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Post Info TOPIC: NEW FACES and FAMILIAR PLACES -- The SAGA


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NEW FACES and FAMILIAR PLACES -- The SAGA


The plan   http://ireland.activeboard.com/index.spark?forumID=65127&p=3&topicID=27973990  was perfect. 

It was the execution that ran amuk.   hmm hmm


AND SO IT BEGINS:


We departed for Orlando early, in order to arrive prior to the 5 o'clock rush hour.  We checked in to Hawthorn Suites Airport about 4:30 PM, unloaded our luggage and then headed out for a quick dinner at a nearby Wendy's (for a last-grasp infusion of cheap, American fast food).  Upon our return, I found a nice, semi-shady spot for the vehicle to pass the ensuing two weeks plus, then headed inside for the Manager's Happy Hour -- free drinks and snacks. 

In the morning, after showers and a decently atypical 'Complementary Hot Buffet Breakfast', we liesurely rode the free shuttle the 1.8 miles to the airport and shlept our bags inside.  Only then, did things begin to unravel...

We were flying JetBlue to JFK on a combi-ticket from Aer Lingus under their new, partnership agreement.  The JetBlue counter was chaos itself -- with lines drifting back, nearly to the entry door, but a Jet Blue employee steered us to a self-serve kiosk, which quickly spat out our boarding passes, but then, it was back to the line, in order to check in our bags.  Fifteen or so minutes later, or bags were tagged --at which time I had to drag them over to TSA and drop them off.  So far, so good, but ...

We were informed that we would have to collect our luggage at JFK and re-check it at the Aer Lingus desk, since we hadn't booked our tickets through the JetBlue website!  Never the less, things go pretty smoothly and after an uneventful flight, we collect our luggage and transfer it to the correct terminal at JFK, where we encounter yet ANOTHER incredibly long and chaotic line.

But I'm HIP, now -- I've done the JetBlue line-shortening kiosk thing biggrin biggrin -- so, leaving my wife in line with the luggage, I dash ahead and jump upon the first open kiosk -- which promptly Kicks me off, because I don't have the passports with me ... wink wink

So, I dash back to retrieve them, only to find that, now, EVERYONE is hip to the kiosk thing -- and, now, I can't get even CLOSE to one!!! furious furious

WHO THE H E Double L IS OMNI AIR INTERNATIONAL --- AND WHO IS THE STRANGER I'M SITTING WITH????

Fifteen minutes later, we check in at the counter, get our bags tagged, drop them at the screener and contemplate the casually dropped bombshell that the girl at the counter had dropped -- "You DO know, that your flight to Shannon has been changed?"

Now, I purchased these tickets back in January, gambling that any further price reduction would be off-set by the fact that by then, there were only a few, two-seat rows that hadn't yet been reserved.  Since then, I had received at least three 'updates' that advised of ever so MINOR changes as a 10 minute advance in departure time on one leg or other of the trip.  But, I had specifically checked my email around 11:15 AM, that day.  There had been NO update, as of then.  It was currently about 3 PM.
 
"Uh, no," says I.  "How do you define "CHANGED?"

"We've taken the regularly scheduled plane out of service for maintenance and have chartered a different one."

I made a beeline to the Customer Service Desk to inquire and am informed that my Airbus A330, departing at 6:30 PM has been chartered out to Omni Air International, on a McDonnel Douglas DC10.  Now, a DC 10 DOES have SOME two seat rows, but for the most part, it is a 3-4-3 layout.  I am a bit confused though, because our NEW seat assignment is for Row 10.  confuse
'First Class'?   confuse  It seems doubtful, but Row 10 is pretty close to the front ...

After we clear Security and arrive at the Gate, the flight is 'Rescheduled' for a 7:15 departure.  We shuffle onto the plane to discover that there is NO First Class section.  Our Row 10 has three Coach seats -- and a young man is sitting in the middle seat!   furious  We graciously offer him his choice of the Aisle, or the window and he graciously chooses the window.

The Flight Crew was an assorted lot.  There were 2 or 3 women in generic, blue Stewardess outfits and a couple of guys in long-sleeved workshirts.  I told my wife that we were getting ready for departure and she insisted that couldn't be true,  because the two guys in shirts had "Maintenance" stenciled above their pockets and were still walking around in the plane.  Overall, they were pleasant enough, but the image that came to my mind's eye at the time (filtered, as it admittedly was, with a touch of frustrated annoyance ) was of a group of monkeys attempting to fornicate with a football.

"We can't be ready to go -- Maintenance is still working on something," the Mrs. says.
"No," says I.  "I think they are just wearing Maintenance shirts."  And then pointed to one of them as he helped put a bag into the overhead and then closed it up.  Never saw them again, but ...
'Ready To Depart' Messages @ 7:48
'Cross Check, etc. @7:49
'Turn Off Cell Phones, Devices @ 7:50
Cabin Lights dimmed @ 7:59
Exited Gate @ 8:02

no no no --- BUT --- no no no

About 30 feet from the Gate, we stopped and SAT for a while ... evileye

Began taxi-ing @ 8:08
Entered Taxiway @ 8:10
STILL Taxi-ing @ 8:21
"Flight Attendants Please Be Seated For Takeoff" @ 8:25
Left Runway @ 8:33

We arrived in Shannon about an hour or so  later than originally scheduled -- I had given up on the intense note-taking by then -- so, NATURALLY, there was a huge, Lo-oo-oo-ong line in front of the Car Hire desks.  There were NO untoward suprises there, since I had pre-paid, other than the expected fuel charge (55 Euro) and the 'Hold' for 1000 Euro, since I was waiving the insurance.  There was minimal Hard Sell on that, too. 

Bought a 10 Euro 'Top Up' voucher for my Vodaphone mobile at the shop opposite the desk, then hustled out to the curb for the shuttle.  By the time it had arrived, there were so many people that we had to wait for the NEXT to arrive.  By the time we arrived at the lot, it was chaos -- there were two employees, hustling about trying their best not to lose patience with a small horde of customers (many of them First Timers ) bombarding them with LOADS of questions and apprehensions after comming face to face with a right hand drive, manual transmission car that was probably a LOT smaller than they were expecting ... hmm hmm

One of them drove up a well-worn, black '06 5 door Ford Focus, handed me the keys and called out, "Any questions??" over his shoulder, as he sprinted away toward the next group.  I did a quick, cursory inspection, noticing a miriad of minor scrapes and scratches, but mostly only concentrated on the tires -- Decent tread, NO visible cuts or bulges and Alloy Wheels, meaning NO Hub Caps to go astray.  It had a full tank and 116,000 kilometers on the clock.  I loaded up and we were off, for breakfast in Bunratty.

