Herself and I decided to fill the saddlebags and head to County Waterford on the Southern Coast of Ireland. Lismore is a beautiful village, some miles inland, and that was the first port of call that we decided on. Take the M9 motorway south from the capital and in less than two hours you will make Waterford City and then take the N25, in the direction of Cork, until you reach the outskirts of Dungarvan. You turn right onto the N72 and after a half an hour you pass through Cappoquin. A few miles (or kilometres) further on, on the N72, you will approach the town of Lismore. As you approach Lismore, the castle comes into view, and it is very impressive. It belonged to the Earls of Desmond and then the Dukes of Devonshire. Famous people associated with the castle include Sir Walter Raleigh; William Cavendish, a British Prime Minister; and, Charles Cavendish (9th Duke) who married Adele Astaire, sister of Fred Astaire. Part of the castle is now open as an art gallery and the castle gardens are also open to the public. But Lismore offers a lot more than the castle, impressive as it may be. It is a very picturesque town and there is an abundance of interesting buildings and a beautiful park to visit. When we arrived we were a little peckish and I remembered a pub / restaurant where I had eaten on a previous occasion that I had rode down on the bike.
We walked up the street to where the pub was. It is called Eamonn’s Place but when we went in, there was just one gentleman at the bar reading his newspaper. He told us that there is a full menu there Monday to Friday only, and not on weekends. This man was possibly Eamonn himself, and a little later when we got food in the Hotel, we noticed quite a crowd eating there, and we wondered if Eamonn might reconsider not doing a full menu at the weekend. As we left I decided to snap a pic of the outside of the pub. Herself jumped into the shot and when you consider she was just wearing her underwear, far be it from her husband not to go ahead and publish the snap. What do you mean underwear? Thermal underwear for the motorcycle and not sports top and leggings like she would say. Now, lingerie (another word for underwear) models are usually on the sunnier side of fifty, and not imminently about to become grandmothers, but if she throws herself in front of a husband, known for publishing images, acquired during motorcycle rambles, well then, I am afraid she has become fair game. I have no doubt that there are thanks due to me for making her a lingerie model, even if she didn’t necessarily see that as her career path…
Just down from Eamonn’s place was an interesting old shop front with a lot of old packaging and products from years gone by. The name over the door was Greehy. The products on display included Aladdin’s Blue flame Heater Wicks and Imp Washing Powder, amongst many more products from an older era. The shop front brought Ireland in the fifties and sixties to mind, though it was well cared for. The old enamel signs displayed on the wall outside the premises for Gold Flake and Coca-Cola gave it the air of authenticity as did the meticulously painted doors and old style windows.
I also spotted a Motto Guzzi from the late seventies parked on the street between Eamonn’s place and Greehy’s shop. It was a Moto Guzzi 850 T3, which I think was a forerunner of the first Moto Guzzi California. This bike might be just a display piece, pushed out on the street everyday. I rather like to think though, that instead, it is somebody’s everyday ride. It was not in perfect condition, but it had that look of a bike that is being used, and cared for, because it is someone’s everyday bike. Maintained is the word. Yes, it is maintained because it is in everyday use. I hope I am right. In any event it was nice to see such a handsome bike there on the street and in fact, every time I have been to Lismore, there always seem to be interesting bikes there to see. On this occasion we also saw a collection of old Kawasaki Z1s and Z900s. I have to admit I have a soft spot for the Z900 in particular. This group of vintage Kawasaki bikes were being lead by a big GS, and they stopped for a little rest in Lismore, for about 20 minutes or so, before getting back on the road, after their break.
I mentioned earlier that Lismore is a beautiful town with bountiful flowers. There is also a great park called Millennium Park. The townspeople obviously put a big effort to have such a great display of flowers. There is a plaque on the park wall indicating it won a European competition for towns and villages in bloom in 2005. The park has a fountain and a waterfall as well as a fantastic wood carving on the trunk of an old tree.
We went to the Lismore House Hotel for food, which was standard fare for pub grub, in the bar. A very nice meal, after which the staff graciously agreed to allow us to leave our jackets and helmets in a secure area, while we wandered around the town for another hour or so. We discussed going on to Ardmore, a lovely seaside and fishing village, about a half an hour from Lismore. Instead we decided to watch the hurling semi-final between the teams from Waterford and Kilkenny, in her sisters house, half way between Waterford City and the seaside resort of Tramore.
If you are looking for a great place to visit, Lismore should definitely be on your list of possible destinations. Good quality motorway, or highway, gets you quickly to within striking distance of the destination, and then the roadways to the town are interesting, picturesque and nicely challenging. You wont be disappointed with the town of Lismore when you get there. Well worth a visit.