Tuesday, July 5, 2011

From Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch (say that 3 times fast!) to Dublin!

Wednesday, June 15

Breakfast at the Rossett was pretty much the same as everywhere in the UK: either soft scrambled or oddly cooked eggs, baked beans, mushrooms, hash brown triangles and canned fruit (I ate prunes every day just to be safe ; ) The coffee was good and strong, just like I like it. We boarded the bus for our last trip with Joe, and traveled across Wales to Holyhead, in the Isle of Angelsey, where we would take a high-speed ferry to Ireland. At last!

Greens and browns and rocks, everywhere!

Terry can say the name of this town (along with Bev!), but it's a dang mouthful! The magnet I bought takes up half the refrigerator! In English it translates to "St. Mary's Church in the hollow of white hazel near a rapid whirlpool and the Church of St. Tysilio near the red cave." Uh, yeah. The name used to be shorter, but in the late 1800's they lengthened the name as joke to attract tourists. It worked! Terry stamped our passports here, as it's the longest named town in Europe. Cool!

More beautiful views close to the west coast of Wales.

We arrived at the Port, went through security (just our bags, not us, while the security guard joked that we shouldn't have guns or knives! Do not try this at home!) & customs, and entered the ferry through the auto entrance! Weird! Maybe we didn't really have tickets...

The high speed ferry, the Jonathan Swift. It reminded me of a casino boat! We staggered to the window to exchange our currency to Euros. It was bumpy, but got us there in 1 1/2 hours instead of 3. 

We're here!!! In Ireland, home of me ancestors! Well, not quite, because they were from Donegal in the north...but close enough! We stayed at our second Maldron hotel of the trip, and they were both fab. According to Terry, the tons of construction in this area hasn't made much progress in the last few years.

BUT WAIT! Look what's right across the street! Yay! An Irish whiskey? Yes, please!

A cask inside the distillery. Our guide was the cutest Irish gal (duh, of course) and the tour was really interesting! We learned that the Irish barley is dried over ceramic tiles and gives it a distinct flavor, and their triple distillation process makes it verrryyy smoooothhhh : )

Even though we were rewarded with some liquid gold at the tour's end (Jameson, pronounced "Jemisin", and ginger ale with lime!) these all sounded so tasty. But €7.95 = $11.50! Umm, think I'll take a photo of the recipes and wait till I get home!

As was our tradition, Doris and I headed for a famous pub, this time the Brazen Head, the oldest pub in Ireland! I had my first real Guinness here, along with some bangers and mash! Pinch me, I'm in heaven! No, really...

We took our own walking tour for the rest of the day, and wound our way through the touristy (but fun) area of Temple Bar.

Wouldn't be in Ireland without a Gallagher's (Gallaher)! (shout out to my Irish sista, Lisa!) Boxty are traditional Irish potato pancakes, and I'm so sad that I didn't get a chance to eat any while there : ( 

One of the many bridges over the river Liffey. It was, let's call it, low tide. Ya wouldn't wanna swim in there, that's for sure. They assured us at Guinness the next day that their water DID NOT come from the Liffey!

Our last stop of the day was a lovely market beside the hotel. We were surprised to see unrefrigerated fresh eggs on a stand! Doris was also looking for cold medicine...this is NOT the place to get sick! We didn't recognize anything....she ended up with some homeopathic lozenges, lol!

Tomorrow: More Dublin! More drinking! More fun!

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