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    • Day 592


      May 30 in Ireland ⋅ ☁️ 15 °C

      Galway gefiel uns ganz gut. Lauter Musiker trällerten ihre Lieder. Die Shops sind nett mit allerlei Krimskrams.

      Galway ist eine Hafenstadt an der irischen Westküste, die an der Mündung des Corrib in den Atlantik liegt. Zentrum der Stadt ist der im 18. Jh. angelegte Eyre Square. Rings um den beliebten Treffpunkt liegen Geschäfte und traditionelle Pubs, in denen oft traditionelle irische Musik gespielt wird. Im nahen Latin Quarter sind Teile der mittelalterlichen Stadtmauern erhalten. In den gewundenen Gassen wechseln sich Kunstgalerien, Boutiquen und Cafés mit Natursteinfassaden ab.Read more

    • Day 164


      June 14 in Ireland ⋅ 🌬 14 °C

      Après un bon petit déjeuner bien copieux, on s'élance sous le soleil pour une journée qui s'annonce très chouette.

      Nous ne serons pas déçus ! Les paysages sont magnifiques, alternant entre plages à l'eau turquoise et grandes étendues de tourbières à perte de vue !

      Zéphyr est content et avance vite ! (Légèrement aidé par un vent favorable 🤫) Et nous arrivons à faire 70km sur la journée. Nous sommes contents !

      Pour le bivouac nous croisons un cyclotouriste français qui nous dit se diriger vers le bord de la mer, là où il y a des caravanes... Le vent fort et la pluie annoncée ne nous convainquent pas. le secret, c'est les pubs ! On va demander là bas, et le barman nous dit que l'on peut s'installer derrière son pub, où qu'on serait encore mieux à côté de l'église.

      Ce soir, le petit Jésus veillera une nouvelle fois sur nous. Il est sympa quand même !
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    • Day 8

      Last Day with Pat!

      June 9, 2022 in Ireland ⋅ ⛅ 59 °F

      We plan to see Connemara, Galway and Cliffs of Moher today. Tomorrow will begin the self driving portion of our trip. To say that we have been spoiled is an understatement. Pat has been a wealth of information and if he doesn’t know something, he finds out. He has been flexible and altered our itinerary to add and delete things, knowing us and our preferences. We plan to have lunch together and then he will leave us at the hotel near Shannon airport. Another driver is to pick us up in the morning and take us to the airport for our rental car. Should be another adventure! Eileen driving and Larry at the map! So plans are forever changing. Car trouble this morning, so we headed to Galway to exchange cars, had a stroll down Quay St. and finally made it to Cliffs of Moher in the later afternoon. As always, it’s a breathtaking place. It’s now very touristy with a shopping area and visitor center. All of that is new since we were last there. Also new is a slate, flagstone like wall that prevents people from getting too close to the edge and discourages people from taking their own lives by jumping. Apparently this has become enough of an issue, that they have a Serenity Room available for anyone who might need it. The wall is obviously a good thing but the views are definitely affected. I’ll go back and look at our pics from 15 yrs ago when it was simply a viewing area instead of this major attraction. Late check in and early check out of hotel in Ennis. Will need to spend more time in this cute little town. On to the next adventure of driving ourselves!Read more

    • Day 18

      All Things Dingle!

