Blogs from Ireland, Europe - page 3


Europe » Ireland » County Dublin April 28th 2015

I arrived in Dublin around 4pm and headed to the city centre where I found my way to the hostel. After dumping my bags I headed out for an early dinner at the Indian restaurant just down the road and then went to bed. The next morning I headed out to walk around and explore and ended up having to duck into a shopping centre to buy an umbrella as there was heavy rain. After about two hours of walking around, my shoes leaking and the backs of my jeans soaked I decided I couldn't be bothered being a tourist anymore and headed into the shopping centre to waste the afternoon. I got a microwave meal from the supermarket while I was out so I didn't have to go out in the rain. The next morning ... read more

Europe » Ireland » County Meath April 28th 2015

Tuesday 28thApril. This morning I was going to join a guided walking tour of Derry, before heading south back towards Dublin. However, as I headed across the river into town, the rain started again, and by the time I had found my destination it was raining pretty steadily, plus it was freezing cold, so I abandoned that plan and headed south, inland. The weather improved once away from the coast. I went to the Ulster American Folk Park, which is about what life was like in Ireland in the early/mid nineteenth century, how it led to the large-scale emigration, what it was like for emigrants going to America, and what it was like when they arrived there. They have a lot of relocated buildings, both Irish and American, the original house of the emigrant family whose ... read more
The Forge
River Boyne

Europe » Ireland » County Waterford » Waterford April 25th 2015

Today we went and toured the Waterford Crystal factory in downtown Waterford. The new headquarters was built in 2010 after an investment firm bought the company when it declared bankruptcy and moved from the outskirts of the city right into the heart. They have built a beautiful facility and it is home to the largest Waterford Crystal showroom anywhere in the world. The tour was very good and we were able to see each stage of the process and master craftsmen doing some amazing work. The skill that craftsmen possess is remarkable. Everything, for the most part, is still done by hand and with no use of automated machinery. From the blowing to the cutting and etching, all the work is amazing. Every cut in Waterford Crystal is done from memory and on average every craftsman ... read more

Europe » Ireland » County Donegal April 25th 2015

Saturday 25thApril. Today I was planning to do less driving, so I set out to visit Marble Arch Caves, just across the county border in northern Ireland. But the people at my B&B told me that I must see this valley and that valley and such and such peninsula, so I ended up taking a slightly circuitous route to the caves. This did prove a good idea, because Glen Ade was spectacular. The valleys around here are of glacial origin, hence their shape. I also visited a ruined Franciscan Friary near Lough Gill. The history of the friars was interesting to read, with their dispersal and persecution at various times. It was weird crossing into northern Ireland. Suddenly all the road route numbers change, distances and speed limits are in the archaic miles, you need a ... read more
Glacial Scenery of Glen Ade
Donegal Bay
Glacial Scenery - Glen Ade

Europe » Ireland » County Leitrim April 24th 2015

Friday 24thApril. A cloudy day today. Once in a while a little sun would break through for a few minutes, but from one o’clock on it started to drizzle, with occasional rain showers. It gave a different look to the landscape, softer and more moody, with the mountaintops mostly shrouded by cloud. The Connemara scenery is very beautiful, endless lakes (loughs) and mountains. Very reminiscent of Scotland, but less lonely, with houses being more common. Some of the loughs are huge, but often the small loughs are the most scenic. Near the coast around Clifden it is very rocky, with vistas of grey limestone dominating the little houses that seem to pop out of the landscape, looking out of place. Also near Clifden I found the site of Guglielmo Marconi’s original radio broadcasting station, a gigantic ... read more
Lough Corrib
Lough Nafooey
Kylemore Abbey

Europe » Ireland » County Galway April 23rd 2015

Thursday 23rdApril. A rare thing on Irish roads is the overtaking lane. With the exception of motorways, the roads are generally two-lane, one in each direction. Even the national highways are the same, and these are the only roads that might be a little wider, with some even having an overtaking lane on a rare occasion. This information is preface to this morning’s drive north from Killarney to catch the car ferry across the Shannon River. The ferry saves about 120 km of driving, and runs once an hour on the half hour. I had allowed “plenty of time”, even by Irish standards, to get there for the 11.30 ferry – I thought. To cut a long story short, I rolled on to the ferry deck at 11.33am! Luckily they hadn’t closed the gates right on ... read more
Cliffs of Moher
Sunset at Kinvara
The Burren

Europe » Ireland » County Kerry April 22nd 2015

Wednesday 22ndApril. The fabulous weather continued today. Not a cloud in the sky all day, and the warmest day of the year so far in Ireland, real short sleeves and sunbathing weather. The locals are loving it and are out in droves. Can this continue? The answer appears to be no – Thursday should be nice, but the clouds and showers arrive Friday for the rest of my stay, and top temperatures will change from around 18 to around 10. Nevertheless, today’s excellent weather enhanced the variety of wonderful scenery of the day. Firstly I attended to a few chores in town, such as getting a haircut and doing a little shopping, then I headed off to drive around the Ring of Kerry. However, I didn’t just drive around the coast road the whole way, and ... read more
Torc Waterfall, Killarney National Park
Lower Lake of Killarney
Mountain Stream near Ballaghasheen Pass

Europe » Ireland » County Kerry April 21st 2015

Tuesday. I had read that the short train trip from Cork to Cobh was scenic and worth doing, and since I like train rides, I had included it on my planned itinerary. So I drove back up to Cork in the morning to do this trip. Turned out to be a waste of four hours of the day – the trip follows the coast around, but it is nearly all industrial wasteland and warehouses. The train ride between Hornsby and Gosford is many times better. The worst aspect, though, is it meant that I was rushing for the rest of the day, and didn’t have the time to take things in. I had little idea of how much time it takes to drive anywhere here, the roads being winding and slow. Anyhow, after Cork I headed ... read more
The Bridge at Mizen Head
Mizen Head, showing the Light Station
Scene near Mizen Head

Europe » Ireland » County Cork April 20th 2015

Sunday. Spent the day in Dublin. The weather was cold and cloudy until the middle of the day, when it became cold and sunny. They tell me it’s because of the nor-easterly wind, which is bringing cold air over from Scandinavia. If one was able to find a sheltered spot in the sun, it was quite pleasant. I went in on the bus from my B&B, about a 45 minute trip. The buses are all double deckers, which brought back memories of the sixties and seventies in Sydney. The bus stop to go into town is right on the corner – what I didn’t know is that the bus stop when coming back is about a kilometre away down the road! You do get a lot of walking done here, the public transport seems to stop ... read more
Coast near Bunmahon
St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin
The Old Head of Kinsale

Europe » Ireland » County Galway » Galway April 19th 2015

Pictures from Galway and Aran Islands.... read more
Galway Cathedral

Tot: 0.441s; Tpl: 0.009s; cc: 7; qc: 80; dbt: 0.3156s; 1; m:apollo w:www (; sld: 3; ; mem: 6.5mb