We arrived at the Woolen Mills shops, right about 10 AM -- the posted Opening time.  While we were waiting for them to actually do that, I discovered that even though MY Credit Union sets a $1000 a day threshold for daily ATM withdrawals, the Irish ATM would not let me excede the 300 Euro that I had withdrawn at the airport.  That created a problem, as we needed 450 Euro to pay the balance on our Self-Catering.  Fortunately, my wife carries a separate account, so she pulled out 250 Euro from it.

Breakfast at the upstairs cafe was uninspiring, as they have discontinued offering much more than coffee tea and pastries, but the available selection was adequate and filling.

It was when we returned to the car, that I first noticed the chip in the windshield.  It was small, not much bigger than a raindrop -- and it was low, down on the windshield, almost hidden from my line of sight by the upper curve of the steering wheel.  Since it had slipped past me, in my rush to be off, I OWNED that chip, now.  Unless, of course, it managed to slip by THEM, when I returned it ... cry cry



It was Saturday, about 10:45 AM.  I had only been on the ground about TWO hours. hmm

I was begining to get a BAD feeling ...

More to come ....

Bob



-- Edited by Itallian Chauffeur on Sunday 12th of July 2009 10:49:27 PM

-- Edited by Itallian Chauffeur on Monday 13th of July 2009 02:59:15 PM

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Wow!

I don't think I would have been at all pleased with a complete change of airline! Replacing one plane with another from the same fleet, maybe but they changed companies?

Hopefully everything got better....  no

Lookng Forward to more....

 

Slan Beo, Bit



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                             YIN AND YANG,

                                    or

                     FINALLY -- SOMETHING GOES RIGHT


When I'm driving in Ireland, I generally travel at a pretty SEDATE pace  -- and NO, if you ask my wife, she will say that I drive MUCH too fast  -- such that I frequently 'pull aside' to let Local drivers greatfully stream by.  In my email correspondence with our Self-Catering landlords-to-be, I had told them as much.  In fact, the words I used were that 'PARTICULARLY on my first day  --  after an over-night flight -- that I would probably be driving like the proverbial, 'Little Old Lady' and even with a scheduled arrival time of 6 AM, I suspected that, after stopping for breakfast enroute, that I likely would not arrive in Millstreet any earlier than 11 AM -- and possibly, even later.  So that they wouldn't be stuck, waiting around for my indeterminate arrival, I told them that I would call them either 'around 11 AM, or when I was leaving Mallow, whichever came first.

And, DESPITE my wife's admonishments and misguided observations vis a vis my driving pace, I stopped in Charleville for a stretch, a smoke and a fresh soft drink about 11:30 and made the call then.  We both agreed that I would not arrive in Millstreet before 12:30 or 1, and then gave me directions to their house, which is "nearby" the rental house.

After we arrived there (around 1 ), we followed Mr Buckley and his daughter (about 10 ) up to the house and he gave us the Grand Tour and orientation.  While I was paying for our stay, his daughter bustled in carrying a plate with two large, fresh-baked scones, two tea bags, some individual packets of sugar, butter and jam and a quart (liter???) bottle of milk.

I can NOT say enough good things about the house.  It was vertually new, spotlessly clean and tastefully furnished.  My pictures don't do the place the justice that it deserves.

Picture a one acre field, of which the house and gardens occupy about 1/4, with the remaining 3/4 arrayed in a "U" to the East, South and West.  The house is 'H' shaped, with the front facing East.  When you enter the front door, you are in a large (at least 12X12), ceramic tiled room a comfy, leather chair.  To the right (North) two large bedrooms with wooden floors flank a Hot Press and a Large, tiled bathroom, that contains a WC, pedestal sink , a corner Garden tub AND a seperate shower stall.  The East bedroof has a double bed, two night stands, a dresser and a wardrobe.  The West bedroom has the same, except that it contains two single beds.

 On the North East side of the entry is a comfy, wood floored living room with two leather sofas, an oversized coffee table, a tv with dvd player and a bookcase, but beyond that, through an oversized archway, is a sitting / conversation area with two chairs facing each other over a small table, that are surrounded on three sides by tall, nearly wall-to-wall windows with panoramic views of the 'U' field and the surrounding trees and hills beyond.  In the field are 5 or 6 young cows, and 4-5 rabbits.

On the North West side of the entry room is a large, tiled eat-in kitcen, with a portable cd player/radio and all the usual amenities.  A door in the West wall leads to a roomy laundry room with LOTS of storage, and seperate washer and dryer.  From there, there is a door to the outside, where there is also an umbrella style clothes line rack.

Back in the entry room, in the West wall, directly opposite the front door, are glass double doors that open onto a flagstone courtyard that is flanked by the outside walls of the Kitchen / Laundry Room on the South and the twin bedroom, on the North.  Here is a small cafe table, with two wrought iron chairs.

Once we are alone with the house, I start unloading the luggage from the car, while my wife calls her cousin to let them know that we have arrived safely and that we will visit them in East Cork, on the morrow, in the early afternoon.  Then, it's time for  a couple of quick showers and a refreshing 2 1/2 hour nap.

After napping, it's time to head into town to do a little shopping and to grab a meal at the Wallis Arms.  We are back in Ireland, back in Millstreet, reasonably rested and well-fed.  The Plan is back on track.  I'm feeling REALLY good about the house.

Despite the transport glitches,  Optomism returns.  biggrin

Bob

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Bob,

Your self-catering cottage sounds lovely. Were the beds comfy? Some Irish friends of mine paid big bucks to stay at a fancy self-catering place and she said the beds were the pits. I always think that B&B owners and those who own self-catering should "test drive" their accommodations to see it through a guest's eyes.

Michele

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The beds had inner-spring mattresses, while we are used to pillow-top.  They were comfortable, but I wouldn't say COMFORTABLE -- if you get the distinction ...  biggrin biggrin

Didn't toss and turn, or wake up with backaches -- which is generally a plus, in my book, though I am not generally too picky...

My wife's comments mostly echo my own, but she was adamant in saying that she MOST DEFINITLY, unequivically recommends the house. She wants to book it again, next year, for at least one week.

