Ireland
Ireland

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    • Day 34

      The Cliffs of Moher

      June 8, 2022 in Ireland ⋅ 🌬 16 °C

      The trips most anticipated stop... Was a tourist trap sadly and a huge let down.
      Beautiful yes but the Kerry Cliffs we visited the other day were more our style.
      Glad we went though and was fun to be almost blown to our deaths off a cliff by the craziest wind imaginable 😂Read more

    • Day 35

      Kilkelly

      June 9, 2022 in Ireland ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

      First camping spot in a while that feels private and secluded. It reminds us of the types of spots we used to always look for in mainland Europe, but this UK trip we have often been in more populated areas... Partly due to having a toilet inside the van now 😂 giving us the freedom to park wherever.

      But this place has made us really excited to go back to Europe and have more areas like this available 😃

      Lennon has learned to do this tonight... And hasn't stopped doing it since 🙈🤣 he did a few more crawl steps too 😭 we will need to tie him onto Ringo's lead soon to keep him safe!
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    • Day 37

      Play Gym

      June 11, 2022 in Ireland ⋅ 🌧 13 °C

      I can't BELIEVE I didn't think of this sooner! 😮
      On rainy days, it's a struggle keeping Lennon safe and happy in the van, while keeping myself sane and keeping Brace undisturbed from work.
      I've also been feeling bad lately about Lennon's lack of safe space to play about freely in the van without constantly being told no or moved back to safety, and also about his lack of interaction with other children.
      So this is the answer to all our problems. Truth be told I expected him to crawl in there today... The reality was a little more fally as you will see 😂 he had a good time though, and it is apparently free for under ones! Even better 🥳
      Will be taking him to soft play at least weekly from now on
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    • Day 2

      Tag 1 > Dublin-Sligo (254.8 km)

      June 12, 2022 in Ireland ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

      um 5.35 von der sonne geweckt und hellwach🌞🙈 konnten beide nicht glauben das es noch so früh ist. wir mussten sogar im internet checken, ob unsere uhren und handys wirklich stimmen🤣🤣
      sind dann schon etwas früher als geplant aufgebrochen um unser auto abzuholen. nach anfänglichen schwierigkeiten haben wir unsere weisse perle doch noch gekriegt 😁
      nur, wie soll jetzt unsere treue reisebegleitung heissen?
      bei uns kriegen die autos nämlich immer namen, gehört sich so😁

      als erstes wurde ein supermark angesteuert (jap, die haben hier alle 7tage offen). später gabs dann brunch in virgina am lough ramor🏞 hier haben wir den 1. süssen coffeetruck entdeckt 😍☕️

      heute richtig irisches wetter, sehr windig, mal regen und 5minuten später wieder sonne. martina hat gemeint ich habe die perfekte frisur für irland.👱🏻‍♂️🤣

      2 wasserfälle haben wir noch angesteuert. der eine erinnert an guinness, sah nicht gerade klar aus🙈
      zum zweiten hatten wir eine ziemlich abenteuerliche fahrt...haben uns kurz überlegt umzudrehen, dass durchhalten hat sich gelohnt. mit einer schönen aussicht und viel zu lachen wurden wir belohnt. jedoch haben wir und zwischendurch wirklich gefragt ob wir da lang fahren dürfen🤣 bert dem 🐑 haben wir auch noch hallo gesagt🤗

      auf überland strassen gings dann weiter zu unserem nächsten ziel - Sligo.
      hier wurden wir herzlich in unserer unterkunft mit einem upgrade begrüsst. super schöne zimmer and lovely peoples🥰🥰 essen war auch sooooo lecker😍😋🤤
      ein halt ist hier unbedingt einzuplanen!

      freuen uns auf morgen😊

      p.s. mehr bilder findet ihr bei den einzelnen footprints.
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    • Day 66

      CÚIG GHRIANGHRAF-Ireland Day 1

      June 18, 2022 in Ireland ⋅ 🌙 9 °C

      Today was a travel day as we prepared for our flight to Ireland. We heard many horror stories through local acquaintances and new reports that there were numerous flight cancellations and significant staffing shortages at Schipol.

