At breakfast we make a small mistake by forgetting to say that we don't want to have a 'fulll breakfast' and so we are presented with 2 big dishes with sausages, bacon, beans, eggs and some more fat foods. It is a bit too heavy for us, this early in the morning and from tomorrow on we will ask for scrambled eggs on toast for me and fried eggs for Elisabeth (as you have probably noticed already, we tell our story in turns).
Clones - Westport (west coast)
Our plans will take us to the west coast, today, but we enjoy driving through the interior of Ireland with al it's many lakes; loughs are they called here. It is cloudy, but dry and sometimes we have beautiful skies like this one at Brackley Lough.
As usually, we often take small roads to see more of the country, more than you would see of it by taking the main roads. The quality of the roads is bad, very bad, although there are a lot of roadworks, sponsored by the EU. Large signs indicate that, as we have seen before, in Italy and Croatia.
Waterfalls keep attracting us. Despite all the impressive waterfalls we have seen in Norway, last summer, we must have a look when we see a sign near the road with 'waterfall' on it. These are the Tullydermot Falls.
Soon we get the impression Ireland has a lot in common with Scotland, but it is less rough. Another difference is that there are much more buildings, especially dwelling houses. According to our travel guides, Ireland didn't have any villages or towns until the arrival of the Vikings, and still we see a lot of lonely houses, not always inhabited.
In Carrick-on-Shannon we take a break and a cup of hot soup will be our common lunch for the next days. When we continue our journey, we cross the village Boyle three times because the signposting is terribly bad. Road numbers are not being shown anymore or just seem to change. When I stand outside at a crossroad with a map in my hands, an Irishman stops his car, within a minute, to help me back on our route. The Irish are really very friendly!
The monastery of Boyle is a ruin of which there are many in Ireland. Houses which are left by their inhabitants are often not demolished, but just stand there and are left until they become ruins. Sometimes they build a new house just next to the old ruin.
The inhabited houses are very well kept and often very colourful. On the way to Westport we also see our first Irish palmtrees. It is a pity for Elisabeth it is not the right season to collect seeds of palmtrees. But it does show how mild the climate must be here, thanks to the warm Gulf Stream which enters Europe here in Ireland.Driving through the woods, we see all the time how green Ireland is. Not many signs of autumn colours, and the green of the trees is really green, as we have it only in spring and summertimes. It gives us the feeling it isn't winter at all.
At 4 o'clock it is getting dark already and since we wouldn't see anything of the country in the dark, we decide to look for a hotel in Westport. Westport is a colourful and historic city and, like all of the villages and cities in Ireland, totally prepared for christmas.There are many hotels, but they don't show prices on the outside. So we first go to a pub, have a drink and ask the staff for a reasonable priced hotel. That turns out to be a good idea, because we get a very comfortable and also cheap hotel, the Westport Inn. We decide to use this trick more often.
As you can see, Ellisabeth is very happy with a bed, after this first long day. You ask yourself, why not a Bed & Breakfast? Well, we have found out that in most of the B&B's one is not allowed to smoke and since we both have this foolish addiction, we often have to look for a hotel.
We are not often together in one picture, but when we succeed in getting one (like here before a mirror), that is a nice memory for us. As you can see, we are enjoying this holiday as always.
Travel through Europe and Africa
with Elisabeth and Teije