Thursday, August 26, 2010

To-day we are in Galway

 Yesterday we were at the Marian Shrine at Knock.  It is a beautiful shrine set on 4 acres of land.  There are 5 churches.  There are 5 churches on the site.  The Church of Reconciliation, The Church of the Apparition, The Old Church, The New Cathedral and the Church of the Blessed Sacrament.  There is also a museum which tells the story of the people who saw the Apparition.  We spent 2-3 hours there and received 3 sacraments.  The town is very small so it didn't take long to see everything.  

Our B&B was quite close, about a 10 minute walk.  We had dinner on the main street at a small cafe and then went to the pub beside the B&B.  It turns out it was owned by the same people who own the B&B and their son was the barman.  His name was Iarla which was Gallic for Gerald.  

We check out this morning and when Kathleen found out that we had no car she drove us to the bus stop.  We were on the bus for 2 hours travelling to Galway.  We are in a hotel right downtown.  Everything is very close and there is a pedestrian walk way around to all we wanted to see.  We saw the bust of JFK in Eyre square, Nora Barnacles house (the wife of James Joyce), and St Patrick's Cathedral.  We walked along the bank of the River Corribe back to the city centre.  

We have booked a tour for tomorrow of the Cliffs of Moher.  I might have time to blog tomorrow if we don't get back too late.


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Donegal the pride of Gaul

We found the Catholic Cathedral of St Patrick yesterday and made a visit to the church.
We walked to the Donegal Abbey in Ruins.  The Abby dates back to around the time of the Vikings and is also a graveyard with graves dating back to the 1700's.  After walking around the town centre we had lunch at Magee's and enquired about a weaving demonstation.  Magee's is the largest weavers of tweed in the world.  A young salesman told us to return at "half 4".  We returned at the appointed time and Stephen took us to the demo room and showed us how the tweed was loomed, using a hand loom.  After he did a few rows Lynda gave it a try.  On the way out we saw a basket of peat and he asked us if we would like some so we each have a small piece to burn when we get home. 

There is a small cemetery on the outskirts of town dedicated to those who died during the potato famine.  We only got rained on once. 

Dinner was at Dom's.  I had a caesar salad with warm chicken and ham.  It was very good but the lettuce wasn't romaine but iceberg and leaf lettuce. 

We are travelling today to Knock to see the Marion Shrine where Our Lady, St. John & St Joseph appeared in 1879. 

Tomorrow we leave bright and early for Galway.  Will post more from there.


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Hello from Donegal

Yesterday was a travel day.  We took the train from Dublin to Sligo and then the bus to Donegal.  The weather is strange as it rains and then a few minutes later the sun shines.  Just enough time to get the umbrella out and the it is time to put it away again. 

The second picture is of the Donegal Waterbus.  We took a tour of the harbour yesterday when we arrived.  What a beautiful place.  The hills are all green and you can watch the tide come in and go out everyday.  Our B&B is a new place but quite a distance from the town.  We walked the first time but took a taxi after that.  We wondered around the town looking for a place to have dinner and finally decided on the Abbey hotel.  It was quite a posh place but decent prices for a meal.  She offered us a choice of two vegetables, carrots and cabbage.  We said we would have carrots only.  I had roast beef which came with mashed potatoes.  She brought the meal and then 2 side dishes of vegetables.  The carrots and more potatoes.  Lynda and I had a hard time trying not to laugh.  We didn't want to make a scene in such a posh place.

We visited Donegal Castle this morning.  It is very impressive and we were allowed to take pictures anywhere we wanted.  It is hard to see behind the trees.  One of the trees looked like a tamarak tree but I hightly doubt that it was one.

There is an old viking graveyard here which we hope to visit later today.  It is quite a touristy town here with many shoppes that sell souvenirs.  The town centre is situated around 3 streets that they call the diamond.  Most towns would have a square but this one is a diamond.


Sunday, August 22, 2010

Top of the Morning from Dublin

Day 2 in Dublin we spent going on the Hop-on-hop-off bus.  Walked through St Stephen's green and The Temple Bar area.  There was a large outdoor market in Temple Bar where we stopped for lunch.  Visited St Patrick's Cathedral and Grafton Street.  We did a lot of walking, and on the way back to downtown we stopped at a display put on by "Vickings"  We were tired and wanted to get back to Duke Street so we took an "Eco Cab".  It is a small carriage that is propelled like a bicycle and run by University Students.  He chatted away while he rode the bike and asked us where we were from and how long we would be staying.  When we stopped he took our picture in the carriage.  I will post a picture later.  

Since yesterday was Lynda's 65th birthday we celebrated it in style by having a few brews in Davey Bynes pub. Then we took the bus back to the area of our guesthouse and dinner at a nearby hotel.  We even had fish and chips.

Today we went to Trinity College and had a tour given by a young University student studying History.  He took us around the campus and pointed out the different buildings to us.  The tour was well worth while as the  buildings are just brick and mortar to the normal eye but he made it very interesting and informative.  After the tour we went to see "The book of Kells" an old manuscript from the 800's.  

Hopefully we will get to Dublin castle this afternoon.