S: Ireland 2010
BC: "May your blessings outnumber The shamrocks that grow, And may trouble avoid you Wherever you go." ~Irish Blessing
FC: Ireland 2010
1: Dad getting a pat down because of his knee brace. | Here we come Ireland! - July 8 & 9
3: Touring Dublin City
6: Dublin Castle
7: Dublin Castle was originally built as a defensive fortification and turned into a royal residence for the seat of British rule until 1922. | In 1938 the inauguration of the first President of Ireland would take place in the castle and the complex has been the host to this ceremony ever since.
8: Christchurch Cathedral | Christchurch was a major pilgrimage site in the medieval period and is located in the former heart of medieval Dublin.
9: The Crypts of Christchurch are one of the largest in Britain and Ireland. It was constructed between 1172 to 1173. | The church is the seat of both the church of Ireland and the Roman Catholic archbishops of Dublin.
12: St. Patrick's Cathedral | St. Patrick's Cathedral dates back to 1220. In 1191 John Comyn, the first Anglo-Norman archbishop of Dublin, raised the church. Between 1860 and 1900 the Guinness family restored the church.
15: St. Patrick's Cathedral is the largest church in Ireland. | The cathedral sits adjacent to the famous well where tradition has it St. Patrick baptized converts on his visits to Dublin.
16: Kilmainham Gaol Prison | Kilmainham Gaol was built in 1796. Public hangings took place in front of the jail from the time it opened to 1891 when a hanging cell was built.
17: During the Civil War, the first four republican prisoners were executed by the Free State government here.
18: Each cell contained five people (women, men, and children) with only a single candle for light and heat. | The Irish Free State decommissioned the prison in 1924. Since its reconstruction, it is one of the most important Irish monuments of the modern period symbolizing the struggle for Irish Independence.
22: Driving from Dublin to Cork - July 11 | Abandoned Church
24: Enniskerry - Where we stopped for lunch.
25: The drive to Powerscourt Waterfall.
26: Powerscourt Waterfall
27: Powerscort Waterfall is Ireland's highest waterfall reaching 398 feet tall and it sits in the foothills of the Wicklow Mountains.
30: Wicklow Mountains & Sally Gap Pass
31: The Wicklow Mountains National Park covers approximately 49,421 acres of land. | Sally Gap is one of the two east to west passes across the Wicklow Mountains.
33: A church near our hotel, the Imperial Hotel in Cork. | Yes, there were sheep on the road for Carrie while she drove. No, Colleen was lucky enough not to experience it.
34: July 12 | Drive from Cork to Blarney Castle
35: Blarney Castle | The Blarney Castle, built in the 10th century, was a wooden structure. It was replaced by a stone structure in 1210. Then in 1446, Dermot McCarthy, King of Munster built the most recent version.
36: The castle stands approximately 90 feet high.
38: Tradition hold that those who kiss the Blarney Stone will be endowed with the gift of eloquence, "the gift of the gab."
58: Charles Fort | Built in the 1670's and 1680's, Charles Fort is named after Charles II. In a star formation, the fort was designed to resist attack by cannon.
60: Charles Fort has been associated with some of the most momentous events in Irish history such | as the Williamite War in 1689 - 1691 and the Civil War in 1922 and 1923.
64: James Fort, built in 1602, is located on the other side of the harbor.
66: Our Drive to Drombeg Stone Circle
68: Drombeg Stone Circle | Drombeg means "the small ridge" and the circle is known as the "Druid's alter."
69: Drombeg Stone Circle is a 31 foot recumbent circle with the recumbent or alter stone lying on the southwest side. Each pillar, made of local sandstone, measures approximately 6 feet 6 inches high with only 13 of the original 17 remaining.
70: About 4 yards to the west of the circle are the remains of two stone prehistoric huts, one with a cooking oven, joined by a common doorway.
72: Ring of Kerry
82: Cliffs of Mohr | The cliffs formed 320 million years ago on the western coast of Ireland. They ascend to over 700 feet and stretch south for nearly 5 miles.
83: The Napoleonic signal tower at Hags Head was built in 1803.
85: The cliffs reach their highest point near O'Brien's Tower which was built in 1835 as an observation point. | Many sea birds, like the Atlantic Puffin, Razorbill, Chough and the Common Gull make the cliffs their home.
86: Road to the Barrens National Park
87: Barrens National Park Limestone pavement covers most of the 96 square mile park. | Marless House B & B in Galway
88: Connemara National Park | Ocean overlook near artist village on our way to the park.
89: Connemara National Park is located in west Ireland in the County of Galway and covers 4,942 acres of scenic mountains, expanses of bogs, heaths, grasslands, and woodlands. The Kylemore Abbey Estates is located within the national park.
90: Kylemore Abbey | Kylemore Abbey was originally built as a castle around 1870. It covers about 40, 000 square feet and contains over 70 rooms.
91: The castle became an abbey in 1920 and is the oldest of the Irish Benedictine Abbeys. | The purpose of the abbey is to provide an education and a religious community for Irish women.
93: The Gothic church, "cathedral in miniature," on the grounds of the abbey, was built by Mitchell Henry in memory of his wife.
94: Walled Garden of Kylemore Abbey | The six acre Victorian Walled Gardens were built between 1867 and 1871. It is the only garden located in the middle of a bog.
97: Tour of Londonderry | Old Bushmill Whiskey Distillery
98: The View | The Hike Down | The | Caves | Giants Causeway
99: Legend has it that Giants Causeway was built by Finn McCool as a walk way to fight the Scottish giant Benandonner. Finn fell asleep before going across to Scotland and he woke up to find the Scottish giant appearing on the horizon. Finn realized Benandonner was much bigger than himself and ran to his wife Oonagh wondering what he should do. Oonagh disguised Finn as a baby and made him curl up in an enormous cradle. Benandonner saw the huge "child" and began to wonder what size his father would be. Benandonner returned to Scotland and destroyed the Causeway as he returned home.
102: Hill and Abbey of Slane | In Christian history the hill became established as an abbey where St. Patrick let the first paschel fire in direct defiance of the pagan kings nearby Tara. Archaelogists believe that the fire was lit elsewhere.
103: The HIll of Slane remained a centre of religion and learning for many centuries after St. Patrick. The ruins of friary church and college can be seen on top of the hill. There is an ancient well in the ground of the Slane Castle near the river. In Irish mythology, the well was blessed so the "people of the gods" could bathe in it and be healed. After Christianity arrived, the well's name was changed to "Our lady's" well.
104: Newgrange | Newgrange is best known for the illumination of its passage and chamber by the winter solsitce sun. Above the entrance to the passage there is an opening called a roof-box. Its purpose is to allow sunlight to illuminate the inner chamber marking the beginning of the new year and serving as a powerful symbol of the victory of life over death. | Newgrange was constructed in about 3,200 BC during the Neolithic period. It is a large kidney shaped mound covering an area over 1 acre with a stone passageway and chambers inside and a corbelled roof. The mound is ringed by 97 large Kerbstones decorated with megalithic art.
108: Trim Castle
109: It's the largest Anglo Norman castle in Ireland. | The castle was constructed over 30 years beginning in 1176. | This 20 sided tower castle was protected by a ditch, curtain wall, and moat | During Middle Ages the castle was the center of administration for Meath.
110: Trim Castle
112: Hill of Tara | The Mound of Hostages, a megalithic passage tomb, dates back to 2500 BC and 3000 BC. Evidence of at least 200 individual cremations have been discovered in the tomb. | The passage is roughly 13 feet high and 3 feet wide.
113: The Lia Fail, Stone of Destiny, considered to be a fertility symbol was built around 1824.
114: According to legend the Hill of Tara was the seat of the High Kings of Celtic Ireland.
115: Argument has it that the location was really a sacral site associated with kingship rituals.
116: The Church at the Hill of Tara
118: St. Columbas Church & Cemetery
119: Old Kells monastery was founded by St. Columa in the 6th century. The bell tower is the only remaining portion of the original medieval church.
120: Market Cross
121: This 9th century high cross standing almost 11 feet would have been located at the gate of the Kells Monastery. It is now located outside the Kells Keritage Centre.
122: July 9 & 10: Dublin * Davenport Hotel * Dubin Site Seeing Tour * Dublin Castle * Christchurch Cathedral * St. Patrick's Cathedral * Kilmainham Goal Prison * Trinity College *The Book of Kells July 11: * Left Dublin, went to Dublin Airport to pick up van * Wicklow Mountains * Powerscourt Waterfall * Sally Gap Pass * Arrived in Cork, stated at The Imperial Hotel | July 12: * Left Cork, went to Cork Airport to exchange van * Blarney Castle * Charles Fort *Drombeg Stone Circle * Arrived in Killarney, stayed at the Ashville Guesthouse July 13: * Ring of Kerry Bus Tour * Red Fox Bar/Bus Stop *Glenbeigh *Waterville *Sneem *Kenmare * Ladies View (Lake View) | July 14: * Left Killarney * Listowel (Aldi Food Store) * Tarbert * Shannon Ferry * Killimer * Cliffs of Mohr * The Burrens National Park * Arrived in Galway, stayed at the Marless House B&B July 15: *Artist village Shopping * Ocean Overlook *Connemara National Park * Kylemore Abbey
123: July 16: * Left Galway * Mostly straight shot * Sligo * Arrived in Londonderry, stayed at the Arkel House B&B July 17: Londonderry * Hired a Taxi Tour * Tour of the Old Bushmill Whiskey Distillery * Giants Causeway * Tour of Londonderry | July 18: * Left Londonderry * Monaghan * Fairy House * Hill & Abbey of Slane * Trim Castle * New Grange * Arrived in Dunboyne, stayed at the Dunboyne Castle Hotel July 19: Dunboyne * Hill of Tara * Kells * Navan July 20: * Drop off Rental Van * Fly out of Dublin | I R E L A N D 2 0 1 0