Bob



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Bob,

Comfy but not cushy. That is okay for me most of the time. The best beds I ever slept in in Ireland were at Tankardstown House self-catering. Returning again to a place means most everything must have been spot-on.

Michele

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                           AND A NEW DAY ADAWNIN'  

Awoke latish and stumbled about.  Since today was Sunday (the Feast of St Laiterain) AND since we were in Millstreet, my wife had her semi-lapsed catholic heart set on attending Mass.  Being the heathen, fully lapsed Methodist pagan, that I am, I dutifully dropped her off at the front of the church and promised to meet her back there afbout 11:45.  biggrin biggrin

While she was inside, I took advantage of the GLORIOUS weather to drive out to the Turbrid Holy Well (second largest natural well head in the entire British Isles) and walk around briefly and snap a few pix.  From there, I drove back past the church and turned off the Square to visit the ATM.  Had to park a ways up the street from the bank -- fortuitously -- and discovered the entrance to a small par created upon the site of the old Church of Ireland.  The actually church building had been razed, back in the late 50's, as unsafe, but in the early 90's, volunteers had cleaned up the site and now maintain it as a public area. 

The footprint for the main building remains, as does the restored, original bell tower.  Surrounding THAT are the well kept graves of MOST of the old Ascendancy Protestants.  I found one grave, in particular, that was significant to my research (more on this, later), so I vowed to return with the Mrs ...

As I headed back toward the church, I noticed that EVERY available parking space was occupied, and that people were begining to line the streets, as well.  I finally squeezed into one of the last remaining spaces in the lot for the GAA pitch, snagged the camera bag and headed off to the church on foot -- arriving several minutes before Mass ended.  It seems that today was ALSO Corpus Christie.

We had stumbled across one celebration, several years earlier, in the town of Ballydesmond and I knew that this would be something well worth seeing.  After Mass, a Procession leads off from the gate of the church and terminates at the Square -- where I had notice a temporary Altar had been erected, complete with a canvas sun canopy...    The Millstreet Pipe Band was organizing for their part in the Procession, and as the doors of the church swung open, out came the recent First communion celebrants, the Confirmation Canidates, the Church Society members, the Priest and Altar Boysand Just Plain Folk.  Windows facing the street -- were they businesses, or private residences, were decorated with religeous statuary , photographs candles and ribbons.  It was a Grand Parade and we snapped away with both cameras.

As the Procession passed, we 'beat feet' to the car and followed discretely behind.  We were the last car able to turn onto the Station Road before traffic backed up, so managed to detour out of town by driving out past the train station, our landlord's and the turn-off for our rental house, following that road all the way out to catch the N72, where we turned East, toward Malllow.  Using the GPS built into my phone (Hardware -- NOT Data driven) I let it route me on, through Fermoy and on to familiar territory, where I found my own way to the Cousin's house.

WE HAD A TOUCHING REUNION, TEMPERED THOUGH IT WAS BY THE RECENT DEATHS OF TWO OF MY FIL'S FIRST COUSINS.  cry cry   no no  cry cry .

It wasn't ALL Doom-and-Gloom, though.  We also relived, in photos, videos and reminisces, the also recent 80th birthday of the present, but last remaining first cousin.  Considering everything, it was an enjoyable time -- kind of a belated Birthday Party and twin wake for the Dearly ( and DEAR) departed.  Time slipped by, catching us unawares, until the rapidly darkening sky reminded us that it was nearly 11 PM!!  Facing a 1.5-2 hour drive, we made plans for a meet up in Millstreet, on Tuesday, then beat a hasty retreat.
 
As we drove toward the village, and the N8, I told my wife that I thought it would be best to head into Cork and then take the North Ring Road around it, to the N20, then drive up it, to Mallow -- as that would minimize late-night driving on narrow, unlighted roads.  Just before the bottom of the hill, headlights behind me drew my eyes up to the rear view mirror, just long enough to prevent any adequate evasive manouver -- just as the largest, deepest POT HOLE in all of Ireland came into view.  doh

I was traveling about 50 KPH when the passenger wheel struck it -- and not more than 40, when the filling-jolting rebounding ceased, about 20 feet beyond.    evileye Within the next 30 feet, I could feel the tire going soft, but I eased on to the intersection, hoping to use the streetlights there (by the N8) to make the tire change easier.  I needn't have bothered.  The light on that side was burned out.  disbelief
I had attatched a small penlight to the key ring, though, so my wife held it as I jinstalled the TEMPORARY spare.  There would be nowhere open, this late on a Sunday night, to get the tire repaired or replaced.  A Good Samaritan stopped, just as I was finishing up, and he carefully verified my handywork.  With HIS reassurances, my wife begrungingly admitted that there was little choice, but to 'soldier on' using main roads as much as possible.

Driving WELL below the speed limit because of the TEMP designation of our spare, we headed into Cork, missed the North Ring turn-off and followed the South Ring through the Tunnel and around to the N22 (Killarney Road) heading toward Macroom.  The mood in the car wasn't pretty -- but it turned down-right UGLY around Bandon, when it started to rain.  It was fairly light, at first, but by the time we turned off the N22 in Macroom onto the R582, it was down-right torrential.

We finally limped into the yard of the rental house about 1 or 1:30.  furious

More to Come ...



-- Edited by Itallian Chauffeur on Friday 17th of July 2009 03:11:36 PM

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yikes

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               THE HITS JUST KEEP ON COMING

(Sorry -- This is gonna be a LONG one -- hmm )


We rose about nine and took our morning in the sitting area off the living room.  The south-facing windows there are less than six feet from the concrete rail fence of the field, providing ample opportunity for watching the cows graze and the rabbits scampering about.  Early on in our visit, three of the cows had taken an almost obcessive facination with us, coming to whatever part of the fence was closest to us, and grazing there -- yet, all the while, watching us raptly ...

At first, I likened them to over-grown dogs, but my wife soon hit upon naming them after our three grandchildren, according to the appropriately displayed personality traits... We found, again and again that it was VERY difficult to leave that setting.

The house sits, most of the way up a steep hill.  Driving up to it, you pass two houses and through a farm yard, just below.  There is a marvelous old, stone building, complete with the external, stone staircase leading up to the second floor/loft,  there - all used, now, for storage - that I would KILL, to own.  It would make an INCREDIBLE home. biggrin

To put all this into perspective, since Millstreet is rather WELL OFF the beaten Tourist Track -- here's an excerpt from an OLD post of mine:

"But first, as an aside, I would like to mention a few words about the "considerable town" of Millstreet.

