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Post Info TOPIC: Scenes From A Wedding April 2012


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RE: Scenes From A Wedding April 2012


The Penthouse WAS terrific!  Quite clean and comfortable (though, I suspect that by the time we arrived there, I PROBABLY could have slept on a ROCK!).   confuse confuse confuse 

Wednesday, 25 April:

A late morning start, greeted by chill, grey and heavy, rainy skies that were intermittently quite energetic. We walked down College Street to High Street, browsing windows and drifting in and out of assorted shops, as whim and the onset of rain warranted!. During one particularly vigorous outburst, we had a very nice, late breakfast / early tea at The

Coach House Café, on Old Market Lane. We purchased a few books and assorted trinkets and made our way back to College Street, where I stopped into the Vodaphone Shop and reactivated and recharged the AirCard for my Netbook, then crossed the street for a quick visit to the Music Shop that sits opposite the Failte Hotel .

 

Happy Memories -- at BOTH!!!

 

In April, 2001, the Music Shop was the place where we discovered the Music of Ciaran Wynne -- which led to a friendship and collaboration (of sorts  biggrin ) that has spanned nearly a dozen years -- and two continents.

 

In June, 2004, it was a Ciaran Wynne performance at the Failte Hotel, that cemented our daughters appreciation for her parents taste in music and friends.  biggrin  biggrin 

 

But, today is a different day -- and nostalgic reverie is quickly sundered as lashing rain stirs us into a mad dash for the dry comfort of our apartment. After waiting out the deluge, we make a hasty dash to the car and set out for a scheduled meeting, in Macroom, at 3 PM . With nearly 3 hours to kill, we take the long route, via the N72 to Rathmore and then loop down, via the R582, to Millstreet. The weather seemed to improve, exponentially, the further we drove -- thought brighter and drier never QUITE transformed into blue sky and sunshine!

 

Exiting Millstreet toward Macroom, we detoured, out toward Aubane and the two peaks of Mushera -- Mor and Beg, for our inevitable stop at Knocknakilla. Continuing on, we make slow, Drive-By visits to the scattered megalithic sites at Glantane . Rejoining the R582, we continued South, stopping briefly at the temporally challenging turn off in Carriganimmy, to view the Monument to the White Boys-- at the base of the road leading Eastward, and up, to the Wind Farm that sprouts from the hill tops as testament to the onward march of history.

 

Arriving in Macroom, we parked in the square and visited the local Tourist Office in the Castle Gatehouse. My wife purchased four cups by a Potter from out of Dunmanway and we had a pleasant chat with the lady who operates the establishment and then made our way to the Castle Hotel for our meeting.

 

We had a terrific late lunch / early dinner and hearty conversation with three of my wifes Cousins that lasted nearly FOUR hours and parted company, after making further plans to meet again, on Friday. We drove the direct route back to Killarney, on the N22, but I bypassed the town -- capitalizing upon the lingering light to locate and visit the ruins at Aghadoe. It was windy and misty, there on the heights -- fitting, perhaps, given the ruinous state of the once-grand Cathedral and Round Tower.

 

We made an early evening of it, returning to our apartment for a quiet, rainy night of TV and sleep.

 

More To Come

Bob



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I love the view of Killarney from Aghadoe. One time many decades ago I saw a murmuration up there. It was fascinating. Unfortunately before video cameras were invented. 



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On the day I was there, I could BARELY see the Hotel -- just across the street! 

Between the thick, low, black clouds, the mist and the time of day, there COULD have been half a dozen murmurations going on all about me  -- and NO one would have seen anything!

That video IS way cool, though.  You are quite lucky to have seen a live presentation!

Bob



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Thursday, 26 April:

We had made a date with Cousins (that we rarely get to spend significant time with), to meet in Macroom, at 6 PM, for dinner. The weather was schizophrenic -- heavy clouds would build up, but then drift away -- threatening to clear up, before swooping back in, again. We made our way to Millstreet, once again and stopped into the Town Library in

Carnegie Hall, opposite Saint Patricks Church.

