S: IRELAND 2012
BC: DEPARTED | IRELAND | 2 MAY 2012
FC: ARRIVED | IRELAND | 24 APRIL 2012
1: Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe with a population of approximately 6.4 million. Ireland has been one of our top travel destinations for years and when the opportunity arose we couldn't wait to go! It was an experience of a lifetime driving over 700 miles on our own and taking in the culture. We can't wait to go back to Europe! | IRELAND (Eire) | `
3: DAY 1 | We landed in Dublin at 8am local time, picked up our rental car and took of on our Ireland adventure! We traveled south through the Wicklow Mountains, stopping at the Powerscourt Estate and Waterfall, then driving through the mountain pass towards Kilkenny.
4: Powerscourt Estate is 47 acres. The house, originally a 13th century castle, was extensively altered during the 18th century by German architect Richard Cassels, around 1731 The gardens were designed in the 19th century. | POWERSCOURT ESTATE county wicklow
8: POWERSCOURT ESTATE county wicklow
10: SALLY GAP wicklow mountains
12: We got a flat tire at the end of day one, just around the corner from our hotel in Kilkenny.
13: DAY 2 | We spent the morning exploring the Kilkenny castle, cathedrals & downtown. On the way to our next hotel we stopped at the Rock of Cashel and the city of Cork. We ended the day walking through downtown Killarney and enjoying a local pub and pints of Guinness!
15: KILKENNY county kilkenny | The history of Kilkenny (meaning Church of Canice") began with an early sixth century ecclesiastical foundation, with a church built in honour of St. Canice and was a major monastic centre from at least the eighth century.
17: The cathedral stands on an ancient site which has been used for Christian worship since the 6th century. The present building dates from the 13th century and is the second longest cathedral in Ireland. Beside the cathedral stands a 100 ft 9th century round tower. | ST. CANICE'S CATHEDRAL kilkenny
18: KILKENNY CASTLE county kilkenny
19: ROCK OF CASHEL county tipperary
20: CORK county cork
21: KILLARNEY county kerry | With a population of around 14,000 Killarney is nestled is in a deep valley in the MacGillicuddy Reeks, beside the Lakes of Killarney and part of the Killarney National Park. It is home to St. Mary’s Cathedral, Ross Castle, Muckross Abbey, torc waterfall and Innisfallen Island, the location of a ruined monastery.
23: DAY 3 | Today Mark got a break from driving on the Irish Roads. We took an O'Connell motor bus tour around the Ring of Kerry. That evening we toured Killarney a little more and then went to see the opening night of The Avengers (since it opened up in Europe a week early!)
24: RING OF KERRY county kerry
26: ST. MARY'S CATHEDRAL killarney | St. Mary's Cathedral was designed and built in 1842 by the renowned English Architect Augustus Welby Pugin and is considered to be one of the most important and best Gothic Revival churches of the 19th. century in Ireland.
28: INTERNATIONAL HOTEL killarney
29: DAY 4 | We left Killarney that morning and headed towards our next hotel in Galway. Along the way we stopped in Limmerick City, The Cliffs of Moher, The Burren & The Alwee Cave. That evening we explored Galway and had dinner at a local pub.
30: CLIFFS OF MOHER county clare
32: THE BURREN & LIMMERICK
33: GALWAY county galway
34: CLAYTON HOTEL county galway
35: DAY 5 | After 4 days of driving and going non stop, day 5 was for REST & RELAXATION only! We spent the day hanging out at our Galway Hotel and listening to live music that night at the Hotel Bar.
37: DAY 6 | We drove across the island back to Dublin. It was a rainy day so we visited the Guinness Brewery and Storehouse and enjoyed a free pint of Guinness! Next we toured the old Jameson Distillery. Mark won the chance to taste different whiskeys (Jameson, Jack Daniels, and Scotch).
39: GUINNESS BREWERY dublin | Originally leased in 1759 to Arthur Guinness for 9,000 years, St. James's Gate has been the home of Guinness ever since. It became the largest brewery in Ireland in 1838, and it is still the largest brewer of stout in the world.
41: OLD JAMESON DISTILLARY dublin | John Jameson acquired the Bow Street Distillery in 1780. By the 19th century, it was the 2nd largest producer in Ireland. Jameson Irish whiskey is produced from a mixture of malted and unmalted Irish barley. The barley is dried in a closed kiln fired by natural gas and is triple distilled for optimum smoothness.
43: DAY 7 | Our last full day in Ireland was spent walking around Dublin. We visited St. Patrick's Cathedral, Trinity College, Grafton Street, The Famous Georgian Row houses and the Millennium Spire. We ended the day at the famous Temple Bar listening to traditional Irish Music.
44: DUBLIN county dublin | Originally founded as a Viking settlement at the mouth of the River Liffey. Dublin became the island's principal city following the Norman invasion. The city expanded rapidly from the 17th century. Following the partition of Ireland in 1922, tDublin became the capital of the Irish Free State and later the Republic of Ireland.
46: ST. PATRICK'S CATHEDRAL dublin