S: 2010 Ireland Trip
FC: The Yager's Irish Holiday 2010
1: On September 7, 2010, Luke and Janice took a flight from Cleveland, Ohio and Andrea took a flight from Nashville, both to JFK. It was a long day killing 10 hours in JFK before our flight to Dublin! The airport was a little warm, and it was difficult to find a quiet spot, but we made the best of it! We ate in the food court, played gin rummy and finally had dinner in Chili's. The flight to Dublin was oversold, but we all made it on the flight with seats together in Business Class!
2: We arrived in Dublin, Ireland on the morning of September 8, and took a taxi from the airport to our hotel, The Best Western Premier Academy Plaza. The hotel was located right off of O'Connel Street. It was the perfect location and we loved it! And we were pleasantly surprised the taxi was only 25 Euro to get there!
3: Across the street from the hotel was a pick up point for the Hop-on Hop-off Dublin Tour Bus. We decided to ride the bus around to see all the attractions on our first day, and then choose which sites we wanted to stop and see the next day. The bus had an open upper deck , and it was fun to ride up there and take pictures... when it wasn't raining.
4: We started each morning with a muffin from the local grocery, and a cup of coffee in our room. September 9, Day 2 in Ireland, started with a visit to St Patrick's Cathedral.
10: The Door of Reconciliation.
11: St Patrick's Cathdral
12: Our next stop was the Guinness Brewery! | In 1759, at the age of 34, Arthur Guinness signed a 9000-year lease for the St. James's Gate Brewery, Dublin, at an annual rent of 45 pounds. The brewery was only 4 acres in size, disused, and had little brewing equipment. But in only 10 years, despite competition from imported English beers, Arthur began to export his beer to England.
13: each floor of the brewhouse took you through the steps of the brewing process.
15: There was alot of information on how they make Guinness. in the end We were ready for the freE sample!
16: The rooftop bar, called The Gravity Bar, providEd not only a free sample of Guinness but a 360 degree view of Dublin.
17: a picture of dad smiling this big deserves a page of it's own! cheers!
18: Our third stop on September 9 was at the Kilmainham Gaol Museum. It was one of our favorite and most interesting places we visited. The tour gave the history of the jail and alot of Irish history too. Movies such as "In the Name of the Father", with Daniel Day Lewis and "Michael Collins", with Liam Neeson, were filmed there.
19: They took pictures of the prisoners and documented their occupation, age and the crime they had committed.
20: The Chapel. | There are 2 sections to the jail. The old section was built in 1796 .... And the new section was built in 1862. The old section here, was very dreary. There was no heat or light. And the prisoners were given one small candle every 2 weeks. | The hallway in the old section.
21: There were many political prisoners kept in the jail, and there are name plates over the cell's where they were kept. Some of the prisoners were James Connolly, Joseph Plunkett (who married Grace Gifford at the prison hours before his execution), Charles Stewart Parnell, and Eamon de Valera , later to become the President of the Irish Republic.
22: The new section.
23: A painting of the Madonna on the wall inside one of the cells. Painted by Grace Gifford Plunkett, while she was held during the civil war
24: Many of the inmates had carved their name and the town they were from in the walls.
26: This wall separated two courtyards which kept the children from the adults. Children as young as 7 were imprisoned here. For a crime such as stealing bread, or a wheel off a cart.
27: The famine was so bad that people committed crimes so they would be imprisoned in order to have food to eat. As they would be fed in jail.
28: Prisoners were hung from this doorway over the main entrance to the prison. It was a form of entertainment so all could come to see the executions.
29: The House of the President of Ireland.
30: After our day of touring we were hungry and headed to Temple Bar to eat! We found a wonderful Irish restaurant with amazing food! Gallagher's Boxty House
31: Dad had Irish Stew | Andrea had Boxty Potato Dumplings | Mom had Coddle | We loved the Irish Soda Bread!
32: TEMPLE BAR
33: Day three would begin our adventures with Paddywagon Tours!
34: September 10, day four, would take us to Northern Ireland. Belfast, Giant's Causeway and Derry/Londonderry. | Belfast | Liam Neeson's house in Ballymena.
35: Our first stop was the beautiful Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge. Traditionally fishermen erected the bridge to the Carrick-a-Rede island over 23m deep, 20m wide chasm to check their salmon nets. | We opted out of the opportunity to cross the rickety rope bridge. We thought the view from this side was quite nice enough.
36: The walk out to the bridge was breathtaking. You truly felt like you were in Ireland!
