I close my eyes and picture the emerald of the sea. From the fishing boats at Dingle to the shores of Donaghadee
Limerick. This is the place Gargie spoke of all the time and here we are, 3 of her granddaughters waking up in her town. The view outside our bedroom window was bathed in the golden light of morning and was a beautiful country scene. Wendy as per usual had been out and about since before dawn and Deb and I were up before she got back.
When she got back, she had a huge bag full of stuff. “Happy 50th birthday Deb” she says.. Oh yeah.. we both forgot lol. The excitement of the day before of seeing each other again made us forget for a while that it was her birthday today. So she opened the bag of presents. There was a lovely Irish footy jumper. There was a lovely card that said happy 50th birthday. There was another card that said happy 100th birthday (just getting in early says wendy). There was an ugly plastic vase filled with mud that she’d found on the side of the road. In that she’d put a foil balloon that said Happy mothers day and a daffodil. She’d also found a hubcap at the side of the road to give her. Add a small block of some weird chocolate I’ve never seen before but it resembled a block of chocolate inside 2 savory biscuits (or crackers). How could any girl not feel loved when you are so spoiled?
We got dressed and repacked the car in our best Tetris style and headed off again. Today we just grabbed a McDonald’s breakfast and kept driving. We were on our way to the fishing village of Dingle today. We went looking first for the home that some of our family lived in. When Gargie was alive she wrote to cousins in Treaty Terrace Limerick so we went looking for the house. We found it. It doesn’t seem to be lived in anymore but it was exciting to finally be here and walking around the streets she had walked in many years before us. At the end of Treaty Terrace we found a beautiful old church. It was right across the road from the Treaty Stone. I was thrilled..I really wanted to climb up and touch the Treaty Stone but I couldn’t reach it from the top step. I had spent my childhood hearing about these things and here they were in real life.
Across the Shannon river stood St John’s Castle. We wandered over to have a look and paid to go through the castle. Wow.. this is one of the most well thought out attraction I think we’ve seen so far. It’s fantastic. We wandered around and saw examples of how life would have been in the early days of life in Limerick. They had lots of information on the rebellions throughout the years and there were screens around the place that showed actors in traditional dress explaining their lives at the time. We loved the whole place. Also, their giftshop was a lot cheaper than other’s we’d been to, so we picked up a few more gifts.
After finishing at the castle, we took a few more photos around Limerick then headed out in the direction we thought we needed to go. We drove and drove and we were heading in the right direction but we missed the turn off. It was a good miss though as we drove straight past Bunratty Castle so we did a bit of a detour and went over and had a look at the Castle, though we didn’t go in to this one. Back out on the road again, we found the right turnoff and headed back to Shanagolden first to show Deb.
She felt the same as us. It felt familiar and like home. We had lunch again at the pub, which was as lovely as the first time around and chatted and chatted and chatted. Blimey we can talk. After lunch we hit the road again and wound our way down to Dingle. Looking at the map we all decided we wanted to go through Tralee on the way. I mean, we grew up singing Rose of Tralee and wanted to see the place. We were expecting a tiny little village and were surprised to find a thriving town. It was heaps bigger than we expected but still beautiful.
On our way yet again, we were gobsmacked by the beauty of the landscape the closer we got to Dingle. At one stage I climbed up onto a grassy bank to get a good photo opportunity. It was slippery and I had to get on my hands and knees to get up there. Wet knees, hands and bum I got up and took my photo of the patchwork fields. Simply stunning. I slid back down the embankment on my bum again, further staining my already dirty jeans only to get a few metres down the road and finding a perfect clearing to take a shot on flat ground.. Oh well.
Arriving at Dingle we all fell in love with this picturesque town. Fishing boats were coming in and out of the harbour and we wandered along the streets looking in all the gorgeous little stores, promising ourselves we’d go back tomorrow and see when they are open. Spying a Murphy’s pub, we knew we had to have a drink in a Murphy’s so in we went. We all ordered a Southern comfort and lemonade and once again they asked if we wanted red lemonade or normal. I assumed red lemonade was raspberry as it would be in Australia.. But it’s actually an amber color and isn’t very sweet at all. It was a really nice alternative mix from the usual lemonade(7up) or coke.
We found a place to book into on the net, finished our dinner and then headed to the hotel. There was no one here when we got here but there was a phone number which would be great if I still had a phone but I don’t. Thankfully Deb managed to get through as she wasn’t sure if her international roaming was working or not. They sent someone down to open up for us and we headed to our room.
The receptionist had left again when we discovered there was no base for the kettle and we were desperate for a cup of tea. We looked all over the room for it to no avail. She had already filled the kettle but we couldn’t boil it. Deb went out searching and let another guest in who had locked herself out. She was so grateful that she offered to boil our kettle for us. When Deb went to take it to her room, she opened it and discovered that the base was actually IN the kettle, so tipping the water out, we had to dry the base out before we could eventually boil our kettle.
Cups of tea in hand, we sat in bed chatting as we’d been doing all day and eventually decided it really was time to get some sleep.. We’ve got way too much still to do with not enough time to do it.. So the next 2 days are going to be busy busy busy..