Sunday, December 7, 2014

The Emerald Isle

Top O' the mornin' to ya! Graham's mom and Erik brought us and Gerrit and Tange (Graham's brother and sister-in-law) on a no-kids trip to Ireland in October. What an amazingly beautiful country! It was a driving trip beginning in Dublin and driving to Kilkenny, Killarney, and Galway. On our road travels, we also got to stop in Cork, Dingle, Adare, and Doolin. We stayed so busy and saw a lot! It was well worth the running around every day and now we need to go back for at least a couple of months to enjoy and explore the discoveries we made.


Honestly, I have no recollection as to which state or country this was taken. We were in 5 airports in 24 hours on the way there.

Our first meal and beer in Ireland! Kilkenny was a neat town with lots of pubs and shops. We saw a little one man Irish band in one of the pubs; the locals were all so friendly and immediately talked with us tourists when we walked in. It was a nice little welcome to Ireland! 

Kilkenny

The Blarney Castle in Cork. We were blessed with a gorgeous day and no crowds; this place was incredible! 

Graham just finished kissing the Blarney Stone. 

View from inside the castle. 

Brothers.

We had this grand idea to get up at the crack of dawn and drive to to the highest mountain pass in Ireland, Connor Pass, near Dingle and cheers with a mimosa. It was really pretty, but the fog overtook our view and it was windy and freezing! But we made the best of it and had a good time up there!

Warming up with a coffee and THE BEST PIE I've ever had in my mouth. That thick, buttery stuff on the side is the freshest cream ever created. YUM!

A funny little mini horse on the coast. We stopped at these potato famine cottages with a rich history and some old buildings to explore. 

I did not expect the coast to be this magnificent! 

Melissa feeding the seagulls. 

I anticipated refrigerators in our hotel room, but to no avail. Luckily, storing our creamy, delicious Irish cheese in the window sill sufficed.

The coastline outside of Dingle. Just wow!
We tried to go surfing in Dingle, but the waters were too rough and the tour wasn't running...I guess we'll save this for our next trip.

Ross Castle in Killarney National Park. That perfect green grass with the rainbow was just an irresistible photo op. 


Killarney National Park.


Torc Waterfall in Killarney National Park. 

We took this jaunting car around the National Park; it sure made the park magical. 

Pub in Claregalway. We stowed away our fair share of pint glasses while we were in Ireland, but in this pub, I just asked the bartender and he gave me one to take home. Those Irish folks are friendly, I tell ya!

The daughters in law with mother in law. Cheers!

 
Mother and sons. 

Doolin, quite possibly my favorite little coastal town. 

Graham and I went exploring on these rocks with the crashing waters. We couldn't get enough of it! Beauty beyond compare!


 

 We took a million shots of the rock splashes, this was a particularly big splash!


Cliffs of Moher, this photo doesn't begin to do these massive cliffs justice. The shear depth was really beyond what one could imagine. 

The other side of the Cliffs of Moher. 


It's hard to read in this photo, but our rental car was a Punto and the rental company was called Dan Dooley. So our cars name: Dan Dooley's Punto. Graham nailed the left-hand-side-of-the-road driving!

Claregalway Abbey 


Our most favorite street sign of the trip: Clonmacnoise. I can't say exactly why, but we giggled about this for hours! (I might be laughing as I type this)

A couple of delicious juices. They don't sell these flavors in the US. Plus, every drink and condiment there is sweetened with SUGAR not CORN SYRUP! It was AWESOME!

Kilbeggan Distillery. We opted for this distillery tour over the famous Jameson Distillery as it was far more quaint and old-style. Nice choice!


Dublin. I didn't have high hopes for this city as I was most interested in the countryside, but I was pleasantly surprised! This is, by far, the oldest, most beautiful, eclectic city I have visited!  

Trinity College in Dublin. 

A street band in Dublin. The live music in the streets was superior entertainment!

 Graham and I felt compelled to give Dublin (our last night in Ireland) a proper farewell. Singing and dancing to the local bands well into the night was unforgettable. Until next time! Cheers!


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