Thursday, October 12, 2017

Ireland—Part One

Finally, I think I have the strength and the time to blog about my trip to Ireland which was a month ago! Sadly, when I got back I caught a flu bug from Laura who caught it in Ireland and was sick for a week. I still have the cough but at least I can stay up until 9 PM now. So that happened and it sort of put a damper on the trip and the blog.

Then, Windows 10 Creator Updated automatically on my computer which has basically bricked the thing. It’s so bad now. I restored it once back to Windows 10 and it updated—again. Now it’s telling me I have to delete the account I added before I can restore again. Only I didn’t add an account, the account is me, and how it tells me to fix it doesn’t exist in the accounts page. AND—it’s blocking my ability to upload my iCloud pictures so this is going to be a difficult blog to create.  I’m not winning at all.

But back to Ireland.

Laura and I set off over a month ago on an overnight flight to Ireland.

Leaving from Laura’s house

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We flew from MSP to Newark



and from Newark to Dublin where we endured a crazy cab ride, got to our hotel, and had a whole day to see the sights (on about 3 hours of sleep, maybe).

We walked and walked and walked and walked---

We walked here--

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49D54A26-D996-4B1E-90E6-9EB6E6B82536On our walk to the knitting store

99FC55EF-39F5-4B3E-B6FE-D4768FF7C0FFCastles in Dublin

14471F0C-8825-4E1C-B748-3BF01E35F9B0I didn’t check inside to see what was in there….

732788D4-03F9-4BCE-AF4D-33E99226029AWe walked by lovely churches…

And Molly Malone


We walked to the Museum of Natural History, we shopped, we walked some more, and then we FINALLY got our rooms, met with our tour group, had a delicious dinner, and were in bed by 7:30.

The following day we took a formal tour of Dublin with our group. I can’t tell you where we went cause it was very round about. However, I did learn the the government reimburses the public for bikes if one buys a bike, the thought being they will bike to work instead of driving a car. It must be working cause there are a lot of bikes on the road. The other thing is you can sure tell the locals from the Americans. By about 40 pounds….

The Library  at Trinity College



The Temple Bar


Ha’Penney Bridge


Christ Church




We rang the church bells…..


And we looked out beyond the pale.


We went to the crypts and saw a mummified cat and rat that were taken out of the organ way back in the day. The cat chased the rat up into the pipes and that’s why the organ sounded so out of tune…..


Dinner at Dublin’s oldest pub—The Brazen Head


Food was really good but the service was crap. Don’t go there. Or if you do, don’t tip. We didn’t.


We moved on the next morning to the country side and to Waterford via Kilkenny. That was very nice.

Beautiful scenery



We walked towards another old church with a big tower—St Canice’s Cathedral--which of course we climbed right up.

But first we saw an alley filled with umbrellas.


And a the colorful town


St Canice’s tower


On top of tower--

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and in the beautiful church


This is the Leper window, where the Lepers got to peek in at the service. Those Irish think of everything.


We also poked around the Kilkenny Castle, but we had to hurry up cause our bus was leaving and Laura does NOT like to be the last on the bus. Me? Not so much as long as I’m not late. Anyway, this was really a fun place and I’d go back there if I ever get the chance.


Waterford was very rainy. We had a tour of the town and we stayed in Thomas Meagher’s house. If you don’t know who that is, there’s a great book called The Immortal Irishman that I read right before I left. It talked all about Waterford and there’s a statue of Thomas in the middle of town.


A hero in Ireland and America

Highlights of the tour--

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The view our of our hotel was pretty fab



And we wandered about that evening….




The next day we were off to Killarney via the Blarney Castle. Lots of tourists but also a lot of fun. When we were up in line for kissing the Blarney Stone (Laura, not me) we were in front of a woman who was also a tour guide. She was fascinating.

But first we had another beautiful drive




And the Blarney Castle

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There was some surprising and heartwarming yarn bombing going on.

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9D86520A-AB8A-4F6C-B735-ED4F1B70157C (1)They need a new roof…

6F7D2917-BB4E-48A3-A75F-D97A19EAC62FAnd possibly new floors….

But the view is epic!

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Who wouldn’t want to live there? Except for our accidental tour guide said the conditions weren’t all that great and the people were a little bit smelly at times. So, maybe not so much.


After about 45 or 50 minutes Laura kissed the stone--


And then wiped it off—I’m not sure if applying antibacterial gel negates the gift of gab from the stone or not….

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There’s some interesting sights in the gardens.

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Don’t touch!

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Although this one I believe is not only touchable but smokeable AND edible….


And this lovely estate right across the grounds

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And before we knew it, it was time to go. And because it takes forever to set up a post, and I realized this is going to be way long I’m splitting up into three parts.

So—stay tuned for part two!