Monday, 1 May 2006

May Bank Holiday Weekend

This weekend was fantastic, two counties taken care of in one long weekend, not bad. Our trip to Leitrim was the nicest part, we left early on Saturday morning and made it to Carrick on Shannon for lunch, beautiful little town, kinda reminded me of a small little tourist town with a river that runs through the middle, it was a beautiful hot sunny day... yes I did say hot, we managed to get sunburns on the boat trip... I'll come to that. Back to the story, we stopped into the tourist office just to get our bearings and to see if the woman could recommend a nice place to stop for lunch, she was useless.... so we went across the street to a pub and had lunch, yummy pub grub and then crossed the river and had a drink out on the back lawn of a pub on the Shannon, it was lovely. We had a stroll around the rest of town and then took a short boat ride down the Shannon, not really all that great of a boat trip but we agreed that we would have regretted not doing it. After Carrick was seen, we headed over to the B&B that we had booked to check in and see what was up. Let me tell you this was the prettiest B&B that I have ever been to in my life, we had the best time and since then have talked about nothing but when we might be able to go back. The house was on a hill overlooking the canal; our room had two large picture windows that over looked the canal and the fields. The place was run but a nice couple who also run a small restaurant out of the other side of the house and we had been told to book dinner for that night as well and had reservations for 7:30. We relaxed till it was time to go and then enjoyed the best meal of my life, The best thing is that the bill the next day when we checked out was only 152 euro for the night and dinner and it was worth every penny, the bed was fantastic slept like a baby , the room pretty and clean, and dinner was so good, even Derek, the pickiest eater in the world, was torn on what to order but went with a chicken dish as well as vegetable soup to start and cheesecake for dessert. I started with a homemade pate with little slices of toast and Cumberland sauce, yummy, and then had fish in a white wine sauce with, and get this, pan fried green grapes, mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm just thinking about it makes my mouth water. It was all served with mashed and scalloped potatoes and fresh steamed veg all home grown, god it was good. I was too full to have dessert and Derek had to roll me back to the room and we couldn't move. Breakfast the following morning was just as good, the husband that owns the place is the chef for everything, god I'd be massive if I was married to him. Derek and I loved the time we spent there and would not hesitate going back tomorrow.... if only we had the time!! The best thing we (I) did in the planning was to try not to replicate the same experience the following night in Sligo. We left the B&B and the weather wasn't the best raining and cloudy so we figured there was no rush to get to the seashore in Sligo as there would be nothing for us to do there and we had reservations for the Seaweed baths only for 3:30. So we took one of the more scenic routes from the tour book I have and went on a tour of Yeats county, lovely back roads and lakes and waterfalls, it was a nice little tour and then once we got to Strandhill in Sligo we weren't so low about the weather anymore. We sat in the car for a while and watched the surfers in the waves, which are huge, some of the biggest in Europe. The surf is so strong that they don't allow swimming there because so many people have been pulled in and drowned from the undertow. Crazy. So we went to a cafe to get a snack for lunch and then over to the seaweed baths. MMMMMMmmmmm perfect on a cold rainy day is a bath, we decided to do it together and there was more than enough room, won't go into detail though. The room was set up with a steam sauna room (basically a large shower with the top blocked in) and a huge claw footed bath tub filled with warm water and seaweed. The seaweed is harvested every morning at low tide and then cleaned, used once and then sent to an organic farm to be used as fertilizer, the whole thing was lovely and we both left feeling relaxed and moisturized but not greasy, even Derek’s dry skin was softer! After we went up to the B&B which was more like a basic room above a tavern and took a nap. When we woke, hungry we decided on pizza and headed into the town of Sligo to see what we could find, nice quiet night, but ended up in the tavern downstairs where there was live music and extremely excellent and cheap Guinness, imagine 5 rounds for 22 euro!!! We had a nice time and eventually made our way up to the room.
This morning was beautiful again so we ate breakfast and went down to the beach to take a photo or two and then went and did a little bit of sight seeing of Megalithic Tombs and ruins and stuff. We wanted to get home early as long weekends are known for having traffic when everyone is trying to get home at once so we didn’t stay too long, just enough time to get some photos. So we beat the traffic and made it back to the city in time to join Derek’s parents at that lovely church pub. Mmm.

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