On our Best of Ireland Trafalgar Tour, we saw the spectacular Cliffs of Moher.
We also stopped at a sacred well where St. Brigid baptized people. The Celtic church allowed women clergy. It is believed that the well became holy because of the baptisms performed there. Some credit the well with healing. Brigid’s cross is a square cross crafted from reeds. Believers tie ribbons and bits of cloth to trees over the well in the hope that their ailment will be cured when the token falls from the tree. I touched the water. It was cold.
In Ireland, golfers are not permitted to use buggies unless they have a doctor’s note. The golf courses are lumpy, wind-blown challenges. Rocky, barren hills known as the Burren are protected from farming and development. These fossil-rich hills have caves and stone-age burial sites. Our guide, Ann, said that the traditional way to eat oysters is to have a dozen of them with Guinness. She mentioned that oysters are an aphrodisiac. “One raises expectations; the other lowers them.”
We stayed in Galway and visited Galway Cathedral and the historic (shopping and restaurants) area.
Dinner at Dunguaire Castle was a joy. We drank pureed veggie soup from a bowl, ate bread and butter, and a small salad. The main course was chicken with a white mushroom sauce, served with cooked carrots and Italian green beans with fingerling potatos. We were given unlimited mead (wine made with honey), white wine, red wine, and water. Dessert was apple pie with whipped cream. A harpist played and a couple sang ballads. Given the unlimited alcohol, I was shocked and pleased that all made it down the narrow stone spiral staircase without incident.
At last, we collapse into bed at the Connacht Hotel in Galway.