Millstreet sits in northwest Co. Cork at a juncture of roads. From the south, the road up from Macroom passes through a gap between the Boggeragh Mountains to the east and the Derrynasaggart to the west. The River Finnow flows through, on its way to join the mighty Blackwater. It is an area, RICH in history.
When Ireland was first settled in the waning days of the last Ice Age, the area was inhabited by neolitic hunter gatherers, drawn to the mystical high places: the Paps, Clara Mountain, Mushera Mor and Beg. Ordinance Survey maps of the area show relics of that age dotting the landscape. There are raths, and cashels, standing stones, stone circles and rings scattered throughout; the most impressive collection being that at Knocknakilla. An Shrone (The City) is nearby.

During the Celtic Age, the area was home to the OKeefes, McCarthys and the Sullivans and neighbor to the Malloys, Donovans and ODriscolls. King Mahon was murdered atop Mushera while enroute to a peace meeting with Malloy. The foul deed was done by the Desmond clans to remove the upstart from the throne of Munster and replace him with someone more pliable to their schemes. What they reaped, with their treachery instead, was Mahons younger brother -- Brian Boru.

When the Butter Road was built through town in the 1700's, it was a boon to the area. Millstreet bloomed as a convenient resting stop, mid-way between Cork City and Killarney. The 1800's were not so kind. When the railroad was built, the tracks were laid to avoid the village proper. The station sits out of town, to the north, victim to the fears and petty jealousies of the major Landlords in the Big Houses, the Protestant Wallis, the Leaders and the Catholic McCarthy-O'Leary. And so, the tourist trade passed Millstreet by and the town ceased to grow. The major highway (N72) from Mallow to Killarney bypasses Millstreet. A small, Regional Road 'loops down' to pass through town, on its way to reconnect with the N72, in Rathmore, Co. Kerry.

Today, Millstreet functions as a bedroom community for Killarney , Cork City and Mallow; each being nearly equidistant. The Walliss sold out, in the 20s, the Leaders died out, or moved away and the last of the McCarthy-OLearys ( relatives to the OConnors of Caherdaniel) spends her days in Killarney. A local entrepreneur now owns the holdings of both Drishane and Coomlegane. The latter House was torn down. In its place stands Green Glen Arena, an equestrian showplace that hosts horse shows, music concerts and other events. In 1993 it was the site of the Eurovision competition, a major international event. Drishane Castle and estate, purchased with the intent to create a luxury hotel and resort, has instead become a haven and housing for an international assortment of refugees.

In short, there is nothing EXCEDINGLY REMARKABLE about Millstreet, but the sum total is greater than the individual parts. The people here are untainted by an overabundance of tourist trade and therefore, neither wear a mask of false greeting, nor display offence or rancor at the presence of outsiders. It is the real Ireland of the 21st century. It is a place of beauty, magic and peaceful reflection; improved by the march of time, yet not polluted by it. It is the land that my wifes ancestors came from, and, in more ways than that, it is a land I would proudly call home. We chose to bring John and Pam here, just as we have brought some of his other brothers and sisters over the years, and his father, before that, so that they could experience that which mere words can not convey."

About 10, I rang our landlady and asked her for a recommendation as to the best place to repair/replace the tire ( excuse me, tyre aww ) and she suggested that I visit the shop located just below the Square, on the Macroom Road.  Once we were ready to get moving, we headed down and I opened the hatch for my first good look at the tire.

Other than having no air in it, I couldn't see anything wrong with it!  Could I possibly have just 'Broken the Bead' with the impact, letting the air out????  That glimmer of hope vanished quickly, as the propretor flipped it over and showed me the severely bent rim of the alloy wheel ... ashamed

Now, I had originally been PLEASED to see that the car had no hubcaps to lose, but I immediately realized that I would have to buy a WHOLE BUNCH of hubcaps, just to equal the price of just ONE low profile, wide-stance alloy wheel - that could probably ONLY be purchased from Ford... bleh

"So .. I guess I need a new wheel .. About how much is that going to cost?" says I, in dismay.  As I was steeling myself for a 2-300 Euro quote, the owner rescued me from my gloom.

"Ah, no.  I can straighten it up, just fine.  It'll run about 50 Euro though", says he, appologetically.  "Can ye come back, around 4?"

With renewed spirits, we headed out for the town Library and Museum.  Now, the Museum is actually temporarily relocated, and mostly in temporary storage -- it is the museum-meister, Sean Radley, that is the actual draw -- but Ireland being in Europe, BOTH locations were CLOSED, since it was Monday.  blankstare

We headed off to Killarney, where we hit an Internet Cafe and visited a few shops.  On our return, as we were approaching the townof Ratmore on the N72, I spotted a small directional sign that simply stated "SHRONE".  I didn't hesitate and immediately turned South onto the un-numbered road. 

I have been LONG facinated by a location listed as either "An Shrone", or, "The City", which is vaguely discribed as being located "nearby, at the base of The Paps, in the center of Sliabh Luachra ", but had, as yet, never been able to determine it's exact location.  And, I almost didn't, THIS trip!

Even with the information from:

www.themodernantiquarian.com/site/11242/city_of_shrone.html#folklore 

we could find the two Information Panels, but the site itself eluded us.  Driving back to a schoolhouse nearby to the first panel, we intercepted two teachers, just as they were leaving.  They confirmed that we had been in the right place, but had failed to look in the right direction.

AS YOU FACE THE SECOND INFORMATION SIGN, TURN AND PLACE YOUR BACK AGAINST IT.  THERE, IN FRONT OF YOU -- LOOKING FOR ALL THE WORLD AS JUST ANOTHER FARMER'S FIELD -- AND PARTIALLY OBSTRUCTED BY AN OLD, FALLING DOWN BARN -- IS THE OLDEST CONTINUOUS SITE OF WORSHIP IN ALL OF EUROPE.

It is a humbling vision -- in SPITE of/ BECAUSE of its unimpressive initial appearance.  Even though it was raining lightly, we spent about 45 minutes just walking around the small, grassy area, inspecting the carved stones, the thick, drystone wall and the modern statue.  There is a Holy Well here.  Every first of May, a Priest conducts Rounds to a significant crowd.  At OTHER times of the year, it is reputed to host other, less traditional forms of worship ...

