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Sometimes the adventure starts late and completely unexpectedly, at 4:00 p.m. when you are moodily lying on the sofa. Then suddenly you want to eat something, but only in some beautiful place, far away, maybe on Lough Derg. Because it’s 90 km from Galway, where you’ve never been in your life.
So you exchange tracksuits for jeans, tie a colorful scarf around your neck, get in the car, and drive. Just a short piece through the motorway towards Limerick. Then you turn onto Scariff. And the road in County Clare is becoming twisting and fluffy green with ferns and trees. I already know many routes in Ireland, but this one surprised me afresh because it turned out to be a charming, green tunnel with forests, hills, and tall yellow tulips on the sides.
After an hour and a half of driving, the huge blue lake Derg appears to the right, and we drive into Killaloe, a picturesque village in County Clare with heritage status. However, when we cross the eighteenth-century bridge with thirteen arches on the River Shannon, we find ourselves in the equally magical town of Ballina, located in County Tipperary. These two twin towns literally look like one small town, although they are situated in separate regions. The riveting story of Lough Derg is entwined with the history of the High King of Ireland, Brian Ború, who fell at the Battle of Clontarf in 1014.
A lot of boats drift on the lake. We park the car near the chamomile field. From there, we can admire the mysterious bridge and the slightly foggy hills above the lake. But first, we have to eat something. We choose Tuscany Bistro, with a real olive tree in the interior. We haven’t tried such delicious and perfect food for a long time. I order a divine vegetarian lasagne, and Maciek ordered a hake served with lentils and asparagus. For this, we have super salads with lots of fresh vegetables. And for dessert, phenomenal Cannoli Sicilliani with cream and pistachios. This is the dream restaurant for a wonderful dinner!
The rain is drizzling, this time quite nicely and it did not bother us to sit on the shore of the lake under a big umbrella with an advertisement for Moretti beer. Now, we feel like in our younger years – totally free and full of present moments. And as we walk across the bridge, the water raises above us the song Sussane Vega, which some bard plays acoustically on the terrace of a nearby pub.
In a word, Killaloe/Ballina is a great spot for a holiday. There are kayaks and hiking trails waiting on the shore.
How often is it enough to get out of the house and turn a gloomy day into a fantastic experience? Dare to such moments. Meanwhile, my dream is to swim in the sparkling blue water, soon. If the summer comes to Ireland .;-)