Thursday, November 17, 2016

Celebrating 14 years in Ireland! Part nine

After we had our Guinness at The Reel Inn in Donegal, Bill and I had lunch at a very cool restaurant called The Olde Castle Bar.  We were mainly attracted to the restaurant because of the menu, but I have to admit that it was a very striking place with its stoney architecture.


The Olde Castle Bar.


A friendly waitress invited us to pick a table.  Bill ordered sparkling water and I ordered a local craft beer made by Donegal Brewing Company.  Established in 2011, the Donegal Brewing Company has been making interesting new suds for Irish people.  I found the Atlantic Amber Ale a nice change from Guinness.


Atlantic Amber Ale, very nice beer from Donegal Brewing Company.  


Delicious seafood chowder.  Truthfully, this would have been enough food!


Lobster!  And it didn't cost over 60 euros, like it did in Germany!


Chips and salad... and a shell cracker that caused me to pinch the hell out of my fingers!


Hearty seafood pie with vegetables.


Obligatory shot of Bill!


For lunch, Bill and I split a delicious seafood chowder that was creamy and full of potatoes, salmon, shrimp, and scallops.  It came with hearty brown bread.  Bill had "seafood pie", which was basically a thicker version of the chowder topped with mashed potatoes.  I had a bay lobster, which came with fries, mashed potatoes, and a salad.  It was a lot of food and I was pretty well sustained for the rest of the day!  If you're in Donegal, I would definitely recommend the Olde Castle Bar for a meal.  The food and service are great and they also display lots of patches from police departments, many of which were in the USA.  I even saw one from Germany.

From lunch, we decided to try to get to Slieve League, which is a mountain park where one can see some of the highest sea cliffs in Europe.  We had very good intentions of getting there and plugged in the town in the GPS.  Unfortunately, we plugged in the wrong town and ended up hell and gone from where we were supposed to go!  By the time we got to the wrong town, it was getting dark and gloomy anyway.  We did manage to see some beautiful scenery, though.  At one point, the GPS had Bill going through some very wild territory with narrow roads.  He almost ran our rental car aground letting someone pass.  Good thing we sprang for full insurance coverage on the car!

A stop at a gas station reminded us that we had ventured into an area where people typically speak Gaelic.  There were signs in Gaelic everywhere!  Maybe we'll try to find the cliffs again if the weather clears up today.

We drove back to our cottage in Sligo, which took some time.  After a night's rest, we woke yesterday to our anniversary.  Because it looked kind of gloomy yesterday morning and we didn't really feel like trying to go anywhere, we stayed in and hung out with each other.  I got many amazing photos of the beach, as well as a photo of one plucky lad with a surfboard.  Apparently, there is a surf school near Aughris and people go surfing year round.


Surfing in Ireland in November?  Who knew!


Last night, we had a lovely dinner at a restaurant in Sligo called Coach Lane.  It was recommended by a bell hop at The Marker Hotel in Dublin.  Our waiter was a very pleasant fellow who took great care of us, even as we were sitting in the vicinity of a group of rowdy Polish men.  Our waiter explained that those guys had been coming around all week.  Apparently, one or two of them was working in the area.


Bill at the Coach Lane Restaurant.


More seafood chowder!  It was so good, but I had to pace myself.


Bill had a scallop tart.


Delightful roasted duck and vegetables for my main course...


Bill had a sirloin with portobello mushroom.


And for dessert, a nice little panoply of treats.  We shared it.

Before the tip, our dinner came to about 115 euros.  We brought home leftovers from our main courses, which will probably get eaten for lunch today.  Below are some more beach scenes from yesterday.  It's a real pleasure to get to see the weather and tide affect the sea...  And, as someone who grew up near the Atlantic Ocean, I am very pleased to get to see it from the eastern side.










 




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