I hate wearin’ sunglasses, to be honest with you. You don’t need sunglasses in Ireland. – Tristan MacManus
After our Londin-ish interlude, we returned to Heathrow for our flight to Ireland. Our trip from hotel to airport was a breeze and we flew through the check-in process. Check in and security is similar to the USA, but, I think, a bit more efficient at Heathrow.
My sister Laura and her husband Gail caught up to us at Heathrow and then all four of us flew to Cork, Ireland together. The flight to Cork was quick and we were excited (and relieved) to see our bags arrive on the baggage carousel. (Those of you who traveled with us to Ireland in 2014 might remember that due to missed connections, our bags were lost for a few days at the beginning of that trip.)
After picking up the rental car, our next task was to see if we could make it all the way to our friend Yvonne’s house without having to call her for a rescue. She lives off the beaten path about 1 ½ hours from Cork. I don’t think the GPS took us there using the most efficient route and the weather was terrible (windy and pouring rain).
In spite of everything being against us we did, in fact, make it all the way to her front door.
The rainy view of Yvonne’s driveway from the dining room.
After unloading and settling down a bit, we took off to a nearby village called Ballydehob for dinner. We dined at Antonio’s, an Italian restaurant.
Yvonne told us that the chef at Antonio’s is actually from Italy. All of us enjoyed an excellent dinner. Laura ordered the Calzone and was really surprised to see how big it was when it arrived.
She said it was one of the best Calzone’s she’d ever had. The rest of us had various pasta dishes and there wasn’t a complaint in the group.
The next day, we left Yvonne’s to drive to Galway, which was supposed to be about 3.5 hours away. I guess that’s the optimistic estimate. The day was still rainy and windy and the GPS took us on a very “cross country” route. Somehow we ended up being in the car for almost 7 hours including our stops! Poor Mike was such a trooper doing all that driving.
By the time we arrived in Galway, it was rush hour there. We dropped Laura and Gail off in front of the hotel, and then tried to find the parking garage that the hotel uses for guest parking. Somehow I got the name of the garage and location wrong and it took us sitting in a traffic jam, just blocks away from the hotel, for about 45 minutes before I figured it out.
Let’s just say that we all needed a little attitude adjustment that night!
Our hotel, The Victoria, was suggested to me by a friend, Seamus, who is originally from Ireland and leads an annual tour there once a year. It was a nice hotel in a great location. This would be headquarters for the next several days.
The hotel was about one block from Eyre Square which seemed to be quite lively. Eyre Square is also known as John F. Kennedy Memorial Square. President Kennedy visited Galway in 1963.
Dinner (plus attitude adjustment) was at the Skeffington Arms hotel located a short walk away on one side of the square. The restaurant and bar area looks like they haven’t changed a thing in 100 years. It was great.
We all had a good dinner and decided that if the weather was better in the morning, we’d head for the Cliffs of Moher.