Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Ireland, I miss you

I don't have any vacation left until the end of October. Since nothing exciting is going on other than the regular day-to-day stuff, I thought I would take a walk down memory lane.

From October 2-16, 2004 I went on a "Fascinating Pilgrimage Tour of Ireland" other words a bus trip with a bunch of "churchies". I went along with my Mum (bless her Catholic heart) my Aunt and about 40 other people. I was a bit leery about the "seriousness" of the trip. HA! I was pretty much hammed for 14 days straight!! Thanks Churchies great trip!!

Below is a statue of Daniel O'Connell. It was surrounded by construction while we were there.

This picture was taken on O'Connell Street in Dublin. You can see in the background the Spire of Dublin along with the statue above.

Downtown Dublin is separated in by the River Liffey, with bridges to connect the two sides of the city. Dublin is so cosmopolitan! Everyone is dressed smartly while the food, shopping and scenery is fab.

St. Patrick's Cathedral located in Dublin.

The beautiful Irish countryside. Not sure where this was but basically, this it the view most of the time.

Along with smatterings of old churches and cemeteries everywhere. Ireland has a reputation of poor weather conditions. EVERY day was sunny, crisp and lovely. It only rained on the day we left, we figured Ireland was just so sad to see us leave.

I absolutely loved all of the gravestones each one was so beautiful. The Celtic Cross inspired especially. When I go back I am going to take paper and make rubbings, would be fantastic framed.

On to Blarney Castle in County Cork. This was so much fun. Of course no elevator, so it was all uphill and straight up teeny-tiny steps. I was very proud of my Mum, she did not kiss the stone but made it all the way up to the top.

Below, see that little open part near the top, middle section, that is where the Blarney Stone is.

And here's me coming up from the big smooch! Kind of disgusting if you really think about many people have kissed the Stone of Eloquence (Blarney Stone) that it has been rubbed smooth. It was like kissing cold glass. Folklore states kissing the stone will give you the "gift of gab"; not sure how well it worked on me, usually not chatty till my 3rd drink!

Next stop was the Cliffs of Moher in County Clare. Breathtaking. Pay attention to the white shelf of rock in the first picture.

This is the view of that rock shelf from the other side of the cliff. See the crazy people standing near the ledge. Of course I was one of those crazy people. Your not supposed to walk beyond an enclosing fence, everyone did though. Needless to say a few unlucky souls tumble from the cliffs every year as they naturally erode and fall off. It was not until I looked at the pictures later that I noticed how stupid it was.

A nice view of the City of Galway.

A Master at Waterford Crystal.

We visited Dublin, Kilkenny, Cork, Killarney, Galway, Knock and then back to Dublin.

The whole trip was fantastic, our bus driver was hilarious and made the whole trip with all his witty remarks and information. The food was gourmet quality and every hotel was gorgeous. For my flight, hotel, meals and attraction admissions; I think I paid around $2,000.00. Worth EVERY PENNY! I miss you Ireland, don't worry, I'll be back some day.

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