Nearby, the twin mountains known as the Paps of Danu (or Anu, depending upon the translation) rise majestically.  While it may have been glaciers -- or the Hands of God that formed those smooth, twin mounds, it was the hands of Neolithic Man the erected the matching Stone Cairns that protrude from their peaks.  It was those ancient inhabitants, known as the Tauth De Danan -- The People Of The Goddess Danu -- that eventually gave Ireland it's name.

It gives one pause ...

We drove on into Millstreet and returned to the Tire Shop, where our hero was still working away at the rim -- heating it, shaping it with a hammer, cooling it down and then inspecting his work -- before starting over again.

ACTUALLY -- he was working on the awning over his gasoline pumps as we drove up, before ambling into his shop to resume the repair ... biggrin biggrin

It had stopped raining completely by now and the sun had burned off most of the clouds.  It had actually grown QUITE warm - particularly in the sun -- so I stepped in, under the canopy, to wait.  The owner's young helper came over to talk.

"Are ye on holiday, is it?" he asked.

"Yar, we've rented a place up in Dooneen, for this week and next."

"It's too bad, then, to have this misfortune on yer Holidays."

"Ah, well," says I, feeling expansive.  "You may be too close to see it, or too young to appreciate the philosophy -- but I always tell people back home, that even the WORST day in Ireland is still MUCH better than the best of days, at work."

"Still," says he, doubtfully. "It's a rough bit of weather we had, earlier, though it's turned right lovely enough, since."

"Yar," says I, again.  "Has it been like this, with the off-and-on rain?"

"Oi," he says.  "It were wet enough, like, this week past, right.  But was right brilliant, like, the week before."

About this time, the owner called me over, as he had reinstalled the tire and attempted to inflate it, to show me the hitherfor invisible CUT, in the sidewall.  He had a different brand of tire available, though and 10 minutes later, I was driving away on my perfectly straightened rim and new tire -- but my wallet was 150 Euro lighter.

We drove through the still, warm air over backrouds through the mountains to Knocknakilla, following the mostly accurrate voice guidance of my cell phone's GPS.  Whilst I was logging the location co-ordinets into permenent memory, my wife hustle through the turnstile and up the hill to the small, but immensely RICH archiological site.

Before I had made my way half way up to join her, however, she came racing down at a reckless pace.  It seems that we had stumbled upon our first encounter with the dreaded 'Midges' ... cry cry

We retreated into town and visited the grocery, were we prchased newmerous items (including two containers of some of the very best leek and potato soup that I've ever had -- and returned home to enjoy a light and easy dinner and a quiet night with our surrogate 'grandchildren'.

It had been a busy, expensive and yet, richly rewarding day ...smile

More to come

Bob



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Oh Bob! I love your style! This is a great read. Thanks for taking so much time to write it.

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Bob, 

So sorry to hear about the bent rim and tire. Have you thought that the cows thought you were there in the "human zoo" behind glass for their amusement? Maybe it was like watching TV. wink

Ireland is so rich in ancient myth, legend and archaeology if you can just find it. I often think that every field and stone has a story. 

The Paps:



There is another great photo:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/15139725@N04/2497048013


Michele

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You know, we couldn't find An Shrone either! And we were staying near Rathmore, even closer! :) But you remember that, you gave us some information on this site when we were planning our trip, as I recall :P

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Thanks to all for the kind comments.

In the world of the 'Glass half full / half empty ' , I am pretty definitly in the 'Half Full' camp -- at least, as far as it relates to Ireland .... biggrin biggrin

Christy -- I must have driven that stretch of the N72 MANY dozens of times -- yet I SWEAR that I have never seen that "SHRONE" sign, prior to this trip.  I wonder if it is related to some SMALL attempt to actually alert people to the TREMENDOUS abundance of things to see and do in a heretofor, under-visited and grossly under-appreciated area ????

Bob



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That could be it, I suppose. Or the locals were tired of telling people where it was :)

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Christy --

Like locals EVERYWHERE, I'm sure they never get tired of telling visitors where to go ...  biggrin biggrin biggrin

It's just that the Irish generally do that SO WELL, that the average visitor tends to look foreward to the trip!  biggrin  biggrin

Bob



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Tuesday dawned into another slow, lethargic morning, where we contented ourselves with lounging about and watching our captive menagere frolic outside our window.  We had issued an invitation to the cousins in East Cork to come see our rental and three of them had taken up our offer, pledging to arrive between noon and 1 PM.

After having purchased about 60 Euro worth of foodstuffs, my wife panicked and decided that we would take them to Nibbles Cafe for lunch and then serve deserts and sandwhiches back at the house as afternoon tea/dinner.  With only two hours or so to kill before their arrival, we headed into town to visit the Library.

While my wife used one of the two available computers to check email and touch base with family, the very helpful Librarian found a delightful Reference for me, titled Houses of Cork Vol 1, edited by Hugh W L Weir that details ownership, location and current status of nearly every 'Big House' in the entire county, cross-referenced by the family names accossiated with the house, throughout its existance.

Exiting the Library, we crossed the street and found our way to the Parish Office, where a delightful young Church Secretary ushered us into a small ante-room equipt with three chairs arrayed around a small table and a medium-sized floor safe -- from which, she removed several large, bound ledgers containing the original, hand written church records recorded by the Priests.  By giving her a date, we were able to actually VIEW the original record of the Baptism of three of my FIL's uncles and aunts.  As an off-shoot, we also learned that (in Millstreet, at least) for Baptisms, the Priest recorded the names in their Latin equivilent --For example, Timothy, a younger brother of my wife's grandfather, was listed as Thaddeus !!

Who knew ...?? confuse confuse  Dunno if such is the case with ALL church records, but for any of you attempting to locate your own ancestors and not having any luck, it MIGHT open up a new approach...