      As we approached the first terminals of the airport, we noticed huge lines outside the airport, and we learned that was just to get in. Our Uber driver remarked, you're in Terminal 3. You're relatively likely. They will be in lines over six hours.

      Schipol is a massive international hub. When we arrived at our terminal there wasn't one sign directing us to our ticket counter. We finally asked a security person who told us where to go, and we learned that we'd have a 90-minute wait before the Air Lingus ticket agents would arrive.

      We finally dropped off our baggage and then we had another two hours of lines to get through security.

      We never worried a great deal about missing our flight as we were in the front of the queue, and we figured that the flight would have no passengers if they didn't wait.

      We did finally take off about an hour late for the hour and twenty minutes flight to Dublin. The flight was relatively smooth and we made it through passport checks without a problem.

      We picked up our rental car and prepared for the drive to our B&B in Ballintubbert. I have been very excited about this leg of the trip as we are first heading to County Laois (leesh), the region where my maternal grandmother's family are from.

      We were welcomed by Markie and Eamon who showed us around their home, a restored old store. They were very welcoming and they invited us to join them for a BBQ. I do believe that Markie grilled enough meat for 16 guests. It was quite the welcome, and they were helpful about suggestions in the county.

      It really was a wonderful first night, and we are excited about our Ireland adventure.

      Oíche mhaith (good night)
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    • Day 67

      CÚIG GHRIANGHRAF-Ireland Day 2

      June 19, 2022 in Ireland ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

      I think that I had the best night's sleep since we've been on the road. The night was cool and comfortable, and we were ready to try exploring County Laois.

      Once again, I am grateful for Jim's skilled driving as he navigated driving on the "wrong" side of the road on country roads that were often only about one and a half car lanes in width.

      It's amazing to be in the country of my mother's lineage and to see what it is like, to think about life there and to experience a new sense of identity. I love the blend of the old with the new, and I don't think I've seen so many shades of green in one place.

      Our first stop was the Rock of Dunamase, the ruins of Celtic Castle where you can still see the majesty of the fortification overlooking the beautiful countryside.

      We then went to check out the Slieve Bloom mountain range which are more like the hills of New England. The evergreen trees were dense and beautiful. We considered taking a trail to a high point, but upon further examination it didn't seem practical to try and walk over the soggy peat.

      We traveled to the parish of Coolrain, and I thought that we had found the church where one of my great grandmothers was baptized, but it was an Anglican Church. I think we know the actual place to go after consulting with my second cousin Kate and we're going to give it another go tomorrow.

      We drove in and by towns that were names in my family tree without much of a context. The opportunity to see these places in person is magical for me. I'm really finding it to be very grounding.

      We ended the night with a great dinner hosted by Eamon and Markie. They made a traditional of bacon (think pork roast), cabbage and potatoes. It was really wonderful, and we enjoyed our conversation.

      It's been a great launch, and we're excited about our next adventure.
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    • Day 68

      CÚIG GHRIANGHRAF-Ireland Day 3

      June 20, 2022 in Ireland ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

      We woke up to a beautiful sunny day, and we understand that it has been different than the weather has been for some time.

      We launched the day with breakfast in Portlaoise. I decided to try the traditional Irish breakfast with eggs, bacon, sausage, black pudding and soda bread. I was curious about black pudding which reminded me of a spicy, grained sausage patty. It was interesting, but not something I need a second time.

      We headed toward the town of Camross to find the church where my great-grandmother was baptized and those before her were buried nearby. We wandered through a nearby graveyard and talked with a very helpful caretaker. He told us that the older gravesites were in the front of the church ruins, and that the remaining headstones were mostly worn. It turns out that the civil records were lost in a fire. I do think that we were in the right area, and we were very grateful for the caretaker's assistance.

      We took a ride to neighboring County Offaly, and we traveled over the Slieve Bloom mountain range to get there. The view of the lower valley was spectacular. We made time for an ice cream break, and then we returned to the village of Ballinakill armed with more information about ancestors. As we revisited a cemetery, an older gentleman offered assistance, and he told us that there was an older abandoned church cemetery nearby. He led us over to the area and he guided us through the very overgrown and uneven terrain.

