this bird can sing.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Ireland, Part Four

November 25, 2012

We woke up to a rainy, grey morning in Limerick. Our hotel was serving the full Irish breakfast in buffet form, so we made our way downstairs. Options included eggs, ham, sausage, roasted tomatoes, black and white pudding, cereal, yogurt, breads, pastries, fruit. Just about everything you could imagine for breakfast.

After stuffing ourselves and drinking a lot of tea (coffee for the hubs) we decided to drive up to the Cliffs of Moher. It's about 60km from Limerick. It didn't rain too much, and was misty/sprinkling more than anything. Toward the end of the drive, the roads became more narrow and curvy.

By the time we arrived, the rain had mostly stopped, though it was still pretty dreary and cold. This didn't hamper our spirits or our views.

We walked up and down both sides of the Cliffs, first up to O'Brien's Tower, and then up the other side.

I read on one of the displays at the visitor center that a guy named O'Brien built the tower to impress the ladies visiting for the views.

O'Brien's Tower

It was a little chilly, but we just bundled up and enjoyed our time there. I imagine that it gets pretty crowded in the summer months.

The Atlantic Ocean from the Cliffs of Moher.

The views were really pretty great in all directions.

We saw some people climbing over the barrier and taking pictures on the other side of it. They probably should have heeded this warning.

This is what you don't want to do at the Cliffs of Moher.
After taking our time to enjoy all the views, we made our way to the visitor center. There's a gift shop inside where we bought a few souvenirs, including an Irish penny whistle. When you're in Ireland, right? So far, I do not seem to have inherited any tin whistling ability from my Irish roots. But hey, I'm willing to work on it a little. My cats think I should give it up.

Anyway, when we got back to Limerick, it was pretty much dark. Other than the minimal crowds in the off-season, another bonus is that everything is all decorated for Christmas. 

We walked down to Arthurs Quay, a shopping area on Patrick Street. I then had my first experience in a store called Penneys. Penneys is basically a department store with some amazingly low prices. I'm talking boots for as cheap as €6. I ended up picking up a pair of boots for €10 and a scarf for €3. If transporting our purchases back to the the US wasn't a concern, I probably would have bought a ridiculous amount of items in this store.

We also went into the Tesco at Arthurs Quay. Here, we decided to buy some Irish junk food. We bought Tayto (Irish potato chips) and some various Irish chocolates. We also bought a couple boxes of chocolate covered butter biscuits. I may have eaten these for breakfast for most of our remaining days in Ireland. Don't judge me.

After our shopping trip, we walked to the Locke Bar again on our way back to the hotel. We enjoyed Guinness by the fireplace. The husband complained it was too hot, but I was happy as a clam.

Doesn't this make you happy just looking at it?
After partaking in our Guinness, we walked back to the hotel and had dinner at the Absolute Bar & Grill. I'm not sure if it's because it was a Sunday night or what, but there was no one there. In fact, the restaurant was actually closed, although they were serving the full menu in the bar. 

Regardless, I ordered my first ever Bangers & Mash. From this experience, I'm a fan. We finished off with alcoholic coffees. Who can say no to an Irish coffee or a coffee with Baileys in it?

Stay tuned for Part Five, in which we finally get to County Kerry!

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