To make it easier to read about our trip to Ireland, I have made a page that is just for that. There is a tab above for Ireland Trip 2014 or click on the Home tab to read my other posts.

Ireland Trip 2014

Welcome!
I have finally made a page just for our Ireland trip.
I have transferred all the posts from my home page
as they were originally written.
I hope they all made it here with all the links working.
If you find any that don't work, please feel free to e-mail me and let 
me know, so I can fix them.
If you click on the pictures, they should
enlarge for you to see them better.
I hope you will enjoy reading about our trip.


Ireland
I've been to Ireland 3 times now and it is
by far my favorite foreign country.
My husband, Dave is a photographer, he sells at art festivals
as well as through our website and he needed some new pictures.
He has wanted to lead tours for a while, but hasn't had the chance to do so,
until NOW.
A couple other artist friends, Jane and Roxie, approached him
 and told him they wanted to go to Ireland and that he was the one
 they wanted to take them.
So, he made it happen.
This was a new venture for us, and
Jane and Michael and
Roxie and Ed
were going to be our guinea pigs.
All the planning was done,
 the plane tickets were purchased 
and the big day was here.
On August 11th Dave and I drove to New Jersey where we
spent the night at Jane and Michael's home.
Dave has known them for about 15 yrs and has stayed with them before,
but I had never met them.
With a little trepidation I had agreed to travel with 4 other people that I didn't know.
No need for me to worry,
Jane and Michael have a lovely old home where 
I was welcomed with open arms.
Now I knew we would have a wonderful trip!

This is Dave, always the planner, working on our 
itinerary for Ireland.

So happy to be going on our trip.
Here I am with Dave, hours before our flight.

On our way to the airport I got to see the 
New York City skyline for the first time.
Unfortunately, I couldn't get a picture while we were 
driving along the expressway, but it was impressive.

Meet Michael and Jane!
This picture is at the Newark airport, just before boarding our plane.
Then we were off, winging it across the pond to the 
Republic of Ireland!
After flying about 3200 miles at somewhere around
30,000 feet, we arrived at Shannon Airport
at about 7:30 a.m. local time, which means it was 
2:30 a.m. at home.
I'm a night owl, so this was no problem for me.

Rented our car and a mobile hot spot and we were on our way.
I have to tell you, the mobile hot spot was one of the smartest things
we could have had!
With this little device, we could access the internet without having to 
use our data and be charged roaming charges.
We had wifi where ever we went.
It only cost us 5 Euro a day (about $7.50) and it was so worth it.
It's a compact little unit that can plug into the car jack and be recharged at night.
I would highly recommend this while traveling anywhere
you would have to pay roaming charges.
Turn off your data on the phone, turn on the wifi and you are set.
Need to look up information?
Need to use GPS on your phone?
Want to post to facebook?
Want to do anything on the internet?
You are all set!


We're in Ireland!
Can't wait to start our adventure!

Here we are, a couple of nerds, happy to be traveling.

Michael, Jane, and Dave

I think Jane was excited to be in Ireland, what do you think?
Once we got situated with the car, Dave had to get used to driving 
on the "wrong side" of the road from the "wrong side" of the car.
He really does very well with this.
This time we had an automatic car rather than standard,
so that made things easier.
But it was a much larger car, 
a Renault, Trafic
which is a 9 seater, much larger than any car he's ever driven
on the narrow Irish roads.

Ireland #2 Adare and the Church View House B&B

Our other 2 travelers, Roxie and Ed, weren't arriving until about 11:30,
so we had some time to kill until we had to come back and pick them up.
Ennis sounded like a good place to visit,
so off we went.
Leaving the airport, this is what we saw.
Nice welcome!
It was a fairly short drive to Ennis,
where we started seeing some of our favorite sights.
The pubs were a welcome sight.
I took this picture because it's called Patrick's and 
that is one of my nephew's names.
It wasn't all that impressive as many of the pubs are more colorful
with flowers decorating the outside.
But it was a pub, none the less 
and we do love the pubs.
I'm not a drinker, but the pubs are wonderful places to 
eat.  More about that in later posts.

There is a lovely little river through Ennis and as you can see
it was a beautiful calm day.

Here's a typical road in an Irish town.
Notice the color on some of the buildings,
you'll see a lot of color in upcoming posts.
The building are often painted bright colors.
Just lovely!

And of course the typical mail box, or
post box.

Another lovely water shot. 
 Notice the flowers in the hanging pots
on the bridge, very common in Ireland to see 
flowers on bridges, buildings, homes, pubs, gardens,
just about anywhere they can be, you will see them.

Walking through the city we saw some interesting artwork.

And more beautiful flowers.

And of course there are the Guinness signs.
I started taking pictures of the Guinness signs right away.
My nephew, Joel, is a Guinness lover and they reminded me of him.
You'll see more along my journey.


We spent a couple hours walking around the city,
having a bite to eat and window shopping.
Then it was time to go back and pick up our other traveling companions.

Back to the airport!
Once we picked up Roxie and Ed, 
we were off to Adare and our first B&B of the trip.

The Church View House B&B
is located a matter of a block from the center of town.
The location is perfect.
Church View House is run by a very sweet woman
named Bridie.
  
Our room was on the smaller side and the bathroom was
very small.  I have to laugh, the shower was just big enough to 
turn around in and there was a wall that jutted out and prevented 
anyone from sitting totally forward on the toilet.
Wasn't the most convenient, but it was en-suite and that
 is the important thing.
The breakfast was lovely and the rooms were clean and comfortable
if a little small.
With this B&B the key word was location!

A couple of us stayed to take a bit of a nap.
As I said in my last post, I'm a night owl, but there is a limit.
By this time it was about 2 - 3p.m. local
For me it was 9 - 10 a.m. I'd been up over 24 hours traveling and I was 
done in.  A nap was in order
This is when I had a little scare.
I have sleep apnea and sleep with a CPAP
(Continuous Positive Airway Pressure)
 which assures that I breath while I sleep.
I laid down to sleep and about 5 minutes later, my CPAP 
stopped working.  I was about in hysterics. If I didn't have my CPAP,
we were in big trouble!
To make a long story shorter, after some crying and fiddling around with adapters
and cords and plugs, I got it working and it was fine for the rest of the trip.
I got my much needed nap.
The others were out checking out the town and having their first Irish beer.
Dave came back and woke me and we all met to go for our first dinner in Ireland.

Had a very enjoyable dinner at Pat Collins Bar.
In this picture Dave is talking to the owner.
His grandfather was the original owner of the bar, 
over the years it was expanded and remodeled
and handed down from father to son to grandson.
We would have liked to be there for some music, 
but the music played, as the sign said
"9 till late"
we were all a bit tired so decided to forgo it for the evening.
We did a bit of walking around town after dinner.
Next post, I'll show you a little bit of Adare.

Thanks for stopping by to "hear" a bit about Ireland.

Ireland #3  A walk around Adare

Adare is one of our favorite towns in Ireland.
There are beautiful thatched roof cottages and flowers galore.
Unfortunately, I didn't get pictures of the beautiful cottages
this trip.  While I was napping in the afternoon, Dave and some
of the others were walking around taking in the beauty of this little town.
After dinner, however, we did walk around a bit and I got some lovely
pictures to share with you.


This is the only thatched roof cottage that I got a picture of
in Adare this trip.


This is a shop along the main street in Adare. 
I can't imagine having fully dressed mannequins
outside the shops in our area.
So fun! 
I love the bright colors and the flowers on the pubs and other 
businesses that are so common in Ireland.
Roxie, Jane and me in the Adare Town Park.
Dave, Ed and Michael
Michael and Jane happy to be in Adare.
Having a little fun.
Dave and me.
Beautiful!  Everything is kept so nice and clean.
You seldom see litter anywhere.
There is a beautiful old church in Adare
and I was taken with the doors.
I love this red door!
This is the side of the church.

Jane was loving thinking about the history of this old church.
Being an ex-history teacher, Jane was amazed thinking of 
all that went on in this old place, the history of it, 
and who would have been in this place so many years ago.

Now let me tell you a little bit about 
Tidy Towns
Tidy Towns is an annual competition in Ireland.
First held in 1958, it is organized by the Irish Department of Environment,
Community and Local Government.
It was started to honor the tidiest and most attractive villages, towns and cities in Ireland
It started as an initiative to encourage communities 
to improve their environment and make their area a 
better place to live, work and visit.
It rapidly developed into the most well known competition in Ireland.
It is a true honor for a community to be named a "Tidy Town"
But it's more than just about being the prettiest village, town or city.
There are modules that must be completed such as a 5 year plan for 
Overall Development, Building the Environment, Landscaping, Litter Control 
and several other categories.
The whole community is involved when it in the running for Tidy Town.
What started in 1958 with 52 entrants is now a competition with 
the average of 700 entrants each year.
Adare has won the distinction of being a 
Tidy Town
and it is well deserved.
It's such a pretty little town and they are very proud of it.
Flowers of the day.
I love to take pictures of flowers 
and this trip was no different.
I am drawn to them and always want to capture their beauty.
I'm not good at growing them, 
but I sure love to look at them and photograph them.
I'll try to show some flowers each time I post.
Here are some of the flowers from Adare.
Hydrangeas were in full bloom in many areas of Ireland,
so you'll be seeing lots of them.
Adare had some gorgeous pink ones.


I don't have a clue what this little flower is, 
but I thought it was pretty.
Wish I would have spent a little more time taking more pictures
of it and the others around it.

Well, that's my post for today.

Thanks for stopping by.

Ireland #4  Bunratty

Today I'm going to tell you about Bunratty.
We've been to Ireland 3 times and each time we have gone here.
When you arrive the first thing you see is Durty Nelly's
Here is a link to 
The Story of Durty Nelly.
Durty Nelly is quite a legend in the area and so is the Pub.
We haven't eaten here, but we sure have taken our share of pictures
of this adorable pub.
It is a very popular place to eat as well as take pictures.
When we were there, it was just too crowded to get seating for 6 of us.
Here are a few of my pictures:








The Bunratty Folk Park is wonderful.
Filled with fabulous examples of life at Bunratty
there is a lot to learn and wonderful pictures to be taken.
I don't have pictures of the castle itself, don't know why I didn't take
them.  They don't allow pictures to be taken in most parts of the inside
of the castle.  Since the tapestries are hundreds of years old they don't allow flash photos
at all.  I do have some that I will post at another time from 
our last night in Ireland when we returned to the castle.
But for now, here is a little bit of it and the folk park.

I just thought this big old lock was cool.

These are outside the "front door" of the castle

Thatched roofs, were commonly used and are still on 
some buildings today.
More about that in another post.
I don't have a clue what these pieces of machinery are,
but they are interesting.

Ed and I were discussing this "tool"
we think it has to do with breaking up feed, but that is 
just our guess.  I've tried to look it up online, and just found that
we were right.
It's pretty nasty looking inside though.
There is a kind of tube with "spikes" all around it,
whatever goes in the top of this thing
is going to come out the bottom pretty well broken up.
Cakes were made from the pulp that was left after 
oil was removed from the seed.
These cakes were used as animal feed, but needed to be broken
up before given to the animals.
The cakes were fed through this machine to break them up.
I can imagine there were plenty of injuries from this machine 
back in the day.

Here is a picture looking out from the top of the castle.
I'm not a big fan of heights
(read that as scared to death)
but sometimes you just have to bite the bullet 
and go with the flow. 
So I was up at the top of the castle and it's a beautiful
view.  And it really isn't too bad, as it's not wide open up there

Here I am with Dave up at the top of 
Bunratty Castle.

Here is one of the stone buildings on the grounds.
As in most areas of Ireland the windows are beautiful.
There are very often flower boxes and/or pots and other vessels 
containing plants and flowers, creating beauty and interest.





This is a post office.  
You still see mailboxes like these around Ireland.

And there were the animals.
Isn't this pig just the cutest?

There were several of these deer or elk,
(you can see I'm not very knowledgeable about animals)
This guy was the leader of the pack and was proving it
with those antlers, sparing with another one and moving those
branches around with them.

And of course there were some roosters.

This is a view from the gardens behind
the  Bunratty House.
The gardens were built in 1804
and are fairly small for a walled garden,
1/2 acre.
The family that had resided in the castle moved to 
Bunratty House in 1804
which was much more comfortable than living in 
the castle itself.
The castle then fell into disrepair until it was restored in 1954.
Can you imagine having a garden with this
view?  It was absolutely gorgeous.
Here are some pictures from the garden.
&
these are my
Flowers of the Day










Compared to some of the gardens that we have seen
throughout the country, this one isn't particularly well kept,
but there were some lovely flowers and the view was spectacular.


Thanks for joining me again today
for my tour of Ireland.


Ireland #5  On to Dingle.

