Shouting into the Storm Rantings, ramblings, observations and musings from the insipid to the sublime

The Burren/Bunratty - Day 8

Wednesday, May 17, 2006 :::
Sitting here using free Internet at the Shannon airport. You hear that, US companies? That's the sound of Europe eating your lunch.

Our last night in Doolin was just about as perfect as you could imagine. We had dinner at the Doolin Cafe, listening to great music on the cd player. It was nice to not eat pub grub for a night. Afterwards, we went down to the pier and walked along the rocks and talked to the cows. We even stopped to take a few pictures of the Doolin pitch-n-put. For a course full of 50 yard holes, with the winds off the ocean and the rolling hills, it looks tough. Our pub of the the night was McGaan's, and it was far and away the best of the trip. Tremendous music, and great singing by the bar owner. We escaped with out anyone dropping beer on us, which is even better.

The next morning, we took the long way around to Bunratty. We drove along the Coast Road along the edge of the Burren. At one point, the road was barely 2 cars wide, with only a stone wall between us and a plunge into the icy Atlantic. Did I love it? You betcha. Saw lots of ruins while meandering down to Ennis. Lovely little town, and a nice place to just stroll. Lunch in a pub a spot of tea, then off to the old Abbey and cathedral in the middle of town. From there, it was barely a half our to Bunratty and our hotel for the evening. I was particularly pleased that they have a small vessel of sherry in the room. A wonderful way to start the wrapup part of the trip.

Our big splurge for the trip was dinner the last night. Dromoland Castle is the perfect example of a renovated, high-end castle. Acres upon acres of land, all groomed to what the Lords and Ladies of the day would have had. The British may have totally f'd over the Irish, but they sure had style. Unfortunately, it was more style than Marissa and I could handle. We felt very out of place, what with all the 18th century paintings on the wall and all that. I give the staff at the castle and the restaurant a ton of credit. They treated us like all of the old white folk that were there for the evening. The somalier was particularly friendly and helpful. Apparently he studied in Austria how to taste and recommend wines. Good gig. Dinner was appropriately fantastic. Poached lobster for me, steak for Marissa, and killer desserts for both of us. Plus a very strong Irish coffee to wrap it all up.

And with that, we grabbed a pint back at the hotel, and called it a night. Perfect end to a perfect trip.

::: posted by Chris at 10:08 AM

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