Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Moran's Oyster Cottage at County Galway, Ireland

The Cliffs of Moher on the west coast of Ireland rise over 700 feet with a sheer vertical drop. Now if there is ever a need to switch off your lights in style, this is the place to make that jump. A good time to do it would be at about 6.00 in the evening as one is able to catch the setting sun in all its wondrous glory before meeting your maker.


Cliffs of Moher

Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with gold and silver light,

At the Cliffs of Moher

The blue and the dim and the dark clothes
of night and light and the half-light,

cliffs of Moher

I would spread the clothes under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;

Cliffs of Moher

I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

He Wishes For the Cloths of Heaven by W.B. Yeats (1865-1939)


The air was tense.

"You haven't planned for the Ireland segment yet." It was more of a statement than a question. We were due to fly from London to Dublin the next day.

I merely looked at him miserably and nodded my head. "I thought we could make it an adventure," I whimpered. "We could rent a car and drive around with just a map."

It sounded preposterous at that moment...a mere excuse for failing to make time to plan...but he let it pass.


Without trying to justify my failure to execute my part of the deal with him, I have to say that the week in Ireland reminded us of how our holidays used to be. Not the part about the lack of planning, but the carefree feeling of not really knowing what tomorrow would bring, and the freedom of driving across the country and stopping whenever we felt like it. Thankfully, it wasn't the height of the tourist season, and so we were able to book our accommodation quite easily.

The best thing about a DIY holiday is the freedom to eat at restaurants of our choice. We pored over books and searched the internet for recommended eateries at the cities and towns we were visiting, and it certainly helped that the Blakes were around to give us a helping hand. Several restaurants caught our fancy. One such restaurant was Moran's Oyster Cottage at The Weir, Kilcolgan, County Galway. Dating more than 250 years, Moran's is located at an inlet of Galway Bay and has since expanded its menu to include, in addition to oysters, other types of seafood such as crabs, lobsters and mussels. Apparently (and there was photographic evidence gracing the stone walls of the plainly decorated restaurant), the restaurant has been graced by the likes of famous people such as Roger Moore, Pierce Brosnan, Woody Allen and the Emperor and Empress of Japan. Fuiyoh.


Thankfully, prices were reasonable enough to enable us to sample two types of oysters - raw, with a squeeze of lemon......


....and baked oysters with garlic and cheese.

I must say that the oysters were splendid. The Galway Bay oysters were moderate in size, but extremely fresh, plump and a delight to eat. The right combination of fresh water and salt water plus a sufficient amount of plankton creates the wonderful flavour that is associated with these oysters.

Bailey's Cheesecake at Moran's

We couldn't leave without a taste of Bailey's cheesecake. A little bit of intoxication to contend with the glass of guinness, eh?


This is the view outside the cottage. Now this is what I call a holiday. :-)

As the dear Bard said, All's well that ends well, despite my obvious screwup in the planning. I do believe that I've been forgiven. Yes?


tigerfish said...

Wooo....I so love a DIY holiday! You really make me miss the times in England/Scotland. Have not made a trip to Ireland though I would love to someday.

wmw said...

I like the shot of the sun peeking out from the clouds...You have two lenses???

babelearner said...

I really like your pictures ...such professional ... so beautiful scenery and not forgetting the food as well =D food + drinks + scenery = v^^v

Kenny Mah said...

Oh I remember my own time backpacking across Ireland/Scotland solo with nary a plan or schedule very well... best time of my life! :D

Only wish my photos turned out half as well as yours though...

MeiyeN said...

gosh..... beautiful pictures, very very beautiful!!!!!!!!! i didn't know ireland is such a beautiful place!!!!!!!!!!!! and da oyster... by looking at it already can feel da..... "O" if you know what i mean.. hahahaha.. :p

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

tigerfish: Oh, you really should try to make it to Ireland. I've been going to England quite frequently, but used to skip Ireland due to lack of time. I'm glad this time we made a point to visit. One of the best times of our lives. :-)

wmw: Thanks, dear. :-) I brought more than two lenses. ;-)

babelearner: Thank you!! You're was a great combination for a wonderful holiday!

kenny mah: Oh, I have my fair share of horrible pictures. Wait till you see my pictures from South Africa. That's when I took loads of pictures of animals, but they were either so tiny that they could hardly be seen in the pictures, or they were hidden in the bushes. Yes, I had a lot of pictures of greenery with "missing" animals. hahaha.

meiyen: You have to view Ireland with your own eyes as I didn't capture half its beauty. I would walk around Ireland with tears in my eyes. That's how moved I was by its beauty. And the oysters...hahaha....that's not the only place that I had oysters, so you can imagine the effect!! :-P

UnkaLeong said...

Jealousy sets in...No Leprechaun ah?

kat said...

The rainbow... the pot of gold...
bear with me, okay? I have to imagine the fockin' pictures here.. LOL

You? Whimper? Chirp sweetly while batting your eyelids innocently would seem more like it!! :D

Live dangerously when you have no kids! Piss with the wind...

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

yes diy holidays n the freedom to eat what u want to eat and none of that crap they give u on tours..

a dozen of raw and a dozen of kilpatrick oysters pls?

