S: Ireland 2011
1: "May your blessings outnumber The shamrocks that grow, And may trouble avoid you Wherever you go." ~Irish Blessing
2: In January 2011 I got a second job to be able to make my trip to Ireland possible and make my dream of traveling come true!!! June 2011 I had my trip booked and payed for!! then..... October 6, 2011 I drove to St. Louis, MO to start my Ireland adventure! I left St. Louis at 1336 and flew to Newark. Had a few delays in Newark.....finally left Newark at 2100 and flew (3200 plus miles across the pond) to Dublin Ireland.
3: My Trip | Day 1: Arrived in Dublin at 0800 on Oct. 7th. Tour of Dublin began. Day 2: Visited Glendalough and the Guinness factory. Day 3: On to Killarney, the Rock of Cashel, and then on to Kinsale. Day 4: Embarked on the Ring of Kerry, the Muckross house and then on to Dingle Day 5: Explored the Dingle Peninsula Day 6: On to Ennis and the Cliffs of Mohr. Day 7: Said goodbye to Ireland and started my journey home.
4: Euro | Electricity | Love Irish Sarcasm | Irish Breakfast (Black Pudding)
5: Shopping | MY Hotel in Dublin | Dublin O'connell Bridge | Coffee Shop
6: Great Irish Famine (1845-1852) monument in Dublin to remember the one million people that died from mass starvation and disease during the Potato famine and the one million that left Ireland to survive!
7: "The Long Room" | Trinity College
9: May luck be our companion May friends stand by our side May history remind us all Of Ireland's faith and pride. May God bless us with happiness May love and faith abide. ~Irish Blessing | Glendalough | St. Kevin's Church It is the only building in the ruins with an intact roof.
11: Glendalough, the valley of the two lakes, is renowned for its early medieval monastic settlement founded by St. Kevin in the 6th Century. | (Below) Inside some of the ruins
12: Guinness Factory
15: Guinness Factory Dublin Ireland
16: The view from the 7th floor at Guinness. It is a glass circular bar called the Sky bar and you can see all of Dublin.
18: The Rock Of Cashel
20: Rock of Cashel
21: I did learn that St. Patrick's Day originated to celebrate St. Patrick bringing Christianity to Ireland.....I was just surprised considering the way that we celebrate St. Patrick's Day.
24: The Rock of Cashel is the sight where St. Patrick converted King of Munster to Christianity in the 5th century. The picturesque complex is one of the most remarkable to be found anywhere in Europe. According to local mythology, the Rock of Cashel originated when St. Patrick banished Satan from a cave, resulting in the Rock's landing in Cashel.
26: Situated in Killarney National Park, Muckross House is one of the most popular Irish attractions. The house was built by the Herber family in the 1800s. The house was later owned by Lord Ardilaun (of the Guinness Family) and by the Bourn Vincents. Today, the house is a Museum. They still spin wool into yarn and make garments here in the servants quarters.
27: Muckross House in Killarny Ireland | The actual spinning wheel at Muckross | The tag inside my Dad's hat that I bought him.
28: In a "Spar" market (it's like our convenient stores) in the town of Cahr they had fresh baked bread for sale. They seem to eat very little to no processed foods! | The gas in Ireland was 1.49 euro/liter. Seems cheap until you do the conversions and realize that is equivalent to $7.52/gal. I loved the Irish honesty and simplicity.... As you can see from the sign a "toilet" is a toilet not a restroom or bathroom. A side walk is simply "a foot path". | My Hotel in Kinsale
29: Kinsale | The view from my room | My hotel in Kinsale | The town of Kinsale | An old military fort just outside Kinsale
31: Above: A school bus with Peg's family name on it. | Below: In the Irish hotels the blow dryer is stored (and plugged in) in the top dresser drawer. | Below: My hotel in down town Dingle | Above: The street view in Dingle
32: This is the road that we got stuck in a puddle on. | Left: Brendan our tour guide standing in the puddle trying to figure out what to do. Right: Notice the tombstones along the road where we are stuck. | Above: The nice Irish man that stopped to help us and basically staved the day!
33: We were on our way to explore the Dingle peninsula and got stuck in what I call a puddle....they called it a river. What it actually looked like was a spring (or some small stream of water) that ran across the road and down the hill into the ocean. However, where the water crossed the road there was a slight indention in the road. The hydraulic system stopped working on the bus (to raise the bus in situations such as this) and we ended up bending part of the fender on the bus to get through the puddle. If you will notice we did not have a choice....there is no where to turn around and traffic was getting backed up!
34: Left: Me happy to be alive! Below: After we got unstuck this was around the corner.
36: Views from the bus as we drove around the Dingle peninsula!
37: The beehive huts and the stone fences are made with no mortar....just stone.
38: The Cliffs of Mohr! They are 800 feet tall and stretch 5 miles. The pictures do not do it justice.....simply breath taking!
42: I learned how to make Irish Coffee! | I think my Favorite Irish "thing" is their dairy....I couldn't get enough! By far the best I have ever tasted! | My parents modeling their gifts I brought them back for watching my dog! For my mom it was a pashmina wool (really soft) scarf I got in Dingle and for my dad a wool flat cap made at the Muckross house.
43: My Sheepskin Rug that I found in a little shop in Dingle! Love it! | Above: My umbrella that I bought in Dublin and Mark and Spencer since I forgot mine in my car at the airport.
44: The Celtic Knot It dates back as far as ancient monks to illuminate the world famous "Book of Kells" manuscripts. The interlocked unbroken lines symbolize man's spiritual growth, eternal life and never ending love...having no beginning and no end. | The Irish Shamrock The Shamrock is Ireland's most celebrated emblem. Its association dates to the 5 th century when legend suggest St. Patrick used it to demonstrate the meaning of the blessed trinity (the leaves represent the father, the son, and the holy spirit) while converting the people of Ireland to Christianity. The plant its self was reputed to have mystical powers~ the leaves standing up right to warn of an approaching storm.
45: The Claddagh A true tale speaks of Richard Joyce, swept to slavery from the little fishing village of Claddagh; of time passing and the intervening years in which Richard became a master goldsmith who was eventually rewarded with freedom. When at last he returned to his beloved Claddagh he turned his fine skills to the creation of a jewel that would be renowned as an emblem of LOVE and FRIENDSHIP: two hands cradling a crowned heart. Today, the village of Claddagh may have vanished but its golden legacy remains. Wear the ring on the right hand, the crown turned inwards and the world may see the heart is yet unoccupied. Wear the ring with the crown turned outwards and its clear that a love is being considered. But when it is worn on the left hand, the crown outwards : two have become inseparable.
46: "May the road rise to meet you, May the wind be always at your back, May the sun shine warm upon your face, the rains fall soft upon you fields and until we meet again, May God hold you in the palm of his hand." An old Irish Blessing
47: Goodbye Ireland! I will miss you! It was a long journey back home: 5 hrs. in airports, 10 hrs. on a plane, and 4 hrs. driving......but there is no place like home!