The Secretary also advised us that we were probably looking in the WRONG Parish for the data we were trying to find --  hmm

                           A BRIEF IRISH CIVICS LESSON

See, G-Grandparents lived in half a dozen different townlands that lie in close proximity to Millstreet -- we KNOW this from the 'Dwelling Place of Father' listing on the various birth records that we have obtained.  All but one of those list Millstreet as the TOWN ("Ballydaly, Millstreet" , "Tooreenbawn, Millstreet", etc ...), BUT --

Boundaries are specious things, in Ireland -- there are Provinces, Counties, Baronies, Towns and Townlands in the POLITICAL arena, but the Diocese and Parishes PRE-DATE County Boundaries by at least fifty years!  Even though the Townland of Knocknolomon is in Millstreet, it is located in the Parish of Rathmore, and Tooreenbawn, though properly Millstreet, politically, it is in the Parish of Banteer ---

All this came about, because I am trying to determine the location of the gravesite of my FIL's Grandfather --- confuse confuse confuse

More confused than ever, but armed with a phone number of where to go to search out Records of Deaths, we headed back toward the house, although we wiled away almost an hour driving along back roads in the area -- just to see where they would lead us ... biggrin biggrin

The cousin's called about one and we met them in town, before leading them to the cafe.  We had a nice lunch -- reasonably priced at about 50 Euro, for five -- and then guided them back to the rental.  after giving them the Grand Tour, all three remarked that they could not believe how much 'Value for Money' our little house was.  Made me feel like QUITE the savy shopper, I must admit!  biggrin

 

We sat around the kithen table, ate, drank tea, made plans for additional get-togethers, but mostly, we just talked, until it started getting dar -- around 10:30 -- when they reluctantly departed for home.

It was a VERY good day. biggrin

Bob



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Bob, that was a very good day, indeed!
We have come to a dead-end in our search for ancestors in County Cork Ireland, west of Kanturk in the countryside, a rural Church...Drumtarrif Parish, Archdiocess Kerry. My Aunt found the Baptismal records of my Great Grandfather who left Ireland as a 9-year old with his parents and sister in 1852, and the Priest was kind enough to make photocopies for family members here in the States. We are, so far, unable to trace back farther, as we would like to find out if we have any remaining distant cousins in Ireland. We've come to the conclusion that the dead-end (lack of records) is a result of a big fire in Dublin, or the fact that Cromwell burned the original Church, or the mass-grave as a result of the famine, located across the road from the Parish Cemetary. My wife has done extensive research, and so far no luck. We hope that kin-folk from Ireland will some day try to track us down! We will never regret taking my father to that Parish on our trip to Ireland 3 years ago. cheers! Dan

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Bob,

Sounds like genealogy could be a whole nother career!

Michele

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Michele -- I'm trying to retire from my CURRENT career --and I'm CERTAINLY not interested in starting a new one --- disbelief disbelief disbelief

Unless, of course ---

The new one would involve someone PAYING me to Chauffeur them around Ireland  --  In which case, I MIGHT reconsider ... biggrin biggrin biggrin

Bob



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Murphy --

I know Dromtarriff WELL.  The Townland of Dromtarriff is JUST East of Dromagh, which is right before the turn off from the N72 onto the R583, heading to Millstreet from Mallow.  Coming from Mallow, you would turn LEFT immediately after the school and drive a few hundred feet to reach the church, where Cromwell's warriors (Maxwell, an Officer under Lord Broggill) burned 400 people alive, in 1652, the day after the Battle of Knockbrack.


Some history (scroll down to second item):

http://www.millstreet.ie/history/Millstreet%252520Website.html


Although Dromtarriff MAY well be in the Diocese of Kerry - NOW -- that does NOT appear to be the case, as late as 1837.  From the Millstreet website referenced, above:

"Dromtarriff church and graveyard are located in the parish of Dromtarriff which is in the Diocese of Ardfert and Aghadoe (Lewis 1837, vol. 1, 509). "

More info:


http://boards.ancestry.com/localities.britisles.ireland.crk.general/9839.3/mb.ashx


You could also try contacting The Civil Registration Service Office, in Mallow.  They are open Mon / Tues / Thurs . from 9:30 - 12:30 and 14:00 to 16:30, ONLY.  Don't have a mailing address, but their phone number, from the US, is 011 353 22 50230.

However, the lady there told me that records from 1902 (and PRESUMABLY, any earlier) weren't available THERE, as they had, as yet, not been digitized.  She referred me to the Cork City office for any 'Paper Records'.

It was the Cork Records Office, that was burned (during the Civil War) in a battle between Pro and Anti-Treaty forces, that caused such a gap in documents.

Hope that SOME of this helps ...

Bob

Edited, because I STILL can't spell ... hmm

-- Edited by Itallian Chauffeur on Saturday 25th of July 2009 04:24:16 PM

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Bob,

If your dream job comes through you will have to change your user name to Irish Chauffeur!

Michele

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Bob
Thanks for the information about Drumtarriff. We were shocked to hear that 400 people burned in the Church. Possibly some of our relatives could have perished. On the Griffiths Land Evaluation, there were 34 Murphys listed as living in over a dozen townlands in Dromtarriff Parish, but we have narrowed it down to Carragraigue townland. We think that they leased farm land from Lord Ardun, or Perceval Lord Egmont. This gives us some incentive to dig deeper. We thought about spending time there on this trip, but feel we need to do some more research here, before spending a week in County Cork on our next trip to Ireland.
Dan

-- Edited by murphy on Saturday 25th of July 2009 09:07:44 AM

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Michele --

NOT a bad idea ... confuse confuse

At least I know how to spell IRISH!  biggrin biggrin

Bob



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Murphy:

Some good research ideas and strategies:     http://www.tourismirelandinfo.com/storyideas/stories/geneology.html 

Location of Carragraigue Bridge:   http://www.buildingsofireland.com/niah/search.jsp?county=NC&regno=20904007&type=record#


Location of Townland:  http://gis.buildingsofireland.ie/niahviewer/default.aspx?REG_NO=20904007

You may have to zoom in/out to find it.
The interactive map shows it due East of Kilcorney and North/NorthEast of Tooreenbane and Brookpark ( AKA Ivale), where some of my wife's family came from.
Kilcorney and Brookpark are in the Parish of Banteer, while Tooreenbane is in the Parish of Millstreet ( formerly, Drishane).

My Discovery Series Ordinance Survey Map Number 79 shows the Townland in the grids defined between 35 and 37 (East and West), and 92 and 93 (North and South).

The Bridge is nearly RIGHT AT the intersection of Grid Points 93 and 35, and Carragraigue Cross Roads is just South of the bridge.  Since the Townland is SSE of Rathcoole, East of Knockbrack and NNE of Kilcorney, it would behoove you to contact the Church Secretary of the Banteer Parish for records of those relations associated with the Carragraigue listing in Griffith's Valuation. 

