An article from Traveling Pat!
Back on the Road – England & Ireland by Patricia
I got to England toward the end of August for a three week trip, some of it in the Cotswold’s with Barb and her aunt and uncle and some in Ireland with Barb, Donna and Denis.
On one of our outings we piled into Audrey’s little car (jammed might be more like it) and headed off to a village called Burford where I am to have, as Audrey put it, a “proper English tea”. Oh my god…My arteries were humming and I stave off the guilt as I stuff 2 giant scones loaded with sumptuous clotted cream and taste bud tingling raspberry jam down my gullet. Mmmmmm. Then we waddled down the main drag to do some shopping.
Next we head to this really interesting but kind of eerie feeling place called Gibbet Hill which in 1676 was the site of the fist hanging of a man and woman together. The exceptionally high gallows were made just for those two to punish them for murdering the man’s wife and 6-year-old son. (They were turned in by the village idiot Mad Thomas) They hung there together for who knows how long, visible from 4 counties away a grim deterrent to others who might have a similar sort of plan. That didn’t seem to put us off our feed and we headed down the hill to the Swan Pub for lunch. This pub had a newspaper on the wall displaying an article written about them on page 87 of the world’s first newspaper. So cool! The newspaper only had illustrations in those days.
As we rolled and swayed our way across the Irish Sea to Rosslier Ireland we were slightly mystified because the sea was relatively calm. It turned out that the boat we were on had one engine down which was not only bad because it was swaying around so much but bad because it was taking longer than usual. Denis had his seasick bracelets on and he and I were sipping fizzy drinks plus fixating our eyes on the horizon. (I never was a good sailor) At times we were distracted by the poor man next to us who was rushing back and forth with seasick bags for his family. His wife was down for the count and 2 of his kids were upchucking extremely loudly the whole way over. Very pleasant. Meanwhile waiters were deftly zipping back and forth with large trays of food for the hardier travelers. At one point I dared to stagger my way below to the duty free shop but that turned out to be a mistake and I spent the rest of the voyage glued to my seat.
When we got off the ferry we began our sojourn to Kenmare and our splendid B&B. We instantly fell in love with Ireland as we drove along the oh so green landscape on the oh so teeny weenie little roads. Try driving a big SUV there! Not being a group to do thorough research we thought it would take about an hour and our vision was to drive through the mist for a bit and then we would be sitting by our fireplace wrapped in cozy, handmade throws, sipping tea while our Irish stew simmered tantalizingly from the kitchen. The reality was – the sun was blazing down the whole way on the 5-½ hour drive through the prettiest landscape ever. After deciphering the “war and Peace” sized directions we finally made it the local butcher shop to get our key. Now we are totally immersed in all things Irish and having a great time. Yesterday while we were hiking I thought I spotted a leprechaun but it only turned out to be Barb wearing a green shirt coming out of nature’s loo in the forest. Darn! I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a fairy now.