I still had yet to post about our visit to the Aran Islands, so 6+ months later in the dead of a New England winter seemed like the time to do it.
After our trip to Galway, we boarded a ferry for Inishmore, one of the Aran Islands. We docked at a cool windy spot and were greeted by Irishmen ready to pick us up by van, bike or horse to bring us to our accommodations. We had stepped back in time. We opted for bikes, and rode the 4ish miles along the rocky coast to the Man of Aran Cottages Bed & Breakfast. It was a cozy set of cottages along the ocean maintained by an older couple who were just lovely.
As soon as we arrived, we were offered tea and sweets on the back patio overlooking the sea. It was a perfect place to read and soak in some of the sunny rays. I have to say, it was pretty cool here. Temperatures in July were probably 50s and 60s (and they said this was unusually warm).
Before going in for dinner, Tim and I took a walk up the one road that circles the island.
We arrived back at the cottage ready for delicious meal that had been prepared.
After dinner, we cozied up and watched the 1934 movie that made the cottage famous called Man of Aran. It was an interesting semi-silent film with stunning scenes of the tumultuous seas and played on a television that was only equipped to play that movie. The next morning we ventured out on a bike ride and hike up to a prehistoric fort dating from before 1,000 BC called Dun Aonghasa overlooking the sea by about 300 feet.
We spent the rest of the day taking walks, napping, walking the gardens and taking our bikes back into town (and by town I mean a small country store, a sweater shop and a couple pubs.)
I bought a beautiful wool sweater, hat and socks that have served me so well during this cold New England winter!
After a couple nights on the island, we were getting antsy to get back to the mainland and the end of our trip was nearing, so we took the ferry back to Galway and then train back to Dublin. We had just one hour left before the last Guinness brewery tour, so knowing full well Tim would never forgive me if we left Ireland without having a pint here, we walked from the train station directly to the brewery, luggage and all. Tired from traveling, the pints were most welcomed.
That evening, we spent time with our wonderful host Daragh, his partner and a friend that was visiting from Spain. We ate cheese, drank wine and laughed together. But just before that we had dinner at one of the best places we ate in Ireland and that would be at The Rustic Stone. Everything tasted fresh, seasonal and flavorful. Based on the other meals we had eaten in Ireland, this had a trendy, new flair on traditional Irish ingredients. We loved it!
The next morning with luggage in hand, we huffed it a good mile or two to the Bald Barista. How could I leave Ireland without tasting what was touted as the best coffee in Ireland? Well, let me just tell you that Ireland is not known for their coffee. Luckily, despite the caffeine-driven detour to the cafe, we still make it to the airport in time.
And before we knew it, we were back in Boston.
All in all, a memorable trip that I'll be grateful for for years to come.