Saturday, October 13, 2012

Ireland- Day 5- Coopershill to Galway, Moran's Oyster House, Kinvara, Ballyvaughn & Fanore

While I've spent a lot of time in the car today, it hasn't been all bad. Having packed up my stuff the night before, it was relatively easy to get myself together this morning and leave Coopershill. Two days wasn't really enough, but I think had I gotten an earlier start on Thursday, it likely would have been. I was more than excited to head to Galway to see Robin and meet up with Katie. So that too made it easier to leave.

The drive to Galway was rather uneventful, which is always a good thing. I picked up Robin and off we went to get a proper meal at Moran's Oyster Cottage- one of my favorite places to eat in Ireland. Initially, Robin and I had plans to drive down to Adare, but we opted to stick along the coast, and closer to Galway because it was gorgeous out.

After a lovely meal at Morans, we headed down to Kinvara. It's a pretty seaside town that I've driven through many times, but never gotten out and walked around in. It's one of Robin's favorite places in Ireland, so I was more than happy to get out and see the storefronts and shops. Like most small towns in Ireland, it was colorful and quaint. It didn't take long to get there, so off we went down toward Fanore.

I'd heard about Fanore from a friend's sister who traveled in Ireland last year. She had recommended, specifically, the only pub in town, O'Donohue's. Without really knowing what we were getting ourselves into, Robin and I set off toward Fanore.

I'm so glad that we did. It was a new place for me to visit in Ireland and also some place Robin had never been to. Additionally, it was a gorgeous sunny day and driving right along the ocean was beautiful and peaceful and scenic. I stopped countless times to take photos. We had the ocean on one side and the Burren on another. It was just breathtaking. At one point, we saw something that looked like sheep off in the distance, but seemed way too white to be sheep. From a distance, I thought maybe they were alpacas or llamas, but when we got closer, Robin thought they were sheared sheep. We had a good laugh at that and as I pulled myself together I said "They can't be sheep, look at their necks!" Turns out they were alpacas, but who knew they were in Ireland?!

We made it to Fanore and found O'Donohue's without a problem. It's one of two buildings in "town" and is a bright blue pub. We walked inside only to find out it wasn't technically open. The open sign posted out front was a little confusing. But Pat, the owner, assured us if we were okay watching him clean around us, we were welcome to have a pint. It was a great stop from the long drive down and especially before heading back up to Galway.

On the drive back, we stopped in Ballyvaughn and got out to walk around and take more pictures, before heading back up to Galway. Not sure how we'd feel, we ventured out before changing our minds and grabbed a few beers at the Salt House, a pub just about a five minute walk from Robin's place. I tried my first Galway Hooker (a beer, relax!) and loved catching up more with Robin and getting to know her boyfriend Jim.

It's been a long and exhausting day. But it was filled with so much beauty and lots of wonderful conversation with Robin. I really enjoy spending time with her. We rarely see each other at all, but whenever we do, it's as if no time at all has passed.

Tomorrow, Katie comes and we'll explore the Galway area!


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