On our fifth day of the trip, we took a bus to Doolin, a teensy little village on the west-coast of Ireland. We arrived at our bed and breakfast, Riverdale Farmhouse (above), and our host, Mary, treated us to some warm home-made scones and tea. It was a really nice treat after being out in the chilly, windy, rainy weather.
Before we headed into town, I met the farm’s horse:I went into her pen because she was far away from the gate when I got there. When I approached her, she walked away from me and went back up to the gate where I just came in. I stayed where I was, and she came back over to me, made a “harrumph” sound and swung her head toward the gate (which translated to a very obvious “Come with me, you idiot human.”), and walked back to the gate.
I figured out that she was saying, “The only use I have for you is to be fed by you, so get back out to the other side of the gate and feed me the grass that I can’t reach. You dummy.”
So I followed my instructions, and she allowed me to pet her once in a while in between fist-fulls of the nicest grass I could find.
“*Sigh* There better be some grass in your hand when I look back.”
After I had fed the horse every single blade of grass I could find, we took the 20 minute walk into town.
There’s this type of rose there, Sanders’ White Climbing Rose, that smells like the best smell on earth.
We continued into town, where I overheard a visitor’s center clerk complaining about a group of male travelers who couldn’t figure out their lives. “When men travel without women, it doesn’t work.”
After walking for a while, we stopped for a rest at the Doolin Hostel, and had a treat.
After our treat, we continued through town, and checked out the shops.
We kept going, and reached the coast, where we could see the Cliffs of Moher.
We were seated at a perfect table just in front of the musicians, but we had to share the table with whomever needed a spot. We ended up with a really nice French family, with whom I had a fun half-French half-English conversation.
After the family left, an older American gentleman sat in the seat next to mine, and shared life wisdom with me. Things like, “Invest in mutual funds.” “Get married before you’re 30” (Oops!) and “Don’t blow your money on a new car and a fancy coffee every day.”
In the morning the next day, we had a delicious breakfast (poached eggs, toast, warm scones, and tea) at the farmhouse, and Mary drove us to the bus stop in town.
While on the bus to Ennis, we overheard a man who was perturbed that he hadn’t been picked up at his usual stop (which wasn’t an official stop). When the driver asked him how long he’s been using that stop, he said, “I’ve been standin’ there my whole life!” “Have they been lettin’ ye on there yer whole life?” Angry Irish men 🙂
Anyway, we arrived in Ennis, and checked into our lodging, The Rowan Tree Hostel (an excellent hostel):
After checking in, I set out on my own to check out the town. Not five minutes into my walk, two tourist guys stopped me to ask if I knew a good place for dinner. Umm…I just got here. It was a theme throughout the trip that people kept asking me for directions. 10 people in total! Apparently I look like a friendly, approachable, knowledgeable local. 🙂
After checking out the shops in town, I met Aunt Lyn at the hostel for some bruschetta at the Rowan Tree Hostel Cafe, which had beautiful Rowan wood floors dated from 1740.
Then we checked out the Ennis Friary, which was originally built in the 13th century.
After shopping a bit in town, we had dinner at Brogan’s Bar and Restaurant (which stops serving food at 6..???), and who promised to have good live traditional music.
The musicians were good (I suppose? I really don’t know), but they didn’t know one another, and they didn’t seem very seasoned (they would just chat with each other between tunes and talk through what they should play next).
And there was no singing.
We got to do laundry at the hostel, and putting on all three of my sweaters warm from the dryer was one my highlights of the trip. jk
Next up, England!