On to Dingle!
When we left Adare we headed to 
The Dingle Peninsula
Our first stop was a harbor in Fahamore.
This was a small harbor where we took the
time to take a few pictures and take in the views.



Roxie and Ed checking out the view.

Dave, in his element.

Sometimes it's hard to understand the immensity of a view.
Here is a little idea of that, this shows a couple of the
"Celtic Adventurers"
(that's what we named our little group)
out on the rocks.


Then we were on our way and 
you never know what you will find along side the road.
We had to stop when we saw this guy along the way.

He was in front of a pub called Ned Natterjack's

This pub has some pretty cool signs
and windows.

We turned into the parking lot at the side and found these windows
looking into a court yard of sorts.

The pub was closed for some renovations,
but apparently when it's open this 
area is used for food service.
The owner was in the back doing some work
and when Dave talked to him and explained that
hopefully he will be leading more tours in Ireland,
he offered to take Dave inside to see the pub.
This is so typical of the people in Ireland.
I feel that they are the friendliest people anywhere!
Just one of the reasons I love Ireland.

Back on the road and we made the 
big find of the day.
We happened to see a sign for 
Fermoyle Beach
so we thought we'd check it out.
We parked the car and walked down this road.
On either side there were fields with cows,
nothing much to see, but when we got around that bend and 
onto the beach,
OH MY!
It was beautiful!
The tide was out and the beach went on for miles.

Roxie immediately made a dash for the water.
That's her way out there in the center of this picture.
 
The ripples in the sand were amazing.
And looking down the beach at the mountains 
was incredible.
When you think of Ireland, you probably don't think
of beaches, but they have some of the most beautiful
beaches I've ever seen.
It actually makes a lot of sense that they would have 
beaches, doesn't it?  After all Ireland is an island.
There will be more about beaches in future posts.
 
After walking out a ways there was still quite a long ways to the
actual surf, there was a wide expanse that had 
 shallow water.  Shallow enough to walk on with shoes and not get
anything but the soles wet.
 
That's when I noticed the reflections
The sky, the clouds, the mountains,
all reflected in that water on the beach.
The reflections were gorgeous!
Here's my handsome hubby, happy to be on a beach in Ireland!
So happy to be here together.
Dave gets to work, shooting pictures.
I love this with the reflection of the mountains, clouds and sky
and the ripples in the sand in the foreground.
Just beautiful!
Roxie and Ed
 
And up near the fields well away from the water.
This is where I started collecting rocks.
When we traveled with our kids
we used to collect rocks to bring home to a friend from our church.
He collected rocks from all over the world.
Some of the rocks we collected for ourselves,
they now "live" in a little rock garden in our yard.
I decided that I should bring home some Irish rocks 
from some of my favorite places.
Would have loved to bring home the one Roxie and Ed are sitting
on, but alas, it would never have fit into my suitcase.
I wish I had thought to take pictures of my rocks in their original
homes, but I didn't, so we'll have to deal with them taken in 
their new homes.
Here is the one I brought from Fermoyle Beach.
I loved the striations in it and the pinkish color.
It will look great in our garden.

I think that's enough for today.
Next post Conor Pass.

Thanks for stopping by!

Ireland #6  Conor Pass

 On our way to 
Conor Pass
we came across a lovely little village with some 
beautifully colored homes with lovely flowers.
Can't pass up a chance to take some pictures,
so we stopped for a bit.





Look at these adorable little boots filled with plants
and stuck in the fence.
How cute is that?!?

I love the character of this old worn door in the 
stone wall.
Then off we went again on our adventure.
We had never been to Conor Pass before,
but Dave had read about it.
He was so nervous to drive it.
Conor Pass is the highest mountain pass in Ireland.
The pass crosses the Brandon Mountains where the 2nd  highest peak
 is Brandon Mountain at 3127 ft.
The road runs 4.5 miles rising to 1500 ft. as it winds its way to the pass.
At the pass is a parking lot where you can see some gorgeous sights
of the surrounding area.
Doesn't sound like a big deal to drive, does it?
I wish I had a picture of the road in part of the pass.
Many of the roads in Ireland are narrow, but this one is 
something else to drive.
Picture this,
You are driving a vehicle that seats 9 people
up a mountain road,
of course you are driving on the opposite side of the road
than you are used to, on the opposite side of the car.
On your left hand side there is a cliff going straight up,
on the right side is a cliff going, pretty much straight down.
The road is narrow anyway, but it gets narrower as you progress.
Then you are on this road that is barely wider than your car,
and someone is coming down toward you.
YEP that's right, there is a section that 
is 2 ways, but wide enough for only 1 car.
Luckily, the drivers in Ireland are very courteous.
There are pull overs in spots and people are wonderful about pulling over
so others can pass by.
Poor Dave was almost having a panic attack by the time we got up to the
parking area, but he did great and it was soooo worth the trip.
On one side of the road, there is more rocky terrain.

It is beautiful!
But looking out the other way!

This is a beautiful view from up at the top of the pass.

I do love taking my selfies,
You can see it was on the windy side up there, 
my hair doesn't always look this bad.

Check out that beautiful view behind Dave and Roxie!


I think Jane and Michael must have been off taking pictures
somewhere, I don't have any pictures of them at
Conor Pass.
I know they did go with Dave and climb up even higher,
hiking over rocks and fields so they could see 
the view from the highest point possible.

Then we were on our way down.
No more treacherous roads!
Going down the other side was much easier than going up.
The views were spectacular!


I love the patchwork look of the fields on the hillsides.


Some of the views are very dramatic.
Never know when you'll be seeing some cliffs.




And we never knew where we'd see Jane taking a picture.
I've seen some of her pictures and the are wonderful!

It's amazing to me, to see rolling hills with sheep grazing, 
jagged cliffs, clear beautiful water, 
wide expanses of sky all in the same place.

Then we were in search of a place to have our dinner.
We found it in Dingle at The Marina Inn.

The Flowers of the Day
We were driving along and found the most amazing 
hydrangea bushes we have ever seen.







Those orange flowers grow wild in many areas
and we'd see them all along the side of the road.
I loved the contrast of them against the hydrangeas.

That's it for today.
Next, the northern part of 
The Ring of Kerry.
Thanks for stopping by!

Ireland #7  The Ring of Kerry

I want to note that if you click on the pictures you can see them larger.

Next we were off to
The Ring of Kerry.
We planned our day here a little differently than the
average tourists.
We decided this time to take a northern route, so
we took a ferry to
Valentia Island
The tour buses couldn't go there so we didn't have to deal
with them.  The Ring of Kerry is a very popular tourist
destination as it is just beautiful.
BUT it can be very crowded, not so when you travel it the
way we did.  My hubby is so smart to plan it this way.


Our first stop on Valentia was at a little coffee shop in 
Knightstown
where we all indulged
in something tasty.
One of our (Dave's and mine) favorite treats are the meringues.
OH MY GOSH!!! 
These were so good!
This shop had them with fresh berries and cream.
Pure Heaven!
Once we were done with our goodies
(the others had scones, croissants, and cakes)
we were off to explore this little town.
We found a delightful shop.

Out front there was this wagon filled with flowers.

My pictures aren't as good as Dave's, but you can see 
what a lovely building/shop this is, so colorful!
Dave took LOTS of pictures of this one!


I thought these windows were lovely, 
a little too modern for Dave, but beautiful just the same.

On the way out of this little town, I saw this sign and just loved it.
Had to take a picture to remember it.
And we were off for more adventuring.
Is this just gorgeous or what?

 These next few pictures were what we saw as we drove around
 the island.


We were headed to a light house.
The light house was nice, but not fantastic.
The scenery in the area though was gorgeous!
The drive around this area was quite treacherous,
but Dave drove it like a pro as the rest of us took in the scenery
and the flowers along the road side.
(More about those flowers below.)
A little more driving on the crazy roads and we came
 upon the most incredible sights at 
Fogher Cliff, it was gorgeous,
but it got even better!
We all decided to take the 1 mile long loop hike up and around the hilltop.  
We were so happy that we did, as it was more amazing than we could have
imagined.  The views were unbelievable

 Gotta have my selfies!

Words can't describe how gorgeous these views were.
I can't even explain the immensity of what we were seeing.
It was clear enough for us to see for miles in 
all directions, and the farther around the loop we
hiked, the more amazing it was.






This is the rock I brought home from 
The Ring of Kerry and the hike at Fogher Cliff.
I chose it, not for it's beauty, but because this is what
is indigenous to that area.
Some of you may not know that I have fibromyalgia, 
so hiking, and sometimes just walking any distance is
difficult for me.
I was worried when I saw that it was a 1 mile hike up and 
around this loop, but I wanted so badly to do it.
So I did, Dave was patient with me when I had to go slow or 
stop for a minute and I made it with no problem.
I was so happy and proud that I did so well.
So, I took another selfie.  LOL!


Then we were off to Port Maghee
A lovely little fishing village across the bay from 
Valentia Island where we had lunch at 
The Bridge Bar.
Even the bars have these lovely windows!
Dave and I both had the special of the day,
Bangers and Mash,
which is sausage (pork and leek with onion gravy) and potatoes, 
boy were they good!
I do love the food in Ireland!
Then we were off to see more sights.
As we drove we saw some signs that said
"The Most Beautiful Cliffs On The Ring Of Kerry"
So that's where we went.  
How could we not see the most beautiful cliffs?
It was quite a walk out to them, but it was well worth it.
On the way out to the cliffs was this little display.
Unfortunately, the birds on top are not real and we didn't 
have the chance to see any of the birds indigenous to the cliffs, 
other than some common sea gulls, which I can see daily around
the Buffalo area, where I live.
I found these huts quite interesting.

Skellig Michael, mentioned on this plaque,
is an island that was inhabited by monks as
far back as the 6th century.
We would love to visit on our next trip.
 
Here are a few pictures of the cliffs,
they are beautiful as well as treacherous and a bit scary.






It was very, very windy up here.
One funny thing was that Roxie and I were walking along and we
heard a sound almost like music.
It was kind of a haunting whistling sound and we
wondered if it was the wind in the caves.
Suddenly we realized that it wasn't the caves or the rocks or the
cliffs at all. It was my cane!
When I walk any distance, especially if I'm tired,
I use a cane as I become a bit unsteady at times.
My cane is aluminum and hollow, there are holes down the 
side of it, to adjust the height.
The wind was blowing through the holes in my cane
producing the haunting whistling music that we were hearing.
Boy did we feel silly when we figured it out!
 
See those 2 tiny islands way out along the horizon?
One is Skellig Michael (or Great Skellig), the other is Little Skellig
Can you imagine the monks building a monastery out there
around the 6th century?

Flowers of the Day
The flowers today start with a couple beautiful roses from 
Knightstown when we first got onto Valentia Island.
 I thought the color was just gorgeous!

And these flowers below were from that same town.
They weren't quite as bright as they appear in this picture,
but they were lovely.
 
While we were driving along we saw these orange flowers
growing wild along the side of the road.
They are just beautiful,
I don't feel I ever really captured their beauty.
They are called Montbretia
(scientific name Crocosmia x crocosmiiflora  and 

Irish name Fealeastram dearg please don't ask me how to say this
Irish name!)





I was hoping to find a field of these beautiful flowers,
but we never did.  I just love them!
We also saw a lot of Fuchsia
growing wild along the roads in
County Kerry and they were gorgeous.
The only thing that rivaled these flowers was the hydrangea.



And the day still wasn't over.
We went on to Killarny for dinner.
We ate at Mac's Restaurant and had a lovely meal.
For me it was 
"Mac's Cottage Pie"
Much like a Shepard's Pie
with meat and gravy covered with potatoes
and cheese.  It was delicious!!
Then we went on to hear some Irish music at Murphy's Pub.
Now I'm not much for the bar scene and it was very crowded
but I have to say I did enjoy the music.
We didn't stay long, and that was fine for me.
It had been a long day and we were all on the tired side.
I've never put a video into a post before, so I hope this works.
If not my apologies.
This isn't the best video, but it gives you a little idea
of the music in the pubs.
Keeping my fingers crossed that it works.


The music in Irish Pubs is interesting.
Players don't perform on a stage of any kind most of the time.
They just walk in and sit down at a table,
customers will sit around them 
and they play and drink beers.
Very informal, very friendly and very entertaining.

Thanks for stopping by and making it to the end of this long post.
It was quite a day filled with wonderful sights and memories.

Next I'll tell you about
Muckross Estate.

Ireland #8 Muckross Estate

Remember to click on the pictures to see them larger.

Up and out fairly early to visit the 
Muckross Estate.
I saw this sign  on our way into Muckross Estate.
They sure are serious about that closing time.
Can you imagine having to call and pay to get out
if you run too late?!?!