The Town Museum still has not been re-established in the newly renovated (Originally built in 1912) building, but it does house the County Council Offices and the Library. I try to rummage through the Librarys small, but rather in-depth Reference Section whenever I get the chance, so we spent an hour or so in that worthy endeavor. I drop off a few items for the Museums Collection that Ive accumulated on EBAY since our last visit -- a half a dozen Postal Cards that were cancel by the Millstreet Post Office in 1907 and 1908 --- and a GEM -- A Raffle Booklet for a Fete at Drishane Castle (then a Convent) from 1938 !

We visit the Turbrid Holy Well and several other area sites along our way to Macroom. This is deeply familiar territory -- we wear that familiarity as regularly as comfortable old shoes -- adrift, in a jumble of Past, present and Future

In Macroom, we headed West, toward Killarney, deciding on a whim to visit the Toy Soldier Factory that we had been seeing signs for -- for years -- but had previously never visited. Despites signs located EVERYWHERE navigating there CAN be a real ADVENTURE. Its pretty country, though, and we thoroughly enjoyed the search, our visit and the area. From the village square, there appears to be walking trails, connecting between ruins and sites of interest, but weather and time were not conducive to sampling them. In fact, as we left Kilnamartyra, it began to rain    cry  cry  cry

Back in Macroom, I dashed into my favorite Book Shop , but sadly, came away empty handed. I suppose it was too much to hope that any new, local history books might have been published in the 9 months that had passed since my last visit !?!.   hmm  hmm  hmm   We drove up into the square and secured a parking spot, to await our scheduled gathering, but spent the bulk of our time avoiding what was by now, VERY energetic rain. It finally cleared out, just about 6 PM.

Betty is the widow of Liam (one of my Father-in-laws First Cousins). She, Sharon, her daughter, her husband, Tom, and their two children, had lamented with us at The Wedding about the paucity of our Get-Togethers -- and hatched this Dinner-Date to attempt to rectify same. Betty chose our destination. Knowing about our luncheon the previous day at the Castle Hotel, she suggested we dine at Granvilles . Located in a stone building wedged between the N22 and the grounds of Macroom Castle, we spent a delightful 4-5 HOURS -- lingering over Fine Food, Excellent, but unobtrusive, Service -- delighting in Fine Company, Conversation and Companionship. Tom and Sharon are both Rural School Teachers. Needless to say, my Newly Retired, Teacher Wife, found MUCH common ground for conversation. Betty retired from teaching as well -- one of her more notable Kindergarten students being a young neighbor child-- John Spillane.

It "Shows To Go You"   confuse  biggrin  biggrin  confuse    , the myriad ways in which our Irish CONNECTION seems to manifest itself . Years later. after he finally finished Kindergarten,  I first met John Spillane via a suggestion from another Fine Musical Talent -- Ciaran Wynne -- who had, previously performed as an Opening Act for John. Later, still, attending a packed Spillane performance in Athlone, my wife and I found ourselves sharing a booth with the parents of the Opening Act for THAT nights performance -- as well as the Artist, Herself -- Emer Dunne!

Circles within Circle, folks!

Im just sayin . smile  smile

We finally parted ways about 11:30 PM and made our way back to Killarney. The skies had cleared, making it an easy drive over good road (the N22) and offering Great Portend for our ambitious plans for the morrow!!   biggrin

More To Come


 



-- Edited by Itallian Chauffeur on Sunday 29th of July 2012 12:41:41 PM

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Guess I need to "Pick Up The Pace" -- If I'm going to finish THIS report before my next trip ...   biggrin  biggrin biggrin

 

Friday, 27 April :

Tonight was to be our last night at the Killarney Apartment   furious  hmm  furious -- and we had spent nearly all of our time in Kerry -- in County Cork!  confuse  biggrin  confuse

Once again, we had scheduled a 6 PM Get-Together with family, but this was a First Communion Party, hosted at a Cousins home, located just North of Tralee. So, fair enough!

