Tag Archives: Galway

Day Sixteen: Pressing Pause in Galway

My wife cages a sweet room.

My wife cages a sweet room.

First thing’s first: I totally lied in yesterday’s post. There is no way I can finish this week without writing absurdly long posts or skipping bits. True, there are bits that aren’t critical to the story, but then again this whole story isn’t critical, so if I’m setting the threshold at the things you “need to know” I should go delete the whole run and start blogging about the NSA leaks.

No. No, that wouldn’t be right. I’m so close! Right. So, the previous night (technically this is a post-script to “Day Fifteen”) we made it to Galway and checked into the gorgeous Hotel Meyrick. Classic, old-world appointments, no contemporary blah-blu here. Remember, months ago, when I mentioned how Lisa was shameless in playing the honeymoon card when making reservations? She hit the jackpot here, where we were upgraded into a phenomenal suite for the first two of three nights (big wedding on the weekend, couldn’t be helped). It was divine. We snuck down to Eight, a casual restaurant Lisa found through Chowhound… wow, I think I just mentioned Chowhound for the first time; Lisa should write about that site, it was her dining Bible for this trip… and it wasn’t bad. Most notably, we completely reworked our itinerary while we sat in their window, looking out at the docks. See. we were beat. We’d been having a great time, but we had a couple days’ hard driving ahead of us and were really feeling like we’d had enough of the road for awhile. Plus, and Lisa disputes my recollection of this, I feel like we were warned off of heading toward Giant’s Causeway, our last major tourist stop, because of some nutty motorcycle rally or some such. The roads were going to be clogged, no treat, plus all the inns and restaurants along our likely route were going to be absolutely swamped. So, we bailed. We worked out a few days of leisure time where we were before making our way back to Dublin for the finale. And so, we began to spend one day too many in Galway. Continue reading

Day Fifteen: Mad Max 4 – the Burren

We somehow have no pictures of the Burren. Instead, here's Lisa and Cooper.

We somehow have no pictures of the Burren. Instead, here’s Lisa and Cooper.

Our fifteenth day is defined in three ways, listed in no particular order: our visit to a 1,000 year old abbey, our completely serendipitous stop at a sheepdog demonstration, and the Burren. We are pathetic/ecstatic enough animal lovers that the sheepdog demo rates higher up on our list of trip favorites than it ought to, but what the hell it was our honeymoon and we’ll enjoy what we want. :p

When we left Doolin we entered the Burren almost immediately. It’s not a specific place so much as a region; a type of landscape called “karst.” It comes off as alternately a wasteland and a lush garden. The soil is quite rich but is riddled with essentially infinite stone, such that huge amounts of work have to be done if you want to make any sort of use in an agricultural sense. On the other hand, the land and weather make an exceptionally long growing season for grass, meaning that herds can graze happily for an extended period. There is also an incredibly diverse ecosystem of flowering plants, which has led to a unique boutique (tra-la!) – The Burren Perfumery. Now you, too, can smell like a karst! Continue reading