S: IRELAND 2011
FC: Ireland 2011
1: "May your blessings outnumber The shamrocks that grow, And may trouble avoid you Wherever you go." ~Irish Blessing | Day 1 - Thurs July 28, 2011 – Depart Toronto for Dublin, Ireland Day 2 - Friday 7/29/11 - Arrive in Dublin; Check in to the North Star Hotel and a free day to explore Dublin on foot. Day 3 –Saturday 7/30/11 - Dublin City tour, Trinity College and the Book of Kells, St Patrick's Cathedral, National Museum, then shopping on Grafton and O'Connell Streets. Day 4 -Sunday 7/31/11 - Rock of Cashel, and Hore Abbey in Co. Tipperary -Cobh & the Queenston Heritage Centre -Overnight at the Maldron Hotel in Cork Day 5 - Monday 8/1/11 - Blarney Castle and shopping at the Blarney Woolen Mills - Killarney and Ross Castle for a Cruise on Lough Leane, Co. Kerry - Overnight in the town of Kenmare at The Kenmare Bay Hotel Day 6 -Tuesday 8/2/11 -Ring of Kerry Drive: Ladies View, Molls Gap, Muckross House, Kilorglin, Cahersiveen, Sneem, and back to Kenmare | Day 7 - Wednesday 8/3/11 -Bunratty Castle and Folk Park; the Burren; and the Cliffs of Moher in Co, Clare. -Spent the night in Balinasloe at the Carlton Shearwater Hotel, Co. Galway Day 8 - Thursday 8/4/11 The Connemara Region - Galway to Cong (The Quiet Man Village), Kylemore Abbey to Sligo and overnight at the Grand Central Hotel in Bundoran, Co. Donegal. Day 9 - Friday 8/5/11 Northern Ireland - Belleek Pottery tour and The Ulster American Folk Park Overnight in Belfast at the Days Hotel Day 10 - Saturday 8/6/11 -The Coastal Road by the Irish Sea and North Channel: Carrickfergus, The glens of Antrim to the Giants Causeway. -a Lovely afternoon and Dinner with the McMeeken's our Irish Cousins in Garvagh near Balleymoney Day 11 - Monday 8/7/11 Belfast tour and drive back to Dublin Day 12 - Tues 8/9/11 Depart for home
2: DUBLIN | MOLLY MALONE - In Dublin's fair city .... | Norm at the Ha'Penny Bridge over the River Liffey | Famine Memorial
3: The Georgian Doors of Dublin
4: The North Star Hotel - After we checked into our hotel which had a train track above the lobby and a Tim Horton's around the corner, we set out on foot to explore Dublin | ...Over to O'Connell St. then across the River Liffey
5: ...through Temple Bar | .... shopping on Grafton Street | ...to St. Stephen's Green
6: St. Stephen's Green
7: ...and then to Marrion Square's beautiful Georgian homes. | ... and back across the Liffey, past the Famine Memorial and back to the Hotel. | The Harp-Shaped Samual Beckett Bridge | A Great First Day Exploring Dublin!
8: Trinity College | Ireland's famed Book of Kells is the western world's most beautifully illuminated manuscript. It was copied by hand and illuminated by monks around the year 800 A.D. The book consists of a Latin text of the four Gospels copied in ornate script and lavishly illustrated in as many as ten colors. Only two of its 680 pages are without color. Not intended for daily use or study, it was a sacred work of art to appear on the altar for very special occasions. Although it was probably begun on the island of Iona, between Scotland and Ireland, its name is derived from the Abbey of Kells, in the Irish Midlands, where it was kept from at least the 9th century to 1541. Since 1661 the Book of Kells has been kept in the Library of Trinity College in Dublin. | Trinity College Library
9: St. Patrick's Cathedral | St. Patrick's is Ireland's largest church. The present building dates from 1220 and was completed in 1270. Jonathon Swift is buried here. The Cathedral is today of the Church of Ireland.
10: A fun night at O'Shea's Pub | 2200 yr old Bog Men at the Irish National Museum | Millennium Needle, O'Connell St.
11: Rock of Cashel
12: The rocky stronghold rises dramatically out of the Tipperary Plain. It was the symbol of royal and priestly power for more than a millennium. The majority of buildings on the current site date from the 12th and 13th centuries. Cashel was the seat of the Kings of Munster from the 5th century until the 11th century when they handed it over to the church. The picturesque complex has a character of its own and is one of the most remarkable collections of Celtic art and medieval architecture to be found anywhere in Europe. | Rock of Cashel
14: Hore Abbey -let's walk over for a closer look
16: The long trek uphill back to the Monastery. Careful where you step! | The town of Cashel and the Plains of Tipperary | A quick sandwich at the very quaint "Granny's Kitchen"
17: Cobh - Titanic's last port of call | Annie Moore became the first ever emigrant to be processed in Ellis Island | CORK
18: Blarney Castle
19: Kissing the Stone
20: The Blarney Stone is at the top of the tower along the battlement | Blarney House | Blarney Woolen Mills
21: The Lakes of Killarney | Cruising Lough Leane from Ross Castle
24: Ring of Kerry Kenmare to Molls Gap and Ladies View
25: The scenic drive to Muckross House | The Ring of Kerry The route around the Iveraugh Peninsula is referred to as the "Ring of Kerry". It is probably the most visited attraction in Ireland and known for its natural beauty. It takes at least a day to see the captivating mountain and coastal scenery dotted with quaint fishing villages
26: Muckross House
28: The Ring of Kerry Killarney to Glenbeigh
29: Peat or Turf piles | Lunch at the Red Fox Inn, Glenbeigh | Killorglin | Ring of Kerry
30: Dingle Bay with its clear water and purple heather. Across the bay, the Dingle Peninsula is seen | A disabled truck stops traffic in Cahersiveen | Waterville | Eightercua Standing Stones
31: Caherdaniel | Rows of holiday homes for sale | Winding roads with no shoulders, and stone walls
32: Sneem -our last stop on the Ring of Kerry | The pub and the stone from the Irish Song - "The Stone outside of Dan Murphy's Pub"
33: Kenmare Bay Hotel | Kenmare | Adare
34: THE QUAINT THATCHED COTTAGES OF ADARE Co. Limmerick
35: Bunratty Castle
36: May the Irish hills caress you. May her lakes and rivers bless you. May the luck of the Irish enfold you. May the blessings of Saint Patrick behold you. ~Irish Blessing | Bunratty Folk Park | Hilly GolfCourse on the Burren Co. Clare | Beautiful Hydrangeas Everywhere!
37: Cliffs of Moher
40: Leaving the Cliffs behind we drive through the rocky, stony Burren. The burren is known for its rolling limestone hills, rocky fields and stone fences. Our route takes us back over winding, narrow roads through Galway and on to The Carlton Shearwater Hotel in Ballinasloe | O'Briens Tower
41: The beautiful village of Cong. The Quiet Man starring John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara was filmed here.
43: Cong Abbey
44: Lough Corrib
45: Connamara Connemara is the name given to the western portion of County Galway, which lies between Lough Corrib and the Atlantic. Connemara is one of the most scenic regions in Ireland. It's craggy mountain peaks, expansive sandy beaches and laced network of lakes exemplify the peaceful solitude and rugged beauty of The West of Ireland.
46: Connamara Views
47: Kylemore Abbey
48: Peat Bog | ThePretty Town of Westport | Killary Fiord, Leenane, in Co. Mayo
49: Ben Bulben This large rock formation is in Co. Sligo, also known as Yeats country
50: Bundoran Co. Donegal - surfers in the very chilly North Sea | The Grand Central Hotel, Bundoran
51: Welcome to Northern Ireland and the pretty little town of Belleek Belleek Factory Tour - great shopping and an interesting tour of the making of the delicate handmade Parian pottery
52: Ulster-American Folk Park | Peat Fire | Coffin Ship to America
53: We stayed at the Days Inn Hotel with the Sandy Lane mural across the street. We go out for a walk and discover some well known landmarks... | Belfast | The Grand Opera House & The Crown Saloon
54: Belfast and its beautiful Victorian architecture
55: Belfast, the capital city of Northern Ireland, has been home to some of the worst violence Ireland has endured. The Troubles, between the late 1960s and 1998, divided the nation, mainly between Nationalist Catholics and Unionist Protestants. The Agreement on Good Friday (April 10th, 1998) brought an end to 30 years of suffering and bitter feuding between these communities. Throughout The Troubles both sides painted large murals on buildings, particularly in residential areas on houses at the end of terraced rows. These murals are a considered a picture book of the recent history of Northern Ireland. | The Murals of Belfast
56: Belfast City Tour | Stormont - government offices in a beautiful park setting | City Hall | Queens University, Belfast | The Ceramic Blue Fish -every scale is a tile, and each tile tells a story about the city going back hundreds of years.
57: Titanic Quarter | The H & W shipyards where the Titanic was built. | Steeples and the leaning clock tower | Construction of the new Titanic exhibit building for the 100th anniversary
58: Carrickfergus Castle -This massive Norman castle was begun in 1180 to guard the entrance to Belfast Lough. It is the finest and best-preserved castle in Ireland | Norm has a look at the enormous boat ramp
59: Beautiful Views of Northern Ireland on the Coastal Road -from Carrickfergus, Larne, Glenariff, and the Glens of Antrim and up to the Causeway Coast.
60: May the road rise up to meet you, May the wind be always at your back, May the sun shine warm on your face. The rains fall soft upon your fields, and until we meet again may God hold you in the palm of his hand. ~Irish Blessing
61: Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge on the Causeway Coast
62: Giant's Causeway | Chimney Stacks | Giant's Causeway -hexagonal basalt columns were formed from rapidly cooling volcanic lava
63: The Pipe Organ
65: May the Irish hills caress you. May her lakes and rivers bless you. May the luck of the Irish enfold you. May the blessings of Saint Patrick behold you. ~Irish Blessing
66: A wonderful visit with our Irish Cousins, Elizabeth Holmes and Angela, David, Harry and Sam McMeekin. This day was a delightful highlight to our trip to Ireland and Northern Ireland.
67: Ireland Tour Stops 2011 | What a wonderful trip! Thank You Ireland for sharing your wonderful hospitality, beauty and history | Our last night in Ireland - Enjoying Irish Music and Dancing at Taylors Three Rock in Dublin