Muckross House is huge!
Can you imagine living in a place this size?
We took a tour of the house and had a lovely girl as our guide.
Unfortunately, pictures aren't permitted inside the house, 
so I have nothing to show you, but believe me it is 
quite amazing.
This 65 room mansion was built in 1843,
in the 1850s a huge amount of time and money was spent
refurbishing and remodeling for the visit of Queen Victoria in 1861.
More than 3 years were spent on the preparation for the visit.
The queen spent 2 nights at Muckross House.
The Herbert family had a very elite social standing and were
counting on this visit to elevate their standing even more.
A knighthood was expected to be given to Mr. Herbert.
This never happened as just a short time after this visit,
Queen Victoria lost her husband and with his death
she went into mourning and apparently was never the same.
She withdrew and hence the knighthood never happened.
The Herberts lost much of their social standing as well as their 
financial stability.
The house was later sold to Arthur Guinness, who in turn sold it to
 William Bowers Bourn who made it a wedding gift to his beloved daughter
Maud and her husband.
After Maud's death at an fairly young age,
the entire estate was gifted to 
The Republic of Ireland 
and it became the first national park of Ireland.

A beautiful view of the lake.

I thought this tree was pretty amazing, I have no idea how old
it is, but it is obviously very old and quite dramatic.


The gardens at Muckross are amazing,
had to have some pictures taken there.
Group shot of the "Celtic Adventurers"

Michael and Jane

Ed and Roxie
Unfortunately, the picture of Dave and me didn't turn out.



Can you imagine having a garden like this?
Just gorgeous.
(More about the flowers below.)
Then we were off to the Abbey and Cemetery.
The Abbey was built in 1448 by the Franciscans,
it has a violent history and was damaged
and reconstructed many times.  
The Friars were subjected to persecution and raids by marauding groups
The abbey is mostly roofless, and is a ruin, but it is
 fairly well preserved.
The Abbey from afar.
View from the cemetery.
Inside, the architecture is beautiful!





 There is a square courtyard with is surrounded by this vaulted cloister

There is a huge Yew in the courtyard that is 
as old as the abbey itself and is said to be the oldest living thing in 
Ireland, being over 500 yrs old.


There are loads of Celtic crosses in the cemetery at the Abbey.
Here are just a few 




Ed found some possible family and that was pretty exciting.
There is also a famous Gaelic poet named 
Geoffrey O'Donoghue
buried in this cemetery

Flowers of the Day

Muckross has some of the most beautiful hydrangeas I've ever seen
They have many different colors and many shades of each color as well.



 




 




There are long borders of hydrangea bushes 
with so many different colors that are all gorgeous!


They also have other types of flowers in their gardens.


It seemed that the red roses were just so saturated 
that I couldn't get a good defined picture of them.


I think that's enough for this post.
Thanks for stopping by and sticking with me till the end.
Next, the rest of our time at Muckross and Killarney.

Ireland #9 - Muckross and Killarney


After our visit to the 
Muckross Abbey,
we still weren't done.
We had stopped at Aldi to pick up some picnic foods.
We laid out a blanket and our feast,
crackers, pickles, salmon, turkey, brie, cheese, olives and feta
and I'm sure some things I'm forgetting.
A toast to the Celtic Adventurers!
I had to include my selfies of the day.

This picnic was the start of a favorite "lunch theme"
we found we loved having little picnics along the way.
But we didn't linger long as the bees found us, and especially liked 
the wine.  Couldn't let them get drunk, so we packed up and
went on to Muckross Cottage and grounds.
(Honestly, the guys were freaking about the bees, 
so we had to leave.  Ha ha!)
We took a horse and buggy ride around the grounds.
Our horses name was Rosie and the driver was 
Paddy O'Donoghue
Paddy and Rosie

Roxie with Rosie


 Me with Roxie
Here are some of the sights we saw on our buggy ride.
I'd tell you about the lake and the little castle out on that 
island, but Paddy had such a heavy accent that
none of us could understand half of what he said.
Factor in the accent and the fact that he was facing forward
and we were in the buggy behind him, and we didn't get 
as much information as we would have liked.
It was a beautiful ride though and all in all worth doing.




Celtic Adventurers on the buggy.
Ed sat up front with the other O'Donoghue.
Paddy was kind enough to take a group picture
for us at the end of the ride.


One thing I know I did hear and understand that Paddy 
said was that this church is St, Mary's and that it is the 
tallest church spire in Ireland.
Now as I write this, I looked up it's height, which is 
285 feet.  BUT I found that it is not the tallest,
it is the 3rd highest, with St. John's in Dublin as the 
highest at 308 feet.
Guess you can't believe everything the guides say, eh?
 
Even so it is beautiful and quite impressive.
We all walked into downtown Killarney, which wasn't far, 
to see some sights.
Although Killarney isn't a big city by our standards,
it was pretty good sized for Ireland, 
and very busy.
After a bit of walking around, Michael and I wanted a rest,
so we sat on a bench and the others did some exploring.
You never know where you'll find another American,
we struck up a conversation with a woman from Texas sitting
 on the bench near us.
It was fun to hear her perspective on things.
That evening we ate dinner at 
Murphy's which is the pub where we had been for music 
the night before.
Sadly we were pretty disappointed with the food.
This was where we found my least favorite 
fish and chips.
Did I tell you about my hunt for the best fish and chips?
I'll have to tell y'all about that one day soon.
After dinner, we headed back to the B&B for a relaxing evening.

Flowers of the Day
More beautiful hydrangea!
There is a lovely little cottage on these grounds,
it has been made into a little cafe and I didn't take pictures of it,
you can see the thatched roof of the cottage above in the 
church picture.
The flowers around this little cottage are just gorgeous
with many different colors.
Just take a look at these gorgeous hydrangea,
how could I NOT take pictures?
And that is exactly what I did,
until my camera battery died and that was the end of that!












Thanks for stopping in today to check out more about 
our Ireland trip.
I'll be back next time as we leave the Killarney for
Kenmare, Druid's View and a hike to a lighthouse
that didn't quite happen.

Ireland #10 Kenmare and Druid's View

We are on to our 6th full day in Ireland and
on to Kenmare.
These are a few of the pictures I took along the way.
Can you say gorgeous?!?!?



Kenmare is a lovely little town.
We got into town and were lucky enough to find a 
parking place, with easy access to the main street.
And when I say main street, I really mean, just about 
the only street with shops and pubs.
Most of the towns are small and quaint and this 
one didn't disappoint.
Although it wasn't as small as many, but I guess
those are probably villages or hamlets.
Here are some of the pictures I took.
This is looking into town.
Don't you love the colors?
I had to take a picture of this street sign.
We got out of the car and I looked up and there is was
New York St.
Where do I live?  New York State!
One of the things you can notice in this picture is the
absence of telephone poles and wires,
traffic lights and extraneous "stuff"
Yes, there are some signs for shops and some
traffic signs, but there aren't a lot of ugly
wires etc. blocking the view or taking away from the beauty.
This, I find, is true of most of the country.
Here's a picture of 4 of us in front of a typical pub.
The flowers, as always, were beautiful.
Guinness is huge in Ireland and there are signs all over.
Here is one of the biggest ones I saw.
My nephew, Joel, is a big Guinness fan, so I always had
my eyes open for different Guinness signs.
I've got this picture in here to show that you never know 
where you'll find more flowers.
They sure like to pretty things up in Ireland.
Do you think of Ireland as not having much fashion?
Wrong!  Check out these hats in one of the shop 
windows in Kenmare.
I had to have Dave take some pictures of my in front
of this fish and chips shop.
No, I didn't eat there, but by this time it was pretty
obvious that I loved the fish and chips.
When we'd stop at a restaurant or pub to check out
the menu, the others would look at it and comment
"Kristie's okay, they have fish and chips."
It didn't start out that way, but it ended up being 
a quest for the best fish and chips in Ireland.
At least for the places we traveled and ate.
Yes!  I'll admit it,
I'm a fish and chips addict.
While on this trip, I had fish and chips 
a total of 11 times.  Yes, you read that right!
11 times
By the 6th day we already knew 
I needed a picture with a sign
and there it was, right on the main street in Kenmare.
We had a nice time perusing the shops and
before we left we stopped at "Jam", a little coffee shop 
for a sweet treat.
 I will tell you, the treats we had were amazing.
I had a meringue with strawberries that was to 
die for, and Roxie had a bread pudding with, I believe
it was a toffee sauce.
YUMMY!
Then we were off and headed for 
Sheep's Head to see a lighthouse.
On the way we came across
"Druid's View"  
I don't know why this is called Druid's View,
I did some searching on the internet and
 couldn't find any info on it, just a few pictures.
When we came along this wood carving along the road
we had to stop and take a look.
And it was absolutely stunning. 

This little guy was at Druid's View in a fenced in area.
I got a lesson in donkey, mule, jack ass, horse "genetics"
but honestly, I thought I knew which this was
and how it came to be, but when I look on the internet,
what I thought I learned, doesn't seem to be right.
Anyway, I thought he was a cute little guy, so 
here he is, whatever he is.
Here's another cute little guy.
There were a few people who wanted me to bring back
a leprechaun for them.
This is the closest I could come.
He is in front of Molly Gallivan's
which apparently serves ice cream.
Below are pictures that are all taken around
 Molly Gallivan's
I didn't go inside, but I could see it was quite a 
nice gift shop with some lovely sweaters and such. 

Love this old truck!
Another lovely window, you can also see that 
there is a thatched roof.


In the picture above you see a pile of peat.
Below is a wagon full of peat.
I will have another post that will talk more about peat,
where it comes from and what it's used for, but for now
here are a couple pictures of peat,
a very common sight through out Ireland.
It's also not uncommon to see bicycles in Ireland.
Although I must say, I didn't notice as many on 
this visit as I have on our other visits.
There were a number of places where we did see them
like this, being used as an "art" piece.
It does make for a nice picture doesn't it?

Flowers of the Day
Druid's View did not disappoint when it came to flowers.
Molly Gallivan's had some absolutely gorgeous hydrangeas
As you can see in these couple pictures,
the pinks and purples were beautiful!



And there were some of my favorite wild flowers 
along the road.



I'm glad you stopped by to share a little bit more
of my visit in Ireland.
The day wasn't finished, not even close.
Next post we'll arrive at our destination of 
Sheep's Head.

Ireland #11 Sheep's Head and more

After Druid's View, we were off to our next destination,
Sheep's Head
It seems that no matter where we drove, 
we saw beautiful views.
Here are some along the drive.
That's Michael up on top of this huge rocky hill.
We stopped to take pictures and Michael took off 
to climb to the top and see the view.

You never know what's going to be around the next bend.
  One minute you'll be seeing mountains and rock,
the next there is water!
The roads got pretty narrow, windy and crazy at times,
but now Dave was driving like a pro.
When he saw this sight, he had to pull over into a little space
at the side of the road.
He was so excited to take some pictures, he pulled over
where he could, not thinking about how I would get out of the car.
He took off on a run to shoot some pictures,
not realizing that there was a proper pull off only about 50 feet ahead.
Since I was on the side of the car away from the road,
which we usually think of as the drivers side, I was up against 
the foliage.  I could only open my door part way, so 
this is the picture I got.
Nice of the roof of the car, isn't it?
He did come back and move the car ahead a little so 
I could actually get all the way out and go take pictures.
And below you see what I shot.
Well worth the wait.
And YES!  the water really is that blue.
It's all so clean and beautiful!

It never ceases to amaze me just how far you can see.
The houses looked so small in the distance.
We continued on and found, you guessed it, more 
beautiful sights.
Gotta have that selfie!
Another thing about Ireland is that you never know 
about the weather.
In the Buffalo, NY area it's always joked that if you
don't like the weather, wait 5 minutes, it will change.
That isn't so true in Buffalo, but it really is that way in Ireland.
One minute you have this beautiful sight, with nice sun

then it starts to cloud over.
Here come Ed and Roxie back from some exploring and
the sky is starting to get threatening.
What happened to all that bright sunshine?

