explore the area by car.  We are planning to take the Sky Road around the coast and then skirt the Connemara National Park and go through the Doolough Pass.  Should be some lovely countryside.

If you would like to see our route, click HERE!

Many photos and not much verbage to follow.

First the awesome Sky Road:

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Kylemore Abbey Victorian Walled Gardens are our first stop:

A brief respite at the Kylemore Tea House for tea and scones:

On to the actual Abbey (you can only visit a few rooms because the nuns use most of them now).

One silly selfie:

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Onward through the countryside:

I was concerned that we weren’t going to see the ubiquitous “sheep in the road” but I shouldn’t have worried. They were everywhere – especially around blind corners.  Rich did a great job of driving on the 2-way one lane country roads! I did pretty, pretty good on the navigating as well.

The entire drive was unbelievably beautiful.  We stopped at many vistas to see lakes (loughs), mountains, streams, sheeps and wildflowers.  We were so happy that the day was sunny and clear and we realize how lucky that was.

By the time we returned to Clifden it was already approaching 8:00 and we were concerned that it might be difficult to rustle up dinner that late on a Sunday night.  Paddy had suggested we go to Humpty’s for lobster, but I had my eye on Mannion’s pub.  We decided to stop at Mannion’s for a pint and to discuss it.

We got a great seat at the bar at Mannion’s where Rich had another Guiness and I had an almost hoppy brew (don’t remember the name).  There was also a great group of oldster musicians playing Trad music and we had prime seats for listening.

Since it was late, Rich wandered over to Humpty’s to see if we could pop in – no problem – kitchen is open until 9. After we finished up our beers we went across the street to Humpty’s and sat at the bar.  Evidently we picked the section of the bar that was being served by the “not so nice” bartender. (the one Rich had talked to was very friendly).  Ah well, by now we are starving and are ready to order.  We are sadly informed that they are completely out of the lobster… Ok – we will share a Seafood Chowder and an order of Sausages and Mash.

We wait.  We are hungry.  We wait.  The vibe is not good.  We wait.  We are hungry.  Finally, after a good 45 minutes we tell our barman that we just want to pay for the beer and leave. He doesn’t hesitate to comp our beer and send us on our way – no apologies, no nuthin.’ Quite strange.

Ok.  Now what do we do?  It is almost 9:30.  Non of the pubs are serving food this late on Sunday. We checked several and were disappointed.  We are hungry.  Wait…

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The neon sign is flashing “OPEN.”  They serve until 10.  We are hungry. This place is a bit weird inside.  One waiter; one huge table with an Indian family, a couple more tables of people eating; the rest empty and then us.  The waiter finally shows us to a table and the menu looks pretty good.

Rich orders the Chicken Curry, Lamb Saag for me and an order of Naan to share.  Well, folks, I hate to admit it but the food was excellent! We ate every bit and roomed around the Naan to get every last drop of our sauces.  You never know.

What a fantastic day on the “Wild Atlantic Coast” of Ireland.  It surely can’t get any better than this.  We need to sleep fast because we are catching an early puddle jumper plane in the morning to head out to one of the remote Aran Islands. (That is if we can manage to navigate to the tiny Connemara Airport!) Wish us luck.

 

 

 

 

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