      On one level, it was disappointing not to find visual confirmation of the actual gravesites, but it was powerful to know that we were in the land where my maternal grandmother's ancestors lived- some for their whole lives, and others before they emigrated to the States.

      I was touched by Jim C's observation: "When your great-grandmother (Molly Keenan) dreamed of Ireland, he dreamed of right here."

      Today was a "kindness of strangers" day. Every experience we have had to date has been met with hospitality and selfless kindness.

      May we always remember to pay it forward.
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    • Day 19

      Roots

      June 20, 2022 in Ireland ⋅ ☀️ 63 °F

      After bidding goodbye to Bridie and her lovely home, we headed to St John’s Church in Tralee. What another amazing old structure. It was humbling to think that my grandma received the Sacrament of Baptism in this church in 1890. Off to the office where we got contact information for the archivist of the church. I’ll email him details and any pictures of documents we have. The parish cemetery is a few miles away, so we headed off to Rathass Cemetery. The caretaker of the cemetery was so helpful. He took both my great grandparents names and did a search, but found nothing. He said the data base is very incomplete before the 1920’s. We took a few pictures of headstones with Reidy names and will try and do more research through Ancestry. It’s amazing how easy it is to spend 2 hours in a cemetery.
      We had at least another hour to get to Kilcolgan in Galway county just south of Kilorglin, where we stayed many years back with Jen and Kelly. Our hosts for the next two days are Kate and Michael at Rafterys Way. So we hit our first Motorway of the trip. M18, with a speed limit of 120km/hr. We think it’s around 75miles/hr but the 120 is much more impressive! Kate offered us tea and biscuits when we arrived, had a chance to explore her garden and talk flowers with her and politics with Michael. As in the US, there are varied opinions about how each government handled the Covid lockdown. Tourism is such a huge component here that many businesses never could reopen. One owner we spoke with in Dingle said they learned some very important lessons from the lockdown. He said it rekindled their family time which had been lacking due to the business. He has chosen to close on Sundays for family time. Many businesses don’t have that luxury.
      Had an early dinner and bedtime. Heading to Inisheer, the smallest of the Aran Islands by ferry tomorrow.
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    • Day 69

      CÚIG GHRIANGHRAF-Ireland Day 4

      June 21, 2022 in Ireland ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

      After a restful night, we packed for the next leg of our trip and we said good-bye to our wonderful hosts Markie and Eamon.

      We decided to get breakfast in the nearby town of Carlow, and we found a really great espresso spot. It wasn't just that the lattes and breakfast food was delicious, we loved the positive community building environment. On the wall was an aspirational message which in part expressed:
      "...we want to help to build a positive space where people can come together, be convivial, and bring our town back to its happy place..."

      There was a slate with post-it notes where you could purchase drinks for others and they could use the post-it note as a voucher for a drink. We opted to do that when we paid our bill. We really appreciated what this small business in the midst of a little town was trying to do to build community.

      At breakfast we talked about our route possibilities to our final destination of Kinsale, a small fishing village south of Cork. We opted for the longer route with a stop at Hook Head Lighthouse in County Wexford.

      We enjoyed walking around Hook Lighthouse. It's amazing that this structure is 850 years old. It reminded us of our times on the Maine coast.

      When we departed, we noticed the ruins of a church several hundred kilometers down the road. After reading the inscription, we learned that Saint Dubhan, came to Hook Point from Wales in 452 A.D and established a monastery on this site. Saint Dubhan is believed to have lit the first warning beacon for ships on the point shortly after his arrival. This beacon had been maintained by the monks for 700 years until the current lighthouse was built. The English word for Dubhan is hook.

      As we explored the ruins and found gravesites, some hundreds of years old and others relatively new, I reflected on the theme that this was a site where someone looked out for others. His mission and those who followed him was to keep others seafaring travelers safe, and his legacy remains.

      We left this area and headed west past the city of Waterford where Waterford Crystal is made. We enjoyed the three-hour drive and we arrived in Kinsale late afternoon.

      Kinsale reminded us both of Boothbay Harbor, Maine. It's a colorful, bustling fishing village of about 4,000 people. We've rented a flat above an art gallery. It's cheerful and open, and close to several pubs and restaurants.