Still beautiful, but we were heading out pretty quick.
It was getting windy and the rain started just after
we got into the car and on our way.
But it didn't last long.  
This is so typical, sunny, cloudy, rain starts and comes
down pretty heavy and suddenly, it's gone and 
the sun is out again.
Finally, we arrived at Sheep's Head!
I've mentioned before that I have fibromyalgia,
and that walking distance sometimes is a challenge,
but I didn't want to let that stop me from going to see this lighthouse.
From the number of people there, I figured it must be worth the hike.
So along with the others, I headed out.
Roxie and Ed quickly went ahead of us.
I was a bit slower and here is the reason why.
This was no typical hike for me, 
the trails were really just paths up, over and around
rocks.  Some were just ruts in the dirt.
There were a lot of pretty difficult places to maneuver.
This is looking back where I came from.
And ahead to where I was going.
These were the easier spots too.
I really couldn't take pictures at many of the tougher spots,
I really had to concentrate on climbing.
Here is my Sheep's Head I'm proud of myself  selfie.
We went quite a ways and finally asked some people on their
way back, how far to the light house?
They weren't helpful at all, just said
"I'll just say it's down hill"
What? They weren't Irish that's for sure, the Irish wouldn't be like that.
Then we asked a family how far it was and they told us 
"Another half hour or more."
Another couple told us that it was definitely another half hour
or more of a hike and they didn't feel it would be 
worth the trip for me.  They said go to the top of the rise and see what I thought.
At the top of the rise, I could see more of the same terrain 
and knew I didn't want to go farther than that.
Dave and Jane went on and Michael and I stopped to rest.
We sat there and had a nice talk.
Ed and Roxie came past and said it wasn't all that
great, so it was a good thing I didn't go all the way.
Then Michael and I headed back the way we came.
Was I disappointed that I couldn't do the whole hike?
Hmmmm, well, just a little bit.
But when I look at what I had done, 
I was happy and really thrilled with how far
I had gone. My physical therapist, Sue, would be so
proud of what I had accomplished!
Later when we talked about the day, we figured that I had gone 
about 1.25 miles out and 1.25 miles back.
2.5 miles total!
Now, for me, that was huge! 
I will say that the last few hundred feet back to the car
were the toughest.  I wasn't sure I was going to make it,
BUT I DID!!!!
Here are a few pictures from that hike.
Definitely worth it, don't you think?!?!


Once we left Sheep's Head 
we stopped to pick up some picnic supplies
to have a very late lunch along the way.
I found this across from the little grocery store while
I waited for them to come back to the car.
I originally went to take a picture of the flowers,
then I saw the BAAAR on the wall.
That's a little sheep's head next to it.
Love it!
We found a playground with a picnic table 
for our picnic.
After a quick bite to eat and a trip down the slide
for Jane, we were off to our next B&B


Flowers of the Day 

I found these berries when we stopped alongside the 
road to take pictures.  I know they aren't flowers, but 
I thought they were pretty too.
The berries and 2 pictures of flowers below, were found where
Dave had abandoned me, unable to get out of the car.

These were found when we stopped to take pictures
on the way to Sheep's Head.

These last 2 pictures were along the hike.
So pretty!



This, for me, was one of our longest days and it still 
wasn't over. We headed on to our B&B
The Kilcatten Lodge
which ended up being our favorite of the trip.
Once we had checked in, we drove in to
Kinsale and had a nice dinner.
More about Kinsale and
Kilcatten Lodge in my next post.

Thanks for coming and sticking with me all the way to the
end of this post. 
See you next time!

Ireland #12 Kilcatten Lodge, Kinsale and Kissing the Blarney Stone

After a long day of driving and hiking,
we checked in to our B&B
The Kilcattan Lodge where we were 
welcomed by Noreen 
and Dave instantly made a couple new friends.
After getting settled in our rooms and getting some 
recommendations, we were off for Kinsale.
On past trips, this was one of Dave's and my favorite towns
and we were so looking forward to another visit.
Here is the harbor.  As you can see this is  going to be 
a much busier town than most of where we had been.
Of course with this ship "replica" 
Roxie and Ed had to do a Titanic imitation.
We had dinner at Jim Edwards and enjoyed it immensely.
Here we all are, enjoying each others company
and having a few laughs.
Check out Ed's mustache.  
Beer foam, guess that's a problem when you have a mustache like his.
We loved the food and the company!
A great ending to a great day!
The next morning we were treated to the best breakfasts 
we had had so far.
Here's what a couple of us had.
Traditional Irish - Eggs, sausage, bacon (ham to us in the States) 
black and white pudding and tomatoes for some.
Eggs, bacon and toast for another.
Eggs and toast with salmon for another.
And french toast with bananas
And that wasn't all, there was also a beautiful variety of
fresh fruit to choose from.
The breakfasts at B&Bs are generally wonderful
and very filling.  Some places offer a large variety
and others not as much, but they are all wonderful and filling.
Every B&B offers a traditional Irish breakfast and
often also has cereal, yogurt or fruit to go with it.
This was by far the best selection we had.
Can you tell I was already enamored with Kilcatten Lodge?
Once we were fortified with a filling breakfast we were off for 
another day of adventures.
We were off to kiss the Blarney Stone!
Here's my selfie with Blarney Castle in the distance.
Now I don't know how much you know about the Blarney Stone.
I've been there before and kissed it before and the first time I had no idea what
I was going to be doing.
I just thought it was some big rock in a field or something.
WRONG!
You have to climb stairs up to the top of an old castle that 
is quite in ruins.
Then you lay down, hang your head out a hole and kiss the 
stone on the outside of the castle.
Yes, really!
Look way up at the top of that tower,
see that little white spot above the windows?
That's where you have to hang out and kiss the stone.
Here is a closer look.
Now it really isn't as bad as it sounds.
It used to be a bit more dangerous, but they put in 
solid iron bars to keep people from falling,
and there are people there to help you.
This isn't the best video and it isn't one of the 
Celtic Adventurers kissing the stone,
but it gives you an idea of how it's done.
Legend is that if you kiss the Blarney Stone
you are imbued with the gift of gab.
Well, I've kissed it twice, so you know I must be 
quite the talker.
So this time, I passed on the experience.
The other 5 went on up, but I was just not up for 
the climb up the stairs.
That long hike yesterday about did me in and
on this particular day, walking was not my friend.
And climbing up a few flights of stairs was 
just not in the cards.
Like I said, I've done it before and
I know I already have the gift of gab.
While the others were kissing away,
I took a stroll around the ground.
One of the places I explored was 
The Poison Garden.
Yep, that's right, the plants growing in this garden are poison.
Hence the warning that children must be accompanied at all times.
There were many plants like this that we inside 'domes'
Inside this dome were the Opium Poppy plants
There were many that we know of from the 
Harry Potter Series.
Some of those I saw 
(not all of them used by Harry and friends) 
were
Mandrake, Larkspur, Nightshade, Cannabis,
Henbane, Monkshood 
and one many of us eat during the summer
Rhubarb. Obviously what we eat isn't poisonous,
but the leaves of the rhubarb plant are very toxic.
I thought this sign was very interesting.
Exploring the Poison Garden wasn't just about the plants.
There were some other interesting places to check out.


Walking along this garden wall was wonderful.
At one point I looked up at the castle tower and 
could see the other Celtic Adventurers waiting their 
turn to kiss the stone.
Yep, that little tiny red bit at the top is Roxie!
And if I looked out from the wall, away from the castle,
this is what I saw.
Beautiful, isn't it?


When the others came down we took a walk around.
We found some interesting trees.

Don't have a clue what this is, but isn't it
magnificent?!?!
Had to have a selfie with my hubby!
Can you imagine living in a place like this?
This is a private house and can only be toured at certain 
times.  We weren't there at the right time, so 
we just have a picture of us in front of it.
We got some interesting angles of the castle on the walk back.





And found some lovely gardens.

And we stopped a few minutes to enjoy a bit of music.

                                       

Flowers of the Day

There were plenty of flowers around Blarney Castle.
Many of them in the Poison Garden.
Did you know that the beautiful Hydrangea is poisonous?
Didn't stop me from shooting them though,
they were just amazing!







Right near the exit, they had these hanging planters
filled with so many gorgeous colors, I couldn't
resist taking a few pictures!



Just look at how big these hanging planters were!



Then we were off to explore Middleton, but 
that's for the next post.

Thanks for stopping by today.
Keep coming back, there's a lot more to tell y'all.


Ireland #13  Middleton and more



When we got back to the B&B the night before,
Dave and I talked with the owners about our itinerary
and realized that our plans weren't feasible.
Joe and Noreen were very helpful and gave us some   
great advice.  So we ended up going to Middleton.
We arrived right around lunch time and found a wonderful
little gourmet sandwich shop called Monty's.
My sandwich was fabulous!
"Spiced beef, leaves, horseradish mayo, gherkins on white bread"
This wasn't just any white bread, it was absolutely delicious.
I know the others enjoyed their sandwiches too.
Dave had a bit of Jane's and said he wished he'd gotten it,
it was one of the best sandwiches he'd ever eaten.
Once lunch was finished the other 5 made their way to the
Jameson Distillery.
I'm not a drinker at all and really have no interest in whiskey
of any sort, so they went and I wandered around town a bit.
Unfortunately, I didn't take a single picture.
There really wasn't much to take pictures of.
I did find a discount store and wandered around in there 
and low and behold, look what I found!
One of our favorite kinds of candy!
We discovered Orange KitKats on one of our previous 
trips and fell in love with them.
We've never seen them in the States and they are sooooo good.
I picked up what they had, only a couple packages.
These were supposed to be to bring home with us,
I knew the kids would be thrilled to have them.
Ha! Fat Chance!
Now don't jump to any conclusions,
I shared them with the others!
And we bought more to bring home,
along with this other treat.
Orange Aero Bars, another candy we had discovered on
previous trips that we didn't have at home.
These both became a couple of our favorite little treats 
while traveling.
I spent a little alone time, writing in my journal and reading
and to be honest, falling asleep in the car.
We had a set of walkie talkies and Ed's voice woke me
up, they were on the way back to the car.
We needed to get to the 
Cobh (pronounced Cove) Heritage Centre 
before it closed.
We made it just in time.
This centre had exhibits about the emigration of people from Ireland.
Many left from this port.
Over a period of about 100 years, over 6 million people emigrated
from Ireland.  About 2.5 million departed from Cobh.
People were picked up here for the fateful journey of the 
Titanic. Cobh was the Titanic's last port of call where 123 
passengers embarked.
At that time Cobh was called Queenstown.
When the Lusitania was torpedoed and sank near Kinsale,
survivors were brought to Cobh and cared for in the local 
hospitals, homes and lodging houses.
This picture shows the building of the Titanic.
These next 3 pictures below depict life on the ships 
headed for British North America, now Canada, 
but the majority of those people settled in the 
United States.
From the late 1700s till the mid 1800s nearly 40,000 
convicts were placed on ships and sent to Australia.


Life on the ships was extremely hard.
There were no staterooms, people were packed into the hold of
the ship.  The food often was insufficient and often spoiled
there was very little fresh water and disease ran rampant.
For these people it was either board the ship for 
America, or face sure death in their homeland.
This was their only chance at survival.
This statue stands outside the 
Heritage Centre, it is of 
Annie Moore and her two brothers.
Annie Moore was the first ever emigrant to be processed in 
Ellis Island when it officially opened on January 1, 1892.
A similar statue of Annie can be found in Ellis Island.
She and her bothers sailed from Queenstown (now Cobh)
on the SS Nevada on December 20, 1891 and arrived after 12 days
of travelling in steerage.
After our enlightening visit to the 
Cobh Heritage Centre
we were off to Kinsale for dinner.  
This evening we ate at 
Kitty O'Se's and unfortunately we were not impressed.
The food was, at best, mediocre.
BUT we did make the best of it, enjoyed each other's company
and picked up some Magnum Ice Cream Bars
for our dessert.
And I must say the facade of the restaurant was beautiful.
Then it was back to Kilcatten Lodge for the evening.

Believe it or not, I have no 
Flowers of the Day 
for this day, the ones on the front of the restaurant 
above were the only ones I took any pictures of.
But, I can tell you a funny story.
When we arrived in Middleton earlier in the day,
Dave dropped some of us off on the main street,
mostly because I was not having the best of days and
we didn't know how far it was to park the car.
He and Jane went off to find a parking lot, 
while the rest of us would check out the lay of the land.
They found a parking lot and parked the car.
Many of the lots in Ireland are "Pay and Display" lots
where you go to a central "machine" to pay 
and receive a ticket to display in your car.
So they walked up to the Pay area,
the window said "in use" so they waited.
And waited some more, until they realized that it was
a public toilet that they were waiting at
not a pay machine and it was a free lot.
We all had a good laugh over that.
This is a picture of the kind of public toilet they were
waiting at.  This one is in Kinsale, but it's the same kind.
I actually used the one in Middleton.
You put in your change and the door opens for you to enter,
once you are inside, it automatically closes.
It's actually very nice and roomy inside.
The soap, water faucet and dryer are automatic.
Once you are done, you hit the 
"door open" button and it opens and you walk out.
Then the door is closed again and the entire inside is cleaned.
The walls, toilet and sink are sprayed down and dried
for the next person to use.
When you enter, the room is clean and fresh.
How cool is that?!?!
But it does NOT give you a ticket to park your car!

I hope you are enjoying my trip to Ireland.
We are about half way through the trip now.
Next post will be about a golf course that got in our way, 
the sad blue wall,
a pink elephant 
and this little piggy.

