Monday, 12 October 2009

Exotic Ireland

Just back from an epic trip to the West of Ireland, County Mayo mainly.


Westport House garden above. Not many gardens to see in Mayo, even simple ones, doesn't seem to be their thing. Perhaps the stunning raw natural beauty of the scenery means man-made creations are superfluous. Prolific wild fuchsia hedges flowering everywhere though.
Above and below - Mulranny.
Beautiful mountains, bogs, lakes and sea - all relatively empty and peaceful. Sophisticated but jolly hotels, with panoramic pools and amazing gourmet restaurants, e.g. we were served three extra mini-courses with our dinner - a pre-starter amuse bouche, a sorbet and even a pre-dessert dessert (all on square or rectangular plates, of course.) Reason we went for these relatively upmarket hotels was that they were offering special autumn rates including said posh dinners, but the strength of the euro made the final bills a bit eye-watering. We flew to Knock - a tiny 50s-style casual airport with a brand-new modern interior. The Aer Lingus flight was one of those bargains advertised as costing £1 but ended up about sixty. Hired a minute Nissan, thankfully, as the initially good roads had a tendency to narrow and deteriorate, and what with sheep nibbling grass on one side of the road and the bog on the other, it was slightly unnerving at times.
Was considerably more unnerved when I arrived home and found my computer wouldn't turn on. After the computer guru installed a new power-pack thingy all is well, but felt fearful anxiety for 24 hours. Just shows I'm too dependent on this machine.
One thing I missed while away was a mention in the Times when I contributed to World's Worst Recipe, but even the vile Sardine-Stuffed Lemons couldn't really compete with the likes of: Moose nose, jellied or boiled. Ingredients: one fresh moose nose, two or three cloves of garlic, salt and pepper. Method: clean moose nose by skinning or by dipping in scalding water and scraping. Remove all hair (etc.)

6 comments:

Jan Jones said...

Wonderful photos, Susie. Shame about the bill. Are you now living on beans on toast?

Susie Vereker said...

Yes, Jan. Was a bit shocked that a single glass of wine cost £6 in Ireland! I should have been drinking Guiness, I dare say. They were offering Guiness chocolates for sale in the aiport, btw, but I didn't fancy them, somehow.

Debs said...

Magnificent photos. I'm rather envious of your trip, as most of my family are from Ireland (grandmother backwards) and I've never been. I really must make the effort.

Debs said...

And start saving, by the sounds of things too.

Rattling On said...

Those photos are amazing. I've never been either and now really fancy it.
Your description of the roads sounds like many round here. We have the sheep as well...

sablonneuse said...

I love the photo showing the mountains and sky reflected in the perfectly still lake.
Yes, the pound/euro exchange rate is a shock, isn't it. We have to learn to live with it somehow: lots of belt-tightening. . . .