Ireland Revisited – 2010

Shopping in Town of Dingle

May 2 – 12, 2010

 

Part 1: Flights from Memphis to Shannon

Part 7:  Shopping in Town of Dingle

Part 2: Drive to Dingle on Southwest Coast

Part 8:  Beautiful Sights near Slea Head

Part 3: Holden Leather, Dingle Golf Links

Part 9:  Drive Over Connor Pass to Shannon

Part 4: Ballydavid, Historic Brandon’s Creek

Part 10: Shopping in Shannon, Flights Home

Part 5: Playing Golf at Cheann Sibeal

Link to 2003 Trip to Dingle and Vicinity

Part 6: Slea Head Drive, Mulcahy Pottery

Link to 2002 Trip to Dingle and Vicinity

 

- Updated June 14, 2010

 

Ten photos mainly taken by Betty Nolan are posted at www.kodakgallery.com in an album entitled “Ireland – 2010” under the account of Lewis “Buzz” Nolan’s email address. Email lewis_nolan@yahoo.com for instructions on how to access.

 

By LEWIS NOLAN

 

May 9, 2010 –Sunday – Shopping and Poking Around Dingle’s Interesting Harbor

 

We arose just before 8 a.m. to a rare but picture-perfect Spring morning in coastal Ireland.

 


 

(From left) Lewis and Betty Nolan with Liz and Sean Daly at Dingle Crystal shop

 

 

Skies had zero clouds and were clear blue, forming a beautiful frame to the green hillsides around Dingle Harbor where our hotel claims a magnificent view.

 

The tide was out and we could see some of the mud of shoreline banks. Assorted wild sea birds scurried around the waterline hunting for soft things to eat.

 

Eating for us came again at the delightful breakfast buffet offered guests at the Dingle Skellig. I had my usual pair of poached eggs, several slices of Irish bacon, a small banana, glass of tomato juice, two dried prunes and a few slices of freshly cut cantaloupe served with brown bread.

 

A typically friendly and nice hotel desk clerk named Grannia told us she knows Grannia O’Connor, sister of publican Sean O’Connor of Ballydavid. The O’Connor Grannia has been working in the Dingle tourism office but is out now on maternity leave and expecting her third child, we learned. It’s no wonder the Irish seem to greatly enjoy one another’s company in this small town – they all are either related or know one another by reputation. Plus, from what I’ve seen, the Irish are great readers of national and local newspapers, unlike the dwindling circulation of such in the U.S. in the face of gobs of information available in other media including the Internet.

 

After a mid-morning nap, we drove our rental KIA sports utility vehicle and parked for free adjacent to the town’s marina for pleasure boats. Much of the harbor is surrounded by nicely paved walkways marked by various monuments and statuary. Tied up in the older section of harbor are fishing boats in various states of disrepair and service. We saw a big one being unloaded of shipping boxes of processed shrimp in assorted sizes.

 

On this day we also saw the launch a fleet of tiny sailboats skippered by young children. A regatta near the mouth of the harbor seemed to be the occasion. A fairly new mooring facility had been built for yachting tenants. One offered tour boat excursions at a reasonable price (40 Euros each) from the port to the nearby Blasket Islands.

 

In good weather, passengers have distant views of the Skellig Islands, an ancient bastion of Christian monks safe and secure from the church unrest affecting so much of Europe in the Middle Ages. We decided on the spot to take the scenic cruise in a restroom-equipped tour boat the next day.

 

One of the tourism signs in the harbor area identified a picturesque, tiny bird that darted about - with black-and-white feathers as a Pied Wagtail.

 

Betty and I walked through town to the now-familiar Dingle Crystal shop and took some pictures along the way of St. Mary’s Cathedral and several shops.. We again enjoyed a tasty lunch of fresh salad made by Dingle Crystal co-proprietor Liz Daly and met her son and a nice young lady friend visiting the shop. We invited Liz to join us at the Skellig restaurant for dinner the next evening and to bring husband Sean if he returned from family business in Cork across the country on time.

 

Once back at our hotel, I opted to nap while Betty washed a couple of loads of clothes in a hotel washer-dryer installation. However, the coin-operated dryer didn’t work properly and a nice hotel employee offered to dry them in a hotel appliance as a service. While the Irish seem to work on their own clocks that are a mystery to time-sensitive Americans, we have found them to be generally very helpful and hospitable when approached as friends rather than servants.

 

I’m conscious of the health fact that my body seems to require significantly more nap time than it did just a few years ago – even after walking mile or more in fresh air. At yet another wonderful dinner, I hugely enjoyed perhaps the freshest cut of salmon I’ve ever had, served on a bed of spaghetti-like vegetables. Betty had a tasty piece of Hake fish, followed by a shared piece of sticky toffee pudding cake swimming in caramel sauce with fresh raspberries and strawberries.

 

After dinner, I continued reading W. E. B. Griffin’s noteworthy paperback novel about the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II, “In Danger’s Path,” while Betty tended to folding and packing laundry done with the help of hotel staff.

 

(Continue With Part 8, Beautiful Sights near Slea Head)  /  (Return to Nolan Travels Home Page)