Precious Pea said...

I love all the photos...SO SO NICE!! I like holiday that way, so free and easy.

fatboybakes said...

looking at that scenery, i cant decide if i want to burst into song, or plunge into a deep depression...

Pinky said...

Loved the photos. Wished I could take such beautiful photos.
Been to Scotland, Wales and Britain. Must go to Ireland one day. DIY rocks!

sc said...

breathtaking pictures, wonderful write up. thanks for sharing :)

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

unkaleong: I met someone who looked like the hobbit. Does that count?

kat: no fockin' rainbow la. I'm gonna have to start emailing you photos from now on. The things I do for my readers. :-P By the way, the batting of eyelids works only when done in moderation, else it'll lose its effect. muahaha.

Nipples: The sad thing is that when you're on tour, they sometimes serve you food that you're accustomed to here (local food). Of course, some would prefer that, but I know that I would always want to try something new when I'm travelling - that's part of the experience, isn't it? It isn't just enough to take a photo of yourself in front of the Statue of Liberty and say that you've seen America. :-P

Precious Pea: Thank yew! Well, we all know what your kinda DIY holiday would be like - makan, makan and more makan. hahaha. Gosh, I missed you when I was there la. We'd have so much fun exploring the makan places together!

fatboybakes: What you tok? You, the seasoned traveller, been to the far ends of the earth and back!

Pinky: Thanks! You should try to make a trip to Ireland one day. Now with so many budget airlines flying there from London, you could get there for next to nothing.

sc: Thanks! It's been wonderful writing my holiday's a way of not forgetting, isn't it?

tankiasu said...

Hey you took all those photos with your Lumix FZ5?

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

tankiasu: I took those photos with a Canon EOS400D. The scenery shots were mostly taken with a fisheye lens. The Lumix is taking a break right now. hehe.

kat said...

The ppl of AD thank you from the bottom of their hearts for showing them what they are missing... :D

I would do nothing but snap photos whole day long if I were there.. Such majestic rugged beauty.

Christy said...

You are so so so lucky!!!
I so want a holiday now!!:D
And I love your pics!!:)

maninas: food matters said...

the photos are amazing! I really enjoyed reading this post. :)

Big Boys Oven said...

Lovely oyster lovely cliff!!! reminds me of scotland!

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

kat: I am most happy to be of service to the people of the fine and sandy city of AD. Oh, I viewed a lot of Ireland through my lenses. You can imagine how fast my shutter speed went.

christy: hehe...BE and I work hard and play hard. So we felt this was a well-earned holiday. :-) I'm so glad u liked the pics!

maninas: Thanks for dropping by! You have a great blog and wonderful photos too. :-)

BBO: Yes, it does feel somewhat like Scotland. But it's probably a little more remote than Scotland.

FireHorse said...

Sigh I wish I cud go there one day.

msiagirl said...

What a post - a kiss from fingertips to you for your amazing photos and I loved your including a bit from Yeats - ahhh - your pictures made my hairs all stand on end, they were so beautiful! Such a pleasure.

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

firehorse: can mah. Make loads of money of your popular blog and let it fund ur trip. :-)

msiagirl: You're so sweet la. It was a pleasure writing this post...I dreaded doing this post as I thought I wasn't capable of doing justice to the beauty of this place, but if this post has left people wanting to explore outside their kampung, then maybe I have done my part a bit. :-)

jason said...

Such lovely scenery. Can almost feel that I'm there.

Bet you had a good time ;)

Paprika said...

wow, those pictures are absolutely breathtaking! And the scenery too. ;-)

Cynthia said...

I love all of it. Soak it up for all of us.

Sze said...

i'd forgotten about that poem - one of the loveliest in the english language, and appropriately set against those stunning pics!

ethnwg said...

i really love ur pictures. Beautiful. U've learned it before? Wat camera do you use if u dont mind me asking


Lyrical Lemongrass said...

jason: yes, the scenery's really lovely. you'd love it there.

paprika: LOL! Yes, they're wonderful, aren't they? Yeah, the scenery too. :-P

cynthia: Yes, ma'am. :-)

sze: It's a lovely poem, isn't it? I thought it was very appropriate for such beauty.

ethnwg: Thanks! I read books and mags, and I used to use an analog SLR before digital became the buzzword. haha. I now use a Canon EOS400D.

Jackson said...

OMG!! The picture that u took!! It's heaven!!

Neko Hime said...

Bailey's dessert? damn... that is my fav liqueur!! i want :(

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

jackson: It does feel like it, doesn't it? :-)

neko hime: well, that's an idea, eh? Can try doing it urself. Don't forget to let me taste a piece. haha.

Vic said...

You are a really talented photog.

I think you are wasting a lot of AdSense revenue not having your site. Perhaps you should consider that.


Chubbypanda said...

Taking photos in Ireland is like taking photos at a fashion show; the pictures can't help but look good. However, you've got a wonderful eye for framing. Brava!

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

Vic, thanks! I'll think abt your suggestion.

Chubbypanda, I suppose there are photographic opportunities everywhere one turns, and the question is whether you think you can preserve that image in your mind's eye, or whip out the bulky camera and snap away.