Friday, September 30, 2016

Blarney Castle and Killarney

No, I did not kiss the Blarney Stone but my husband did. The Blarney Castle was worth the trip and the grounds were beautiful. A very nice shopping/restaurant area was nearby for a relaxing and memorable morning.

Blarney Castle

Climbing winding narrow stone stairs didn't sound very inviting to me.
I understand the view from the top was spectacular.

After shopping and lunch we were back on the motor coach headed for Killarney.

The first order of business in Killarney was a ride in a jaunting car through the Killarney National Park.

Deer, lakes, castles and mountains.

Can you say "scenic"?
Perfect cooperation of the sky posing for this landscape.

The jaunting cars.

Following the jaunting car ride we opted to visit Muckross House.
Others in our group took a boat ride on the lake.

Unfortunately photography was not allowed inside the house.

Sweet blooms in the rock wall.

Pretty slate roof.

Church in Killarney across the street from our hotel, The Killarney Plaza Hotel.

Lovely view

Examples of early "writing" found around Ireland.

Another perfect day for sightseeing.
Our tour guide couldn't believe the good luck we had with the weather.

Next I will take you to The Ring of Kerry for spectacular sightseeing.


Monday, September 26, 2016

Kilkenny and Waterford- Castles and Crystal

After two nights in Dublin we traveled to Kilkenny and then on to Waterford for an over night stay.

Kilkenny Castle
built 1195

The castle was built at a strategic point on the River Nore. 

The stable area (seen in background) now houses restaurants and shops.

These eyes have seen lots of changes over the years.

Behind the stable area we found a lovely formal garden with a guest house.

After lunch we boarded the motor coach for our next destination, Waterford.

First stop in Waterford, the Waterford Crystal factory tour.

Creating the mould.

Marking Department



Samples of custom pieces

And of course a wonderful shop at the end of the tour.

We did a walking tour of Waterford.
The tour guide gave a very animated and informative tour.

Christ Church Cathedral 

Inside Christ Church Cathedral

Street art in Waterford

Reginald's Tower at Waterford
Reginald the Viking established Waterford in 914.

A mix of old and new on our walking tour.

Replica of a Viking ship. 
Hard to believe the Vikings were so successful in such small ships.

After an over night stay in Waterford we were off to kiss the Blarney Stone and Killarney.


Sunday, September 25, 2016


In late August I traveled to Ireland with a local group. Our first stop was Dublin.

From the air Ireland reminded me of a crazy quilt all in shades of green.

A couple of days in Dublin to discover the city with a "city tour" and plenty of time on our own.
We visited Trinity College Library to see The Book of Kells. 
Photography was not allowed of "the book"exhibit.

Trinity College was established in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth.

In the same building as the Book of Kells exhibit is the "The Long Room".
The Long Room houses around 200,000 of the Library's oldest books. 
Marble busts line the shelves.

The River Liffey

More touring Dublin.

Colorful pubs were everywhere.

We stopped in the National Gallery of Ireland.

St. Patrick's Cathedral

Very interesting floor. 
Lots of symbols.

Wandering around town could be difficult.
Traffic coming from "the wrong' direction and street signs on buildings instead of street corners.
Locals are friendly and helpful but the best way to get around is by cab.
One time we took a bus where we were going, however, we couldn't figure out how to get back!

Street scene from motor coach.

No trip to Dublin is complete without taking the Guinness Tour.

In the Guinness advertising exhibit this was my favorite.
I don't know what it has to do with Guinness but it made me chuckle.

At the end of the tour a pint of Guinness with great 360 degree views of the city.

O'Connell's Restaurant 
This was my favorite meal.

We stayed at the Gresham Hotel.

The Sphere is just down the street from the Gresham Hotel.
It is also known as the Monument of Light.

From Dublin we journeyed on to Kilkenny and Waterford.
I hope you will join me.