We checked into our B & B last night, which was way up on the Rosguill Peninsula. It was cold, we were tired. But the thing that was coldest? Our reception. Now, at this point, weve been in Ireland long enough to know that this is NOT normal. Hostesses are usually very friendly, gracious, and kind. At this place, that is decidedly not the case. When we arrived, the hostess (Heather), showed us to our room with the most basic of instructions. She has no kind word, no questions about our holiday, no patience for us at all. When we mention that its late and were hoping to get a bite to eat, she mentions that, Most people would call before coming if they were going to be that late. We tried to explain that we did call, then we e-mailed, but got no response either way. But it was useless, she was already walking away. We went out to eat, hoping that we would have a better reception at breakfast the next morning.
(For the record, and because I know inquiring minds want to know, we ate a pub in Downies, JCs- in the hotel. I had lasagna, which I swear to you, tasted just like Hamburger Helper, but packed into a square- it came with what else? Chips.)
I wake up today hoping for a nice, hot shower. No hot water. I get mostly ready anyway, hoping that it will come on in time, and I can at least wash off, if not get my hair washed. Nope. When I get to the main house for breakfast, no one else had hot water, either. In fact, out of 15 people who tried to take showers, only 1 had any hot water at all, and they claim it was lukewarm, at best. Hostess says we all tried to take one at once. Probable, but I think as a bed and breakfast, these things should be anticipated and therefore equipped. Anyway, she has no kind word or smile or apology. We know tomorrows drive is longer than any other, and after the lack of hospitality, we arent sad to check out a day early and try our luck elsewhere, further south. V is worried because she thinks we wont find a place without previously made reservations. D and I are optimistic.
First stop, Glenveagh Castle and gardens. The gardens are beautiful, with well-coordinated walking trails and paths. The Castle is a castle on the outside, and a mansion on the inside. There is what could almost be described as modern furnishings, especially compared to some of Castles weve visited so far on the trip. In fact, they even had a swimming pool at this place. The midgees are back today, and almost drag me off in the gardens. Our guide in the Castle is so informative, you imagine this is all hes ever done. There is no photography allowed inside, so I have no photos to show you of the inside, only these form the gardens, adn this one, which I think is incredibly creepy:
We discuss the rest of todays agenda with our shuttle driver at Glenveagh,. We want to head to Rathmullen Priory and Malin Head (Irelands northernmost point). He thinks were nuts. He actually says, Boy, you sure like your driving, dont you? And the truth is we dont. Were tired of driving. Were sick of the narrow roads, so cute at first, the tour busses, the locals who speed toward you going twice as fast as you are. So we vote, and head south. Besides, we still have no place to stay tonight and we need to get somewhere before dark. I am not disappointed about Rathmullen- at this point it seems to be more of the same, but Malin Head was a high point for me. (This is where EIRE is spelled in rocks to show what was Ireland in World War 2, for navigation- but I like it because its my name in Irish. Its all about me.) But of course, the greater good is to get south faster, and so I say nothing. Besides, Ive already decided Im going back- and I already have pictures of it, thanks to D and V, whove already been there.
We go into Northern Ireland just to cross and go south. Weirdly, the roads are SOOOOO much better there. Oh- and we also stop for some lunch at a pub, and the currency is changed. They except British pounds, not US dollars or Euros. Luckilly, they do accept credit cards, so we’re good.
When we get into Co Louth, we decide to head to Monasterboice, a historic early Christian settlement. It is beautiful, with 3 high crosses and a round tower. To give you an idea of the size of the crosses, the one I have a picture of is about 18 feet high, and if a 6 foot tall person stands beside it, they only come up as tall as the base. The other 2 are 3 feet taller. The round tower is 110 feet off the ground.
I like cemetaries, and I especialy like epitaphs- I know that make me a freak, but I’m OK with that.Here is a good one:
I also like this, which was on a border of a grave.
We call our B and B in Trim to see if they can accommodate us a day early. Nope. Theyre booked. We call others in the area. Booked. We call a hotel booked. V is really worried now, so we make her feel better by cracking jokes about sleeping in the car. Were cruel that way. Shes not laughing. We drive toward Drogheda (say Dro (big loogey) da), the closest big town on the map. On the way, we pass a B and B with a sign out front- vacancy. So we stop. They can take us in for the night (YAY!!!!), but the rooms arent en-suite. The bathrooms are private, though, and to prove it, we have the keys. I pick the upstairs room, and I am thrilled when I see it. I have a huge four poster bed, a huge armoire, a gorgeous vanity with sink, so I never really have to leave for the bathroom, except to use the, um facilities, and shower in the am. It has a bathtub! Luxury I wont use, but still.
We head to Drogheda, which is not just a big town, it is a metropolis! Huge, huge, huge, compared to the rest of the country that weve seen. There is even a super-highway of 4 lanes!!! A toll highway, as a matter of fact. There are bouncers in front of night clubs, expensive, nice restaurants, and a Woodies DIY, which we think is similar to a Home Depot.Here is the McD’s there, complete with a drive-thru on the wrong side.
Today was a lot of driving, and not a lot of sights, but I think we made the right choice. We are now very close to the next destination,, Newgrange and Knowth.
Posted from USA:
posted Tuesday July 2006