Both happy when on a trail. :) Message
  • Day9

    Dingle to Killaloe

    July 17 in Ireland ⋅ ⛅ 68 °F

    Today was our longest day and warmest day. The humidity here had us all sweating.

    We started off by taking a ferry across the Shannon Estuary and drove to the Cliffs of Moher. Now I understand why so many people want to see them. 😮 🌊 Visually spectacular!!! The Cliffs of Moher sit astride the weird landscape of the Burren on one side and the Wild Atlantic Ocean on the other. They rise to a height of over 700ft at O’Brien’s Tower and run along the coast of Clare for almost 8 miles. Crazy cool!

    Hugh then zipped us off to see Poulnabrone Dolman (Portal Tomb) that was constructed 5000 years ago. I can’t quite wrap my brain around being next to something so old. The Burren landscape setting with the tomb sitting on top was spectacular!

    We are now across the Shannon River from the town of Killaloe. Tomorrow, we’re taking a river cruise and visiting one of Ireland’s old whiskey distilleries. Alan says he needs picture proof of me tasting some of the whiskey 🥃, but it’s not my type of drink. I’ll see if I can make myself do it. 😂

    My first goal of tonight is to pray our hotel room cools down so I can sleep 🛌 😴 💤
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    Traveler

    The whiskey distillery sounds like the perfect way to end the trip...cheers :)

    7/17/22Reply
    Traveler

    Isn’t the coastline spectacular? Love your journey.

    7/18/22Reply

    Beautiful landscape [Kathy]

    7/19/22Reply
     
  • Day8

    Dingle

    July 16 in Ireland ⋅ 🌧 70 °F

    This was our day to wander around and enjoy Dingle. What an amazing little town on Dingle Bay with its quaint streets and picturesque storefronts. We explored, we shopped, and we ate. 🙂 I have never seen a place with so many restaurants and pubs - 36 restaurants and 50 pubs!! Needless to say, we have had the best food here. Last night we ate at Ashe’s Bar Seafood and tonight was Lord Baker’s. Yum!!!

    The perfect way to end our time in Dingle was a few post dinner hours at O’Sullivan’s Courthouse Pub listening to traditional Irish 🎶
    The owner of the pub played guitar while another played the Uilleann pipes and flutes. It was a highlight of this trip. 🙂💕
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    Traveler

    Loved the Barber Shop picture ❤️

    7/17/22Reply
     
  • Day7

    Kenmare to Dingle

    July 15 in Ireland ⋅ ⛅ 61 °F

    We drove over Moll’s Gap
    Towards the McGillacuddy’s Reeks (mountains) into Killarney National Park and Lakes. After a short hike to Torc Waterfall, we visited Ross Castle. 🏰 A guide took us up the mainly original spiral staircase and explained the different rooms and what life was like living in the castle. Going down the staircase took some concentration and control over not really looking straight down 😮

    The rest of the way was the Dingle Peninsula!!!👍🏻🙂 - We had lunch at Sammy’s on Inch Beach and then drove by so many pastures holding sheep 🐑 or cows 🐄 divided by stone fences covered by green shrubbery.

    Before we checked in to our Bed and Breakfast, we drove around Slea Head…WOW! It’s an amazing road along the cliff side with incredible views of the Blasket Islands. We took some time at Gallorus Oratory, which is the best preserved early Christian church in Ireland. It was built between the 7th and 8th century with dry-stone corbelling, using techniques first developed by Neolithic tomb makers. It was perfectly constructed - Amazing!!!

    We are staying at the Greenmount House B&B for the next two nights. 🙂 Tomorrow, I’m looking forward to meandering around Dingle.
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  • Day6

    Clonakilty to Kenmare

    July 14 in Ireland ⋅ ☀️ 63 °F

    On our way to Mizen head, today, we passed through Skibbereen. Hugh talked about how the Potato Famine killed 10,000 people in the West Cork area. 2,000,000 died overall. 😢

    A Happy Fun fact - The small Skibbereen rowing club, with only a tidal river to practice on, has produced multiple Olympic medals - O’Donovan Brothers being the most well known. I watched a YouTube video about them tonight - “The Irish Rowing Brothers Who Shocked the World” It was fantastic!!

    Mizen Head and Barley Cove were absolutely stunning. It was good to see and smell the ocean. Mizen Head is the most south-west point of Ireland and we got a great workout hiking to the different lookouts.

    We stopped for lunch in Bantry and ate at Box of Frogs 🐸 Yummy!!!!
    Then, we cut across the Beara Peninsula and drove the switchbacks through the Caha mountains over Healy Pass. The road and pass reminded me of the types of mountain passes you see in the Tour de France.