      June 19, 2022 in Ireland ⋅ ⛅ 59 °F

      The weekend in Dingle went by so quickly and we realized that this is our last weekend in Ireland. How sad that even over 3 weeks just doesn’t seem like enough!
      Weather has been much cooler, windy in the 60’s, down in 50’s at night. Everyone has been complaining that they have not had any warm days but grateful for the sun when it shines, no matter the temperature.
      We drove the Slea Head route out past Dingle to the far west. Stopped at an archeological site with Ft Dun Beag ruins that you can walk through. This area is very restricted now as the weather has damaged some of it. Our last trip, it was wide open to walk through. Grateful they are doing what they need to do to preserve the remains. The drive was extremely tight in spots, we went later in the afternoon to avoid the tour buses and we were very lucky. Stopped at several places for pictures. So much more development since our last visit. Homes and businesses all along the road. Some businesses haven’t survived the lockdown.
      On Sunday, we decided to drive through Conor Pass, hitting the most remote area of the peninsula. Some amazing places that we have never been, stopped for a hot chocolate ( it was so cold!) At Murphy’s Bar in Brandon Point. The kind young lady made an awesome hot chocolate and told us to not miss the hike up the rocks to see the lake above the waterfall on our way back. So we did - one more hike and rock climbing adventure! It was challenging for these old folks but we did it and no falls or mishaps! The views were as promised.
      Dingle evening are pretty much a repeat. The bars have music, so you roam from one to another, hoping to find some traditional stuff. The streets are busy with big groups of “hen” parties as well as bachelors too. Never a dull moment, even on a Sunday night.
      We have enjoyed walking the waterfront and people watching. A little bit of shopping and Mass at the local church. Stunning large old church. Our host said it was renovated in the 60’s and her husband was very involved in it.
      Off to Tralee tomorrow to see if we can get more info about Eileen’s grandmother. Nanny was Margaret Reidy from Tralee. She was sent to the DC area when she was 16. We have her birth and baptism certificate so we plan to try the church office and cemetery.
      Lots of pictures, should be marked.
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    • Day 77

      CÚIG GHRIANGHRAF-Ireland Day 12

      June 29, 2022 in Ireland ⋅ ⛅ 12 °C

      We launched the day by joining our Limerick acquaintance Jay at a nearby breakfast restaurant known for its soda bread offerings. Breakfast was great, and we enjoyed further conversation before saying our good-byes.

      Today we ventured to our next stop in the coastal city of Galway. We noticed right away that the area has more wealth and it's clearly a draw for tourists. We chose to stay on the Popcorn Polaris, a quirky, but cozy space on a boat moored next to the Latin quarter. It was a bit windy this afternoon, and the boat rocks a bit, but it's comforting and quiet.

      After resting a bit, we explored the streets in the area. We dropped by a local gay bar for a beer. We were the only patrons while we were there, but we enjoyed a nice conversation with the bartender who is studying physics in college.

      Most of the locals are preoccupied with the inclement weather that has launched summer. I think our years in the Pacific NW has taught us to celebrate sun when it shows up and to find the peace and settling time of the rain. I prefer walking around on cool days so I'm good with the weather.

      We chose a tapas restaurant for dinner. The food was fine overall, but certainly not comparable to the tapas we enjoyed in Barcelona. We had a number of small plates, and we finished with a chocolate lava cake garnished with kumquats and raspberries. I ordered a latte which tasted fine, but looked like something that was produced by a broken convenience store machine. While my comments are sparky, I don't want to take away from the gracious, friendly service without exception. Ireland's people are just delightful.

      We left the restaurant and walked the streets while enjoying the buskers, the energy of the people strolling, and the sounds of pub patrons singing along with musicians.

      We stopped by a bench statue of Oscar Wilde and Estonian author Eduard Vilde. It was a cool likeness, and I took a pic of Jim C with Oscar. Every time I think of Oscar Wilde, I smile at his wicked wit, and I'm saddened by the persecution that he experienced. It appears that some would like to return to those times.

      We ended our walk with a stroll through a park dedicated to JFK. He was the first U.S. president to give a speech there. He delivered the speech 59 years ago today, just months before he was assassinated. JFK was the first President who I remember. He died when I was five years old. While we certainly know that he had plenty of flaws that were revealed in subsequent years, I do think our country would benefit from a youthful president again soon, preferably a woman. Old men have had enough turns in the role.

      We have settled in our cabin on the boat. Jim C is already drifting to sleep. We are both growing more excited about our return home, but I know that we will still squeeze in a few more adventures before doing so.