      After a short nap, we took a walk along the marina and then looked for a place to get dinner. We settled on a pub that was filling up quickly. Jim had fish and chips, and I opted for beef stew with Guinness. I decided that my stew seemed to be missing something: flavor. I told Jim that his stew was significantly better. What was missing in the food was made up in the drink as we enjoyed beers, and I had an Irish coffee.

      We decided to wait to hear the performers, and I'm glad that we did. Two older Irish men played guitar and and English and American songs with several opportunities for audience sing-a-longs.
      We made room for a couple who were standing near our table. They were very grateful that we made room for them. As it turns out they were educators from California. We told them that we were from Portland. They laughed because they assumed that we were locals because of our white beards.

      We had a fun evening talking with them, making song requests and listening to the banter of the performers. It was fun to share the table with them.

      It was totally on my romanticized bucket list to sit in a pub and sing Irish songs. I was envious of the performers, and I thought back to a time when I organized a Pete Seeger tribute concert in Maine. I loved the opportunity to be a song leader and to gather community to create something together. It makes me want to try that again. Who knows, maybe there will be space on this trip.

      As I reflect on the experience of the day, my take away is summarized by another piece on that coffee house wall in Carlow:

      "One of the basic cravings of humanity is to connect with each other. " Yes.
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    • Day 70

      CÚIG GHRIANGHRAF-Ireland Day 5

      June 22, 2022 in Ireland ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

      We had a very decent night's sleep in our apartment, but we did wake up to what I was assuming was trash collection day given the loud sounds of grinding metal and broken glass.

      We later discovered that this was the delivery of many kegs of beer to the neighborhood. We really are staying in "Pub Central". When I was researching the top 10 pubs in Kinsale, most on the list are meters away from our flat.

      Jim C graciously ran to the store and picked up some groceries and cappuccinos for breakfast in our space. I'm reminded that the thing I will cherish most upon our return are meals at home. As nice as it has been to have some incredible meals out, the thought of preparing are own meals again feels like a different sort of luxury.

      We decided to go to the Blarney Castle today which is located just outside of the city of Cork in the town of Blarney. The visit was to see the famous Blarney stone where purported if you kiss the stone, you are given the gift of eloquence and flattery.

      Growing up with all the Irish relatives on my mother's side of the family, I would always think of the term blarney as being a "bullshitter" or someone who jabbers unending nonsense. In a more positive light, I see the gift of blarney in someone who can strike up a conversation with anyone.

      Dating back to my elementary school days, my report cards were often riddled with derogatory teachers' comments like "socializes too often with others" or "spends too much time talking with others". Upon reflection, it's interesting to see that behaviors that were seen as deficits in my youth, served me well as an adult. Perhaps the refinement over time was learning to listen more than just talk, but the ability to strike up a conversation with strangers has been poweful for my career, and it helped me meet my husband. 💚 Ironically, I attribute my "gift of gab" to my French-Canadian father.

      Ok, enough of my blarney birdwalk...

      We arrived at the grounds of the castle. The grounds are absolutely spectacular. I should note that I knew that in order to kiss the Blarney Stone, that one has to maneuver in a prone position with your head upside down to kiss the specific stone. I was missing one very important detail: The stone is positioned 85 feet above the ground with a gap near the parapet where you can see below to the ground. I watched with horror from the ground as we approached the castle walls, and we could see people being "assisted" to kiss the stone. The line marker that announced that we had a 60-minute wait to arrive at the stone, and I felt the same nervous anticipation that I've experienced in lengthy amusement park rides with dizzying heights as a component of the experience.

      The procession to the castle was lined with many informational placards. I learned that the castle was owned by the MacCarthy family who loved to entertain. I recognized, with a sense of pride, the coat of arms from my own family; my maternal grandmother was a McCarthy and they have roots in Cork County.

      As we made our way through the castle ruins, we could see various placards naming the rooms and activities in the castle. We then began the very narrow, claustrophobic climb up the "Tower of Terror". I was determined to go up despite a marked fear of heights and a pretty strong dislike of cramped spaces. We navigated the hundred steps to the top.

