Carrick On Shannon

Tommy Bartending at Cryan's Pub

On our first trip to Ireland, we spent two weeks in a self-catering cottage in Carrick-On-Shannon in Co. Leitrim. We thought that the kitchen in this cottage was so cute! Later we learned that in most homes they have tiny refrigerators and stoves, probably because they do their grocery shopping daily, and they don't keep a lot of food on hand as we do here.

Carrick is a resort town right on the River Shannon with a marina and fishing is the preferred pasttime. We rented this lovely cottage from Graham Bailey, who was in property management, but also ran fishing holidays for tourists. Every morning we would go to a small cafe on the corner of Bridge Street and Dublin Road. We would have coffee and breakfast or a pastry. Pavlova was my favorite pastry. It is a crunchy meringue shell filled with whipped cream and fruit. The cafe is next door to Cryan's River's Edge Pub and Restaurant. This is where we first discovered pub food. Mary Burke was our waitress and she treated us as if she had known us all of her life. Every time we went in there she would call us by name and give us the best service we have ever had before or since.

Carrick is full of nice shops and we had a wonderful time browsing through them. We liked the two department stores similar to our Ben Franklin Five and Dime. They are called Quidsworth and Pounds Cheaper. They carry everything you could think of from souvenirs to household items and much more. There are an abundance of clothing stores and shoe stores, where I bought my first pair of Irish shoes! You know the kind ... black with square toes and a big chunky heel.

There are all kinds of restaurants and take away shops, hotels, a movie theater, bakeries, butcher shops, and a pub is located at almost every other building in the town. They don't have supermarkets like we have in the States. The Irish food store is about the size of our convenience stores. Their convenience store or "News Agent" is a tiny shop that sells newspapers, drinks, cigarettes, candy, and ice cream novelties, as well as a small selection of packaged foods such as bread, milk, butter, and cookies.

Stone house near Boyle Abbey, Co. Roscommon

One of the nicest views to take in is the parade of boats going up and down the Shannon. I'm sure that most of them are on fishing holidays. Graham Bailey invited us to join him and his British Fishermen Tour at a small pub in Jamestown, just outside of Carrick. It was their last night in Ireland and they were having a farewell party. We had a lot of fun that night and they were just as fascinated with us Americans as we were with them. A grand time was had by all.

Click here for the next story Passing Thru Drumshanbo.

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