Blogs from Ireland, Europe

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Europe » Ireland » County Dublin » Dublin April 7th 2014

Ah Dublin….Dublin…..what to say about Dublin? If asked to describe it in one word? Dave says alive Merry Jo says joyful. One may or may not come to Dublin to pub crawl—not that there’s anything wrong with that…….. We have found however to properly immerse yourself into local culture you’ll end up in a few pubs. Our intent was to listen to some good Irish music and indeed that goal has been accomplished. Our goal may have been enhanced by a few pints of the local brew. And so our story unfolds…… Before our arrival— And so the conversation began like this…..where do we want to go this spring? Several countries in Europe, South America and the Middle East were in contention originally, but since our wedding anniversary would fall during the trip, we realized that ... read more
St. Patrick's Cathedral
The River Liffey
Well preserved

Europe » Ireland » County Kerry » Killarney April 4th 2014

In a country where we quickly determined there was more scenic diversity than advertised we began our journey to the southwest and southern part of this fascinating land. Our trip was already two weeks old and we’d seen and experienced so much, it was almost difficult to imagine what we could find next that would match what we had already experienced. But we found it…..and more. Dingle First….a little background. When we were in Dublin at a pub called the Brazen Head for an evening of story telling and music (to be described in our future Dublin blog), we had the good fortune of striking up a conversation with Johnny, who was the storyteller. He was extremely proud of his land and when we told him we would be in Ireland for the better part of ... read more
Headed out of Killarney
Azure waters of Sheepshead Peninsula
Connor Pass

Europe » Ireland » County Dublin April 4th 2014

Europe » Ireland » County Clare » Ennis March 27th 2014

County Donegal Exiting Derry (or Londonderry depending on your point of view) meant the time had come to really get out into the Irish countryside. We suspect that not many Americans venture into the northwest part of Ireland, mainly because it’s a bit off the beaten tourist path created by the many travel companies that bring Yankees here by the planeload. The locals we have encountered are extremely friendly and always willing to chat it up and provide useful information. But back to the point….. Dave is an excellent driver even on the wrong side of the road (that’s what all Americans say) and as we ventured out of Derry for the countryside we were filled with excitement and expectations. We’d booked “The Best Irish Cottage” through airbnb in County Donegal near the town of Croaghacullion. ... read more
Dromoland Castle
Famous Cliffs of Moher
The long & winding road

Europe » Ireland » County Galway » Clifden March 13th 2014

Gliding on the GoBus, through the streets leading out of Dublin, I relaxed and began to imagine what the weekend ahead would be like. I’ve been to Connemara a few times and spent a week on an Irish language course in Carraroe, but I have never stayed on an island for a weekend. I was delighted to be joining another couple at our friend’s cottage on Turbot Island. This took place in August 2013 but I’m only writing about it now. The GoBus was great and got me from Dublin to Galway for only €10, with free WiFi onboard and sockets beside some seats. I had booked the Eyre Square Town House online and found it easily, only 5 minutes walk from the bus station. It was lovely and super-quiet with every comfort provided from a ... read more
traditional cottage
walking the shore
fisherman's cottage

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Europe » Ireland » County Dublin February 22nd 2014

The thing about Ireland is that it’s green. And whilst I had previously been under the impression that this was due to hordes of leprechauns emerging at night with watering cans, it turns out that the reality is that it’s because the clouds love Ireland. Andwho can blame them? It’s a lovely place, filled with colorful people, colorful houses, and a colorful history. Even if the primary colors you are going to experience are green and grey. Ireland is a fairytale. A fairytale you can only experience there. Remember all those castles you saw in Disney movies growing up? Well, in Ireland those magical moments become alive… magical! How much did I pay for this experience? See below… Flight: $ 484.30 (Delta Airlines- Non Stop) – Hotels/Car Rental: 350 per person – Food/Activi... read more

Europe » Ireland » County Dublin » Dublin January 29th 2014

Our last hours in Dublin were dedicated to visiting the Guinness Storehouse. As someone who has never really been fond of beer I wasn't expecting much out of the experience, but Michael wanted to go and he had been extremely patient with my itinerary up until that point. I'm glad that he suggested it, because it turned out to be one of the best things that we did. Compared to Dublin's other main attractions, the storehouse is a little out of the way but definitely worth the bus ride and short walk. It's in a gorgeous red brick building, and though getting in is a little pricey (€14.50 for adults and €13 for students over 18) it comes with a coupon for a free pint or a free soda at the GRAVITY Bar. If you pay ... read more
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Europe » Ireland » County Dublin » Dublin January 29th 2014

After a 18 hour flight with an unexpected layover due to weather I have finally touched down in Dublin's airport. Whew, when I say that that was the worst/scariest flight I have ever experienced, I'm telling you the truth. Oh well, I'm in Dublin now, who needs to complain? This is my first time out of the states, and me being ecstatic is an understatement. After I meet up with my friend, Bailey we head to catch the bus outside. It's about 4 o'clock now, and the airport is buzzing due to the time and all the layovers that were rerouted. So we walk outside and can you say freezing rain? Holy moly, I really have never felt this type of weather before being from the great humid state of Louisiana. But what the hell....im in ... read more
Fish and Chips and Guinness
Guinness
Christ Church

Europe » Ireland » County Dublin » Dublin January 25th 2014

As much as I love Dublin, I don't have many enthusiastic things to say about Trinity College. It's supposed to be Dublin's #1 attraction, and the Book of Kells is gorgeous, but it's not worth the €8 entry fee unless you're really into illuminated manuscripts. The Book of Kells is the oldest of its kind, so it's understandable that they would be very careful to maintain it, but "very careful" isn't the correct phrase in this case. Rabid would be a better word. I've been plenty of places that won't allow pictures with flash and a few that wouldn't allow pictures at all, and I understand that. What neither Michael nor I understood was the fact that we couldn't even take pictures of the pictures. Before you even reach the Book, there's a room with huge ... read more
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Europe » Ireland » County Dublin » Dublin January 22nd 2014

If you feel that your bucket list is lacking something, add "Dublin on St. Patrick's Day," and I promise you won't regret it. Warning: Do NOT call it St. Patty's day, especially around the Irish. It's St. Patrick's, or Paddy's Day. The second option is based off of the Gaelic version of St. Patrick's name, Padraig. I know it's a hard habit to break, especially for Americans, but you'll save yourself a lot of pub brawls that way. In order to properly blend in with the locals, the first thing you have to do is procure a ridiculous hat. The more preposterous, the better. I could literally fill an entire photo album with just pictures of the silly hats that we saw. Michael chose an obnoxiously large leprechaun hat and I found a jaunty little version ... read more
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