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Post Info TOPIC: We're home! by Kathy W


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We're home! by Kathy W

Unregistered User
(7/9/02 6:26 pm)

We're home!

We just returned after 2 weeks of adventures in Ireland. What a great time we had. We actually started our vacation in London, spending 3 days there before catching a flight to Dublin. We were in London when England and Brazil were playing their World Cup matches. Wow, talk about getting into a sport!We went to Stonehenge to experience the Soltice and then on to Bath. We saw the stage production of "The Full Monty" and both of us laughed until we had tears.

We enjoyed Dublin and spent 2 nights there. We stayed in the city and spent time at Trinity College and exploring various sights. Had a fun night at the Arlington Hotel. A tourist trap for sure but a fun place to listen to music, eat pub grub, and have a couple of beers.

Our adventures really started when we picked up the car and started to drive Ireland. My husband was a natural with the driving. No problems at all. Only thing we kept doing was each of us heading for the wrong side of the car....every time.

Rock of Cashel took my breath away. It seemed to loom up at us out of nowhere. We spent time exploring there and then on to Blarney. What a beautiful village. We stayed at Blarneyvale B & B. Ann was the perfect hostess. We felt as if she were a long lost friend. Spent some fun time chatting with her. The night we got to Blarney was a huge soccer tournament between all the Blarney pubs. We decided to go to the tournament and very glad we did. Beautiful warm evening, fun people around and the castle as the backdrop. What more could one want? A great breakfast at Blarneyvale and then off to explore the castle. The hike up was okay, and watching my husband kiss the stone was magical. He is such a quiet man and I am always the chatterbox. However, he really did get the gift of gab. There have been times since Blarney when I have had to ask him to just stop talking for awhile. HONEST! I have to say the trip down the stairs at Blarney scared me. Never thought we would see the end.

Next on to Killarney where we stayed for 4 days. We made Killarney our base for Rings of Kerry & Dingle.
What a great place. We took the jaunting cart tour of the park. Our horse was named Billy and my husband had a severe allergic reaction to the horse. So we toured the park while my husband's eyes were swollen shut and sneezing every step of the way. He missed alot but endured the torture because I was enjoying it so much.

Drove around Ring of Kerry one day and stopped for photo ops all along the way. Next day went to Dingle and more pictures. Connor Pass was something to experience! Not sure if we stopped more for other cars or sheep. Loved it!

We happened to be in Killarney for their summer festival and enjoyed the street entertainment and holiday atmosphere. They had a 5,000 euro prize for the best street act. We watched one young girl perform her Irish dancing. Perfect steps, no mistakes, dancing, kicking, and twirling....only one problem. She was completely out of step with the music. They had a lot of entertainment packed into different venues with Elton John in concert this week to end the festival.

We read in the local paper that Bingo was played at St. Mary's Parish Hall on Thursday nights so we decided to head to the hall for something different. We had too much fun. Bingo in Ireland is not like any Bingo I have ever seen. It is fast paced and serious business! The parish priest was a darling old Irishman who called the numbers and always had something to add to the called number, for instance, if he called B11 he said, "legs 11". He had a jingle for every number. We met some nice people at the parish hall and although we didn't win any money we came away smiling.

Next on to Bunratty! Another tourist place but one of our favorite stops. Lots of opportunity to shop and the banquet in the castle will be remembered for many years. We sat with another American couple and a couple from Wales, Lithuania, and Moscow. We drank Mead all night and our new friend from Wales was called in front of the Lord of Bunratty for disturbing the peace. His punishment was to sing for the crowd. I think our table had the best time. The food was good, the company wonderful and the show delightful.

Bunratty to Galway. Our bad weather started here and we passed on seeing the cliffs. Rain, hail, and fog made for a disappointing moment but shopping in Galway made up for it. We did get caught in a huge downpour and dripped in the car all the way to Letterfrack. Spent 2 nights in Letterfrack and explored Connemara area. Every time we got to a new area we thought it was the "best". Probably will take some time to sort it all out and pick our favorite places and times.

On to Belleek and a night in County Donegal. I am a Belleek collector and being in the factory was a dream come true. I also enjoyed buying a couple new pieces for myself and did some early Christmas shopping for family.

Back round to Dublin for our final night in Ireland. Another evening at the Arlington listening to music and having a beer or two. We flew back to London for a couple more days and then treated ourselves to the Eurostar to Paris. Left London at 6:30 AM, got into Paris 3 hrs later. Spent most of the day in the Louve and back to London by fast train at 10:30PM. Back home to Oregon on Saturday.

Again, I think it will take a few more days for me to put all that we experienced into some sort of order. While in Ireland I kept thinking I was dreaming. The castles, towers and abbeys. I felt the age of the country and pride in my Irish heritage.

When we go back again we would probably skip Dublin, fly into Shannon and spend all our time in the small friendly villages.

Sorry this is so long but didn't know what to leave out..everything was so perfect.

PS: Does any one have a clue what's up in Fermoy? Never smelled anything so bad. We have a new phrase in our home. When something smells bad we now say, "that's Fermoyed."

Michele Erdvig
Posts: 669
(7/9/02 11:21 pm)

Welcome Home!

Hi Kathy,

Welcome back from your adventures in Ireland. It was so kind of you to stop by and let us know how your trip went. I'm sure all will appreciate your posting.

You certainly did some different things in Ireland. The secret of going down those tiny spiral stairs in any castle is to put a big hulking man in front of you so you can't see where you're going (just a few steps in front). Also if you trip you won't fall far as the guy will break your fall!

Glad to hear you enjoyed Blarney Vale. I agree that Anne is a very nice hostess and helpful too.

I'm a Belleek collector myself and can't resist the factory shop (especially sale corner). Did you see the Prince of Wales ice bucket at Belleek? At over 2,000 pounds sterling it's too much for my budget but at least I could admire it. And how about that antique mirror encrusted with flowers in the museum section? Dream on!

I don't have a clue what smelled in Fermoy. Could it have been a pig farm? Also at certain times of the year they spray "slurry" on the fields as fertilizer. That would certainly stink things up. When I've been through there it was okay. But at least you've added a new word to the English language!

Thanks again for your trip report. I hope you get to return again to the Emerald Isle. And if you know of anyone who is planning a trip, please share my web site with them.


Unregistered User
(7/10/02 8:53 am)

Great Trip!

Thanks Kathy!

I really enjoyed the summary of your trip. We stayed at Blarney Vale house a few year ago and it was great!
Where did you stay in Killarney and Bunratty?


Unregistered User
(7/15/02 2:33 pm)

nice trip report Kathy

wow, that was a great trip report. I give it an A.
I to was impressed with the ROCK. We were driving on N8 towards Cashel and coming around the bend, BAM there it was, the ROCK. Man what an impressive site to see. I had to stop the car to take a picture. Then we drove on to explore the ROCK too.
p.s. Killarney was also great.
Again, it was neat to read of your travels.


"Ireland Expert"  Michele Erdvig

Click links for Michele's Book or Custom Ireland Itinerary

Visit Michele's Irish Shop for unique Irish gifts and beautiful photos of Ireland.

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