July 16, 2010

like a gallway girl

We had so many wonderful experiences on our trip to Europe that it's hard to pick the ones to share. The West coast of Ireland? Incredibly beautiful and the nicest people you will find anywhere on the planet. Barcelona? Buzzing and full of life and more to see and do than we could have possibly made time for in four days. San Sebastian (in the North of Spain, Basque country) was my second favorite, tied with Lisbon, which is the most chic, cosmopolitan city in Europe. Now I love Paris more than I can explain, but I'm here to tell you there is something very special about Lisbon. You'll just have to go there to experience it for yourself. And then there was the Douro Valley of Portugal, which is one of the Best Kept Secrets of Europe. Trust me on this one.

I thought I'd start with Ireland, since we started there first and because it was just too beautiful. And because they love Americans, which is always a nice bonus. And because they sang to me about Gallway girls: "her hair was black and her eyes were blue", just like me. I found my people!

We spent the majority of our time in the Spanish Point area, which includes the breath-taking Cliffs of Moher and the Aran Islands. Along with my two brothers, sister, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, husband (!), mom, and mom's friend, we spent four days staying in a little cottage, driving around the coast, riding bikes on the Aran Islands, cooking great food, and spending much-needed time together.

Since we cooked at the house for almost every meal, I don't have any great food stories. To be honest, the food in Ireland is quite expensive. I also happen to have a culinary genius for a sister-in-law, who spoils us rotten every time I see her. Her lemon olive chicken stewed in white wine? To die for. 

I did, however, come across this lovely little scone made by the wife of a nice Irish man selling coffee at one of the piers as we were waiting to board our ferry to the island of Inishmore. Did I want butter and jam, he asked? Um, yes please. That's what a Gallway girl would do, I bet.

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