    Along the road there were sheep everywhere, spray painted in different color designs to identify them to the farmers. Beautiful!!!

    I can’t believe the wonderful weather we’ve had! So, so fortunate!

    Dinner 🥘 and drinks 🍹 from Foley’s on the street across from our Guesthouse, Davitt’s, with the sounds of live music from all the bars on the road. 🎶
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    Traveler

    Absolutely beautiful.

    7/14/22Reply
    Traveler

    The Towns/Villages look so quaint and colorful

    7/14/22Reply
    Traveler

    I see by your map you are on the Dingle Peninsula now. Excited to hear how you liked that area.

    7/15/22Reply
    Traveler

    So Wonderfull

    7/17/22Reply
     
  • Day5

    Dungarvan to Clonakilty

    July 13 in Ireland ⋅ ⛅ 68 °F

    Our first stop was in Ardmore where St. Declan founded the monastery at Ardmore (Aird Mhór in Irish, meaning "Great Height") prior to the arrival of St. Patrick in Ireland. Ardmore is believed to be one of the oldest monasteries in Ireland.

    The round tower at Ardmore may be of 12th century origin, but could have been built as early as the 10th century.

    Inside the Monastery ruins were two Ogham Stones which had the markings from a medieval alphabet to form a message - before the Roman alphabet was introduced. 😮

    We had Lunch in Kinsale, which is a very cute harbor town, then stopped at a 13th Century Timoleague Friary and explored all of the ruins.

    Finally, we visited Drombeg Stone Circle. It is a circle of 17 standing stones which on excavation showed that there had been an urn burial in the center. It has been dated to between 153BC and 127AD. 😮😮

    We ended our day/night listening to an Irish man from Cork tell stories and sing in a tiny bar next to our hotel - O’Donovan’s in Clonakilty.

    Interesting Fact I learned today: I obviously cannot smell as well as I thought. Everyone, but me, could detect a weird smell from our water glasses at lunch. 🤷‍♀️ I’m going to blame having COVID earlier this summer.
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    Love the scenery, so pretty! [JoDee]

    7/13/22Reply
    Traveler

    We missed the music because of COVID. Love this.

    7/14/22Reply
     
  • Day4

    Dublin to Dungarvan

    July 12 in Ireland ⋅ ☁️ 70 °F

    Our first day on our tour has been unbelievably amazing! First of all, there are only eight of us on this tour and each place we visited was out of the way and pretty much without anyone except us. Our driver and guide, Hugh, is fantastic…we seem to be in for an unforgettable time on this southern loop of Ireland.

    Highlights of today:

    1. The Moone Cross, in County Kildare, which is thought to date from the 8th century and is one of the best preserved High Crosses in Ireland
    2. St. James’ Church, Castledermot (Church of Ireland church) with its round tower, the Oath Stone and beautiful church door
    3. The Abby in the town of Graiguenamanagh - The wooden ceiling was constructed without any nails 😮
    4. Kilmogue Dolmen - Oh my goodness! It’s also called Leac an Scail - an exceptional example of a type of megalithic (large stone) tomb known as a Portal Tomb. Two portal stones the tallest stones in the tomb form the entrance to a stone-lined burial chamber, which is roofed by two massive stone slabs, thelarger of which lies at a steep angle. A cairn or low mound of stones would have covered most of the tomb, but the capstone probably
    remained visible.
    The likelihood is that it was built by Neolithic farmers about six thousand years ago for the burial of important members of their community and perhaps also to be a focal point for a group or tribe.

    We are spending the night in Dungarvan. Along time ago the Vikings raided along the shores of Ireland and made their own settlements. Dungarvan, which means “Fort of Garvan” was one of them.

    Lunch = The Waterside Guesthouse
    Dinner = Indian Food at The Indian Ocean in Dungarven
    Drinks = Mick Doyle’s in Graiguenamanagh and The Local in Dungarven
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  • Day3

    Dublin Day 2

    July 11 in Ireland ⋅ 🌧 66 °F

    We probably should have ended our day much earlier tonight, but our evening dinner and drinks at Baraza and nightcap drinks in our hotel lobby were SO good…so it’s late and we have to get up early for breakfast and meeting our Inroads Ireland guide, Hugh.

