Europe » Ireland » County Limerick » Limerick October 19th 2010

Saturday, October 16: Happy Birthday Ed!! We woke up this morning at the O'Neill B&B in Dingle with a beautiful view out a picture window from our room to the bay and the mountains beyond. It was a fabulous start to our last day in the Emerald Isle. We had a tasty breakfast--still not the 'full Irish breakfast'--but enough brown bread to last a lifetime. We packed up and took off to tour the Dingle Peninsula on Slea Head Drive. It was prettier and more scenic than the Ring of Kerry. We skipped by some tourist stops at ring forts and famine cottages and passed by Ventry Beach where people were surfing the waves of the Atlantic Ocean. We stopped at the Blasket Island Visitor Centre to learn more about this population of island dwellers that ... read more

Europe » Ireland » County Kerry » Dingle Peninsula October 19th 2010

Friday, October 15: Checked out of the Rockcrest B&B this morning and drove into Kenmare for a stroll around the village centre on another beautiful sunny day. Ran into Patrick, whom we met in Kinsale two nights ago, as he was doing some shopping. Found an ATM for yet more cash and we were ready to hit the Ring of Kerry. Kenmare is the southeastern kickoff point for the Ring. We drove past the Staigue Fort, a glacier lake left 10,000 years ago, and Carroll Cove (a beautiful beach with the warmest water in Ireland). We stopped at The Blind Piper pub in Caherdaniel for a lunch of grilled ham and cheese sandwich. The bartender told us that years ago many disabled people became musicians as a way to support themselves. The real Blind Piper passed ... read more

Europe » Ireland » County Kerry » Kenmare October 15th 2010

Thursday, Oct. 14: Packed our bags and checked out of our B&B, The Anchorage, after breakfast. Our hostesses, Ann and Mary, were terrific. We took one last stroll around Kinsale on another sunny October morning in Ireland before leaving for our day-long road trip to Kenmare. This was our most scenic drive yet. It included coastal views, mountain vistas, Irish countryside along pleasant routes again with rock walls, tree overhangs…you get the point…it was a beautiful drive. Our first was Clonakilty where we had a pint at an sugan. Our witty bartender, Denis, filled us in on the correct way to serve whiskey with a water jug, advising us to “never water another man’s whiskey”—words to live by. Ed really wants a ceramic Jameson’s water jug. We’ll have to look for one. We strolled around the ... read more

Europe » Ireland » County Cork » Kinsale October 14th 2010

Wednesday, October 13: It was great to have a down day in Kinsale. We slept in, ate a late breakfast at our B&B and started off for a hike through this seaside village. We walked up to the Carmelite Friary, then down to the Desmond Castle. We were looking forward to the wine museum at the castle but it was closed for the season. A great advantage of traveling this time of year is the lack of tour buses, but the downside is not having access to all the attractions. We checked in at the Tourist Information and learned about the train tour to Charles Fort. Within a few minutes we had boarded this small train and were on our way with a guided tour through the village, out the long quay and to the fort. ... read more

Europe » Ireland » County Clare » Shannon October 13th 2010

It is really Day 3 as I write this but we got in so late last night that we did not have the energy to work on it. Yesterday was a long day but we met a lot of people. Had our first Irish breakfast at the Country House. Ed had oatmeal with whiskey and cream. I had eggs and bacon. All delicious. We had a great night's sleep after a sleepless night on the plane Sunday night so we felt well rested and ready to go yesterday morning. We bid farewell to our wonderful hosts at the Carrygerry Country House and headed north to Ennis. Ed's getting the driving thing down so it was an easier day of getting around. Ennis is a lovely bustling village with lots of shops and pubs. We walked around ... read more

Europe » Ireland » County Cork » Kinsale October 13th 2010

Tuesday, October 12: Rise and Shine!! We wanted to get to Kilkenny Castle this morning so we were up early and hiked up the street to be the first two visitors of the day. We did a self-guided tour of this beautiful site with helpful information from the docents. What a lineage-it was a castle, then a manor, and now has been restored lovingly to its 19th Century splendor. It is a work in progress but well worth the time to visit. The rose gardens and fountain, and the view to the river below were beautiful on this clear, bright October morning. We collected our car from the Car Park and stopped back at the inn to pack and check out. We stopped briefly on the way to the Car Park for a scone and cookie, ... read more

Europe » Ireland » County Kilkenny » Kilkenny October 13th 2010

Monday, October 11: We woke up fairly early for us—about 7:30! Repacked after three nights in the same place, loaded our car, and checked out of the Royal Marine Hotel. The Royal Marine is a grand old historic hotel in Dun Laoghaire and it was a wonderful place to stay. We learned that Queen Victoria, Laurel and Hardy, Frank Sinatra, as well as Michael Collins (hiding out with his mistress), have stayed there. It was a beautiful morning in Ireland and we walked down the East Pier to see Dublin Bay (the water, not our favorite pub back in Ames) and back—about two miles. The Pier is a busy place with walkers, joggers, bikers, fishermen, and mommies with strollers. We stopped back at the Harbor Bar for a shared lunch of fish and chips and then ... read more

Europe » Ireland » County Dublin » Dublin October 11th 2010

Sunday, October 10: Happy Birthday Michelle!! I hope Cael has done something very nice for you. We loved the Yoda video! After another lazy morning, we finally left our hotel around noon. Caught the 46A to Dublin's city centre to St. Stephen's Green. We stepped inside the park briefly and then wandered down a crowded Grafton Street, stopping occasionally to watch/listen to the street performers. At the end of Grafton Street we found two leprechauns hanging around the Molly Malone sculpture and were finally able to get a picture for Mike. We shared a Shepherd's Pie at O'Neill's and had one last experience with their black-lighted toilet stalls. Then we began our hike to the Jameson's Distillery, about a mile away...but of course Ed would walk 500 miles and he would walk 500 more just to ... read more

Europe » Ireland » County Dublin » Dublin October 10th 2010

Saturday, October 9: We had another very lazy morning. Either the trip is catching up with us or we're really beginning to feel like we're on vacation. We had hoped to be out and about by 9:00 am but that's when we woke up. We took our time getting ready and headed out about 11:00. It was a beautiful day so we dressed in what we thought was appropriate for the weather--more about that later. On the advice of one of the bartenders from last night, we caught the 46A bus into Dublin. We were two of the first people on the bus so we got the front seat on the top of the double decker bus. We had a wonderful view of the city as we rode into downtown Dublin. The bus dropped us off ... read more

Europe » Ireland » County Dublin » Dún Laoghaire October 10th 2010

We're getting behind on our blog so need to catch up this morning. Mostly we're writing this so we can remember what we've done on this trip so bear with us if the details are a little boring. Friday morning, October 8: We were a little lazy this morning. It was overcast and spitting rain. We slept in, ate a late breakfast and then just hung out in our room--repacking after two nights in the same B&B. We finally took off around 11:00 in a light rain. Ed did a great job of navigating us out of Galway and we were on our way to Athenry. This is a medieval city that has retained a lot of it's ruins and charm. We were quite disappointed when we arrived to learn that the castle is only open ... read more

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