Nearby, is a WONDERFUL B&B that was purpose-built around 1999, if you need a NICE place to stay while there ...smile smile

Let me know if you want further info about my FAVORITE area ... biggrin biggrin

Bob



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Thanks again Bob, for some helpful information.  I would like the name and contact information of that B&B.  For our upcoming Aug5-21 trip to NW Ireland, we aren't monetarily committed to lodging for the final 3 nights. We would have the 18th, 19th, and 20th available for a mad dash down to Cork County, to do a little geneology research. Unfortunately,we would end up spending 2 out of the 3 days on the road, getting there, and getting back to Shannon for an 11:30 flight out on the 21st. So, it probably wouldn't be worth it. It looks like we will HAVE to make one more trip to Ireland...Bummerwink  I do get a week off (teaching) for spring break 1st week of April........smile  Dan

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Dan:

http://www.cocork.net/   It's called Agherton Lodge B&B.  I would rate it right up there with some of Michele's picks.  When we took my wife's parents, in 2000, they had only been open a short time, but they had 'Ticked ALL the boxes' --  clean, comfy, HUGE bathrooms, etc.  The owners lived in Boston for over ten years before returning to Ireland.  She's from Tyrone, he's from the area.  It's just down the lane from Carragraigue Bridge.

By the way, the MOST famous Murphy from the area, historically speaking, is actually a Kerryman.  He was the organizer and builder of the Butter Road,  a first of its kind, direct Toll Road (Turnpike) that ran almost arrow-straight from Cork city, through Millstreet, to County Kerry (Killarney and Castlemaine) over 100 years ago.  The history of the road was chronicled in a couple of excellent piblications published by the Aubane Historical Society.

Here's their website:  http://aubanehistoricalsociety.org/collection.php

Bob


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Reminder -- PIX are here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/9896554@N04/


Wednesday, 17 June


Our FIFTH day in Ireland broke hazy and overcast and with the realization that we had done VERY little, so far.  Saturday was filled up by the arrival and settling in. Sunday was OVER filled with church, parade, our visiting in East Cork and the resultant, late-night limping home.  Monday was recovery, damage repair and licking our wounds.  Tuesday allowed for a TINY (though ENLIGHTENING) bit of research and our reciprical hosting.  Now, don't get me wrong -- with the exception of the whole tire, we wouldn't have changed anything --- But, we were MORE than ready to 'Bust A Move'.

We began our adventure with a drive into Rathmore, where we dropped into the church where my wife's Great-Grandfather and Mother were married, on 21 May, 1865.  From a bulletin board inside, I located a phone number for the Parish Priest and gave him a call.  After I told him that I was looking for a possible Death Record from 1902, he advised me to see 'Sister Stella' at the Convent next to the church, as that was where the Parish Records were kept. As we were wandering around the back of the building, a young women drove in and offered to take us to see if Sister Stella was in.  She led us to a beautiful, old Sitting Room, while she searched about the massive structure. 

During our five minute-ish wait, I told my wife that I was feeling a bit apprehensive -- as if I was waiting to see the Principal.  She said that I should imagine how SHE felt -- having been raised Catholic!  In any case, we needn't have worried -- it turned out that Sister Stella was out-and-about and therefor, unavailable.  The young woman brought us back into the foyer where she gave us the phone number for the Convent and assured us that Sister Stella would certainly be back for Tea, at 6 PM and that it would be best to ring her, around 5:45.  As this was going on, an old nun walked toward us, smiling serenely and I thought, at first, that she was going to offer to assist us.

Wrong, again.  What she DID do, was ask, sincerely, "Have you seen my mother?  I should make her some tea.  Has she arrived, yet?"
The young woman demurred, "No, dear, she isn't here, yet.  I've started the tea already. Go and sit at the table and I'll bring it to you presently."

It was then, that she explained that she was a Home Health Aide, charged with caring for the now elderly nuns.  cry cry cry

So, the Research part of our day wasn't going very well, but the Tourism segment was about to yield HUGE dividens... wink wink

From Rathmore, we drove out through Kilorglin, all the way to Inch Strand.  As my picture show, it was VERY overcast, particularly toward Dingle.  After a goodly while spent walking along the beach, people watching, we drove onwards, but only as far as the first parking overlook, deciding that the long, winding coast road out to Dingle would yield little scenic enjoyment, given the thick, low clouds.  We weren't convinced that it wasn't about to begin pouring down rain, at any minute, either.  I was a bit suprised, by the Film Commission Marker in that first layby -- I did NOT know that the a scene from the film, "The Playboys" had been filmed at Inch.

Having given up on driving to Dingle, I tried a BOLD experiment -- using the GPS on my Cell Phone to plot out the SHORTEST route from where we were, into Killarney.  It was TERRIFIC!  I drove more obscure, back-road, un-numbered lanes and paths over the next two hours than I EVER might have done by following a map!  I have selected the Irish Woman's Voice for the audible directions and it was sheer delight to follow gamely along as she seemed to chose what must surely be EVERY one-lane path and bohreen in Kerry, between Inch and Killarney.  I have driven the MAIN roads through this area DOZENS of times -- we rented a house, in Kilorglin, for a week, in June of 2005 -- and I can honestly say that I didn't see even one familiar landmark, until we were less than two miles from Killarney Town Center.  Great fun, enlightening and oddly, relaxing as well.  For those of you with GPS (and a sense of adventure), I strongly recommend it.

We drove through Killarney and stopped at the parking area for Torc Falls.  After walking up to the base of the falls, we continued on, to the shop near Ladies View, where we paused for photos, a bathroom break and refreshments.  I purchased my annual sheep there, as well -- keeping my 10 year/ 11 trip streak alive and 'Growing' my herd...

