Back in Tourist Ireland

We strayed off the beaten path a bit yesterday in Limerick, but today is much more of what one comes to Ireland to see. Call us shallow.

Our destination today was Killarney, one of the possible jumping-off points in this part of the country for tomorrow’s adventure. We had an unstructured afternoon – which is a very unusual thing when travelling with Don. We browsed through shops, got my wedding ring polished, had lunch, went to the store where everything is €1.5 – which makes everything seem cheap if you forget about the euro sign – and generally got our official, albeit superficial, impression of Killarney.

Superficial our insights may be, but it doesn’t take an MBA to see that the stores cater to a somewhat affluent crowd, and many are devoted to the tourist trade. Things are clean and freshly painted, and there is a lot of foot traffic. People have most of their teeth, and are actually understandable. The fashions are a bit dowdy, but overall, this is a vibrant town with a lot going on. We are happier here!

Don’s Food Corner

Let’s call our main meal of the day Modern Irish. Set in a high-end cafeteria-style restaurant, all the usual suspects of Irish cuisine were offered — Irish stew, sausage roll, baked stuffed potato, shepherd’s pie, etc. — but all seemingly cleaned up and lightened up. I went for the baked fillet of salmon with spinach in a pastry. Jo opted for a goat cheese tart with pesto sauce. Plus, she tried the soup of the day, potato and leek (another Irish standard found on every menu in Ireland when they aren’t offering tomato since, apparently, there are only two soups in this country). Each of our mains came with a choice of two sides from an array of various salads, like potato, egg, carrot, lentil, etc.

While the Modern Irish versions of these dishes were welcome, I’d say it makes it all rather generic tasting.  Where’s the danger?  Where’s the weirdness?  Where’s the adventure into the unknown?  Where’s the foreignness?



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