If today was destined to be our ONLY Fair-Weather day in Kerry --- It seemed only FAIR to spend it -- IN Kerry!  smile  biggrin  smile

After lingering briefly on the balcony to enjoy the now, readily apparent views, we made to the Focus and headed North, toward Killorglin and Castlemaine, where I missed the turn  disbelief  and ended up Discovering the route via Blennerville! We made a brief stop, in Camp, another at a beach at the end of a laneway signposted for a Caravan Park ( Aughacastle ? ) then continued onward, into Castlegregory. I parked in a vacant spot on Tailors Row, opposite the

Village Bistro, we enjoyed a pleasant lunch. Returning to the car, I walked beyond, to the nearby Spar, for Diet Coke and water and lingered, on return, at a little shop called, The Beach Box. They have a small, but eclectic, assortment on offer. We purchased a small, ceramic bowl by a local potter -- Colleen Bowler

Returning to the car, we drove all the way out to Rough point, enjoying the sun (The Sun! - How Happy we are to become re-acquainted! biggrin  biggrin  ) , the Sea (the views of Tralee Bay are inspiring) and the Surroundings. We ended at the pier at Rough Point, enjoyed some photo time and then retraced our steps, back to the R560.

With the weather much too fine to do otherwise, we turned West and made our way up, into Conor Pass. We spent quite a few minutes at the road-side waterfall / parking area, and nearly as long at the large, Summit Car Park-- before returning to Blennerville, wending our way through the Heart of Tralee -- something I havent really done since 1999. Then, I was maneuvering a "GIANORMOUS", 9 Passenger, Electric Lime-Green, VW Caravelle -- at least, THIS time, it was in a much more REASONABLY sized, Ford Focus!

After a few False Starts, I made our way onto the R556. Heading North through Abbeydorney

and continuing on, to just South of Ballyduff. There, we made our way down a VERY long, narrow lane, to Rattoo Round Tower. It is HEAVILY scaffolded - apparently undergoing conservation work, but there was absolutely NO ONE about. The Church ruins at the base were interesting, as well.

I had planned to Loop Around for a visit to Ardfert Cathedral, but time was NOT on my side. Instead, I opted for a short visit to Abbeydorney, that was informative and disheartening. The main structure has been Fenced Off for the safety of the public due to the serious state of deterioration. It looks as if it is VERY near to a TOTAL collapse! It really IS a pity. Abbeydorney is a Cistercian Abbey. It is a couple of HUNDRED years NEWER than those in the East ( Wexford, Wicklow, etcetera), like Jerpoint, Baltinglass, Tintern, Dunbrody and Mellifont --- so it is sad to know that it may soon be LOST.

We made our way to our scheduled meeting place, followed onward to the Cousins home and spent the next 3 - 3 ½ hours, eating, talking, laughing and telling tales. About 10 PM, we headed back to Killarney -- a relatively easy drive (utilizing the Tralee Bypass, this time). We did some preliminary Packing Up and called it a night.

It had been a GLORIOUS day!

More To Come

Bob



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Only ONE day left!  I MAY actually finish this report in Under SIX months!!!  biggrin   disbelief  disbelief  biggrin

 

Saturday, 28 April:

 

We rose fairly early, finished packing and I loaded up the car with the largest bags. The rental agent dropped by, collected 10 Euro for our electric use after reading the meter and then we had a nice chat about Killarney, the Economy and the weather. We told her that we found the place delightful and that we hope to return, perhaps next summer, with son and grandson in tow.

 

We hit the road about 10, I guess, straight down the now familiar N22 to Cork, onto the South Ring Road, through the Jack Lynch Tunnel and onward, into Midelton. After a brief stop to make some last-minute purchases at the Tesco, I drove South on the R630 to Ballynacorra and turned off, onto the R629 and followed it down into Cloyne. Cloyne has to be the smallest village to have a Church, a Cathedral and a Round Tower!

 

The day was clear, even intermittently sunny, but windy and quite cool. We opted to not retrace our route, so continued on the R629 to Shanagarry, passing by the

Ballymaloe Cookery School and then returning to the N25, in order to bypass Youghal. After crossing over the River Blackwater, into County Waterford, we turned South onto the R673 and drove down into Ardmore.

