Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Ballydehob, Ireland

By Claire
We left Killarney this morning under bluish skys. Our journey was towards Ballydehob where our friends on the island of Paros, Karin and Michael, lived and ran a small supermarket. I had emailed Karin about a possible visit there and she sent directions. Even so, we wandered around a bit taking in the sights while we looked for their place. We really enjoyed the beauty of the surroundings in this area down south. We drove through Macroom, Ballylickey, Bantry and Leap before finally arriving in Ballydehob.

Sign on the building: Drink First & Then The Story.

Karin had mentioned a place called Vaughn's Hardware and that if we found it, we had gone too far. I stopped one guy and asked if he knew where it was. "Up the street on your left, but it's gone out of business." We did look for it anyway but couldn't find it. Finally, I went into the small post office--Karin had said that she thought their store might have become the post office.

There was a friendly woman inside on the phone but she put it down to talk to me. I asked her if this used to be a supermarket. She said yes and I told her I knew the former owners. She instantly asked, "Karin and Michael?" We found the place! Her name is Bridy and she said to give her best regards to them.

This is Danno. He was the heavyweight wrestling champion of the World 1935-1936. He defended his title 133 times and was a weight lifter and the World's Strongest Man. This is also the side of their building with their apartment upstairs.

I see there is a supermarket in need of owners.

Now sweetly lies old Ireland
Emerald green beyond the foam,
Awakening sweet memories,
Calling the heart back home.
Irish proverb


Paros Shepherd said...

Thanks Chuck and Claire,
Your visit to Ballydehob certainly did call our hearts back to our home there.
I hope it refreshed your view of Ireland as well.


Chuck and Claire said...

We liked your old town and the area in general. The sun is out! I saw someone leaving our campground with a surfboard under his arm. He was heading to the beach.

Karin said...

Oh My Gosh! Fantastic! You found your way to Ballydehob and it looks the same - except for a closed Hardware store and a Food Hall! Thank you, thank you, thank you for the pictures.

It looks so green and nice. The playground by the water is new since we left. I guess I knew that Bridy became the postmistress after Peggy retired. Just in case Bridy didn't tell you, our supermarket included the space next door to the postoffice as well.

The statue of Danno was in the works when we left, he was not there when we lived there. But of course, we all knew about Danno and his fame.

And Rosies pub, now there was a delightful pub..run by two old sisters, of which I think one died, perhaps Nell? Maybe both now. I wonder how many pubs there are now? In the 3 blocks of main street, it use to be about 9!

The now empty Food Hall was called Hudson's and was a health food store with a small restaurant attached. Quite a nice place.

Now here is a surprise! Looking closely at our home above the store, I noticed the curtains I made are still there! If so, they have been there since 1996!!!!!! Either they have held up well, or ??? Ha, ha.

Thank you, you two, very, very much for what I consider a very nice gift...to see Ballydehob again!

You certainly did "awaken sweet memories"!

Karin on Paros

Chuck and Claire said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed it. I thought of you all day. It really brought things full circle for me--from our initial meeting via email to getting to know you in person to walking in your footsteps in Ballydehob. What a great experience this has been!