Monday, February 25, 2008

Ireland: The Dingle Peninsula and Killarney (Monday, February 25)

Written Monday, February 25 at 11:45 pm, Killarney (at the kitchen table)

It was very windy and rainy all day.  The most dramatic part of the day’s trip was the drive over Connor Pass, down into Dingle.  Very rocky, and only one lane for a couple miles, which included a very tight squeeze past a van coming down in the other direction; now I know the meaning of “wide spot in the road”!  Probably a good thing that there was no visibility off the side of the road due to major fog/clouds, so we couldn’t see what were avoiding falling off into.

We stopped in Dingle for gas and snacks, deciding not to go out on the loop at the tip of the peninsula, figuring that it was so icky, we wouldn’t really enjoy it.  On the way back, we stopped near Inch, where the wind was whipping Dingle Bay (right off the Atlantic) into a frenzy.  We tried to have lunch in Castlemaine, but the pub advertising “Good Food Served Daily” apparently had a different meaning of “Daily” in mind than we did.  We ended up with Fish & Chips at an Irish fast food joint called Micko’s in Kilorglin; I also had “curry fries”, fries with a glop of curry gravy on them.  (Pretty good, actually.  Not that far from poutine, I’m sure.)

(“Kil” – “Cill” in the Irish – means “church”.  Nothing to do with a battle site or anything like that.)

I have a couple rules when traveling:
  • You can eat at any restaurant, even the lowliest dive or chain restaurant, but you can’t eat at any restaurant (or any chain) twice.
  • And you can’t eat at any place that you could eat at when at home.
So no Burger King or Subway, but White Castle and Long John Silver’s (or Micko’s) are fine if you’re from the Northwest (since they aren’t).  I make an exception for “necessity foods” like coffee — Starbucks is fine anywhere (although if there a chain like Caribou, I frequent it instead of Starbucks when in Chicago and DC).  I also sometimes make an exception for brunch vs. dinner (in places where there are not a lot of breakfast options), since the meals tend to be so different.

Almost nothing was open in Killarney at 8:30 on a Monday night, and we didn’t want anything horribly fancy.  We ended up at a local Chinese place.  I can’t get Mom and Grandma to do Indian (which is why I went ahead and had the Chicken Curry for lunch yesterday and the Curry Fries today).  At the supermarket, I noticed Uncle Ben’s (apparently the same brand as in the States) has Curry and Korma sauces here.  I wonder if I can get those in Washington?

Other food experiments today were an apple soda called Cidona (not worth trying again) and a Moro bar, chocolate around caramel around a chocolate and crunch (malt?) center (pretty good).

Finally got my e-mail program set up to send and receive.  Good thing, since there were 90 items with the work e-mail on Thursday–Sunday, and 280+ on one work-related list I’m on that I’ll have to wade through in big ass chunks.  I also started posting these blog entries, with retro timestamps to echo when they were written, not when they were uploaded.

Checked out just what “black pudding” is via Wikipedia (blood sausage; blood plus fillers like oatmeal).  I had it a couple days ago and ate it (because one must try things like that when travelling, right?); it was okay, but nothing I’d write home about.  (Oops, too late!)  I also looked up “craic”, a term I’ve seen used by Irish boys on a couple cruise sites.  It’s nothing kinky, seems to mean roughly “fun” — “I’m a young, craic guy” — and comes from the same root as “crack”, a term we rarely use that way in English any more.

Tomorrow will probably be the Beara Peninsula, I think, or maybe Blarney Castle and other areas near Cork, although my mother has no interest in actually going into Cork or other cities.  If the weather is clear, we might do the Ring of Kerry rather than waiting for later in the week, lest it rain again.

Updated on January 4, 2010

No comments:

Post a Comment