      "Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken."
      Oscar Wilde
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    • Day 78

      CÚIG GHRIANGHRAF-Ireland Day 13

      June 30, 2022 in Ireland ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C

      We had a very good night sleeping on the MVP Popcorn Polaris. We learned that our boat was originally a fishing vessel about four decades ago. Ultimately it was a working boat and was neglected and sunk. It was resurfaced and transformed into a floating lodging space. The popcorn reference is to the red and white striped canopy over the deck which is reminiscent of a carnival popcorn stand.

      The day began with blue skies although the clouds quickly moved in. Jim C made a cappuccino run, and we enjoyed breakfast on the covered deck of the boat.

      We enjoyed a fairly lazy morning and then eventually wandered into the village for lunch. Our plan for the day was to end up in the village of Doolin which is located about an hour south of Galway and is renowned for its music scene.

      Given that most music venues don't get rolling until 8 or 9 pm, we decided to first head out to Burren National Park. The word “Burren” comes from an Irish word “Boíreann” meaning a rocky place. This area is known for its lack of topsoil and limestone outcroppings, yet the area is lush with wildflowers. We enjoyed our walk along one of the trails through woodlands, meadows and bogs. Burren exemplifies resilience and thriving despite conditions that don't support that outcome. Upon reflection, it seems fitting that my maternal grandmother's family was from Ireland. She remains one of the most vibrant and resilient persons who I have ever known.

      After the walk we headed toward Doolin. Given that it was only about 6 pm, we decided to explore a nearby cave known for holding a massive stalactite. As we approached the road leading to the entrance we saw a man in apparent distress. We learned that he had overcorrected to avoid a passing car on the narrow road and he ran over a sharp rock that punctured two tires. He was traveling with two younger men, and they were worried about getting assistance because they had no cell signal.

      We offered to give them a ride back to Doolin, and we learned that the father and two adult sons from Holland who were enroute to Galway after visiting the Cliffs of Moher.

      We returned to Doolin and stopped by a nearby Pub where they had a phone signal. They had no answer from the rental car company, and we told them that we would stay until they had a tenable solution. I told a server at the pub about the problem, and she had contact information about a man nearby who repairs tires. We grabbed a drink and chowder and invited the men to join us.

      We exchanged stories, and learned that they has come to Ireland to attend a Red Hot Chili Peppers Concert in Dublin, and they had decided to explore Ireland. We talked about favorire music groups and we discovered a shared love for Lucinda Williams. I didn't bring up "Car Wheels on a Gravel Road". Too soon. 🤣

      One of the sons had played lead guitar with Up With People. He had had erformed in Wyoming and Colorado. We talked about politics and once again we heard "What happened to America?" as they described their own frustrations back home. I learned that the father was planning to retire in six months, and I talked about the newly learned joys of retirement.

      After a few hours had passed, the tires were repaired and we let our new found acquaintances know that we treated them for dinner and drinks as we said goodbye. We told them that hopefully we had eased the burden of the day for them, and if we saw them in Galway tomorrow they could buy us a beer.

      We never did make it to a music venue, but I wouldn't have traded the experience for anything.

      I believe the Universe rewarded us with a spectacular sunset this evening and we are headed to bed with gratitude for this fine adventure.

      I learned from my brother that our niece gave birth to a son today. Welcome to the world, Jaxson Wren Banner.

      Good night
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    • Day 79

      CÚIG GHRIANGHRAF-Ireland Day 14

      July 1, 2022 in Ireland ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C

      It was a bit of a bleak, wet "Julianurary" day today. Seriously, the day was mostly reminiscent of winter in the Pacific NW. Fittingly, we learned that there is a marker pointing to Seattle and a similar one pointing to Galway from Seattle as both cities are on the same latitude line, sister cities aligned with wet rusting season.

