Friday, October 29, 2010

Ireland- Day 3: Galway --> Doolin

One thing Amy and I actually did discuss and semi-plan was that we'd rent a car for a day and do an overnight trip somewhere south of Galway along the west coast (my favorite one). So after getting what felt like one million hours of sleep (which in non-dramatic people terms translates to nearly 12 hours), Amy and I slowly made our way to Eyre Square (pronounced Air) to see if we could get a rental car.

When I tried to book online that morning, or was it the night before, the search results returned in sad red text telling us we needed to call the rental office directly to check on availability. Sad.

O for spontaneous plans and 1 for the planners (not us in this situation).

We were not deterred, walked into Budget and about 20 minutes later we dropped a pretty euro and were on our way to pick up our adorable little Nissan around the corner. I comfortably eased into the driver seat (on the passenger's side of the car) and off we went for parts unknown. Sort of.

For a few years now, I've heard about a restaurant near Galway called Moran's. I wasn't sure exactly where it was. And since I of course didn't have any sort of a travel book with me, I couldn't get us there. But as luck would have it, as we were headed south toward Lisdoonvarna, we saw a sign for Moran's and followed it until we ended up right outside the restaurant.

We went inside and proceeded to eat one of the best meals of my life.

Baked garlic oysters and mussels, goat cheese salad, mashed potatoes, brown bread, Guinness, wine...I mean, honestly.

And here I am trying my first oyster ever. Let's be honest, this thing is just a vehicle for all the butter, garlic and breadcrumbs. If all oysters looked and tasted like that, I'd eat 'em all day long!

We waddled outta there and continued to head south. I'd driven this part of Ireland a few times. I could specifically remember a part of the road where it zig zags up a hill. But Amy and I were rewarded a few different times with really beautiful shots like these:

It never gets old.

Speaking of never getting old...Amy and I decided at the last minute, dictated by the amazing shades of colors in the sky, to go to the Cliffs of Moher and watch the sun set. I've been to the Cliffs every time I've been to Ireland, but never at sunset. So off we went and were treated with a spectacular view- one I was so grateful to have seen. Check it out yourself:

As you can see in the last shot, a storm was headed our way. We were so busy snapping shots of the Cliffs that we didn't even notice until the skies opened up and it started pouring. We ran back to the car and decided to take a short cut but got stuck at a dead end into the building, which was locked and closed since it was well after hours. We hopped over the fence and then ran down the little path (created by other rebels just like ourselves). I felt my feet start to fall out from under me, but was able to steady myself, exhale loudly, and then whoooosh, I fell flat on my backside and continued to slide down the muddy path for a few seconds before I could finally stop myself.

How Amy didn't wet her pants laughing I'll never know. But I got up, leaving my dignity on the muddy path, and attempted to cooly walk back to the car. I was thankful for a few things:

1. I was wearing brown pants so the mud seemed to blend in a little better than it would have.
2. I had exactly one change of pants I brought with me for the overnight that I could change into.
3. There really weren't that many people around to witness it and not a single person gave me shit- including Amy.

I made myself feel better by going back to Doolin and having another great meal and a pint of Guinness.

After deciding we'd stay there for the night, we thought it'd be a good idea to find somewhere to sleep. Of course we hadn't figured that part out yet. But Amy went up to the bartender and asked for a recommendation. An hour later we were at a beautiful B&B with Laura Ashely sheets and a brand new shower. It felt like heaven. And a place Me Mum would have absolutely loved and approved of.

Although we were steps away from some of the best traditional music in Ireland, we decided to call it an early night!


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