Ireland #14 A Sad Blue Wall

Slept in a bit
 (9:00 and for those of you who know me well, 
you know this isn't really sleeping in for me)
and after breakfast we were out the door.
First it was Courtmacsherry for a little drive around to see 
the views near the water.



Then it was on to Clonekilty to the SuperValu to do
some grocery shopping.
The last time I was in Ireland they didn't have 
these large grocery stores, so it was interesting to 
see what it was like.
Well, let me tell you it was a lot different than
the grocery stores here in the States.
I don't know about where y'all live, but here in the 
Buffalo, NY area we don't have a parking 
garage connected to the grocery store.
I wondered why there was an elevator near the front door,
when I investigated, I found that there were 3 levels for parking.
Very convenient, how nice to not have to load groceries 
in the rain, or if they had this here, in the snow.
Once we were inside the store, we found lots of things
that would never fly here in the States.
Our health laws are much different, but you know
everything there was very fresh and it doesn't seem like
the differences are hurting anyone.
First was the bakery,
where all the bread and rolls are just sitting out
on tables or in bins.
 
Same with the donuts.
Although there is a deli where they serve you,
there was this lunch meat out on a cooler table.
I didn't see any bags, so I'm assuming they would 
wait on the customer here too.
This meat in the butcher area was also out and open on a 
cooler table. These were the sales, sirloin steak and "steak mince"
As well as the fish.
I'm not saying that I have a problem with any of this,
but just that this would never fly here,
the health department would be all over it.
In the deli they had this 
"happy face bologna"
How cute is that?
And they had sandwiches, which is what we picked up for
our lunch today.
They had them pre-made, but would make up whatever we wanted.
Boy were they good. They had a lot of different veggies chopped
to add.  My sandwich had roast beef, cole slaw, onions, 
cheese and lettuce on a nice crusty roll.
I'm not a coffee drinker, but they had huge selection
of coffee beans to choose from.
I had fun just browsing around in the store,
checking out different products and prices.
As for those prices, if you look at some of those signs
you'll see that meat is sold by the kg. and 1 kg is about 1/2 lb.
The sirloin steak is 15.99 Euro/kg so it would be about 8.00 euro/.lb
factoring in the difference in US dollars to Euro
that would be about $10.00/lb
And that's the sales price,
the regular price was 23.99/kg or about $15.00/lb
The smiley face bologna was 10.19/kg or about $6.00/lb
The donuts were 6/2.00 so $2.50/6 
Some things were more expensive, some were less,
I think in the long run, averaged out it was about the same as
the stores here in my area.
The last bit of food that I'm showing you is the
Bacon Chops.
I asked Noreen at the B & B about these bacon chops
as she explained
almost anything that is from a pig is called bacon.
These bacon chops are actually pork chops 
and these happened to have some mustard butter with them.
She would cook up the chops and then put the butter 
on top of them to melt, just like you might put
seasoned butter on a steak.
Well, enough about  the supermarket and food.
We were off to check out 
Old Head Light House.
We saw some beautiful scenery on the way there.

We were very disappointed in that trip.
We did see the light house from VERY far away
while we were driving to the area.
BUT as we had been warned at the B & B
we were not permitted to go see it up close.
A private golf course was built on the land around
the light house.
When this was all proposed, it was promised that the general
population would have access to this beautiful light house and
the surrounding area.
That is not what happened and you are not permitted in if you are 
not going to golf.  The cost of golfing was about 
200 Euro or about $250.
We had hoped that there would be at least a view of 
the light house which is one of the most beautiful in Ireland
(you can see it here)
Many of the people who live in this area
are very upset that people are not allowed to see 
such a national treasure.
The views from outside the golf club
were stunning.
These are some of the cliffs that surround the course.

Those tiny little people in this picture are the other 
Celtic Adventurers
taking in the views.
And off in the other direction......
We didn't spend long at Old Head 
then we were off to Kinsale.
On our other trips to Ireland, Kinsale was one of our
favorite towns.  This time, not so much. 
We did like it, but were disappointed in the 
flowers etc.  I think it was just the wrong time
of the year for the flowers.
But we did find some things to shoot.
Here is one of the Guinness signs 
As I've said before, Guinness is huge in Ireland
this sign shows a man holding a whale up with
one finger.  He has a bottle of Guinness on his back
with a hose going to his mouth.
I also found this sign in a window of 
"Mario's Chipper and Pizzeria Take Away"
Had to take a picture of it, I wondered
how these Buffalo Wings compared to 
what we have here in Buffalo.
When we were here the last time we found a wonderful blue
wall.  The pictures of it are great sellers.
You can see them here and here.
Dave and I wanted to locate the blue wall again
and we did.  Unfortunately, it wasn't quite the same..
Here is what the wall looks like now.
It's actually 2 walls on the same little house.
Here's the other one.
Wouldn't have gotten those beautiful pictures on this trip.
I'm sure if we go to Ireland again, we'll visit Kinsale again,
but for this trip it wasn't a huge success.
So we were back to the B & B to get ready for dinner.

Flowers of the Day
Not only was the Kilcatten Lodge one of the most 
beautiful B & B's that we stayed in,
it has some beautiful gardens and views.
These 3 pictures were taken from the car park 
at the Kilcatten Lodge.
So gorgeous.


These flowers are from Noreen's garden
It was the end of the season, but her roses were still blooming
and absolutely beautiful!



Next post,
A Pink Elephant and This Little Piggy

Ireland #15 A Pink Elephant and This Little Piggy

After our visit to Kinsale we were ready
for a nice dinner out.
We had to take some pictures before we went
Just because everyone looked so nice.
Jane and Michael on the patio.
Ed gets silly in the garden.
Ed and Roxie in the garden.
Ed and Michael
the "two dudes"
The Pink Elephant 
was recommended by Noreen so that's where we headed.
The views were beautiful from the restaurant.
If you were sitting on this lawn on 
May 7, 1915 
and were looking out at this view
you would have seen the sinking of the 
Lusitania.
A German U-boat torpedoed and sank RMS Lusitania.
The Lusitania was a British ocean liner en rout to Liverpool, England
from New York.
Of the more than 1900 people aboard,
more than 1100 of them perished in this tragedy.
Luckily it is now a beautiful, peaceful sight.
The restaurant owner took this nice picture of our group.
One of the very few with all of us in the picture.
We were so glad we took Noreen's recommendation.
The food was very good.
Roxie started with a salad.
I started with Cream of Asparagus soup.
I can't speak for that salad, but the soup was excellent!
I had this amazing chicken dish.
A couple of them had duck.
Dave had a liver dish, I tasted that and it was
fabulous.
Ed had monk fish.
And our dessert, I don't remember what they 
called it, but it was a meringue with berries and cream.
To die for!
The service was wonderful and the owner was
very friendly.
He is quite a photographer and has several of his pictures around
the restaurant.  What a lovely man.
After a fabulous meal we were treated to a
 beautiful sight in the sky.
The clouds were spectacular and that sun
with the rays shining through?
Stunning!
Then we were on to Timoleague.
It was what they call "festival week" 
and there is some kind of attraction or function every 
evening in the village and tonight it was 
pig races.
Yes!  I did say pig races!
They had the big bad wolf and a pig that danced.
Here's a video of the "Minions" the wolf and the pig
entertaining the crowd while we wait for the races.
Sorry about the quality of the video, I had to hold the 
camera above my head and hope for the best.
Here is a little clip of one of the races.
These pigs are about 3 months old and belong to a 
local farmer.  
The pigs ran from one end of the main street of the 
village to the other end.
There were a few races down and then back up.
There was a huge crowd.  
Apparently this is one of the attractions every year.
There was a show afterward that we didn't stay for,
we'd had a long day and wanted to get back to our 
B & B.
We did stop to take some pictures along the way of
this building.
Unfortunately, I don't remember what this is.
I didn't write it in my journal and can't find it online.
But it was beautiful.

Here's my Timoleague selfie,
Kind of eerie with that background, don't ya think?
I saw this phone box on the way to the car 
and had to take a picture of it. 
I love their phone boxes!
Then we were "home" for the night.
We all gathered in the guest sitting room for
 a drink and a bit of socializing with 
Joe and Noreen.
Check out this sitting room,
who wouldn't want to spend a little time there?
It was so comfy and welcoming.
The next morning I took a picture of Dave with Noreen
before we left.  She and Joe made us feel like old friends.
We will be back to Kilcatten Lodge one day,
it was definitely our favorite of all the
places we stayed.
High on our recommendation list.

Next I'll tell you about 
The Cliffs of Moher 
and our adventures there.

Ireland #16 The Cliffs of Moher

The Cliffs of Moher 
is another favorite place in Ireland.
Not just for us, but for many and we had
to take the 
Celtic Adventurers 
to the cliffs.
So with a bit of sadness we left our favorite
B & B and were on our way to view 
cliffs that drop 702 feet at their highest point
and stretch for 5 miles along the coast of 
western Ireland.
It was a cloudy day, but we could still view the cliffs.
There are times that it is very foggy and
 you can barely see the cliffs.
We have always been fortunate to be able to see them.
Here is the picture that my husband took on our first
trip to Ireland which he still sells.
Had to have a selfie of the 2 of us with the cliffs in the background.
Another view.
A picture that Dave took of our group.
It was extremely windy!
As you can see here, poor Roxie was having 
a bit of trouble with her hair.
Here are Jane and Michael.
Not so much trouble with their hair.  LOL!
This time, we let someone else take a picture for us.
A look in another direction.
This is O'Brien's Tower.
This was built by Cornelius O'Brien in 1835.
He was ahead of his time, believing that tourism
would benefit the local economy ans bring the people out of poverty.
This tower was built for the purpose of viewing the surrounding 
area by tourists. From this tower you can see for miles on
a clear day. I'm guessing ole Cornelius knew what he 
was doing.  While we were at the cliffs, there were 
thousands of others there too.
Here is a view looking down toward one of the beaches.
That small pointed "rock" is separate 
from the rest of the cliffs.
The waves crashing against it are quite remarkable.
Another selfie.
When we were at the cliffs the last time (about 10 yrs ago)
there may have been some warning signs like this one,
but there weren't as many walls blocking the cliffs.
I didn't get a picture of the area, but there is a large flat area 
of rock that goes right to the cliffs edge.
There are slate walls blocking the area and much of the cliffs
off from access.  When we were here last, these areas
were not blocked off.  In fact my husband and the kids laid down
on their bellies and scooted up to the edge to look over.
I was to afraid of heights to do it, it made me nervous just watching.
At that time there were also groups of kids that were running along
the walkways that were a matter of feet from the cliff edges.
AND there were no walls or guard rails.
I'm so glad they put some up.
You can do quite a bit of walking at the cliffs and
I wasn't up for too much.  I did what I could
and then went to the visitors center to wait for the 
others to come back.
Here's a selfie with a very cool wood sculpture
outside the center.

And the sculpture without me blocking it.
There is so much in this sculpture about the area,
I wish I would have taken more pictures showing more detail,
but there were others waiting to take their own selfies.
I was so glad that I had come back to the center.
I sat and people watched for a while, then the sky started to
look ominous.
I found a spot to stand near a door with an overhang and 
shot a bit of video.
If you watch it, you can see the waves of rain coming across.
It blew in very quickly, it was over cast and a few minutes later
the skies were turning a very dark gray.
Dave and Jane had continued out along the cliffs
to take pictures of the rain coming in.
The others had come back to the visitors center.
Guess it was pretty wild out there near the cliffs.
It cleared up pretty quick and we were off to our next
adventure.  Luckily the skies cleared pretty well
as we drove on to Doolin where we ate by the roadside.
It was pretty cold out there, so I ended up wrapped in a blanket 
in the car for my lunch.
Here are some pictures that I took along the drive.