37: One Irishman had the brilliant idea to graze his sheep out on this island. Cliffs on all sides, it didn't take long for the sheep to find their way off the island. | Sheep's Island
39: The next stop was Giant's Causeway.Volcanic activity helped Finn McCool forge this wonder of the world some 60 million years ago. The 6km of sheer cliffs rising to over 90m and forming a series of bays are spectacular. We visited the 37,000 basalt columns whose tops form 'stepping stones' leading from the cliff foot and disappearing under the sea. They reappear in the island of Straffe, hence the legend that this was a road built by the giant Finn McCool to enable him to cross over to Scotland. Truly an amazing wonder of Ireland.
44: We had a quick stop for beautiful views of Rathlin Island (inhabited) and took a few pictures of Dunluce Castle, a medieval fort.
45: The town of Derry/Londonderry was our last stop on September 10. Janice's ancestor Martin McEwen was from here. Derry is Europe's finest example of a walled city. It is the only city that never saw its walls breached, and the only remaining walled city in Ireland. The city has incredible history and we visited the political murals in the bogside, the scene of the 1972 Bloody Sunday Massacre. | Dinner at Giant's Causeway.
48: Murals from the bogside. The site of historic Bloody Sunday.
50: On September 11 we visited The Cliffs of Mohr, and much more on the west coast of Ireland! | The pick up point for the tours was right around the corner at the tourist office. So convenient! | Thatched roofs are more common on the west coast of Ireland. | Our first stop of the day was at the Corcomroe Abbey, no longer in use. It was a perfect day for pictures. The sky was so blue and grass Irish green.
55: Irish Folklore with stories of Leprechauns and fairies is apparent on the west and southwest coasts. Also, Celtic influences are strong here. | This is a circular fairy shrine. | Poulnabrone Portal Tomb at the Burren in County Clare is one of the world's best known and most visited dolmens. It is estimated as being 4,500 years old which places it at the end of the Neolithic and the beginning of Ireland's Bronze Age. There is evidence that the people who built the many tombs on the burren actually farmed the area and the Burren would have had a covering of soil with scrub, trees and grass growing there. It was this very farming which caused the stripping away of the soil and leaves us today with the dramatic limestone landscape for which the area is famous.
57: The cliffs of Mohr. One of the most spectacular sites in the world! If you have ever seen a movie that took place in Ireland, you have probably seen a panning view of the cliffs somewhere in the movie!
59: It was very windy!
60: A few pictures at Bunratty Castle
61: Our last day of touring was September 12. We headed towards Cork on a long bus ride, and toured The Blarney Castle and the quaint town of Cobh. | There are many castles in the southwestern area of Ireland.
62: This is where you leaned over to kiss the Blarney Stone. We decided not to experience that adventure.! But touring the inside of the castle was fascinating!
65: The rooms were off of the stairways. So neat!
70: After touring the Blarney Castle we had dinner at The Mill restaurant at the Blarney Woollen Mills Outlet. Our next stop was Cobh! One of Andre's favorite places in Ireland. We all really enjoyed the southwest area of Ireland. With it's many castles and quaint little towns!
71: Cobh is a very picturesque town built on a hill side and dominated by St. Colman's Cathedral, which took over 50 years to complete. The Cathedral houses the famous 49 bell Carillon, the largest in Ireland and Britain. Cove is the earliest name of the town. After the visit of Queen Victoria in 1849 the name was changed to Queenstown. In 1921 after independence the local Urban Council reverted to the old name "Cove" but with the Irish spelling of "Cobh" [the letters bh represent the V sound in Irish]. The harbour and the town has been the the last sight of Ireland for many thousands of emigrants. Over 40 thousand men, women and young girls were transported to Australia from here and millions more left during the famine years for the new world. It was the main transatlantic departure point from Ireland up until the late 1950s. It was the last port of call for the R.M.S. Titanic on her ill-fated maiden voyage, where she took onboard mail and 123 passengers who were emigrating to the U.S.A.. The survivors and most of the victims recovered from the R.M.S. Lusitania torpedoed off the old head of Kinsale were landed in Queenstown, and there are three mass graves in the Old Church graveyard, a mile and a half outside the town where 149 victims are buried.
72: From this small building was where the last passengers boarded Titanic. It was amazing to imagine the huge ship anchored here!
79: September 13, 2010. We spent our last day in Ireland back in Dublin, catching all the final sites we wanted to see.
80: 'The Church' was an old church made into a bar and restaurant.
81: Molly Malone | Trinity College
82: The spire on O'Connell Street
83: St. Stephen's Green
86: On September 14 we headed back the the U.S. We all sat in Business Class together again!
89: September 7 through September 14, 2010 were spent on a great adventure in Ireland! Thanks mom and dad for the wonderful vacations over the years. They are definitely some of my favorite memories! I think our Irish Holiday was the best yet!! Love, Andrea Merry Christmas 2010