      I have always loved the view and despised the process to achieve it. This was no exception. As we approached the stone, I confirmed that there was no way that I was dangling my head upside down with the ground visible below despite iron bars making it impossible to fall through. The last few informational panels described numerous legends surrounding the stone including business dealings, grateful witches and Faerie magic. I couldn't locate the Satan legend, but I'm sure it was there somewhere.

      You might think this is irrational, but I'm the guy who pauses stepping over the minute gap between the floor and an elevator convinced that my ample frame will somehow manage to fall through the crack. (Note: Before the safeguards were installed, the kiss was performed with real risk to life and limb, as participants were grasped by the ankles and dangled bodily from the height.)

      I was afforded the opportunity to witness the vicarious thrill (terror) of my husband being pulled to the vicinity of the stone for a photo op. His first words to me were "Yeah, you would have hated that."

      We made it back down the set of stairs to the ground and we walked to the next seemingly safer exhibit of the "Poisonous Plants Garden". Cannabis was one of the plants displayed. As the saying goes, "you pick your poison". I could have used a visit to the garden prior to the heart palpitation adventure.

      I loved our walk through the garden. The flowers and forest grounds were really beautiful and peaceful. Much of the time, we felt like we had the park to ourselves.

      We left the park, and stopped Cork for a beer. While I'm not a big beer fan, I have enjoyed the Irish Red ales.

      We returned to the apartment for a nap and we enjoyed a leisurely dinner at "The Black Pig" a local wine bar. Our server was delightful, and we hit it off after we complimented her on her skillful dispatch of obnoxiously entitled neighboring guests who were furious that they couldnt seat nine guests at a table barely designed for six. They left in a huff, and it made our dinner that much more enjoyable. I really do feel for staff in the hospitality business. I know most establishments are very understaffed, and we appreciate their hard work. Despite the absence of tipping culture in Europe, we've tried to show our appreciation.

      Signing off with gratitude for another wonderful day. ☘️ 💞
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    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Ireland, Irland, Republiek van Ierland, Aereland, አየርላንድ ሪፑብሊክ, Irlanda, أيرلاندا, ܩܘܛܢܝܘܬܐ ܕܐܝܪܠܢܕ, República d'Irlanda, İrlandiya, Ірландыя, Република Ирландия, Irilandi, আয়ারল্যান্ড, ཨ་ཡར་ལནཌ།, Iwerzhon, Irska, Irsko, Iwerddon, ཨའིརི་ལེནཌ, Ireland nutome, Δημοκρατία της Ιρλανδίας, Irlando, Iiri, ایرلند, Irlannda, Irlanti, Írland, Irlande, Ierlân, Poblacht na hÉireann, Poblachd na h-Éireann, આયર્લેંડ, Pobblaght Nerin, Ayalan, אירלנד, आयरलैण्ड, Írország, Իռլանդիա, Irlandia, アイルランド, ირლანდია, Ayalandi, Ирландия, Irlandi, អៀរឡង់, ಐರ್ಲೆಂಡ್, 아일랜드, ئیرلەند, Repoblek Iwerdhon, Ierland, Éire, Irelandɛ, ໄອແລນ, Airija, Irelande, Īrija, Irlandy, Ирска, അയര്‍ലാന്‍ഡ്, आयर्लंड, အိုင်ယာလန်, Republik Ireland, आइरल्याण्ड, Républyique d'Irlande, ଆୟରଲ୍ୟାଣ୍ଡ, Republic of Ireland, د آيرلېنډ جمهوريت, Republika Irland, Republica Irlanda, Republic o Ireland, Irlánda, Irlânde, අයර්ලන්තය, Írsko, Ayrlaand, Irlandë, Република Ирска, அயர்லாந்து, ఐర్ లాండ్, Ҷумҳӯрии Ирландия, สาธารณรัฐไอร์แลนด์, አየርላንድ, Republika ng Irlanda, ʻAealani, Aialan, İrlanda, Республіка Ірландія, آئرلینڈ, Ireland (Ái Nhĩ Lan), Lireyän, Republika han Irlandia, Orílẹ́ède Ailandi, 爱尔兰, i-Ireland

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