Here are the cliffs from a distance.
Jane and Roxie at our lunch spot
After lunch we were off to The Burren.
The Burren literally means rocky place and that is
so fitting for this area.
This is one of only 2 pictures I took,
the entire area looks pretty much the same.
All "limestone pavement" for miles and miles.
There is very little soil in The Burren, but where 
there is soil it is very fertile.
I do wish I had taken a couple pictures of the mountains,
just to show you. They are literally mountains
of rock like what is in this picture.
Once we were through The Burren,
we were off to Galway.
More about that in my next post
"On to Galway"

Ireland #17  On to Galway


After driving through The Burren
we made our way to Galway.
Galway is a good sized city being the 3rd largest
in Ireland, with a population of about 75,000.
Sometimes it hard to consider a city like this to be
one of the biggest.  For perspective
Buffalo, NY has about 260,000
Denver, CO has about 650,000
Tampa, FL has about 353,000
New York City has 8.406 million.
the town I live in
Tonawanda, NY has about 15,000
Google the city or town where you live and 
you'll get an idea of the size of  Glaway.
The population of Ireland is 
about 9.6 million
So we arrived at our next B & B 
The Roncalli House.
It wasn't near as nice as Kilcatten Lodge,
but it was clean and the owner was very nice.
I wasn't up for the walk into town, I knew I could
have made it to where ever they wanted to eat, but
walking back might be a problem.
So I decided to stay in the room and rest.
The owner was so sweet and told Dave where he could
go to get me some fish and chips for my dinner.
Here is my dinner.  I have to say it really was good
except for that little container of...... well I don't know what it was.
It was brown and tasted awful, I don't have a clue what I was suppose
to do with it, but I put it down the drain.
Never had anything like it before
and hope I never do again.
It was a relaxing evening for me,
I had my F&C, wrote in my journal,
talked to both of my kids through facebook and
did a bit of reading.
Next morning we had a nice breakfast and were off 
for a beautiful drive through Clifden and the Sky Road Loop.
Check out that sky!  I was a little worried about getting drenched,
but as we drove, the skies cleared and we only got a few minutes 
of rain.
I found some things that I thought were funny through out 
our trip and if I could I'd take a picture.
While driving through a town, I believe it was 
Clifden I saw this butcher shop.
Love the awning!  It says
Seamus Kelly Butcher Extraordinaire
Now there's a man with confidence!
Here are some pictures I took along the 
Sky Road Loop.
As you can see by now the sky was just gorgeous.
It was darn cold and windy, but it was beautiful.

These 2 pictures, above and below, show the vastness
of where we were.  In the picture above
you can see people, the one on the far right is my hubby.
In the picture below, I wasn't zoomed in and you can 
barely see them.

On the way back down the loop we found a lovely beach 
where the water was just gorgeous,
 different shades of blue and bright and clear.


We pulled to the side of the road to have our lunch,
which was sandwiches from the SuperValu in Galway.
Mine was pastrami with coleslaw, cucumbers, spinach, mayo and onions
on a nice crusty roll.
I think Dave enjoyed his Chicken Tica too.
These pictures below were taken in the same area as the beach.

It turned out to be such a beautiful day.
After lunch we were off to visit
Kylemore Abbey.


Flowers of the Day
These flowers were outside 
Roncalli House.
I'm told they are called Red Hot Pokers



I love the gradient of color on them.

I wish I could have gotten some better pictures of 
these flowers below.  They were covering the hillside
at the top of the Sky Loop.
There were beautiful yellows, pinks and purples.
Tiny little flowers and many in patches of thorny brush.
Thanks for visiting Ireland with me today.
Next post will be about our afternoon at 
Kylemore Abbey.

Ireland #18 Kylemore Abbey

Before I tell you about Kylemore Abbey,
I want you to see this picture.
We were driving along one day and I saw this guy on
his motorcycle.  Had to take a picture.
Ingenious way to carry a spare tire don't you think?
Wish my spare tire
could come off as easily as his does!
Now on to our next adventure.
After lunch at the beach and a bit of exploring,
we were off to Kylemore Abbey.
Another favorite attraction for many, including us. 
This is the first angle you see of the Abbey.  
Had to have a group shot, unfortunately someone
had to take the pictures, so Dave isn't in it again.
I took several different shots of the Abbey from across
the lake.
It's so beautiful and the surroundings are gorgeous.
Of course that had to include a selfie or two.


Did get a selfie with Dave too.
Now that you've seen Kylemore Abbey I'll tell you a bit about it.
Kylemore Castle was built by Mitchell Henry.
He and his wife, Margaret, were said to have spent their honeymoon 
in the area and loved it so much they dreamed of having a home in the area.
When Mitchell's father died and he inherited a considerable fortune,
he abandoned his medical practice and went into business and politics.
He built the castle complete with walled gardens,
walks and woodlands that covered over 13,000 acres of land.
Mitchell Henry turned thousands of acres of waste land
into the productive and beautiful 
Kylemore Estate.
The walks along the paths near the lake are just beautiful!
The views are spectacular!
I can only imagine living in a home like this,
with this amazing view.
The Henrys had 9 children and lived in this amazing home,
which had 33 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, 4 sitting rooms, a library
and more making up 70 rooms, over 40,000 square feet.
Sadly, in 1874 Margaret contracted dysentery while on a 
trip to Egypt with some of their children.
She died 16 days later at the age of 45.
Below is the Gothic Church that was built in memory of
 Margaret.
Mitchell was said to be heart broken at the loss of his 
young wife and couldn't bear to have her buried in the cold ground of
a foreign country.  He had her embalmed body transported back 
to Ireland and built this miniature cathedral where she was
laid to rest.
Here is the inside of this beautiful church.
There is a graveyard alongside the church.
In 1920 Kylemore was purchased by the
Irish Benedictine Nuns along with 10,000 acres.
The castle was converted to an abbey and created an international
boarding school for girls.
The school was formally opened in 1923 and had 30 students.
The school flourished and attracted students from many countries
around the world.  They also educated local girls at no charge,
who studied alongside the wealthy boarding students.
There are some well known women who studied at Kylemore,
Angelica Heuston being one of them.
It is rumored that Madonna considered sending her daughter,
Lourdes to be educated at Kylemore Abbey.
Sadly due to societal changes and rising cost,
the school had to close after the 2010 school year.
The Abbey is now open for touring, although there are only
a few rooms open, they are quite amazing.
The 5 rooms open for viewing have been restored to 
their original Victorian style.

Flowers of the Day
Another of the attractions at Kylemore is the walled garden.
Mitchell Henry had 6 acre garden built between 1867 - 1871.
The gardens were comprised of flower/pleasure gardens and kitchen gardens.
The owners between the times of the Henry family and the Benedictine Community
basically ignored the gardens and they turned into a wilderness.
The glass houses fell into ruin leaving only their brick bases.
In 1996 the Benedictine Community, who have always used the gardens, began 
restoration on the unused and overgrown areas of the gardens.
To date, 2 of the glass houses have been rebuilt as well as other areas of the
gardens, which were reopened in 1999 and have again become award winning
gardens.
Below you can see just why they are award winning.
They are just gorgeous!
This is what you see when you initially walk into the
walled garden.
Had to have a selfie at the garden!
A view from another angle.
Here are a few close ups of some of the lovely flowers.
In the previous post I showed some of the
Red Hot Pokers
they were bright red and orange.
I don't know if these are the same at a different 
phase of growth or a different variety, but they were beautiful.

Looking up from the lower part of the garden.

I took a few minutes to relax in a little sitting area
and enjoy the sunshine.
I turned and sitting on the bench not 3 feet from me was this
little bird.  He was so beautiful and didn't seem a bit afraid of me.
I took a look at the signs as I was leaving and
I believe he is a member of the robin family.
Although he had a beautiful red breast, his other coloring
was much different than the robins I see in our area.
His body structure was also different.
He sure was a beautiful little guy though.
I'm so glad you joined me today to learn a bit
about our visit to Kylemore Abbey.
I would surely recommend that you visit Kylemore 
if you are ever in Ireland.
There is even more to do and see there,
you could easily spend a day, not just an afternoon there.
For instance, you could hike up to the beautiful
statue of Jesus on the mountainside 
and look down over the entire estate.
In this picture I have circled the statue in red.
I'm guessing it would be quite the hike to get up there.
Maybe next time, we'll check out one of the hikes.
Next post we're off to Westport and the
"Worlds Best Seafood Chowder"

Ireland #19 Westport then off to Achille Island

Westport is a lovely little town with a population
of around 5500.
We arrived right at dinner time and we were
ready for a nice meal.
Of course, we had no idea where we'd eat, so we took
a walk around and came upon
The West Bar
This sign was on the out side and the menu looked good
(they had fish and chips)
so that's where we ate.

As it turns out The West Bar is not only the
All Ireland Chowder Cook Off Winner
for 2012 and 2013
They were also named the
Worlds Best Seafood Chowder
at the World Competition in
Newport, Rhode Island in 2014.
Now who wouldn't want to try the
best chowder in the world?
Unfortunately, I am allergic to shellfish,
so I couldn't give it a try, although I would
have loved to.
4 of the Celtic Adventurers ordered the 
Seafood Bake.
This dish looked so good!
It was their famous chowder covered with 
Gruyere cheese and herbed bread crumbs, then baked
to a beautiful brown on top.
The other 2 of us had the fish and chips.
Sorry I didn't get a picture before I ate most of it.
Guess you can tell that it was pretty darn tasty.
Still not my top pick, but pretty close.
I love that they served it on the paper to mimic 
the traditional newspaper wrapping.
While we were having our dinner,there were a group
of young men at the next table, they all ordered steaks
which made our mouths water.
More about that in my next post.
After dinner we had a little walk around town.
I love this little town square with the clock tower
and the phone box.

I do wish I had taken more pictures in Westport.
The Carrowbeg River runs right through the
town, the bridges and walks are beautifully decorated with
flower boxes.
Westport has been named Ireland's Tidiest Town a few times.
Next time, I'll get pictures.
That night we stayed at a lovely B & B.
The Dun Mhurie B & B is high on our list of favorites.
PJ, the proprietor, visited with us a bit that evening.
PJ was a very personable and funny man, we 
enjoyed him very much.
In the morning, we were served a very nice breakfast,
then were off for more adventures. 
Off to Achill Island.
We didn't take the typical tourist routes and
were so glad that we didn't.
Not an uncommon sight in Ireland, 
sheep in the road or by the side of the roads.
Had to get a picture or two of them.
(well...... maybe more than one or two)
Although sheep grazing along the roads and in the 
fields isn't so uncommon, to us this sight was a little 
different.
These sheep were just roaming around,
not so odd you say?
Not until I tell you that it was the golf coarse that
they were grazing on.  
I didn't get a picture with the golfers, but they were there,
walking along, golfing with the sheep.
Just another day at the links.
Hope the poor sheep don't get hit with too many golf balls!
We kept driving along the roads, not knowing what we'd find.
When suddenly we were in awe.
There was the most gorgeous bay we had seen.
The water was clear, blue and turquoise.
We had come upon Keem Bay and it was incredible!
Check out that water, you can see right to the bottom,
so clear and beautiful!
Of course I had to have a selfie with this
beautiful bay in the background!
The Celtic Adventurers all out of the car to 
take pictures and admire the beautiful view.
And looking out to sea in the other direction.
When we drove down to go to the beach, this is
the gorgeous scene we saw.
Everything about this beach was beautiful.
We hit upon it at the perfect time,
nice skies, beautiful sunshine,
fairly warm temps.
Look at the way the mountain just rises up out of the beach.
Incredible!
I have a panoramic feature on my camera
although it didn't stitch seamlessly, I still love how my 
panoramics turned out.
The beach wasn't huge, but it was a pretty good size
and there weren't many people there.
So beautiful!  Those clouds were just amazing!
The panoramic feature worked great vertically.
I love this picture of the shoreline.
And the rocks and hillside.
Looking out to sea.
As I walked along the beach I kept my eyes open
for interesting rocks to take home.
The first one I found caught my eye, because it was 
light in color with the brown streak.
Then a really gorgeous one caught my eye.


The road we took from the clifftop was constructed in 1960.
The road crosses a local geological boundary, 
exposing a seam of amethyst quartz.
Folklore says that amethyst has many properties,
it is said to be a love charm, gives protection against 
thieves and drunkenness and is a sleep aide.
Jane read up on the bay, her reading said that 
not many find amethyst these days and those that
find it are very lucky indeed.
Guess I'm one of the lucky ones!
This is one rock that won't be going into the garden.
It is by far my favorite rock from this trip.

Then we were off to see what we could see.
We found more beautiful beaches
We found a lovely place to have a lunch of 
cheese and crackers and other goodies.
Another beautiful setting.


We stopped to take some pictures along the way
and Dave struck up a conversation with a local
guy who was out running.
We had passed him, then he passed us a couple times,
Dave made a comment about it and the runner stopped
to talk to Dave.
He said there were some places that we could go
that were off the beaten path.
WAY off the beaten path!
We were glad we took his direction as we did see some
beautiful sights, a lot of sheep for Jane and Roxie to take pictures of,
some gorgeous cliffs and some great peat bogs. 
More about those in my next post.
I'll leave you today with this picture of the beautiful cliffs that we found
when we took direction from a local.
The people in Ireland are so friendly and helpful!
If you just take the chance to talk to them,
they will tell you all about the best places to go,
places that the tour buses don't get to.
Maybe because they don't know about them,
or maybe because there is no possible way they 
could drive the roads to get there as many of
them were basically dirt roads or mere paths.
Next post, I'll tell you about those 
peat bogs and about the steak dinners.

Thanks for coming by to share my Ireland adventure!

Ireland #20 Peat Bogs and Steaks.

I took these pictures on our return trip from 
the beautiful beaches and cliffs.
These are my "Peat Bog" pictures.
Right in the center of this picture you see a dark 
line and a pile of dirt.
That pile isn't dirt at all, but cut peat.
Here is an official definition of peat:
"A Brown, soil-like material characteristic of boggy,
acid ground, consisting of partly decomposed
vegetable matter.  It is widely cut and dried for use in 
gardening and as fuel."
Here in the U.S. we are most familiar with it in the form of
peat moss, which we use in gardening.
What I'm talking about here is it's use as fuel.
My first encounter with peat as a fuel was on my 
first trip to Ireland, many years ago.
I will never forget the distinctive smell of 
burning peat.  I can't even explain it to you.
Let's just say, it's not my cup of tea.
In this picture you can see where the peat was cut into tiers
From what I have read, it took several thousand years
to form this peat.
When it is harvested, an area is cut into.
They cut down into the peat and from there cut the tiers.
Here you can see that they have dug deeper and into tiers.
As they cut down the tiers, they cut off the peat
in "bricks" and pile them up in big piles.
I've heard 2 different opinions on burning peat as fuel
for heating.
Some say that it is an economical way to heat, 
PJ (I spoke of him in a past post) said that it is not
an economical source of heat, but that he does burn
peat during the holidays.
He and his family love the scent of the burning peat
and it brings back fond memories of past Christmas'
Much like some have fond memories of pine scent, 
or baking pies, cinnamon and roasting turkey.
As I said earlier, I don't care for the scent, but then
again, it isn't something I grew up with.
I do however find it interesting to see the places they are
harvesting the peat.  It also is amazing that this looks like 
a brick of dirt, but it is burned in a fireplace or stove.
Here are a few other pictures I took of the peat
during our trip.
Many homes and businesses have peat piled at the
side of the house/building.
There were places where there were big piles of peat at the
side of the road, presumably to be picked up.
Must have been harvested in the bog behind it and
left there for pick up.

And a closer picture of the peat.

Now on to the Steaks!
The night before when we were at
The West 
the men at the next table had the most
amazing looking and smelling steaks!
Soooooo, we HAD to go back for another dinner
at The West.
This time 5 of us had the steaks.
What makes the steaks so good? You might ask.
Well, let me start at the beginning of the meal.
I, as always, started my meal with ONE
Diet Coke.  Only one!
Why is that? The reason is simple.
Diet Coke in Ireland is freakin' expensive!
Here is a picture of what you get for
the equivalent of about $5.00 U.S. 
That's right $5.00 for a diet Coke
and it's only an 8 oz. bottle.
Cost more in some places than a
Guinness or  Smithwick or
any other kind of beer or ale!
So I limited it to one a day.
Ed and I both had the cream of mushroom soup.
We had had some cream of mushroom soup before and 
found it a little lacking, but this was wonderful.
The first time we had it at another restaurant, we were
surprised to find no pieces of mushroom in the soup.
Then at The West, we found the same thing and also
found this with other creamed soups.
When they say creamed they really mean it,
no pieces of veggies in the soup at all,
it is all creamed.
I have to say though, that this soup was one of the best
cream of mushroom soups I've ever had.
And I LOVE me some cream of mushroom soup!
We also had salad with our meals, very nice.
Dave was the only one that didn't have a steak,
he had a salad with grilled chicken.
He said it was very good.
Then came the steaks.
The steaks at The West come to the table on a 
lava stone that has been heated to 440 degrees Celsius.
That is over 800 degrees Fahrenheit! 
They put the steak on the stone, sear it, flip it over and then
serve it to you.  If you want it to stop cooking, 
you take it off the stone, otherwise you just cut it and eat it.
And believe me, this steak was so good!
Along with the steak, you are served 3 dipping sauces.
Garlic butter - horseradish - peppercorn
They were all incredibly good.
The others got mashed potatoes with their steaks.
I got "Sumo Wedges"
which are "fat chips with Cajun seasoning"
They were very good, cooked perfectly and very spicy.
We all enjoyed The West for the second time.
No room for dessert, even though they all sounded
fabulous.
There was only one other restaurant/pub that we 
went to more than once.
More on the other one later.
We did write a glowing report on 
Trip Advisor for this restaurant 
  We found the service to be fabulous
and the food to be incredible.
We would definitely make a trip to Westport again just
to eat at The West!
Here is a picture of 
The Celtic Adventurers
having dinner at The West.

Flowers of the Day

The areas we were in in the last couple days 
didn't have a lot of flowers, but there were these beautiful
purple flowers growing along the roadsides and
in the peat bogs.
I don't have a clue what they are, but they were pretty,
covering large areas with purple.
And  we saw sheep among the flowers.
In an area where there was a lot of brown
the purple was so pretty.
Thanks for traveling along with me.
Next time PJ answers a couple questions and
we're off to a few places that were
busts!
But then on to some wonderful adventurers.
See you next time!

Ireland #21 PJ answers a couple questions,
 a couple places that were a bust and then something great.

Dave and I have never been shy about asking people
 questions or for help when we are traveling.
There were a couple things we saw that we 
wondered about, so I took pictures and planned to ask
at the B&B,
PJ was more than happy to help out.
In this picture above there are buoys and lines in the water.
They actually looked like racing lanes for swimmers,
but we knew that wasn't what they were.
Turns out they are farms. 
Some kind of fish or shellfish.
PJ said there is a lot of shellfish sold to Europe from
their area and this may be one of the farms.
Interesting.
Off in the distance, right in the middle of this picture,
there are a couple tall tower like structures.
They reminded me of the big "robot walkers"
from Star Wars. 
We were guessing at what these might be,
and we were right.
They are water towers.
PJ said most water towers don't look as
"futuristic" as these do, so he 
figures they must be fairly new ones.
This is a picture I took just because I loved the 
name of the place.
O'Gradys Victuallers
Quality Meats
The Oxford Dictionary defines a vicutaller as
"A person providing or selling food or other provisions."
Not a word we are probably going to come across too
often in the US.
Now that we've gotten our trivia out of the way,
let's move on to what we did for the day.
We left Dun Mhurie with a sad farewell
to PJ and Marion.
We really enjoyed this B&B.
We were off to see some sights, among them
a beautiful light house.  Jane looked up 
pictures online and it was gorgeous.
But first we wanted to see the very cool castle that
we'd heard about.
We could see it in the distance at the top of a hill.
When we got closer we found that it was now a private
residence and we couldn't really see much of it
except from a great distance.
That was a bust! 
On to the lighthouse!
We drove some pretty awful roads to get there.
The road into the lighthouse area was pretty much
a couple ruts.
There were some very pretty coastal areas.
With a little rock climbing and stair climbing
we could see some lovely ocean views.
But the lighthouse?  Not what was in the pictures.
Up close it was pretty dismal.
It was no longer painted the way it showed in the pictures
and a lot of the area around it was pretty run down.
Another bust!
And there were no restrooms anywhere around, 
so you know what that means!
Let me just say that I will be very careful
if I ever have to "use the facilities" on the side
of a cliff again.  The wind is not helpful!
That being said, next we were off to find
a very old Celtic cross.
Guess what?
Another bust!
We drove some pretty difficult roads 
and never did find the cross.
And to make matters even worse,
I was starting to get hives.
My arms were a mess and the itching was awful.
Luckily Ed had some melt on your tongue 
Claritin with him and gave me one.
Our luck changed when we stopped for lunch.
We saw this sign and decided to check it out.
And we were so glad we did.
One of the things I love that I hadn't had to eat
this trip are "jacket potatoes"
It's simply a baked potato
split open and smothered in topping.
I'm not talking butter and/or sour cream,
I'm talking things that make it a whole meal.
I had a huge baked potato
covered with tuna, onions and corn.
It was amazing!
I really should think of making this for our dinner
sometimes here at home.  So simple and so tasty!
And even better, that Claritin really kicked in and
by the time we were back on the road
the hives were getting to be under control.

We did see some pretty cute sheep along the drive.
See that blue, it's their way of "branding" the sheep,
they are sprayed after they are sheered and then 
they can be identified by their color and marking.
Jane and Roxie were on a quest to get some good 
sheep pictures and I think they did this day.
We did more driving and finally came to Slieve League
and some beautiful vistas and beaches.
The parking was way above the beach.
There was a stairway down to the beach,
but it was incredibly long and none of us
were up for climbing down and then up again.
In the picture above, you can see the stairs,
the people going up and down are so small you can't 
hardly see them.  
There were literally hundreds of steps!
But the views from the top of the cliffs was just gorgeous!
It was pretty cold out there on those cliffs 
and a couple of us were ready to go sit in the car
while Dave wandered around.
Then he motioned for us to come over where 
he was, so off we went!
We were glad we did as the views were incredible!
Here's another one of the panoramic shots that didn't
quite turn out.  It was so hard to hold the camera steady
long enough in all that wind, but it gives you an idea of the 
vastness and beauty.  Those are a couple of the
Celtic Adventurers over at the far right.
We walked along a path around to the other side of some 
fields and there were sheep grazing right at the 
top of the cliffs.  
One wrong step and off the cliff they could go,
but the sheep were smart enough that they didn't
get too close to the edge.
I can never get over how high the cliffs in Ireland are!
The cliffs at Slieve League are some of the highest 
in Ireland.  The Cliffs of Moher are not as high,
but they are a bigger tourist spot.
After a good long time and taking a lot of 
pictures, we were off to see more sights.
If you go here, you can see one of the shots
that Dave brought out from this spot.
There were more cliffs, more ocean views 
and more sheep.
We were on another adventure.
We had no idea where we were headed, except 
in the general direction of our next B&B.
As we drove the shoreline changed.
We were traveling down at sea level rather 
than up on the cliffs.
We found a little harbor,
with some small boats, tide pools and lots of rocks.
Then we were off to find our way to our next B&B
"Teach Eamainn"

Thanks for visiting Ireland with me again.
Next post a very different B&B and Parke Castle.


Ireland #22 Teach Eamainn 


We arrived at our next B&B right around dinner time.
The name of it was Teach Eamainn.
This B&B was very different than any of the others,
more about that later.
We had a little lesson in Gaelic  at this B&B
Teach is not said the way we say it, it is pronounced
"Chalk"
This B&B was run by a lovely older woman.
She was very sweet and had a very difficult time getting around.
Her decor was very old fashioned with lots of antiques.
The house was furnished just as if it were her home and not
a B&B.  Lots of knick knacks and china.
(More about that with some pictures below)
We were all getting hungry and Henry's was recommended and
they had a free shuttle to and from the restaurant.
The owner, sorry I don't remember he name, called for a pick
up and a reservation for us.
We found this to be a really wonderful restaurant.
With a great variety of food choices.
Stew
Shrimp
Bangers and Mash
Fish
And, of course, the every popular Fish and Chips!
Everyone loved their dinner.
And the waitress was kind enough 
to get a picture of the group for us.
And the desserts were wonderful too.
Cheese cake
and meringues with strawberries and cream
to name a couple.
The ride back on the shuttle was a hoot,
the driver gave us the microphone and told us to sing.
Michael made up a couple songs that gave us a good laugh.
We all sang a couple songs and then we were back to 
Teach Eamainn.
There is a nice sitting room where we gathered 
for a little evening drink and snack and talk.
Had a very nice evening.
Here are some pictures from our room.
Beautiful antique dresser.
Lovely table.
Wanted to show the wallpaper in our room,
big, bold pattern.  I took some extra close up
pictures that I'm going to use to print some 
scrapbook paper.
This was the wardrobe in our room.
And the view out the front window.
The view including some of their flowers.
The next morning we were served a beautiful breakfast
by the owner and her son, who came with his little 
daughter to help.


It was a very dreary, rainy day, but the owners son
gave us some advise on where to go and what to do.
Then we were off for another day of adventure.
More about that next time.

Thanks for stopping by,
see you next time when I'll tell you how to say
Eiobhan
and what bird poop was used for years ago.

Ireland #23 Eiobhan and Bird Poop

We woke to a pretty dreary day, rainy and a little on the cool side.
We decided it was a good day to visit Parke Castle.
This isn't a big huge castle, but one of the smaller ones.
More like a big house.
It is located Lough Gill.
I love the entrance with it's long entry way and 
wrought iron gates.
Here is the "courtyard" you'll notice the outline of stone in the
center.  I believe this used to be the site of another building.
I'm not sure what it was meant for.
Here are a couple out buildings and the well.
Notice the ground is very uneven and the stones are not
placed down in flat.
One of the reasons for this is, because there would be animals
in the courtyard as well as people and wagons etc.
All the debris would end up down between the stones
and as the people walked over the top of the stones
they would not be walking in the excrement from the animals.
When it would rain the debris would be washed away.
Looking though the gates at the outbuildings. 
The well that supplied the water for the castle.
There was a tunnel from inside the castle walls leading out to the lake.
This could be used for a quick escape via boat.
This is our guide.  Her name on her tag said "Eiobhan"
when she introduced herself she said her name is 
"Eileen"  thus we learned another Irish word.
I would have never guessed that this was how her name would
be pronounced.
That turret in the corner had an interesting story.
Here is a picture looking up into the turret
This became the nesting place for lots of pigeons over 
the years.
And looking down at the floor, you can see that.
Yes, I did take a picture of bird poop. 
There was a reason for that, I needed to take the picture 
to remind myself that this turret and it's pigeons and
their poop, played a big part in the life of the castle.
The bird poop was collected and they used it to make
gun powder.
Who'd a thunk!?!?!
We also had quite a lesson in thatched roofing.
Inside this building, which was used to make horseshoes,
there was a huge bellows that was used to start and keep the fire
going for the forging.
To the left side you can see the thatch that was used for
the roofing.

These pictures show the roof of the building from the inside.
Buildings that are used to live in, would have this all covered
and in fact most of the buildings would, but they left this open
to show how it was made.

This was used to hold the thatching in place.
It was sort of like a giant hair pin.
The thatch would be layered and then this "pin" would
be shoved down into the thatch to hold it in place.
There are several different kinds of thatch as well
as different grades.  Obviously some are better than others.
Layer after layer would be applied to the roof.
Some buildings would have "chicken wire" covering the thatch on the
outside of the building, this can keep birds and animals from burrowing into
it.  There are some buildings that also attach large rocks
to the roof, with ropes.  This keeps the roof from blowing off in 
high winds.
There was one young boy in our group, so he was 
the lucky one to get the chance of going into this
small room. The rest of us would have had to crawl in.
This was in essence a sauna.
They would build a fire and it would get hot inside the room
and it would be relaxing to go inside and sit for a bit.

Here is a view of the lake from the top of the castle
where there is a walkway to look out over the land and lake.

We also toured inside the castle. 
Below are some pictures from that tour.
Unfortunately, I didn't write down the stories she told us
and my memory isn't so great for the details.
I do remember that this straw "outfit" had something to 
do with marriage customs.
Don't ask me what, I just remember that it had 
something to do with dressing up and visiting the 
newly weds.
But then again, I could be confused on that point.
Sorry about that!
The piece of furniture that she is sitting on is a bed of sorts.
The seat lifts up and the front folds down and turns into
a bed when needed.  This could also be used for storage.
Sorry for the reflection in this picture.
There was a room set up with renditions of the family that lived
in this castle.  This is the wife and mother, that circle in blue is a 
table where she was making lace.
The ever popular spiral staircase.  Pretty much every castle
has some spiral staircases.  
This does not make me happy, I really hate going 
up and down them.
And last but now least, one of the fireplaces.
Can't imagine doing any cooking over one of these.

Thanks for stopping by to read a little more about Ireland.
Next post I'll tell you about some Celtic crosses and place 
W.B. Yeats is buried.

Ireland #24 Celtic Crosses and W.B. Yeats

We're almost to the end of our trip, but I have a few more
places to take you and interesting things to show you.
The next place we visited was Donegal
We ate lunch at a lovely hotel restaurant, which unfortunately
I forgot to take a picture of, so I don't know the 
name of it.  The food was excellent.
Here are a couple pictures I took at the restaurant of things
 you don't usually see in the U.S.
I went to use the ladies room and here's what I found.
Yes, that is a "pay as you go" curling iron.
It says "Hygienic & Sterile" don't know how they 
achieve that, but there it is.
I guess if it's a wet day, you can come in, dry your hair
under that hand dryer and restyle it before having your meal.
This is something you see around Ireland.
Cigarette machines.
I remember these from when I was a kid, but we just don't
have them in the U.S. anymore and I believe that is 
a good thing.
I wouldn't say you see them "all over" Ireland,
but it isn't too hard to find them.
I remember on other trips seeing them mounted
into some of the stone walls, but I didn't notice that this time.

The Celtic Adventurers spent some time touring a small castle,
checking out the town and shopping.
It was a tough day for me, the fibro was kicking in and 
with the damp weather, the old bones, joints and muscles weren't
cooperating.  I spent some alone time reading in the car and then
 did a bit of Christmas shopping in a lovely little jewelry shop with Dave.

Then we were off to see some beautiful old Celtic crosses.
This is the first thing we saw when we pulled up to this old
church grounds and cemetery
A beautiful Celtic cross.
Click on the picture to enlarge it, and you can read a bit about the cross.

This picture was taken from the parking lot, looking back at the crosses.
Beautiful scenery in the other direction.
Welcome to Drumcliffe Church

This church was just beautiful, inside and outside.
Poet William Butler Yeats is buried in the Graveyard at Drumcliffe
Although he died in France in January 1939, his remains were brought
home to Ireland by the Irish Naval Service and re-interred
at Drumcliffe in 1948.
His wishes were to be buried here, where his grandfather had served 
as rector.  His instructions were that he be buried in a grave that consisted
of  "no marble, no conventional phrase"
His grave is marked with this simple headstone with the inscription,
"Cast a cold Eye.
On life, on Death.
Horseman, pass by"
His wife is buried with him in this plot.
Did you know that his wife's name was George?
After our visit to Drumcliffe, we were off to visit Sligo.

Sligo town is situated on the Garavogue River.
As you walk along there are bridges like in this picture to cross from
side to side.
I was quite taken with the beautiful swans that we found there.


When we got to Sligo town it was just about dinner time, 
so we found an interesting restaurant, The Fiddlers Creek, I took a seat,
had a diet Coke and waited for the others to walk around a bit.
The shops weren't open after 5:00 so they did a quick tour of
the shopping area and then came to join me for dinner.
And of course, I had to check out the fish and chips.
Very good too.
Everyone seemed to enjoy their dinner.
I know I'm a bit strange, but Jane had wanted some ginger ale,
when the waitress brought it, it was in the cutest little bottle.
Only 113 ml which is a little under 4 oz.
I had to bring that cute little bottle home.
Don't really know what I'll do with it, 
maybe something crafty, or maybe it will just 
sit in my craft room as a cute little reminder
of a wonderful trip to Ireland.
See, isn't it the cutest little bottle?
I took this picture with a pop can, so you could see
how small and cute it is.
I know, I'm strange, sometimes little things make
me smile and this is one of them.

After dinner, it was back to Teach Eamainn, 
where we visited for a while and shared lots of laughs.
Our trip was winding down, we only had one more day
in Ireland.
We spent some fun time, talking, laughing and sharing stories.
I don't think any of us really wanted to break up our little
"party" but morning was going to come pretty quick, 
so we were off to get a little shut eye.

Next post I'll tell you about Clonmacnoise
an ancient monastic settlement and 
share some of my pictures from that 
historic place.

Thanks for stopping by today.

Ireland #25 Clonmacnoise 

We had another wonderful breakfast on our last day in Ireland.
Then we were off to visit Clonmacnoise, but first we 
had to take a couple pictures.
Here is a picture of the Celtic Adventurers with 
the proprietress of the B&B.
Here she is with her son, who helped her in the kitchen,
served our breakfast, gave us some traveling 
advice and has an absolutely adorable little girl.
And one last flower picture for the trip.
This was one of the hydrangea in front of the B&B.
So pretty and such a beautiful color.

We had to make our way to the next B&B which was
near the airport and as it worked out, Clonmacnoise was
just about half way there.
Clonmacnoise is an ancient monastic settlement.
It was founded by St. Ciaran in the year 544 
Not long after his arrival Ciaran met Prince Diarmuid,
together they built the first church on this site.
Sadly Ciaran did not live to see the monastery grow and flourish,
as he died of the plague just 4 short years after settling it
at the age of 33.
But flourish it did.
Over the years there the settlement was attacked
and burned many times.
It was pillaged and many were murdered, but
 it rose up again and again.
The ruins are incredible and the 
Celtic crosses are absolutely amazing.
The originals are about 1000 yrs old and are kept inside
the "visitor's center" 
The ones that stand outside are replicas.

This is the guide we had for our visit.


This is the whispering arch.
With this arch, if a person stands on either side of the arch
and faces that largest arch and another stands on the other side
 of the arch, when one whispers into the arch, the other person can clearly hear
what is being said.
Here is a picture that I found online showing people whispering
into the arch.  Unfortunately, I didn't take a picture like this.
They just whisper in one side and the other person can hear
clearly what is being said.
Dave and I tried it and it is quite amazing how clear you 
can hear what is being said.
Here are some of the pictures I took of the graveyard and
ruins at this site.









The pictures below are of the original 
Celtic crosses that are approximately 1000 yrs old.


If you click on the picture below (or any of the pictures) 
it will enlarge and you can read a little about St. Ciaran
We spent a couple hours at Clonmacnoise and
I enjoyed every minute of it.
So much history in one place. 
Amazing and beautiful in a haunting kind of way.

Then we were off for a nice lunch.
We wanted to do a little shopping back in 
Bunratty so we went to have lunch at 
The Creamery
We were here at the beginning of our adventure
and I do believe they had the best
Fish and Chips
of the trip. 
And that is exactly what I ordered
It was fabulous!

After lunch we went over to the Blarney Woolen Mills
to do a little shopping, then into the shop at the
Blarney Castle.
We all finished up buying souvenirs and 
gifts for family and friends.
Then we were off to check in to our B&B
for our last night in Ireland.

The Knocknagow B&B wasn't our favorite,
but it was clean, comfortable and close to the airport.

Thanks for visiting with me today.
Ireland #26 will be the last post from our 
Ireland trip and I'll tell you about 
the Medieval Banquet at
Bunratty Castle.

Ireland #26 Bunratty Medieval Banquet

We have come to our last evening in Ireland
Dave and I have been to this beautiful country 3 times
now and every time we have attended the 
Medieval Banquet at Bunratty Castle.
As far as we are concerned it is a must
for every visitor to Ireland.
I'm posting a lot of pictures and a few videos
from this fabulous evening that was a 
great end to our trip.
Dave really has to learn to do better with selfies!
It's hard to get a good picture of him, but a good
selfie is nearly impossible.
This is outside the Bunratty Castle.
Ed and Roxie outside the castle.
Michael and Jane with the castle in the background.
The evening starts off with a bagpiper in the courtyard.

After hearing the bagpiper we were taken inside to the big hall 
where we were given a bit of mead, which is a honey wine.
There was music there also. The violinist and harpist were wonderful.
We then went up to the dining hall, where we were treated to more
music from these talented young people.
This young lady is a local high school student and so talented!

This gentleman standing center, was the emcee for the evening.
I'm sure there was a different name for him, but I'm 
not sure what that would be.
We started off with soup, which was very tasty.
But there were no spoons to eat it with, so we had to 
pick up the bowl and enjoy eating it that way.
Not a problem for Dave at all.

A toast to Ireland!
We had fruit juice and water as our drinks with dinner.
The food was "introduced" by course and had to be proclaimed 
fit for the "king"
Everything was served family style on platters.
The ribs were tender and tasty, if a bit on the salty side.
We were given a dagger, but no other utensils.
This gentleman was in trouble and was sent to the 
dungeon. He was accused of being a philanderer.
He had to sing for his supper to get out of the dungeon.
As always, Dave had no problem with finishing up 
what was left on the plate.
The next course also had to be approved.
Jane was ready to have a bit of the next course,
boiled potatoes......
And chicken and root vegetables.
It was all cooked very nicely and tasted great!
They did give us small spoons to use to eat our dessert,
which was a custard with raspberries.
Kind of like a tart and very tasty.
They encouraged couples to feed each other this
tasty treat.
Here all the Celtic Adventurers at our dining table.
We were entertained by the staff, who were all 
fabulous singers and musicians. 




  
To end the night the ladies sang an old favorite
that you can find here.
Unfortunately, this video was too long to post on my
blog, but the link will take you to it on You Tube.

The next morning we were up at an un-Godly hour and off to
the airport to fly home.
We arrived back in the States at the airport in Newark in the early 
afternoon, drove Jane and Michael home and were off for another
5 hour drive to Buffalo and home.
I think our first trip as "tour guides" went very well.
We all had a fabulous time.
We are hoping to do a trip to England next.

Well ladies and gents, this is my final post for our 
Ireland trip 2014.
Thank you for reading about our "adventures"
I hope it has given you some insight about the country,
it's people and some places to visit if you travel there.
If you have any questions, feel free to e-mail me,
my e-mail address is in the right side bar of the blog.
If you do take a trip to Ireland, I'd love to hear about it.

May the luck of the Irish be with you!

No comments: