t. elizabeth renich

author of historical fiction

Sample of Soup

Thursday, 27-Jan-2011

Leonard had the day off and he was good enough to do the driving.  (The MapQuest directions were sort of pointing us in the right direction — Bernadette and I might have been lost before we found where we were going…)  First we went to the Cliffs of Moher, which are breathtaking.  The weather, by way of an answer to prayers, was clear and sunny if cold and breezy.  The point was, we could actually see the cliffs in all their stark and rugged beauty.  The lady at the visitors center asked me if I’d brought the sunshine with me, as the day before they’d had nothing but clingy fog and misty drizzle until mid-afternoon.  We took a hike up to O’Brien’s Tower and got an incredible view from the top.  That is definitely a long ways down to where the ocean crashes against the base of the cliffs. 

We did not return the same way we came on the way to Bunratty Castle, so we didn’t have to go down Corkscrew Hill – which is a winding road with repeated hairpin turns, hence the name of the place.  We’d stopped at the overlook to have our pictures made, and way off in the background is Galway Bay.

Before continuing on to Bunratty, we decided a bit of lunch was in order and went to eat at The Creamery – an establishment the Heath-Johnsons has visited last summer and recommended highly.  I wasn’t sure about the seafood chowder, and the nice waiter was kind to let me have a “sample.”  The chowder was so tasty, Leonard and Bernadette ordered bowls of their own in addition to my little sample.  I was intrigued by the green delivery truck out in front – it was a Traveler version of a 1960’s (not exactly sure which year) Morris Minor.

Bernadette brought me to Bunratty Castle on my 2008 visit for a traditional Irish ceile at the Corn Barn.  We arrived just as the Folk Park was closing, it was starting to get dark, and the Mideval Banquet was already in progress in the castle tower.  (She remembers well how she was the one to find the gold ring in her piece of brack…a tradition which claims that whoever finds it will marry…  She and Leonard started dating not long after that, so maybe there was some truth to the legend in her case…)  This time, we got to go through the entire Folk Park and three of the four turrets of the castle.  That is a lot of spiral staircases and we even put Leonard in the dungeon for a bit.  I’m guessing I took more than a hundred pictures – all around the Folk Park, inside the castle itself, and from the parapets at the top of the castle.  Great views of County Clare from that height.  At the gift shop, I purchased some postcards (like I did at the Cliffs of Moher), and for Bernadette’s birthday, a DVD of a movie called Into the West.

I’m really glad I found the online off-season special they were running – we got our admission to the Cliffs and the Castle for €12.00 per person, and were able to visit both places on the same day.  It was brilliant; quite a bargain.

After salmon for dinner, we all went to the Community Centre in Gort.  Frances was performing in a play called “All Shook Up” – featuring the music of Elvis Presley.  It was fun to watch for her amid the supporting cast.  She’s quite the character.

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Author of the Shadowcreek Chronicles


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