Day 02 - Monday, September 10, 2018 - Arrive County Clare, Ireland; Transfer to Ennis; Welcome Dinner; Visit Irish Pub
The Shannon flight left the gate at 10:05 pm. It was still raining, but not as hard as when we landed in Newark. The flight was a short one, only 5 hours and 12 minutes. We opted for a few hours of sleep instead of a dinner meal.
There must have been a strong tail wind as we landed in Shannon, Ireland almost an hour early at 8:45 am. We met our Overseas Adventure Travel representative and driver, Michael. We waited for two more flights bringing three more OAT travelers before driving to Ennis and our hotel, a short 20-minute trip from the airport.
A few things to remember from the last time we were in Ireland. First, it was raining with a hint of sunshine peeking through the clouds – no wonder Ireland is so green! Second, getting into cars – passengers enter on the left, the driver is on the right. Third, “round abouts” take on a whole new meaning when one drives on the left side of the road – look both ways twice and then proceed with extreme caution.
We met our Tour Director, Tom Deasy in the hotel lobby. He welcomed us, gave us a map of the city, and told us we would be meeting at 5:45 for a Welcome Meeting. Ennis is a small city in County Clare. Our Temple Gate Hotel, a 19th Century convent of the Sisters of Mercy, is right in the city center within walking distance of shops and pubs.
Our room was very nice; small and compact, but there was no air conditioning. We were able to open our window and the front desk clerk sent a woman from housekeeping with a fan to move the air around.
After we finished unpacking, we took our cameras and umbrellas and walked to the main street to get acquainted with our neighborhood. As is our custom, we like to visit grocery stores.
A gentleman directed us to a Dunn’s, the main market downtown. Not only did they have a fine selection of foodstuffs including yummy looking muffins and scones, but they also had nice variety of housewares, and a beer and liquor department with international brands.
The liquor prices were high, compared to Colorado. However, another man told us that the Jameson’s tasted much better here in Ireland. We shall see?
The rain continued during the afternoon. We cut our walk short and came back to the hotel for a shower and to do some hand laundry. Our Welcome Meeting was in the hotel where we met most of our group. One person missed her connecting flight to Newark and will arrive tomorrow.
We learned more about Tom and then he gave us time to introduce ourselves. We have several people from California, New York, and then the two of us from Colorado. It is a coast-to-coast group.
Our dinner was in the Legends Restaurant in the hotel. We ordered from a menu of a variety of foods from the sea. Because we know OAT feeds us so well, Gennie had two of the starters, the salad and the seafood chowder and Vic had the chowder and the mackerel. Both meals were delicious and plentiful.
When we left the dining room, we heard music coming from the Preacher’s Pub. We peeked in and Vic was able to take a few photos of the musicians and the dancers. From our first day we have been treated to the soul of the traditional Irish culture called Trad Music.
Tomorrow is a busy day with a trek to the Cliffs of Moher but it was after 10:00 by the time the journal was published and we turned off the lights.
Accommodations: Temple Gate Hotel - Meals included: D
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That should be a great trip. When we asked the Irish which whiskey is the best, Jamesons or Bushmills they said neither, it is Powers. They don't export it because it is too good so we brought home a few bottles.
Yes, these OAT days are very long - I went to bed at 11:30 last night. Having dinner at 8:30 is the pits!!
Good to follow your travels again. Ginger, Steve, and I are leaving for the Sicily and Calabria trip this coming Sunday. Your posts inspired us!
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Have fun: the bakery goods look delish!
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