Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Nereffid goes west

No posts for a whole week? Dear oh dear. The main reason was that recurrent time of year, beloved by working-at-home parents: mid-term break. So we decided to go to Galway for a long weekend. Travel tip for those planning to go to Galway for a long weekend: don't leave it till a week beforehand. So we ended up in Oranmore rather than Galway. But a pretty good weekend ensued anyway.

On our way home, we decided to take a detour to Clonmacnoise, but first get some lunch in Ballinasloe. Before they built the motorway, you had to drive through Ballinasloe, so it was never especially beloved by travellers. Now, though... Well, if there's any aspiring guerilla filmmakers out there who want to make a movie about a post-apocalytpic wasteland, then Ballinasloe at midday on a Sunday in February would be an ideal location. Options for lunch? There was a Supermac's. Or... another Supermac's. Or... yes, another Supermac's. Rather than turn round again and go to a supermarket for some sandwiches, we decided to just keep going, and take our chances in Shannonbridge. On the way out of Ballinasloe you pass over the River Suck. My response was "Yeah? Well so does your town!"

The first thing that strikes you about Shannonbridge is the sign, five miles outside the town, that says "Supermac's 5 miles". But we got a good lunch, thanks to the Napoleonic wars. Back then, there were worries that the French would invade Ireland, and so one of the defences built at the time was a fort beside the Shannon at Shannonbridge. Now it's a restaurant. Called The Old Fort. I meant to ask Ethan where Napoleon kept his armies, but I never got round to it.

Suitably fed, it was time to Come On Feel The Clonmacnoise...

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