It’s been a couple of days since my last post so this may be a long one…
On Wednesday we went for a drive to the Cliffs of Moher.
These sheer cliffs on the west coast are quite spectacular and stretch for miles. We went to the visitor centre which is being redeveloped at the moment and is going to be fantastic. They are using a lot of local stone which we also noticed at the Ennis Cathedral. It’s distinctive because it has the fossilised evidence of eels. In other words it has a squiggly pattern over it.
On the way back we stopped at Biddy Early’s – Ireland’s oldest microbrewery. Groover rated the beers and stouts he tried but the atmosphere was somewhat lacklustre and they only served toasties. I guess it’s not high season.
So we had to eat in Ennis. I chose a place called Glor which is their cultural centre. The menu looked good but sadly the food was a bit stodgy. Serves me right for ordering risotto I guess. After that we visited the Clare Museum which had an interesting layout – four themes – Earth, Power, Faith and Water. A lot of the exhibits were copies which was a little disappointing. (not that you could really tell unless you looked closly – Groover looked).
Then we had the best coffee we’ve had in Ireland at a coffee shop called Mocca. You can tell how deadly it’s been coffee-wise that I need to mention it.
We ate at the hotel (okay) then traipsed across the road to listen to the RTE Symphony Orchestra. RTE is Ireland’s public broadcaster (with ads!). The concert featured Mozart, a local composer Buckley (world premier) and Tchaikovsky. It was held in the Cathedral which was a spectacular setting but I’m not sure the acoustics did it justice.
The next day we drove straight to the g, our hotel in Galwey. I say straight to, but it took a fair bit of driving around to find it.
The g is a spectacular, new, 5-star hotel with an impressive funky designer look and an equally impressive spa. We decided to check in early and spend the afternoon hanging out in the spa. It had a thermopool – with 6 stations for water massaging – a sauna, a steam room, several types of showers including Tropical Rain and Ice and these thermo-couches which have some special name which I can’t remember.
After playing there we went upstairs to the relaxation suite which consisted of a number of lounges facing a bamboo garden – very nice. Then we had a sea salt and aromatherapy oil scrub which was fabulous. You chose the colour of your room – which was a bit OTT but we loved it all.
In the evening we had dinner downstairs – sensational and then retired – a little influenced by the excellent white wine.
The breakfast was the best we’ve had so far and I’ve made a note of the bed manufacturer. Niiiice.
Today we drove around the West country through the Twelve Bens Mountain Range and some spectacular countryside. We found Alcock and Brown’s landing spot (they were the first to cross the Atlantic by plane) and nearby was the spot Marconi tested his radio across the Atlantic (but we didn’t actually find the spot).
The sheep are wild looking things here. Multi coloured due to some sort of spraying regime, long tangled fleeces, horns, black faces and legs. Bold as you like.
We’re now staying at the Mount Falcon Hotel near Ballina in County Mayo – a brand new hotel in what looks like a pretty spectacular setting – which we will explore tomorrow when it’s light!