 

I used the netbook and mobile phone to book ourselves into the Round Tower Hotel . It was easy to find, right off R673, JUST before the town. We drove by, into town and parked at the waterfront. Mass was beginning to start, so my wife opted to go and I opted to drive around for a bit, getting oriented. It was still bright, but cool and windy. I located the Round Tower, Church and graveyard that drew me here and then returned to the Church, only moments before Mass let out.

 

We returned to the hotel and were checked in by a friendly and enthusiastic YOUNG man, who showed us to our room. He recommended a local restaurant for our evening meal -- The White Horses-- which, though slightly pricey, was absolutely Excellent. I had a Massive steak that could have probably fed two hungry people, easily, and it was both delicious AND cooked to perfection! Overall, I would be tempted to return to Ardmore -- just for another shot at the White Horses.

 

We took advantage of the remaining daylight to visit the Monastic site for some serious picture taking and then drove around the Cliff Road, taking in some spectacular sea views. We passed by the Tres Elegante, Cliff House Hotel -- a place we had considered, even though it IS a trifle pricey -- but they had No Vacancies, on the night

 

We have mixed feelings about the Round Tower Hotel, though. The young man had some difficulty getting the heat to work in our room, but provided a portable electric unit, as a temporary stop-gap. The entire building is quite old, but appears to be in well maintained condition. Room was clean and our twin beds were both comfortable. The en-suite looked to have been added sometime during the late-70s, or early 80s, based upon the décor. The shower was one of those small, flimsy, tubes and I had to run the water for several minutes to finally draw hot water.

 

It WAS the off-season, though, in all fairness and in the morning, not only did I discover that we were the only paying guests that night -- we were actually the only people in the building! I went downstairs early, unlocked the door and stepped out for a smoke. As I was re-entering, our young man drove up with two friends -- another young man and a young girl. As I let them in, the young man asked me what time we would like to have breakfast! After they went off to the kitchen, I wandered around the downstairs, discovering a beautiful, heavily paneled rear bar, an elegantly decorated guest lounge and a large multi-purpose room. After retrieving my wife, we were seated in beautifully appointed dining area -- replete with deep carpet, heavy drapes and cloth tablecloths and napkins. Our multi-talented young man delivered a surprisingly good, full Irish fry. Im NOT sure which of the three actually cooked it! Total cost for our stay was 60 Euro. Im going to guess that it didnt begin to cover the cost of our being there!

 

Overall, our stay was quirky, a LITTLE bit creepy, but actually pretty nifty, if that makes any sense. The website lists The Round Tower Hotel as a Family-Owned establishment and I can only guess that the principals were, themselves, On Holiday -- somewhere Warm and Sunny?????  confuse  confuse  confuse

 

I would actually be tempted to return, though Im not sure if my wife is Like-Minded. ? .  hmm  hmm

 

More To Come



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Bob,

I was amused about your possible encounter with bulls!biggrin I sometimes wonder if they post those signs just to keep the tourists out?!?  I had brief vision of you...as one of the runners in Spain with a bull in hot pursuit.... making a mad dash to the chuchyard walls and back!biggrin  I had the same situation near Sligo....after a long hike, then a mere 4-500 yards to go to get to the tomb...but decided not to chance it....with my wife back in the car nursing a broken shoulder! Did have my cell phone with me, but probably no reception down in the valley that I would have to cross, where the bovines were hanging out! Not sure what would happen in Ireland if you had to dial 911.....?

Enjoyed your trip report!

Dan



-- Edited by murphy on Monday 27th of August 2012 11:06:16 AM

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Finally!!!!!  smile  smile

 

Sunday, 29 April -- Our last Full day in Ireland:

 

After departing the Round Tower Hotel, we did a brief drive through the town and then set out via the R673 to rejoin the N25. After bypassing Dungarvan, we turned off on the R676 and followed it through Carrick-on-Suir. Just north of there, I accidentally turned off onto a Local Road -- missing

Kilkeeran High Crossesby a mere kilometer or so, BUT my Detour DID bring us directly to the Ahenny High Crosses. I spent quite a while wandering the grave yard there -- despite the blowing mist and strong, COLD wind. Dropping down into the Village, having made a few False Starts  furious furious  , I asked directions from a couple of Local Fellas --

 

