Green, greener

We’re at the pub – again. Enjoying delicious food and drinks to the sound of Irish folk music.

I look down at my hamburger. It is one of the most compact burgers I have ever eaten, and the meat is great. Since I do not eat dark meat very often it does not take much before my stomach is more than full. Joe is well happy with his Irish stew – almost as good as the one he makes himself, he says. Then it is good!

Except from a German family, it is just us and the locals here tonight. The pub at Mountshannon Hotel promised food and live music, we were tempted and not disappointed. The musicians – it is not until Mum and PK point it out, that I notice they play from a couch and not on a stage.  Like they’re just popping by.

We have spent the day driving west from Dublin. We took the road that runs parallel with the M7 and doing this we got to see the smaller places at a slightly slower pace, giving us time to get the names of the places right! What I read on the signs is not necessarily the pronunciation of places in this country. Saying this I have not even made an attempt at the Celtic version.

We drove through Moneygall where President Barack Obama recently stopped by to catch up with his Irish roots and have a pint of Guinness. The entire city was still decorated with Irish and American flags, and when we stopped in Toomevara for lunch we found this:

The two in the back seat seemed tired as we passed through Nenagh, despite the roller-coaster roads along the R494. I was sure that I was weightless a couple of times. We decided it was time for some fresh air to wake up. Luckily we found a wonderful view of Lough Derg, which would be our next stop.
The lake is the third largest on the island of Ireland and the River Shannon runs through here on its way to the sea. From where we stood we could look across to Mountshannon and probably other small villages too. Camouflaged in shades of green.

The sun smiled warmly as we crossed the river Shannon at Ballina / Killaloe showing its best side when we drove over the little bridge. A traffic light ensured that traffic proceeded smoothly, as it is only one lane wide. Ok, this is one of the places we really should have worked a little harder to see. We tried to park, but there was no place to put your car. Had we only driven straight ahead instead of following the road to the right…

Weather in Ireland is incredibly erratic, and soon the rain was splashing down again. When we drove up the small road to Sunrise B & B we stayed in the car for a little while until the rain calmed down again.
Lovely Vera welcomed us and we settled in our rooms before relaxing with a cup of tea in the conservatory. Then it was time to think about dinner.

The lake was in full view from the conservatory and we just had to go down there for a look. There was a marina, but it struck us how bad people really took care of their boats here. One boat and a dinghy were filled with water. I can understand with all the rain here, but the boats in general were in poor condition

A sign told us that Mountshannon previously was named Ireland’s tidiest little town. A park was laid out and gave the village a lovely green space with beautiful flowers and playground equipment for children. It also had a great port of entry which they seemed proud of.
It was a sleepy town on a Friday night. A sheepdog came and greeted us as we tried to decide which of the three eating places we would go for.

I finish up the last pieces of my burger and wash it down with cider. Guinness would have been two meals in one, so I went for a lighter drink. A big group of people sit down next to us. Often I think the Irish accent is a little too fast for me and I find it hard to understand all they say. But then I recognize something. The lady who now sits next to me must be from Limerick – it’s like listening to a younger version of Joe’s mom.

I bet the group is happy for the extra seats when we get up and leave. It is clear outside and it feels good with some fresh air and time to digest the heavy food before we go to sleep. I’m dead tired and looking forward to my bed.

Before going to Ireland Joe and I searched online for a while before we found this place. Either it was fully booked around the lake, too expensive or too far off the beaten track. Luckily we came across Sunrise B & B in charming Mountshannon.
One thing I really appreciate about the accommodation in the British Isles is the kettle and tea/coffee that always comes with the room! We were a bit tired after the drive from Dublin. To boil a cup of tea and sit back in the conservatory felt so good. Having a high ceiling, it was as if the room caught the last rays of the sun holding on to them longer, despite the pouring rain outside, again. A view of the lake, something to read, drink tea or doze off a bit. We really enjoyed our stay here!
As I go to bed I think that this place would be a great base for exploring the whole region  that we will see more of tomorrow. I guess we will have to come back… next time. 🙂


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1 Comment

  • Thank you for sharing your lovely memories of your Irish trip especially for remembering my Sunrise Bed & Breakfast in Mountshannon. Great pictures too. Hopefully you will return next time you visit Ireland.
    Best wishes, Vera:)

    Thank you so much, Vera! We really enjoyed our stay, and Mountshannon was such a nice little place. Quiet and peaceful.
    I think I fell in love again with that part of Ireland, and both Joe and I would love to go back and see more of his home country 🙂

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