Wild Wild Wesht

New Quay
New Quay

One of our favorite stories from a local pub last summer came from a pub in Kinvara, Co. Galway. A great friend of ours works behind the bar. A father and son come up to the bar after lunch. The son says “Can I have a pink snack please.” The father looks stricken, turns to his son and says, “say it right! Ask again.” The son, a bit sheepishly, says, “Can I have a pink schnack please?”

You know you are in the West of Ireland when “s”s turn into “sh”s in words.

With two good friends, C and I headed off to visit more good friends in Athenry last week. We are spoiled for good friends. Speaking of spoiled, all of us has jobs that allow us to be free mid-week, so we took advantage not only of our easy work schedules, but also of the less crowded roads and beaches down the Wild Atlantic Way.

We had a few passing showers (it is Ireland after all), but for most of the day Mother Nature was on our side. And glorious she was!

Clouds Over Connemara
Clouds Over Connemara

When the sun shines anywhere in Ireland, it is one of the best places in the world. There is certainly something magical and mystical and mysterious about The Burren. The granite rocks change color in the different light. At times it looks like giant elephants lying down; at other times it takes on a full pink Alpine glow.

Burren in its "Alpine Glow" Outfit
Burren in its “Alpine Glow” Outfit

The Cliffs of Moher look exactly like what you would expect, but being that close to the layers of rock, hearing the waves crashing below, and feeling the strong wind pushing directly up the cliffs from the sea are all things a postcard can’t capture.

Cliffs of Moher
Cliffs of Moher

I jumped in the sea at Liscannor, Co. Clare. Liscannor has my favorite kind of sea-swimming situation: flat rocks that warm in the sun that you can jump off into the sea. I am not a fan of sand or walking into the water. I like a sand-free plunge.

In Liscannor, the tide was coming in, the water was so clear and cold but felt fantastic. At 6pm the sun was still warm enough and high enough in the sky to warm us right up again.

Just Some Baby Cows Heading Home
Just Some Baby Cows Heading Home

As we drove back towards Athenry from Clare–after a wonderful dinner at Vaughn’s (watch this space!)–we were treated to the most beautiful sunset over the Atlantic. And just when we thought Mother Nature had treated us as much as she could for the day, we turned a corner and this incredible, massive, baby pink moon sat swollen and glowing the horizon. I’ve never seen a moon that big or pink. We all screamed. With Joy. No photo could do it justice.

Sunset
Sunset
Moonrise
Moonrise (from a moving car. Sorry.) 

I love Dublin, but I am delighted to live in a country where all these wonders are a mere two hour drive away.

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Wild Wild Wesht

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