Blogs from Ireland, Europe - page 3

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Europe » Ireland » County Dublin » Dublin June 14th 2017

Not much to report today. Spent the day in Reykjavik doing laundry, sending post cards and shopping for knick knacks. We were amused to find only one laundromat in Reykjavik (the biggest city in Iceland), and it only had 4 washers! I guess Icelanders think washing clothes is for wimpy tourists. Had a nice flight to Dublin and got in close to midnight. These kids are getting good at burning the midnight oil. We of course did the obligatiry Ireland task: enjoyed a lovely, well-poured, full body, frothy, creamy, dark and viscous Guinness. Ah....... In lieu of adventure blogs, we offer a few small tidbits and anecdotes about Iceland: - We never saw the night or the stars - Toilet paper is stronger - All tap water is drinkable but some has sulfur - Gas is ... read more
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Europe » Ireland » County Limerick » Limerick June 14th 2017

Off to Limerick, again with a couple of our fellow guests at the Castle, this time two women whose husbands were off golfing. Mike wanted to see the Frank McCourt Museum (http://www.frankmccourtmuseum.com/) and a bit of Limerick so we set out. We put "Limerick Visitor's Center" into the GPS and were taken/directed to just that--the Visitor's Center. For Limerick University. We went into the Student Union type building, met some lovely students, found out some basic information about the University (at least enough for Susan to deduct the whole trip as 'business-related', haha!) and directions to the Visitor's Center downtown. Re-directed the GPS and tried again. Found the garage at the Quay, just as the helpful student had said. The garage was a bit of an adventure as it climbed very tightly up and up. Walked ... read more
King John's Castle
Closer view
Mike outside the Castle

Europe » Ireland June 13th 2017

Yesterday we woke up to a blowy and overcast day, no change there then. We decided to go out anyway. We called in at Bushmills Distillery for a quick visit but were soon ushered out when a fire alarm went off. Back in again we had a look round the shop and then left for the coast. We started off in Portrush and then onto Portstewart. We found a nice café and had a coffee watching the waves rolling in. Then we went on round to Portstewart Strand where we could park on the beach courtesy of the National Trust. We walked along the beach past the sand dunes. The wind was whipping up the waves and sending sand streaming down the beach. We watched a group of people swimming but it was not at all ... read more

Europe » Ireland » County Cork June 13th 2017

The two spots Mike wanted to go in Ireland were the Waterford factory and the Frank McCourt Museum in Limerick (see that entry in a couple of days). An Irish native, living in Virginia, who returns at least annually, said Waterford/Midleton (Jameston distillery)/cork would be a nice day. So, a tour was arranged that would include Waterford, Midleton, and Cork. Michael was our driver, very nice young man and very flexible about times and places. We went straight to Waterford and got tickets for a tour. Mike and I took the time that was open before the tour and ran down to the waterfront and went up in Reginald's Tower. We had seen it on the Castles series on BBC and it's one of the earliest, originally built by Vikings, and improved upon by everyone up ... read more
Reginald's Tower
View of the river
View from the tower

Europe » Ireland » County Dublin » Dublin June 12th 2017

Day 3 Jenna and Alan picked us up late morning and took us to Kildare Village which is an outlet shopping centre about an hour and a half south east of Dublin. They had lots of good designer shops with heaps of bargains, we were there for about 3 1/ 2 hours and barely did half of it. At one stage we nearly drowned as the rain came down in buckets but cleared up and disappeared like it had never happened 20 minutes later! Purchased a new suitcase to replace the one which the wheel melted on during one of our warmer train days and which we abandoned in Strasbourg. Back to the hotel for a quick shower and change before driving to Johnnie Foxes 'the highest pub in Ireland' where we caught up with Andrea ... read more
Johnnie Foxes
Johnnie Foxes
Johnnie Foxes

Europe » Ireland » County Kilkenny » Kilkenny June 12th 2017

up and out at 8:30 with another couple in tow, heading for Kilkenny. Made it through the roundabouts, into the city, and caught a parking space on the street right nExt to the castle! The Castle has 3 of its original 4 towers still intact, as well as a beautiful rose garden. The contents were all auctioned off when the Butlers went bankrupt so the OPM have found items of the times. During excavations, some original wallpapers and fabrics were found and replicated. Then, walked through town to St. Canice Cathedral--lovely medieval city--pubs and shops. Got a great idea for a sweater. The cathedral included the ancient chair used to anoint bishops of the parish, of whichever religion, currently Anglican. Then there was the Tower--7 sets of acutely angled steps with a tight landing at each. ... read more
Kilkenny Castle
Kilkenny Castle
Kilkenny Castle

Europe » Ireland June 11th 2017

Woke up to sunshine but some clouds. By the time we joined the group on the bus the clouds had taken over and we were soon in the rain. We first stopped in Derry/ Londonderry. there is controversy over it's name but our guide who joined us in the town calls it Derry. This means Oak trees which are what the town was named after. London was added after financial input from wealthy people of London had invested in the town. Our guide Garvin was amazing. He had been born and brought up in Derry spending his teenage years during the troubles of the 1970's. He is passionate about his town. While we were there a Triathlon was going on and we saw the cycling stage of this. There was also a march celebrating 100 years ... read more
The Peace Wall
graffiti
Bernadette Devlin

Europe » Ireland » County Tipperary » Cahir June 11th 2017

We had reserved catered breakfast for Sunday morning—John and Teresa, owners, will cater dinner or breakfast if you reserve it in advance and all of us agreed on breakfast Sunday morning. It was excellent—great tea, especially! To get started on the touring, we went to Cahir, to the Castle, after 11:00 mass—no music, none of this singing and messing about. Good, thoughtful Homily and out of there in 30 minutes. Lovely church, beautiful windows. Good tour of Cahir, two towers to climb for a heck of a view at the top. Our first spot where the Butlers were thrown out, this time in the 1500s, by Essex. On the river and had a moat of sorts! Walked up the hill to the Shamrock Lounge and had fish & chips. And veggies. And carrots. And mashed potatoes. ... read more
Bansha Castle
View from our room
Our view

Europe » Ireland June 10th 2017

Had a very stormy night. The rain was lashing the side of the van and the wind blew so hard I thought we may be blown over but luckily survived all in one piece. The day started dull but the sun gradually came out. We've had the best day so far of the trip. We got on a coach to the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge. It's a rope bridge over to a small island as was used by fisherman in days gone by. It is about 100 feet above the sea. We reached it down a coastal path and filed over. It was a bit scary but I felt alright as long as I didn't look down. You can't wander too far but the views are amazing. When we left the bridge we went for lunch at ... read more
Giant's Causeway
Simon at Giant's Causeway
Giant's Causeway

Europe » Ireland » County Tipperary » Bansha June 10th 2017

At Cork, we had reserved a car at Hertz. Walked up the hill and over the bridge to the rental office. Got a car, a map, and some idea of where we were going. Mike’s first time driving on the left since Scotland, 12 (?) years ago, and with a stick shift this time!! Sue’s main job was to remind him to turn left (or right) into the LEFT lane. We wanted to go to the Cork shopping district, to the English Market, recommended by many—akin to Eastern Market, Reading Station—inside market with dozens of vendors with permanent stalls. The GPS and Waze on our phones worked! So, we had directions. After a couple missed turns and folks beeping at us because we weren’t in the correct lane, and changed instructions from Waze, we made it ... read more
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Bansha Castle garden
Bansha Castle garden




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