Blogs from Ireland, Europe

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Europe » Ireland » County Dublin July 16th 2014

Testing, testing! This is a preliminary blog post from Ballinteer before we head off in 10 days time for our Viking River Cruise (15 day Grand European Tour), incorporating our Golden Wedding Anniversary. Everything is capitalized like that in my head :-) We are just leaving our suitcases open on the floor and chucking in things as they occur to us and double checking the paperwork. We have our starter currency pack of 62,000 Hungarian Forints (a mere 202 Euro!), our continental style Schucko plug adaptors, 128 gigabytes of camera memory, about 20 different kinds of medical tablets, 1 Samsung tablet for writing the blog and editing the photos. Did we forget anything? Almost certainly we will do! Trying to understand the mobile phone roaming setup is doing my head in! I think you can text ... read more

Europe » Ireland July 15th 2014

15/07/14 Cobh Colleen had a good nights sleep her ear burst during the night so that is a good sign, she still has a hacking cough so is resting up today. Today is Australia Day in Cobh apparently they love us here, and have a full day of activities planned to coincide with our visit, from Irish bands and dancers, an Irish Baritone and the Army band of the 1st Southern Brigade. A fellow passenger told me to make sure we are on deck for the sailaway as it is fantastic. Cobh is the third largest city in Ireland behind Dublin and Belfast, and one of the reasons we are so popular is our past links with the 25,566 female convicts who were transported to Australia from 1788 to 1853. Today a ceremony called Roses from ... read more
Cobh
Cobh
Cobh

Europe » Ireland July 14th 2014

14/07/14 Dublin: During the night we steamed on a Northerly direction across the Irish Sea towards Dublin. In the early morning hours with the pilot on board, we approached the port of Dublin via it narrowest channel with various Westerly courses. At approximately 4:00 a.m. we arrived safely alongside, port side to quay. At 9:30 a.m. we met Judy and Greg and went ashore caught the shuttle bus into town and then caught the hop on, hop off, bus which cost 17 Euro each for a tour of Dublin City. The plan was to do a complete city loop and then decide where we wanted to go from there. After two hours riding aimlessly we decided to get off and have some lunch, from there we went looking for a pub that played authentic Irish music. ... read more
Dublin
Dublin
Dublin

Europe » Ireland » County Dublin » Dublin » Ballsbridge July 10th 2014

Farewell cycle touring Europe, Hello Ireland Our 3 months in the Schengen area were up so we had to leave. Next stop, Dublin. We found a great ride into Dublin city along the Grand canal from our hotel and rode into town a couple of times to explore and finally to catch the train to Westport and our first Irish B&B and a “full Irish Breakfast”. Loved the bacon, eggs, sausages, grilled tomato, black and white pudding (well actually, I couldn’t eat the pudding), baked beans and toast. So if we return a bit pudgier than we should be- blame the breakfasts, (and the pub dinners!) In Westport we rode the Greenway to Achil Island and then several things combined to make us scrap any further plans for cycle touring. Firstly the ride which was described ... read more
Beautiful views over the bay
Monastary on Skellig Michael
Westport- kayaking

Europe » Ireland » County Clare » Tulla July 10th 2014

Day 24 - Back in the UK We packed up this morning and said goodbye to the cows and our bucolic time in the county Clare countryside. We drove back to Dublin under gray skies and the threat of rain. It held off until we got the car back to the rental location and then decided to pour. Our trip through Heathrow was much better this time and we made our way back into London and the Royal Gardens Hotel by 6PM. A very nice hotel with a great location thanks to our Disney (DVC) points. Our room has a postcard picture view over Hyde park and Kensington palace. The staff was very welcoming, and even had a goodie bag for Michelle with puzzles and a brownie. When we turned on our TV, it greeted us ... read more
Ready to Check Luggage
Wide Load
Hotel View

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Europe » Ireland » County Clare » Doolin July 9th 2014

Day 23 - Aran Islands - A trip back in time We started the morning with a good breakfast and some laundry before heading to the west coast and the ferry to the Aran Islands. Anne really wanted to see the islands and the nearby Cliffs of Moher, the home of millions of nesting seabirds. The Aran Islands are 3 islands off the west coast of Ireland near Doolin. The largest only has a population of 900 people. Ferries regularly travel between the islands and the mainland but the 30 min crossing can be quite rough. Today was a "mild" day but still provided a bit of chop and rocking. The ferries were nothing like the ferries across the SF Bay, being much smaller. Michelle and Tony enjoyed standing in the bow watching the waves and ... read more
Ready to Depart
Look!  Jellyfish
Irish Pub

Europe » Ireland » County Clare » Ennis July 8th 2014

Day 22 - Wet Caves, Wet Us Today, we decided to explore the area. We first visited Crag Cave, a million year old cave that was discovered in 1983. They are very sure no human has been there before since you had to go 500m into another small cave, then do a 12m dive through a narrow underwater passage to get there, and there are no other entrances. The cave is nearly 2 miles long with 3 distinct passages. The guide was very good, explaining how they can tell the ages of different sections, how the cave was formed, some of the chemistry behind the formations, and some of the history. The most unique thing about this cave is that it is the least disturbed tour cave (or cave of any sort, really) we have ever ... read more
Really into his work
Going Down
Things that make you go Hrmm.

Europe » Ireland » County Clare » Ennis July 7th 2014

Day 21 - Day Off We really didn't do anything at all today. Anne and Michelle walked, Michelle and Anne watched movies and Anne and Tony read... all day long. Oh, and we listened to the cows and watched them eat the grass and trees 2 feet from our windows. It was glorious.... read more

Europe » Ireland » County Clare » Ennis July 6th 2014

Day 20 - Pre Pre History We started off with a really nice breakfast at our Bed and Breakfast (Greengates in Blackrock, Ireland). The hosts were very friendly, and they had a girl about Michelle's age who sat and had breakfast with us. Another American family was staying there tonight as well, and it turns out that they lived in Arroyo Grande until 2 years ago. Small World! Michelle got to spend an hour playing with the host's daughter, including some fancy free time in an Irish rain shower. After saying goodbye and exchanging emails and pen-pal promises, we headed towards a neolithic site nearby. Bru na Boinne is a collection of passage tombs (3 big ones) built thousands of years before Stonehenge and the Pyramids. We were very impressed with the engineering work that went ... read more
When in Ireland
Fashion First
Pretty River

Europe » Ireland » County Kerry » Killarney July 3rd 2014

Oh My God ! What a beautiful and peaceful place is Killarney. Last month myself and my husband went to Killarney for a break. We went by our car and it gave us more liberty to get down at different places that we would like to see. From the starting of County Kerry itself was really stunning with mountains and green valleys which were brightened up by the sunshine. Through out our way we could see small small hills with white sheeps which appeared as small cotton balls moving around and eating green ,fresh grass. It was really enjoyable. Towards afternoon we reached Killarney and saw that it is a small , but very busy town with all the tourist from different places and countries moving around. Most of the hotels were located in the town ... read more
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