May 2 – 12, 2010
- Updated June 26a, 2010
About 30 photos mainly
taken by Betty Nolan are posted at www.kodakgallery.com
in an album entitled “
By LEWIS NOLAN
May 11, 2010 – Tuesday
- Drive over Connor Pass by way of Abbeyfeale to
We started out last, full day in
Betty Nolan by overlook of beautiful Atlantic Ocean from narrow, winding Slea Head Road cut into cliffs on Southwest Ireland Coast
Betty did her always great job of packing our clothes and
gear while I read the day’s issue of the fine Irish Times newspaper. It has an
entirely different approach to reporting the news than the major newspapers in
With porter help from hotel staff (and after paying our room charges for meals and drinks for the week of over 600 Euros), we loaded up our rental SUV and pulled out of the Dingle Skellig shortly after 10 a.m. Predictably given the sometimes confusing and missing Irish road signage, we had to back track a bit to get on the right road that would take us to the high pass over Connor Mountain that protects Dingle.
As we had in previous visits, we drove without incident on
the sometimes narrow, winding roads and only stopped at a turnout to take
photos of the magnificent views. Driving on the main highway – N21 - through
the good-sized town of
Betty remembered previous visits to the store and dealing
with a pleasant young man working there as a clerk in what seemed to be a
family business. She purchased an exquisite, tabletop sculpture of two racing
greyhounds to be donated to the Mid-South Greyhound Adoption program at the dog
racing track in
The store’s clerk and also its evident owner, a woman we presumed was the owner, were very accommodating to us. They packed the purchased sculpture in a box for air travel.
Thankfully, the traffic on Highway N21 outside
A lot of ongoing road construction on the route we followed
meant we were wrapped around much of the city of
By pure luck, we pulled off the highway at a service station
It turned out that our pre-paid room reserved by our
The TV news programs were all but dominated by the sudden
I was struck by the fact that this episode is the 13th
change in government that Queen Elizabeth has worked through since her
coronation as Queen. I stayed home from
As little as I like to admit it, I frankly had not even a clue on this day about the differences between the political imperatives and philosophies of the outgoing Labour Party and the incoming Conservative and coalition-linked support parties of British government. I remain a big fan of former Prime Minister Tony Blair of Labour, who seemed to be a world colossus in his day a few years back and fully the intellectual nd public speaking equal of U.S. President Bill Clinton.
Realistically, I also think it would be very hard to
intellectually explain the meaningful differences between the main-line
We ate dinner earlier than normal, at 6 p.m. Our meals were OK – but not great – and were served as “bar food” due to the day of the week and time of day. I had some pretty good sea bass served with indifferent spinach but a few French fries that pleased. Betty had some so-so, fried prawns dredged in flour and butter. We split a tasty crème brulee.
We thought the Oak Wood Arms – decorated in dark woods like a 19th Century Gentleman’s Club with some decorations of historic aviation memorabilia (probably due to the goodly number of international flight crews who overnight there) – was nice. The price arranged by our travel agent was reasonable and we’ll probably stay there again in the future.
My only complaint of any gravity was the inpenetrable, English plumbing in the bathroom that made a decent water temperature in the shower all but impossible. Oddly, the hotel desk had no stamps to sell that were needed to mail government-required forms to obtain refunds for VAT (value added taxes) we paid for eligible purchases. The taxes paid were refunded for items shipping overseas.