Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Katie's Arrival and Bunratty

After spending some time in Ennis and finding a charger for my phone (for free no less, the people here are so friendly), I made my way to Mullagh to meet up with Tim & Theresa Donnellan. Theresa arrived shortly after I did and we had some time to visit before Tim arrived. She is the principal of the school in Kilkee and is consquently very busy.

Tim and Theresa used to operate a Farmhouse Inn until it conflicted too much with their busy schedules. Below is a picture of thier home on the right with a guesthouse/activity building on the left.

They also have a few "self-catered" cottages that they rent out and they put us in a very nice and comfortable cottage in nearby Kilmurry. It was a four bedroom cottage with a beautiful view of the Atlantic and also the ruins of an old castle just a few fields away.

Tim & Theresa Donnellan's Kilmurry Cottage

View from Donnellan's Kilmurry Cottage

Castle ruins behind Donnellan's Kilmurry Cottage

After a few pints with Tim at O'Kelly's in Mullagh, I headed home only to be greeted with a loud PSSHHH! as I got out of the car. Nice, a soon-to-be flat tire. Good thing I won't have to leave until 10:00 to get to the airport.

I woke up to a beautiful morning, with the sun shining and all of the air safely out of the tire. At 9:45. Whoops. Well, Katie won't mind if I don't shave and Joe won't care if I don't brush my teeth, but I will so I quickly changed the tire (I've changed a tire faster, but that's another story) jumped in the shower and raced for the airport praying that the modified bicycle tire that I just bolted to the car wouldn't go flying off enroute.

I did make it to the airport in time only because the beautiful sunny day hadn't made it's way to Shannon which was shrouded in fog (I mean it was so thick you could cut it with a knife!) which delayed thier flight about an hour.

The next stop would be Bunratty Castle which is conveniently located about 20 minutes from the airport. It's a great place to start off you first trip to Ireland with a very well preserved castle dating from the 1600s with a park that features restored cottages and various village buildings. They say location is everything and whoever built this castle had incredible foresight.

Bunratty Castle

Bunratty Folk Park Cottage with Castle in the distance

I dropped KMBG (Katie, Molly, Bobby & Gino) and Joe off at the Castle and went to go get the tire fixed which I was told couldn't be safely fixed so I wound up buying a new tire. I figured tracking down a group of five people wouldn't be that hard but the park is pretty big so I managed to double back a couple of times with no success. It was my second trip to the roof of the castle to get a better view when I saw them at the Durty Nelly pub next to the castle. It turned out that they hadn't been in to the park or castle at all yet but having lunch and doing a little shoping, increasing the difficulty of finding them in the park. Fortunatly there was enough time and light to see the castle and many of the buildings in the park and have loads of laughs. Sleep deprivation can be an interesting mood enhancer.

Then it was off to settle into the cottage, clean up and head out for a traditional music session at the Crosses of Annagh. When we got there we found out that the session had been cancelled due to a disco party for 18 year olds. Hmmm, not exaclty the music flavor we were after so we found another session in Miltown Malbay at a pub called Friels. You know it's Friels because it says Lynch on the outside. There were some great musicians there and Joe had a great session but I'll let him talk about that.

Tim Donnellan managed to meet us for a pint and meet some more of his crazy American cousins. His daughter Niamh (the spelling is probably wrong but it's pronounced 'Niev') met us shortly after. We all had a great time at Friels, particularly Katie who had made the pronouncement that, to commemorate her 50th, she would jump into the Ocean, naked. But that's her story to tell.

And if she doesn't, I will.

No comments: