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367 travelers at this place:

  • Day5

    Unexpected encounters

    September 18 in Ireland

    Today has been more rainy than sunny, but we carried on, doing our Quiet Man movie tour in the rain, but enjoying sunshine while we waited on our bike tour guide, only to be told after an hour that he could not make it. So, we went back to the Lodge and grabbed a couple of their bikes and took off in a period of lovely sunshine to explore the grounds. Hoping to bike on a trail behind Ashford Castle, we were met with a closed gate and another couple on bikes like ours who were studying a map. Thinking they were Lodge guests also, we asked where they were headed, and they said they were trying to find Ashford's "walled gardens" and we explained that they were off limits, only to guests of the castle, to which they replied they were (she was part of the insurance company that had rented out the castle for the top earners and he was a doctor; they were from Nebraska) and after hearing that we were not allowed in, they invited us to tag along on their search with them. Not a rule breaker, I hesitated, but decided to give it a try. The first test was passing the guard at the gate, which he greeted the four of us and we road on. So, we got to see Ashford Castle after all, as after finding the walled garden, they invited us inside for a glimpse, so I got to ooh and awe at the downstairs of the castle, also going upstairs with them on a mini tour of the library and billiard room. (Interesting side note, his name was John and her name was Maureen, just like from the Quiet Man, and they were staying in the same suite that John Wayne stayed in!) They cycled out with us and we said our goodbyes. How cool was that, from disappointment to getting to see something we thought was not going to happen! I love serendipity!
    We are missing our traveling buddies, so the opportunity for conversation and amiable companionship today was a pleasant surprise.
    Dinner was at the Lodge, as it turned very cool and windy with threatening rain.
    Not many pictures today, so I'm including a few of our suite "upgrade." (The one of us by the arbor is from Ashford's walled garden)
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  • Day7

    Alll day, with no respite. Made touring very difficult, and most disappointing for the much anticipated Rock of Cashel, which is such an impressive site, but, alas, the rain kept us from the full experience. We took the 45-minute tour and were so miserable, we opted not to explore any further. We also skipped our planned Cahir Castle tour, but did tour the Swiss Cottage which the owners of Cahir Castle had built to enjoy simpler life (think Marie Antoinette's hamlet at Versailles).
    The Irish "tink" (not think), and it "tunders" (not thunders), and things are "lovely," and they want to know how "ye" are; they are warm and hospitable.
    Ireland has been good. (But, I "tink" me heart still remains firmly in Tuscany and France.)
    Blessed more than I deserve and am glad I've seen Ireland (and we conquered the driving!)
    NYC, here we come!!!
    (The fourth picture is taken from entering Cashel, and seeing the Rock of Cashel in the distance over the town, but I'm afraid the rain hinders being able to see it, and certainly to appreciate it!)
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  • Day6

    Go where the wind takes you...

    September 19 in Ireland

    the wind was blowing fiercely throughout the night, and sure enough we were told that unless you absolutely had to travel to stay indoors. We got in our car and drove over tons of leaves and limbs and saw lots of downed trees, some very large, on our journey to our next stop, which was Limerick, but on the way a tourism lady had recommended a couple of towns we should drive thru, so we detoured a bit for them. They ended up not being anything special, but we did realize they put us within 30 miles of the Cliffs of Moher, something we had said we didn't think we would do. But, it seemed a shame to be that close, so drive on we did, and we're glad we did. The radio announcer informed us that "Storm Ali" had been one of the worst storms in their history, with winds up to 130km/hr, even sweeping one woman over a cliff in the same county we had just come thru!
    We arrived to the Cliffs of Moher just as they opened up, as they had been closed all morning due to the storm, but we did not know that and arrived in perfect time, another act of Providence. The winds were still fierce (and cold), making it very hard (comical) to walk. And, due to this, I'm sure our experience was quite different than most, but we found the cliffs to be beautiful in all their windswept fury.
    From there we drove to Adare with its thatched roof cottages and did a little shopping.
    Hotel in Limerick is lovely, and Limerick is an impressive city, as well, reminiscent of Bayeaux in France or even a little like NYC. Large, but quaint and walkable, with pretty buildings.
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  • Day2


    September 12, 2017 in Ireland

    Getting ready to take the Guinness Tour. We weren't sure if we were on the right train and this lovely lady, Sheila, helped us. She said she would take us all the way to Guinness if she wasn't meeting a friend! Everybody is so nice! Guinness horses!🐴 This is Molly 🤗

  • Day7

    Travel day

    September 20 in Ireland

    Because we didn’t need to be at the airport until 11:30 we planned to have a sleep in before checking out of the Avni Hotel. It had been a hot still night so the freestanding air conditioning unit roared all night. MDW, who had been awake for hours when I stirred at 5:30am told me the floor was wet. The source was the air conditioner so we switched it off for safety reasons. The carpet squelched under foot. I tried to mop it up with the white bath mat which quickly turned brown. Oh my goodness, what have we been walking on. We dawdled around over a few cups of tea then departed. I told Basil about the water but he wasn’t concerned, he said a hose must have come loose. At the underground we check our balances on our Oyster card to make sure we have the £2.80 to get to the London City Airport. Yep I’ve got £3.50 and MDW has £8. I think someone didn’t pay their full fare. She must have slipped through the gates without swiping her card.
    Three changes on the underground and 1 hour later we are at the airport. Because it was my birthday we, or should I say I ate a huge chocolate donut. We board the British Airways flight to Dublin, there was a bit of turbulence as Storm Ali was still blowing a gale but we landed safely in wet cold conditions. 10 degs at 3pm. We could still be in Canberra but this is Dublin and we can’t wait to interact with the local friendly Irish people. We get through customs, get our bags and buy our Leap cards for the public transport. Bus 41 from bus stop 15. We join the hoards of other passengers waiting for the city bus trying to get some protection from the rain. Bus 41 arrives it’s not the one we want, there are 2 bus 41s that go to different locations, but eventually the one we want arrives. MDW shows the driver our tickets but he says in a not too friendly manner, “over there” pointing to a card detection point. MDW tries holding the bus card over the detector but it rejects it. “Don’t swipe it, just hold it steady!” he says. By now there are twenty people queued up in the rain waiting to get on board. Eventually one of the bus cards work but the bus driver is getting annoyed and tells us to just get on. I throw the bags in the luggage hold and we find a seat thinking this guy isn’t too friendly. I keep monitoring Google Maps making sure we get off at the right stop which we do. Just over a block to our apartment and under the shared umbrella we find the Dublin Central Apartments. We walk up a couple of steps and find the door open but we were entering a private residence and fortunately a staff member from the apartments called out to us telling us the entry is next door. Two floors up but four flights of stairs we get to our room. It’s great, modern, large with a kitchen and a fridge. There are also laundry facilities so washing will be done. But first we need milk for a cup of tea.
    We venture out again, head of to Costcutters to get milk and have tea. It’s fairly bucketing down. Whilst waiting for the walk sign to light up cars manage to drive through puddles on the road spraying water over our already wet legs and feet. We have our cup of tea and search for somewhere nice to eat. We decide to go to McGraths Pub for dinner, great looking food, even curly fries. 700 meters down the road. It’s freezing and MDW is not dressed for the current weather. Huddling under the umbrella which is a challenge because of a slight height difference, one of us gets rained on more the the other. I am stooping a bit but poor MDW still gets wet. We are checking the iPhone to make certain we are heading in the right direction. A nice guy in a car stops in the middle of the road asking if we need help, we must have looked like tourists. McGraths pub we say and he says keep going, just down the road, we arrived drenched at the pub and find a table. I reacquaint myself with a pint of Smitwicks. It’s been more than four years but it still tastes great. Up to the bar, I ask for a menu. “We don’t do food since the problem with the kitchen”. Not sure what the problem was but it’s cold, wet and getting dark, maybe take-a-way on the way back to our apartment. Actually we are not really that hungry so we get some hot chips, bread and butter and settle for chip sandwiches and cups of tea. First time we’ve eaten bread in a week.
    We are going to be moved to a ground floor apartment tomorrow, MDW says that’s the best news in days, they must of observed us struggling up the stairs, these are the friendly Irish we were hoping to meet.
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  • Day2

    Guinness Taste Testing

    September 12, 2017 in Ireland

    Me with my cute little glass of Guinness, Me tasting my cute little glass of Guinness, me not liking my cute little glass of Guinness, Terrance finishing my cute little glass of Guinness!
    Me with my Coke Cola!😆 Where is the Coke Cola Tour?!

  • Day4

    Cliffs of Moher

    September 14, 2017 in Ireland

    Some more pics of the Cliffs and a few of the drive to Galway. All of the rock walls are so neat. They are everywhere. And the maintenance of everything. People are always cleaning and really taking care of the whole island. The towns are adorable and so full of character.

  • Day3

    Bunratty Castle & Folk Park

    September 13, 2017 in Ireland

    6:30 P.M. And here we are again. We did leave but are here again for a Traditional Irish Evening. Where we will eat and watch dancing. . .we think. We are walking around the park and noticed we missed the piggery! We couldn't not see the piggies! 🐷🐽So Cute! And random goat. Did I mention that the evening tasked pave in the corn barn?! 🌽

  • Day9

    Fighting the flu

    September 22 in Ireland

    Since London I have been battling the flu and MDW has been caring for me, making sure I stay warm and drink plenty of fluids. Lots of tea and not too many Smithwicks. One of MDWs main objectives is to buy gifts for the grand children. She says the sooner we get them something then the shopping part is over, but I know better, it is never over. We buy some gifts for the youngest grandsons which aren’t available in Australia then head down the dolls section, looking for something uniquely Irish. MDW finds the ideal item, a 4 foot high dolls house. No way, a doll sure but we are not buying a house. We leave without anything for Zarli, she is only 1 and there are other places we are yet to visit. MDW is disappointed but back to the apartment to offload our purchases.
    We have been commuting around Dublin on the bus and tram (luas) network. The buses into town run every few minutes and the tram goes around the city and provides a connection to the outer suburbs. As in many European cities, public transport is affordable, frequent and has good coverage. It is so different to Canberra’s bus system which makes it more practical to drive and pay for the parking at the town centres.
    Pedestrian crossings are a different matter. We originally would wait for the walk sign to appear but we would observe most pedestrians darting across the road when there was a break in the traffic. One Irish lady tried to explain The Irish are #&@$*% and the traffic lights are too, they are never in sync, so we followed her across the road as cars started heading in our direction. Not sure if we are ready to keep taking these risks.
    When you catch a bus you hold your travel card on the sensor then take a seat. We caught the tram for the first time yesterday. We decided to go to Dublin’s largest mall so MDW could have some retail therapy at some of the larger department stores and for me to get some medicine. On the tram we walked but there wasn’t anywhere to scan our travel card so we hopped straight off. The tram was about to depart when MDW pressed the open door button and got back on again, it sure if she was trying to lose me but I quickly followed close behind, it was a bit like a movie scene where you are being chased and get on the train at the last second. MDW asked a passenger where do we scan our travel card and was told not to worry about it. Must be free travel but we later discovered you scan the travel card at the terminal before getting on the tram. Lesson learnt.
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  • Day10

    Its a small world

    5 hours ago in Ireland

    We started the morning with a FaceTime session with the grandsons. The current generation of under 10’s are so at ease with modern technology. Having grown up in the era of iPhones and iPads they handle these devices so casually and our FaceTime sessions are great, allowing us to stay in contact from across the world. Our eldest grandson has just got his own email account so he can follow our blog and he regularly sends brief email messages usually of one word followed by a dozen emoticons. I think his parents will need to keep an eye on his inbox as he is already getting spam from unknown senders.
    Through social media MDW received a message from one of her cousins who just happened to be in Dublin for a couple of days. It was arranged to meet at the Jameson Whiskey Distillery at 10:45am. Being so efficient we arrive about 9am, not much is open, even in the main tourist area, as it is Sunday but we do find a very trendy coffee shop which provides some warmth away from the 3 or 4 degrees it was outside. We are directed to a table for two where we squeeze into chairs trying not to bump into other coffee drinkers. We share a fruit scone, butter and the best homemade raspberry jam. No cream available but the scone is great. The service is incredibly efficient and before we know it we have only filled in 30 minutes. Before heading towards the distillery for the Whiskey tour we use the ammenities then walk to Bow Street enjoying the little bit of warmth from the morning sunshine. We are still 45 minutes early but we walk through the entry hoping to find some where to wait. MDW’s cousin and wife were already waiting for us and suggested we sit down for coffee. We said “good idea” even though we had not long had one. Our bladders were copping a hiding but before the tour started we found the toilets. The tour was skilfully run by a young Irishman who had an encyclopaedic mind about American sporting trivia. He asked who is from the USA which is where the majority of people came from. He asked each couple what state they were from and he would name the main sporting teams from that state. When it came to Australians, there were the four of us and disappointingly he didn’t ask what state we were from. His sporting trivia about Australia was that Ireland beat Australia in a rugby test series and got a cup. He was ready with his New Zealand All Blacks knowledge bu5 no kiwis on this tour. His amusing sporting anecdotes filled in a good 20 minutes before we got into the history and how whiskey is made. Towards the end of the tour we could taste test three different shot glasses full of whiskey. It wasn’t compulsory but I felt it was something I needed to do to increase my knowledge of Irish whiskey. MDW offered me hers but having 3 whiskeys at 11:30am was enough. After the completion of the tour we had a whiskey, ginger ale and lime. We sat at one of the tables with MDW finding the stools a challenge to get on as they were quite high. Completing the drink we headed to St Michans where they have crypts and other ghoulish items on display. Disappointingly it was locked up so we had lunch at The Brazen Head, supposedly the oldest pub in Dublin. It was jam packed but the food was good as was the company. Tomorrow we pick up the hire car and head to the Wild West Coast. This will be a test for MDW as it is all about the scenery with The Giants Causeway our first destination.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

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