Back in the car, we continued onward, to Moll's Gap.  The shop there was closed.  I shouldn't be THAT suprised, I guess -- every time that I've been there before, they seemed tohave "shrunken it" , from my previous visit.  I guess there aren't that many tour buses stopping by, since they widened the N71 roadway a few years back?  Dunno if it is completely, permenantly closed, or if it was just closed for the day, but given the state of the economy, who knows?  We sat in the Parking Area opposite and I looked over the maps.  It was a little after 5 PM, so I decided to Boldly Go Where We Had NEVER Gone Before and headed out toward Sneem and then turning off to the right.  The daylight was good.  The weather was holding -- and, in fact, improving.  We decide to drive up, into the Black Valley and then, decend from there, through the Gap of Dunloe.
By car!  biggrin biggrin biggrin

Our timing was either impecable, or fortuitous, because we only met up with three cars along the ENTIRE drive -- and TWO of those went by as we were parked in a pull-off, stretching our legs and shooting photos.  The only horses, carts and jarveys encountered were seen at Kate Kearney's Cottage -- and they were loading the horses into trailers for the trip home.  What we DID see that was disturbing, however, were the bicyclists braving the steep, curvy Gap -- including one young man that passed us THREE times, as he raced up, back down and then, UP AGAIN!  I can't imagine the strength, stamina and pig-headed dedication that it requires to do that.  South of the Black Valley, a herd of sheep ambled by, bringing us to a standstill.  It was while we were madly shooting away with both cameras, that we realized that it was 6:05.  We had missed our 'window' for calling Sister Stella and NEITHER of us were eager to intrude, "After Hours", so we never did contact her ...  cry cry

Other than the sheep and the bike riders, we pretty much had the entire Black Valley and Gap of Dunloe to ourselves.  It was magical and we lingered, stopping to take pictures and to just walk around and look.  We arrived at Kate Kearney's a little after 7 PM and stopped in for another bathroom break.  Neither one of us felt particularly hungry, so I bought a waterand a Diet Coke and we crossed the parking lot to return to the car, just as Fanatical Cyclist came racing down, out of the Gap, and onto the road, going past us for the FOURTH time!  Just outside of Killarney, I finally passed him! He never did catch me, after that!  biggrin

We headed back into Rathmore, where I suprised my wife by turning off to the left, just past the sign pointing toward SHRONE, into a pub named 'Top Of The Hill', but she understood, when I pointed to the pub's REAL name, which is painted on the glass on the front window: "The Old Chapel Pub".  This was the ORIGINAL Rathmore Catholic Church, back before they built that new-fangled, fancy MODERN one, back in 1865.  How could I NOT stop in there for a beverage?  Wouldn't that be sacraligous????  confuse confuse

I had a Bulmers (only a glass -- not a full pint -- I was DRIVING, after all aww ) and my wife had a tea.

From there, we drove back to the rental house, where we dined on Rhubarb Tart and Ice Cream.

It had been ANOTHER Good Day.  smile

More to come ...

Bob



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Bob,

There is nothing like going off the beaten path. Most tourists are terrified of getting lost. I want to be lost! I have the best adventures then. Besides, it's an island. How lost can you actually get? You will run into the ocean sooner or later.

I'm glad you found your way through Black Valley to the gap. That is really the way to drive it since you don't have to challenge the bossy jarveys at Kate Kearney's who tell you it is "their road" and you can't drive on it.

Rhubarb tart with ice cream for dinner. The joys of self-catering.

Michele

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Bob,

Sounds like a delicious ending to a lovely day!

And people wonder why I keep returning to Ireland... there's always something new to see, or different weather to see it in. It may be a small place, but there are lots of roads to travel.

Looking forward to the next chapter.

Marsha

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My apologies for the break, but I have had great difficulty in begining this segment, as it touches on memories difficult to describe ...


Thursday AM, 18 June:

Another grey morning, of indecisive weather prospects.  We had a dinner appointment back in East Cork, but weren't expected much before 5 PM, so we decided to go exploring.  I had considered making a 'run' into Mallow, to visit the Records Office, but as we exited Millstreet, the R579 to Kanturk beckoned, so I diverted from the N72, with an initial plan to circle North, via Freemount, then South, to Buttevant, ending in Mallow.

I'm still not sure of the why or when, but by the time we had passed the Castle and found our way into the center of Kanturk, we had settled upon an entirely DIFFERENT plan --- 

We turned off onto the R576 and followed the meandering byway through Newmarket, Rock Chapel and Mountcollins, all the way NNE to its juncture with the N@! (the main, Limerick to Killarney Road), just SW of Abbeyfeale.  It is a REMARKABLY varied terrain passing from North Cork, into North Kerry, running roughly along the arbitrary boundary of Sliabh Luchra.

INFO:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sliabh_Luachra

           http://www.sliabhluachra.com/

           http://www.iol.ie/~srdg/info.html

Along the way, we checked out the scenery and the houses -- including a REALLY interesting Thatched Farmhouse -- , but it was mostly just a driving tour.  We chose to NOT stop in to the Museum in Rockchapel. but rather, to content ourselves with experiencing an area that is at once so CLOSE to the high-demand tourism of Cork and Kerry, yet so very FAR removed, never-the-less.  Killarney, Tarbert, Ballybunion and Adare are less than 20 miles away.  Dingle, The Ring of Kerry and even, the Cliffs of Moher are well within range, as well.  Yet, I would hazard that we were probably the first tourists in weeks, to have KNOWINGLY chosen to travel those roads.

We stopped for lunch just outside Castleisland at a nondiscript, little cafe.  They offered typical burgers and fries and soup and toasteds, but they also served breakfast all day -- a happy suprise.  While I have NO doubt that a steady diet of a full Irish breakfast is probably fatal over an extended period, it IS one of the few things that I miss when opting to self-cater ...  The REALLY unusual twist was that it was offered here, with or without CHIPS!!!  Now, that's a new one, to me -- so, OF COURSE, I HAD to try the Fry, WITH.  I must adnit -- the addition of hot, thick and salty chips added an entirely NEW dimension to the experience.

There were three locals enjoying meals -- two having burgers, and the third opting, like us, for the breakfast -- and a young Frenchman, who apparently spoke almost no English.  He ordered by pointing to one of the burgers and saying, "Yes, please."  So, the six of us sat there in relative silence, Irish, French and Yanks, just off the beaten path in NE Co.Kerry.  It was a Classic moment in time. 

We were the first to leave, at which time, I was DELIGHTED to discover that our yong French dining companion was driving a remarkably PRISTINE, Citroen 2CV.  I'm more than a BIT of a Car Freak, so naturally, I took a NUMBER of pictures.  Had it not been for the language barrier, I probably would have hung around and quized him for hours...

We drove on, around Killarney and continued on toward Cork, via Macroom, on the N22.  Just east of there, I spotted a sign advertising a Pottery, were we stopped, briefly, purchased a couple of very reasonably priced items and then continued onward.  We bypassed Cork by traversing the South Ring Road and the Jack Lynch Tunnel, where we picked up the N8, into Watergrasshill.

We had dinner at the Cousin's, quite near the site of the pot-hole attack and then drifted further East to his daughter's, where we spent the night.

More to come ...

Bob



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Bob

Help Us to Help You.  The more you tell us about your plans (dates, interests, budget), the better we can tailor our advice to suit!

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