14 September 2008

Wexford - The Land of Tea & Cakes

County Wexford. Sometimes known as the sunny southeast of Ireland...I prefer to call it the Land of Tea & Cakes.

Kelly was away all last week on business in Galway. She arrived back in Dublin by train around 9pm on Friday to find Michael, Patrice & I waiting. The car was packed and we were all on our way down to Wexford, to visit with Michael's cousins down by the sea.

Normally Patrice does the driving, but Michael rented a car for this trip so he could keep his driving skills up to date. Off we went on our 2 1/2 hour journey south.

We arrived just before midnight in the sleepy village of Fethard-on-Sea, population about 300, 30 or so who are Michaels relations and were waiting for us at the Pub. We were welcomed straight off the road, into the pub for a few pints to wash the road off of us.

It had been arranged that we would all be staying at Michaels cousin, Oonagh's house. We got there late and slept in a bit. Saturday turned out to be a GORGEOUS day....

Oonagh lives on the Quay road with a great view of the Bay. She has a new construction house with all the bells and whistles...above is the view looking past her house from the hill behind..and below is the view out to the sea from the same hill looking away from the house.

Beautiful location for a house.

The picture below is of an aerial shot Oonagh has framed on her wall. Her house is the one just off to the right of center. Her little homestead is nestled on a spit of land in between the sea and the bay in Wexford...very, very nice.

On Saturday, we had breakfast then went on walkabout, down to the dock near where Michael's Mom grew up.

Michael & Patrice...sitting on the dock of the bay..watching time slip away.

We then drove around the tip of the bay opposite of Oonagh's house and walked on the beach for an hour or so

above, Oonagh's house from across the way

It was great day to be outside. Michael's cousin MayB and her daughter Oonagh joined us for a walk on the beach. The girls walked & talked while Mike & I basically turned into 7 yr olds. We had a great time finding cool rocks and skipping stones.

After the beach we drove to the Hook Head Lighthouse, which happens to be the oldest operating lighthouse in Europe. We met some more of Michael's cousins up there and had lunch.

I took the picture below on Hook Head on the way to the lighthouse...click on it to see it full size and see how beautiful it was that day.

The lighthouse itself was surprisingly interesting. We got the tour and went up to the top to check out the view.

Kelly & I on top of the ol lighthouse.

Now, you're probably wondering where the tea and cakes come in. Well, as is par for the course when you're visiting people, you're usually offered refreshments etc. Its of course no secret that the Irish drink a lot of tea...but when we were in Wexford, everywhere we stopped we were also greeted by cakes, tarts, breads, and buns. Not your run o' the mill store bought baked goods either...fresh homemade stuff.

Michael's Aunt made us an apple tart, which we destroyed in one sitting over tea...bye bye tart, we loved you.

On Saturday night we met up with MayB, her husband Pascal and daughter Oonagh for dinner at the local pub, Neville's. After a great meal and our second night of merry making at the local, we headed home by foot to see if we could of course scare up some tea & cake.

It was a quiet moonlit walk in the country back to Oonagh's house...took us about 20 minutes. Nice end to a nice evening.

Up at the crack of noon, we all made another big breakfast fry of rashers, pudding, sausage and scrambled eggs. Kelly buttered 700 pieces of toast and we all mistakenly drank each others coffee as we fueled up for another day of Wexford exploration.

Our final destination before heading back to Dublin was Michael's cousins Domini's house to visit with her, her husband Ray, their 3 young sons (Stephen, Martin & Brian) and to see their incredible farm on the water that consists of who knows how many acres of land including 7 castles on their property...yes, Castles on their property !

We were short on time and it was raining, so we didn't have a chance to break out our archeological gear and scramble around their ruins. We, of course, did have time to have tea and some fresh out of the oven hot apple baked goodness with cream on top !

...and enjoy the view.

Kelly had to catch a train to Galway from Dublin at 8pm so we hit the road, leaving behind the Land of Tea & Cakes, new friends and great memories.

Thanks Wexford...now that we know you, we'll be back !


Becky said...

Very cool! Looks so beautiful, but I don't see enough cakes in this post!

Anonymous said...

I am so green with envy. Sounds exactly like I would imagine a wonderful weekend away in Ireland would be .Thanks for your essay. I want to be there.
Love, Helen

Anonymous said...

So, just curious, what does Oonagh and her husband do for a living? That looks like some expensive plot of land! Gorgeous and how wonderful you got some sunshine. Eileen

tina haltigan said...

Beautiful...thanks for sharing

Anonymous said...

damn that was a cool farm.