Thursday, September 02, 2010

Holiday in Ireland – Day 5

Here we are then, approaching the end of the holiday - with just one more day to go!

The weather forecast is for a hot day (again!), something like 20-21 degrees, so we’re going to drive south, down to Newry and then onto Kilkeel on the coast and then follow the coast road up to re-visit Newcastle.

9.10am: We left earlier than normal and had a really smooth journey to our first destination.

11.35am: We arrived in Newry, and having skipped breakfast, we desperately looked for somewhere to eat. Ah ha! A ‘greasy-spoon’ beckoning us with its ‘full-fry-up’. Perfect!!!

Newry was a busy town and parking is tricky, but we managed to find a space along the high street. The best thing about here (other than the excellent breakfast) is that it has quite a few shops. There was even the obligatory graveyard for supermarket trolleys – the canal!

Looking down the high street in Newry Supermarket graveyard

We’re now fully refreshed and able to take on the full-retail experience!!!! In spite of the modern shopping centre, apart from the M and S, there wasn’t that many shops that attracted us.

Ahh, proper shops More shops

1.00pm: We’re on our way round to Kilkeel, but we stopped off in Warrenpoint, another busy town, to write a few postcards  before continuing on our coastal route.

1.20pm: Kilkeel is a harbour town and there wasn’t much to see here. Heck, we couldn’t even get Radio 4!!! So, we didn’t stop, it was straight onto Newcastle.

1.45pm: We arrived in Newcastle (where we’d been on Sunday) and parked-up. The first thing we noticed this time round, was the rather posh Lidl building – very unusual! We both fancied a ‘99’, but that proved a task too far. We wandered down the high street and headed for the restaurant that we’d been to on Sunday.  It wasn’t quite as busy today, and we easily got a seat outside in the sun. In the absence of 99s, we settled for crepes. The flavours were mostly based around a Canadian/Moose theme (even the coffee cups). I had a ‘caramoose’ (a crepe with bits of moose fudge in it), and Ann chose ‘guilty pleasures’, full of sliced banana. The service was pretty slow, and after I chased it, they gave us a couple of free coffees as compensation – nice!

A posh Lidl Newcastle Moose

2.35pm: Suitably stuffed, we headed back-up the high-street, bought a paper, very close to where we had parked the car – that’s when we discovered the newspaper shop sold 99s – Doh!!!

3.35pm: Back at the apartment - time for a read of the paper and some sun-bathing.

7.00pm: We dropped into The Cuan, as normal, but here was no sign of Peter tonight. And just as it looked as if it was going to be an evening-like-any-of-our-previous-ones-there, things took an interesting turn. We got chatting to an elderly couple on the table next to us – Ronnie and Betty. They’d retired to Ireland in the sixties from Surrey, and we talked about how nice the area and the people are in Ireland. Next thing was, they invited us back to theirs for coffee.

8.25pm: So we paid the bill and Ronnie went on ahead whilst we three followed a few minutes later. They lived just down the road, (near to Audley’s Castle), and wow, what a place! Stunning views over the water and just gorgeous inside – totally unique in design. We chatted about this-and-that and it was soon past our bed-time! We swapped contact details and headed back to the apartment.

9.45pm: On the short (but very misty) journey back, we reflected on our meeting – meet two total strangers in a restaurant – get chatting – and then be asked back to theirs afterwards. I can’t imagine a similar scenario happening back a home; people are so friendly out here!

It’s been a great day (and towards the end, a surprising one!). The weather has been just perfect – we couldn’t have picked a better week. The forecast for tomorrow is the same, so we’re going to head off to Belfast.