Friday, July 11, 2008

Putting the cart before the horse (part 2)

I told you there would be more!

In Doolin we noticed a lot of hokey Irish souvenirs playing up the sheep as an iconic symbol of Ireland. They were cute and all, but gosh, we saw 100x more cows than sheep. Maybe after one too many Guinness the sheep and cows start to blur together.

After the two joyful days in Doolin and the surrounding area, we trekked to Connemara. The region is divided by several mountain ranges (yes Liz they're mountains, not hills :p) and dotted, nee blanketed with sheep. Sheep on either side of the rode and on the rode. Fences seem to be more a suggestion of a boundary than a real indifference, and the sheep's brazen attitude toward oncoming traffic made Canadian Geese look timid. Maybe it's the punk rock inspired spray-painted doos? Regardless, they really are the most striking memory of our journey--well that is if you ignore the bizarre inhospitable manor house we stayed in (imagine the hotel from the Shining with a Frenchmen pretending to be Irish running the show).

The Zetland Country House really was in the country, which we found out when the only available lunch offerings was their own (based on their 60 Euro dinner prices and the readily apparent creepiness, we passed). Our wanderings led us on a 10 kilometer trek to a marginally less isolated place which featured a gift shop/pub/restaurant. Given that was our only option, we begrudgingly took them up on their lackluster dining options and watched an Irish soap featuring chlamydia and statutory rape as the main story line. Sadly the TV show was better than the food.

After this lackluster beginning to our Connemara stay (which we drove forever from Doolin to get to), we saddled up our mighty Getzy and drove on. We barely made it to the gorgeous Kylemore Abbey before closing time, but alas the gardens that interested us more than the abbey were already closed. The abbey itself is now home to an exclusive girls school--you know the type that you see in horror movies. We took pictures (and a passer by was kind enough to take our picture) and moved on (to the gift shop).

We also had to pass on the nearby national park. Irishmen take note: if it's daylight until fucking 10:30pm, don't close your outdoor activities at 6pm--that's lunacy! We enjoyed the the rest of our journey by driving through the countryside, taking in the beautiful vistas, and driving on the stunning Sky Road near Clifden. We finished our day by enjoying a delightful dinner on the patio of a pub.

Even more to come ...

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