Day 3 – Sketrick Island, Giant’s Causeway
How do you decide which is the day to have the best oysters in the world? Wellll, based on the probability of me not liking them and getting sick. Hence I voted for Monday, the day closest to our departure. Chris and Mr. ST were confident that my experience will be memorable and that my previous experience of not loving them was just part of the past. Their excitement drove the decision that Sunday, June 3rd would be the day.
We started the day with a quick breakfast at St. George’s Market, a cosy market with souvenirs, food, live music, and prints. By noon, it was time to stop faffing around and hop in the car towards Sketrick Island. I left the boys in front to entertain themselves with directions while I stretched and enjoyed lazying around in the back. There were moments of silence while we all contemplated what is the right number of oysters to guarantee complete satisfaction. Within an hour and a bit we encountered a shore well populated by boats, surely a clear sign … all this water activity must lead to excellent sea-food. Within a few minutes we were on the Island, walking around and getting a bit curious/nervous why we could not see any Cuan Oysters advertisements or even friendly mentions. While I was busy photographing a flower, Chris and Mr. ST interrupted a gentleman from his lawn mowing to ask for some information. ‘They went out of business 6 months ago’. All I could hear was a wave of laughter… the kind of laughter that sounds like crying. But there was hope as the man gave us a suggestion where they may have Cuan Oysters, a restaurant in Dundrum.
Chris took an executive decision that one disappointment was enough for the day so we soldiered on to go see the Giant’s Causeway. On the way of course we got really hungry and we tried to aim for a fish and chips place or even better fish and champ. Champ was a new discovery, mashed potatoes with spring onions. We relied on Mr. ST’s iPhone to find some place on the way. Buzzwords such as ‘fresh fish’, ‘daily’ and a specific location got the car all excited again. We got to the town to find the streets blocked for the Olympic Torch Relay/Jubilee party. So on we went towards the Causeway and in a parking lot, with an amazing view, we managed to share some chips and curry sauce.
We got to Giant’s Causeway in time to take some photos, enjoy the scenery and the splendid natural pattern. After trekking back from the causeway, we had a dinner that pretty much ended our culinary dreams. And with bellies full of average (as per Mr. ST) food we still managed to make it all worthwhile because right after we saw the most magnificent sunset. As the sun embraced the sea, I felt tears in my eyes and grateful for being there.
Day 4 – Donegal County
Donegal County was the focus of our 4th day. The plan was to drive around Glenveagh National Park and the Coast of Donegal. The first stop was Letterkenny for just a quick stretch, lunch and a hilarious show from Lords of Strut. We continued driving through the day, breathing all this beauty in, stopping to lie in the grass and taking photos. Similarly to our trip to Wales, we found here too, roads where we were not the kings of the road, sheep were. We had to drive gently through, while trying to attract them for photos. Although not as shy as their Welsh sisters, they still didn’t like the ugly black eye of the camera staring at them.
I kept hoping for some shops with tweed when we drove through several towns, and in Ardara we finally stopped to see a couple. Unfortunately we go there evening time and although the sign in the window said to wait a couple of minutes, after ringing, nobody came. Not all was lost as Mr. ST spotted the sign that would end up fulfilling the goal of the trip, ‘Fresh oysters served daily’ in the nearby pub, Nancy’s Bar and Restaurant. We had a dozen, and I had my full share, served with lemon juice, and indeed they were a burst of sea in my mouth.
Happy once again, we hopped in the car to go on a coastal drive. We wrapped up the day with a perfect combination of beach, cliffs, sheep and serenity at Gleann Cholm Cille and Sleve League Cliffs.
Day 5 – Dundrum and Belfast
Before our trip back, we followed through with a trip to Dundrum, to Mourne Seafood Bar for the chance of having Cuan Oysters as per the law mowing gentleman. We had a lovely fish/sea-food oriented meal and during our stay we kept asking and waiting for the fresh daily oysters to be delivered. They never came. So there we go … all this time trying to get Cuan Oysters and all we got was an amazing trip out of it.
Until next wander, serene times to us all!