FYI: In Rural Ireland, asking how to find R697 (or whatever) very often results in looks of bewilderment   confuse  confuse  confuse  Says one -- I ha no idea what the number o the roads be -- asking such, is meaningless. Tell me where it is ye wish to BE and that is somewhat I can help ye wi!   biggrin  biggrin 

 

Once I complied, we were quickly sorted out and back on the Main road, making our way to Kells. We spent a great deal of time at the Old Mill and then a shorter time at the North Parking area, but the wind and cold (though now MOSTLY sunny sky) had sapped our inclination to hike the fields to actually enter the Monastic site, so we settled upon viewing it from afar. Did I mention that my wifes knee had been troubling her??? Another time, perhaps.  cry  cry

 

A WARMER time   biggrin  cry  biggrin

 

A directional sign caught my eyes, though and I followed the brief detour to Kilree Round Tower. The ruined church and Round Tower lie within a stone walled enclosure, a few hundred feet within a very large pasture. Beyond THAT, in its own, small enclosure lies the High Cross. On the gate of the pasture is a LARGE sign -- warning of the presence of Bulls. I dont know about Gender, but there was about 30 or so bovines herded together, a few hundred feet away from the gate, sheltering -- enmass -- along the hedgerow next to the road. I judged their distance as likely being far enough -- regardless of gender -- and made a mad dash for the protective walls of the Churchyards walls. I spent a delightful twenty minutes or so, wandering about the old church, peering into the door of the Round Tower and gazing wistfully at the even more distant High Cross -- but caution won the day, so I did NOT see it, Up Close and Personal.  hmm  hmm

 

Then, mindful of the herd, I made my return dash to the safety and warmth of the car.  biggrin  biggrin

 

Returning to the R697, it led us straight into Kilkenny (and along side the Castle. There was an Exotic Car Show being held in the Car Park just below the Castle ate, so traffic was HORRENDOUS!!! I think we sat through four or five Red Lights before finally clearing the intersection. I drifted with traffic, unsure of our route. We were getting QUITE hungry by now (and a bit desperate for a Toilet Break . ) , so we did something unique -- a First Time Ever While In Ireland -- and went to McDonalds .  disbelief  disbelief  disbelief

 

I know, I know -- Shame On Me! --- But, in all fairness, it was RIGHT There, easy access and available parking. They also had Free Wi-Fi   wink  hmm

 

From Kilkenny, I somehow mad our way to Swan, where I followed the R426 into Timahoe, for a very enjoyable view of the Church/Castle Ruins and their remarkable Round Tower. I also did an external inspection of the former Health Clinic which had been For Sale for 40,000 Euro -- but Sadly, it is no longer Listed and my wife is STILL not interested in Purchasing

 

Back on the road, our next stop was at the Rock of Dunamase. Given the weather (still Semi-Bright, but cold and VERY Windy) my wife once again opted to view it from below -- but I embraced my very BEST Frozen Billy Goat persona -- And made a dash to the Top!

 

WOW! It is as impressive -- in its own way -- as the Rock of Cashel! A small group was leaving as I began my ascent and a family of three passed as I was departing -- Otherwise, I had the place entirely to myself.

 

We rejoined the M7 just beyond Port Laoise and headed toward Dublin. By the time we passed Kildare, the sky had turned Gray and threatening. By the time we reached the M50, it was Pouring. We made our way passed the Now-Vacant  furious  furious  furious  furious  Dan Dooley Depot and settled in to the Carlton Hotel, nearby. Given the long day and the weather, we opted to eat at the Hotel (Passable), then re-packed and called it an early night.

 

We rose early and made our way to the Airport, following signs that led us round and round, until we finally found the NEW Depot. Returned car without mishap, shuttled to Terminal 2 and made our 10:15 flight with minimal fanfare or problems.

 

Bob



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What a great trip report! It sounds as though you used your time well and had a grand experience! Good for you! Thanks for sharing your adventures.

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Bob,

Yea! You finished up before your retirement trip. Way to go. biggrin I'm glad you finally got to the Rock of Dunamase. I'm sure it was once a rival to the Rock of Cashel. So scenic. Thanks for the wonderful trip report. We enjoyed the ride.

Michele



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