October 5, 2013
Irish Gold, Part 2
Having chosen to visit Cong/Quiet Man territory, and Killarney, (Thanks to John Wayne and Bing Crosby’s influence.) in Ireland, I felt it only fair that my hubby choose one Irish destination, as well. Ranked on most lists, as one of the top ten sights to see in Ireland, and not too far off our route, he chose The Cliffs of Moher as our next destination. It was impressive. Referred to by some as “The Grand Canyon of Ireland”, the sharp cliffs jut up next to the water of the Atlantic, while green grass hills around the area serve as a grazing area to Irish cattle. In one of life’s fun little surprises, as Dale and I climbed the Cliffs, we ran into a sweet honeymooning couple, Kyla and Wes, from Texas that we had met at our (Ashfield) Bed and Breakfast the morning before in Cong! We stopped to exchange pleasantries and Dale snapped our photo, before saying our good-byes.
Happily running into Texas honeymooners, Wes and Kyla, again. We first met them at Ashfield Bed and Breakfast!
The Cliffs of Moher
The beauty of the Irish landscape pulled at the amateur photographer in me at every turn, with each new site being a Kodak moment, often dotted with remnants of castles, or abbeys, from long ago, or a God-made landscape of beauty, a camera lens can never truly capture. Not far from the Cliffs, we were presented another such moment, as a roadside beach beckoned us to pull off and again admire the scenery. Then it was on to the Killarney of Bing Crosby’s Christmas song “Christmas in Killarney”, about a three-hour road trip.
(To hear “Christmas in Killarney” go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lsoh9cUfVbc )
Beach area just off the road, not far from the Cliffs of Moher
One of the numerous abbey ruins that we saw throughout Ireland
GPS technology is great, but at times untrustworthy. We had found our way into the town of Killarney, but in looking for the Lake Hotel, we found ourselves staring at lodging that was, less than stellar, and that I was positive was not correct. (I later learned that Charlie Chaplin had once been a guest at The Lake Hotel that I sought.) Since I was the one who had made this reservation, my reputation as a travel diva was on the line. (“Make a reservation wherever you want” was Dale’s comment, and he never paid a whole lot of attention to my Killarney plans after that.) My husband chuckled, thinking that I had goofed, while handing me the phone to telephone the Lake Hotel. Yes, we were told that we were on the correct road, but were indeed two miles from our intended destination.
Turning onto the hotel drive, my diva status was reaffirmed, as a tourist office- worthy picture came into view. A serene lake, reflecting the mountains in the background, appeared before us, complete with castle ruins, and grazing deer in the foreground. It is here, where the Lake House Hotel rests.
The magical view from our Lake Hotel room deck-Killarney
I would be amiss, if I concluded this blog here, leaving you to believe that our three-day trip to Ireland was storybook perfect. It almost was… I have only one word to say at this point- HURLING. (* Hurling -an outdoor team game of ancient Gaelic and Irish origin.) Our trip back to the Dublin Airport for our late afternoon flight should have taken about three hours. We allowed four and a half, just to be conservative. It was not enough. It turns out that at the same exact time that our flight was to take off, there was a major hurling event to take place at the Dublin stadium. 80,000 hurling fans were descending upon Dublin from counties Cork and Clare (both in the area of Ireland where we were driving from) to cheer on their favorite team. With most fans on the road, flags flying high for their hurling favorite, the roads were at a complete gridlock in no time. It was at this point that my husband fancied himself as Mr. Toad of “Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride” fame. We ventured the back roads of Ireland, in Mario Andretti fashion, as we maneuvered throughout the countryside, only to arrive at the rental car drop- off five and one half hours later! Thankfully, despite all our road travails, we made our flight on time, amid airport televisions all broadcasting the national hurling event. We were leaving Ireland laden with wonderful Irish memories, which truly are “Irish Gold”! :o) In honor of these memories, I share with you, my own recipe for Irish Gold below.
Thanks for reading! :o)
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Next week’s post-The Quiet Man
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1 (12oz.) of Miniature Ritz Peanut Butter Sandwich crackers, or plain, Ritz Crackers
1 (11 oz.) bag of Butterscotch chips/morsels
Melt chips slowly in a microwave safe bowl.
Carefully dip the crackers into the melted chips.
Set on a wire rack, or waxed paper, and let butterscotch harden.