S: Ireland June 2008
FC: Ireland June 2008 Stacie & Barry's Honeymoon
1: Upon arrival at the airport in Shannon, we picked up our transportation and went directly to Clair Inn. There we took a nap, showered and got ready for the day. We managed to blow the electricity and burn up the adapter for the hair dryer! Didn't take us long
2: Sight Seeing in Ennis
5: Our first B&B! We went for a walk and discovered this strange looking evergreen, a home with a thatched roof and made a friend along the way. We ate at Patty Burkes twice. Their seafood chowder was excellent!
7: - Sight seeing - Touring - Learning - Spending time with someone special
8: Each day we looked at our travel map and selected the next town we wanted to go to. Then we would contact a B&B in that town to see if they had room for us. We drove and explored by following the "brown" signs to see castles, abbeys, locks, towers and other historic landmarks.
11: Clifden This was one of our favorites! Clifden is a beautiful little town and we stayed at the Ardmore house located off of Sky Drive. Sky Drive is an adventure as it sits on the side of a cliff that goes straight down to the water. It is a narrow road and passing tour buses is quite scary. Behind the Ardmore house is a horse pasture that we walked through to get to the edge of the cliff. Again, a little scary, but beautiful. The shot below was taken from a website about Clifden.
12: Kylemore Abbey Connemara, County Galway
13: Kylemore Abbey
14: Westport, Ireland Quiet town | Ballina, Ireland Great stay in Ballina! We headed out about 10pm and and found a quaint bar where about six instrumentalist gathered to play. Wonderful authentic Irish experience!
16: Killala Bay, Ballina Atlantic Ocean to Killala Inlet
17: The Flanagan Clan is from Fermanaugh, Offaly, Roscommon, Waterford and Westmeath. Our family spells it Flanigan.
21: So, we were driving along and ended up on a single road that climbed a large hill. The further we drove the steeper the road became. At one point we were not sure if we should be there. The only folks around were in the van pictured above. We stopped to ask them if we were supposed to be there and they said yes, but warned us to be careful because there were no tour guides around because of the season. The view at the top was awesome and we felt like we had Ireland all to ourselves!
22: Dinner with a view!
24: Boyle Abbey, Boyle | Boyle Abbey was being restored while we were there and the completion date was projected to be 2011.
25: Each stone was numbered before it was removed. This way each could be placed back exactly where it was.
26: This was a very nice B&B where a young, 16 year old girl answered the door when we arrived. Her mother was at the store so she introduced us to our room and offered for us to come down stairs for tea and cookies. We took her up on it and so glad we did. After visiting with this pleasant young lady for a bit her mother arrived and was so kind and friendly. We visited with Brenda and her daughter for close to two hours and at this point in our trip the interaction was so needed. We felt rejuvenated and we were glad we got to experience the "traditional" hospitality of an Irish B&B. Most of our other B&B stays were along the lines of a hotel stay. Not so personal...
29: Roscommon Castle, Roscommon | Beautiful town! The Roscommon Castle was in the back of a lovely park. We enjoyed having the castle to ourselves.
30: A Lesson In Being Prepared! | It finally happened...we got a flat tire. We were leaving the Boyle area and headed to Cong on July 2nd. Cong is where the Ashford Castle is located and we had a reservation for one night there. The roads in Ireland are often edged by earth; right where the side of the asphalt ends a wall of dirt stands. On all other occasions when something was on the road I was able to swerve around it, but not this time. There was a sizable stone on the edge of the road and in a location where the edge of the road was defined by earth. Another car was coming and I had nowhere to go but over the stone. Ohhhh, crap! I told Barry, "we're going to have a flat tire." Sure enough, thump, thump, thump just as there was a small opening that I could pull into. Thankfully, we had ordered a cell phone to use before we left and we called AAA. A man arrived in about 20 minutes with the tools to put on the spare. He directed us to the nearest tire shop in the next town and there we had a new tire put on the car. | These cows were across the road from where we pulled off the road with the flat tire. They watched us while we waited for the AAA guy to arrive.
31: Ashford Castle, Cong
32: There was a bat in the hotel. "A bat in the belfry." It was flying in the stairwell that had lobby like seating on each floor...we were at the top! | Our room
33: 500 | We stayed in Room #500, which is the highest room in the castle. In the turret pictured to the left. We were told by staff that it was the best room in the castle. What a wonderful experience!
34: The last of our travels...
35: Barry's last Guinness in Ireland We can't wait to do it again!