    There was some discussion before ordering breakfast today about the meaning of black and white pudding, and once it was confirmed that black pudding has blood in it, it was out of the running as a breakfast choice. 😂 😂 We stuck to what was most familiar today. Maybe one of us will get braver as the trip continues. 🤷‍♀️

    The highlight of today was Trinity College. It was founded in 1592, and our guide, Jerry, shared how the college came into possession of The Book of Kells (800 A.D.) - perhaps the most representative piece of Celtic and Irish art, an ornately decorated, very unique copy of the New Testament of the Bible. Its pages, or as they are called, folios are made from vellum. Vellum is made from the skin of calves, sheep or less frequently, goat kids, but in the case of the Book of Kells, calfskin was predominantly used. Completing all the folios of the Book of Kells required the skins of more than 185 calves. 😮

    We were able to see one out of the four parts of the book and then we spent time in the amazing Long Room library. 📚 200,000 books!!

    Our guide was a wealth of information and did a great job, but the heat and humidity got the better of us by time we ended the tour at the castle.

    Awesome parts to our day:

    1. Relaxing morning over breakfast
    2. Adrianne and Haley finding the road with all the umbrellas overhead
    3. The Long Room library
    4. Finding a lunch place where it was cool (Porterhouse Temple Bar)
    5. Haley finding a spot for dinner across the river at a place called Baraza
    6. Temple Bar streets in the evening

    Tough Part:

    1. Humidity and warm temperatures - Adrianne said it looked like someone had doused my face with water I was sweating so bad. We all made makeshift paper fans to cool off.

    Tomorrow we start our tour around the southern part of Ireland.
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    Traveler

    I wasn't expecting all the detail...but Allan and I are loving it. I think I would pass on the blood pudding as well 😳

    7/11/22Reply
    Traveler

    Love the pictures

    7/12/22Reply
    Traveler

    No blood pudding for me! If you have a chance order a Smithwicks beer. I loved it.

    7/12/22Reply
    Traveler

    Your pictures brought back so many memories. Love that you are in Ireland.

    7/12/22Reply
     
  • Day2

    We Made it to Dublin

    July 10 in Ireland ⋅ ☀️ 64 °F

    We made it to Dublin! Today has ended up being nearly 30 hours without sleep. Our flight was delayed, but ended up being an uneventful flight except for not being able to get comfortable enough to sleep. Our seats supposedly had extra leg room…I can’t imagine how tight the regular seating was!

    Our flight had some empty seats so Mom, in an attempt to get comfortable, thought she would go sit in one of them so we could spread out a bit. She was barely gone, when she returned to her seat telling me she had accidentally sat on some sleeping man’s feet which startled the poor guy! 😂

    After landing, we took a taxi ride with a NON-STOP talking taxi driver named Igor. He dropped us off in front of The Clarence hotel in the Temple Bar area of Dublin.

    We rallied past our weariness and walked along the cobbled streets to the Temple Bar and enjoyed some wonderful live music (Mom and I even had some Guinness!) We ended our evening at a yummy Italian restaurant then meandered back to our rooms. It is time to catch up on sleep so we can do a little exploring around Dublin tomorrow.
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  • Tomorrow We Fly to Ireland

    July 8 in the United States ⋅ 🌙 57 °F

    We have checked in for tomorrow’s flight on Aer Lingus! WOoHOO! 🙂 I’m SO looking forward to this trip/adventure with Mom, Adrianne and Haley. But, I’m really excited for the girls to have this experience and time together.

    Adrianne flew in from Boise, Haley flew in from Phoenix, and they are staying at the Cedarbrook Lodge in Seatac tonight having dinner, drinks, and, I’m sure, reconnecting. 🍹 🍷 Mom and I will meet them there for lunch tomorrow and then we are off to the airport! ✈️
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  • Aug5

    Thórsmörk and Reykjavik

    August 5, 2021 in Iceland ⋅ 🌧 57 °F

    We ran to Reykjavik to get our COVID tests done Wednesday morning. I had scheduled rapid antigen tests for us at 9:00 am. Fortunately, our line and wait time was very short. The PCR test line snaked out of the building and all around the health center property. 😳

    While we waited for our results, we walked around downtown Reykjavik, stopping for what we thought would be great pizza 🍕, but let’s just say we ended up eating some outstanding Pad Thai instead. 🙂 With our negative COVID test certificates emailed to us, we drove to the Hamragardar camping spot to spend our final two nights. We have a view of Seljalandsfoss waterfall ( and two others) from our van. 🙂

    Today, we went on a super jeep tour into Thórsmörk ( Thor’s Valley). Our first Mercedes super jeep overheated and broke down and our poor driver was sprayed and burned a bit by the water from the radiator. He rallied, though. After the tour company replaced the Mercedes with a couple of super jeep Fords, he gave us an amazing trip of hikes into caves, hikes across rivers and streams, and a culminating hike into a “Land Before Time” type of valley to an amazing waterfall.

    We will fly home tomorrow with memories of this breathtaking country stored away for a lifetime. ❤️
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