Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Road trip through Ireland Part 4: From Limerick to Galway

Once we left Cork, everything started to get a little better again. After the Crag Cave we drove on to Limerick, a charming little town in the West of Ireland.

When we arrived at the hotel, a wedding reception was in full swing in the bar and most of the lobby. We made our way up to our room, which smelled badly of smoke. We went back down to complain and we had to wait for about 10 minutes among all the loud, drunken wedding guests until we were given the keys to another room.

I'm happy to say that this new room smelled just fine (for as far as hotel rooms can smell nice). We were pretty tired from being on the road all day, so we decided to stay in our hotel room that night and we ordered some room service.

We were glad we stayed in because in the early evening there was a ridiculous amount of rain.

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Rain, rain, rain

The next day we explored the city of Limerick, which wasn't very big and not half as exciting as all the brochures made out. It was a nice, kind of pretty town though, just a little disappointing.

It was a Sunday we were there and everything was closed, including the Tourist information place (the shops did open in the afternoon). We decided to visit the Milk Market, which was very disappointing. We thought it'd be this big, lively market, instead we only found a handful of stalls there.

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Milk Market

Needless to say, it was rather boring. We decided to have a walk around the city, which was nice enough. It looked real pretty along the waterside and the sun was even shining!

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Limerick prettiness

The highlight for me was the Wild geese monument, a monument to honour those who served during the Irish resistance (or something), but I just thought it was cool there was a statue consisting of flying geese.

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Wild geese monument

I almost forgot, but even greater than the Wild geese monument was the coffee at the Spar across from our hotel. Hot, black, strong, and lots of it!

Heidi also wanted to see the Greyhound tracks, and since it's one of those things you hear about, but we don't really have over here, it sounded like a great place to visit. Wrong.

Or at least we'll never find out whether it's exciting, as when we finally found it, it looked liked it had been closed down for some time already.

We continued to walk through Limerick, looking for a way to get back to the city centre. The streets were almost deserted, but those we came across didn't seem too friendly, especially one man standing in the doorway who was just blatantly staring at us.

I guess we shouldn't complain though, because we spend most of our road trip walking hand in hand, and even though we got a few more glances and stares than usual, no one seemed to care all that much.

I didn't think it would be a problem, but Ireland being such a religious country I wasn't sure what to expect. Yay Irish!

That night was the final match of the soccer World Championships, and seeing Heidi is better at being proud to be Dutch than me, she insisted we watch the game.

We went for some food at the Wok king first, which was very disappointing. Luckily we still had some nice crisps to eat while watching the game.

Or more correctly, Heidi watched the game and I glanced at the screen now and again. Oh well, maybe I'll learn to be better at being chauvinistic some day.

Like in most hotels, our room was at the end of the hallway. In Limerick they had a crazy amount of doors from the lift to our room. I'm all for fire safety, but 7 (!) doors seemed a bit excessive.

The next day it was time to go to our last destination, Galway. The weather was once again nice, and not at all autumn-like.

Ierland 2010 - 0839Before we went there we went to visit the Cliffs of Moher, which was so incredibly pretty I don't have words to describe it. So just look at the pictures instead, although I have to say they really don't do it justice.

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Cliffs of Moher

Even though things were already pretty great there, Heidi got even more excited when she got to eat some ice cream, complete with sprinkles. I loved how the ice cream lady responded when I asked for the sprinkles: "Yes, one would be crazy not to!"

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Unfortunately, the nice weather wouldn't last, and just as we were about to leave it started pouring down. We continued our trip to Galway in the rain, stopping at another cave along the way.

This time it wasn't as commercial, and in fact there were so few people there, we got a tour with just us and two other people.

We had to wear hardhats and then had to walk many, many flights of stairs down into the cave. The hardhats were not, as I first thought, to prevent stuff from falling on our heads, but because the ceilings were all very low. I am proud to say I only hit my head a couple of times!

Ierland 2010 - 1006 Ierland 2010 - 1007 It might've been a lot of steps down, it felt like twice as many going back up. Of course we didn't want to show in how bad shape we were and just continued walking. Then we did have to sit down for a few minutes to get our energy back.

Back we went in our car, through the rain, on our way to Galway.

Ierland 2010 - 1035Despite the bad weather, we enjoyed the pretty scenery we drove through, including the Burren, which you can see below.

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The Burren

Next time I'll tell you about our final 2 days in Ireland. You can read previous parts here.

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