      Most of the day served as a good time to read and relax in the boat's cabin like we normally would do back home. After several years in Washington and Oregon, we've learned to embrace the dark, wet days as settling in days,

      We did go to lunch at a nearby Chinese restaurant, and we could see the chef making fresh noodles as we chose comfort foods. After lunch, we stopped by a few shops, and then we returned to the Popcorn Polaris to shed our damp clothes, and to enjoy the heated cabin.

      We noticed a break in the weather mid-evening, and we thought it would be a good opportunity to check out the music scene at one of the pubs. Before heading to the pub, we split a paella dish, and then we went to the Crane Pub. It turns out that the upstairs music space was standing room only so we decided to grab a pint and join other patrons below.

      One of the things I enjoy about the pubs are the walls lined with photos of performers and posters recalling the top performers of the day. It reminds me of our walls at home lined with photos capturing event points of our family history.

      We left Crane Pub, and we walked down streets in the area. Some were peacefully quiet and others felt like aspects of Bourbon Street in New Orleans.

      Galway is a cute seaside town, and it's clearly designed to draw tourists. It does so successfully, but we're finding that we would eagerly trade it for a walk in the Burrens or a shared meal with newly found friends and hosts in County Laois (thank you again, Markie & Eamon).

      We close the night with gratitude knowing that very dear friends, Ace & Argus were married in Montana yesterday. We first met them in Seattle so the Galway marker pointing to Seattle also reminds us that chosen family matters.

      Given events in the U.S. they decided not to wait to get married, and we wish them the best in their life together. May they have many happy years, and a government that recognizes their marriage as legitimate and due of all the privileges of straight couples.

      Love Wins! ❤️
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    • Day 19

      10km walk at the Beach

      July 25, 2022 in Ireland ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

      Schön windig hier - die ganze Nacht hatten wir das Gefühl dem Camper reist bald die Decke ab. Zum Glück hat aber alles gehalten und der Wind ging bisschen zurück. 😅 Heute ging es auf Entdeckungsjagd auf der Insel - schöner Strand, Meer und Seen sowie ein paar Esel haben wir gefunden 😅

      Cheers 🤙
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    • Day 6


      July 24, 2022 in Ireland ⋅ 🌧 17 °C

      Es war einfach ein typisch irischer Tag - viel Regen, tiefhängende Wolken und ein Abend im Pub!
      Aufgrund des Wetters fuhren wir Schnur stracks nach Galway. Dort angekommen klarte das Wetter ein wenig auf. Während eines kleinen Shoppingtrips bemerkten wir, dass wahrscheinlich die ganze Stadt in den Pubs verteilt vor den Fernsehern saß. Wir haben rein zufällig genau den Tag erwischt, an dem das Galway Football Team im gälischen Fußball im Championchip Game stand. Wir hatten Glück und konnten die letzten drei Minuten noch live mitverfolgen.
      Nach einer kleinen Stärkung ging es für uns dann in ein echtes irisches Pub. Dort feierten trotz der Niederlage zahlreiche Galway Fans ausgelassen - und wir mittendrin! Bei bester Live Musik mit traditionellen irischen Volksliedern und echten Klassikern, bleibt dieser Abend für uns unvergesslich!
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    • Day 20

      What a beautiful Birthday

      July 26, 2022 in Ireland ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

      Heute war einiges los bei uns 😇 Angefangen das ich (Xenia) mal wieder ein Jahr älter geworden bin 😅 Meinen Geburtstag fing mit einer tollen Biketour nach Clifden an. Dort stoppten wir im herzigen Städtchen und kauften uns ein paar Souvenirs sowie gönnten uns Speiss & Trank in einem Irishen Pub. Wieder zu Hause auf dem Campingplatz angekommen änderte sich das Wetter zu blauen Himmel und Sonnenschein - Das war unsere Chance ins Meer baden zu gehen 😇 Arschkalt!!!!! Brrrr..... Noch kälter als im Loch Ness - aber es hat sich dennoch gelohnt 😊

      Was für ein toller Tag🥰

      Cheers 🤙
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    You might also know this place by the following names:

    County Galway, Galway, Gaillimh

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