Friday, September 3, 2010

Today we are in Malahide

On Thursday we took the local bus to Blarney and kissed the blarney stone.  After climbing more than over 120 stairs on a stone spiral staircase with only a rope handrail to hold onto we couldn't chicken out.

On Wednesday we took the train to Cobh which is the main emigration port following the great Famine of 1846-48.  Maritime history at the Queenstown Story - the major heritage centre in the town.  It is also the last port of call for the Titanic before it set sail for America and hit the iceberg.

The spire of St. Colman's cathedral dominates the sky.  The spire is 100 m high and it's tower houses a carillon of 47 bells- the largest in Ireland.  It is a huge magestic church on a hillside overlooking the town.  Again we had to climb up the hill to get to it, but it was worth it. 

We travelled by train to Malahide.  It was an all day trip but a nice train ride.  Today we are in Malahide and staying at the Grand Hotel.  It is a massive hotel with lots of corridors but a nice pub where we had dinner last night.  Our room wasn't ready when we arrived so she booked us in another and it has air conditioning.  The temperature today is 22 C.  The Irish keep saying that they can't believe the beautiful weather they are having.  We had rain one day out of the 2 weeks that we have been here and one shower.  It lasted long enough for us get our umbrellas up and it stopped. 

We toured Malahide castle today.  It is over 800 years old and has been inhabited by the Talbot family for the entire 800 years.  Rose Talbot moved out in 1975 and gave the castle to the town when she left.

We head for home and Canada tomorrow morning.  By the time I get home I will have been up for 24 hours because of the time change.  The worst jetlag is going back to Canada so I may not blog for a few days.


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Cork City

We took the bus to Cork city today and have been walking around the city.  The bus ride was only 2 hours long through beautiful countryside dotted with sheep and cattle grazing.  Some of the roads were very narrow, hardly enough room for the bus and car to pass each other.  Then we drove on an super highway, so you never know what kind of a road you will be travelling on. There are areas here in Cork where there is a pedestrian walkway where no cars go so you can stroll the street without a care.

Tomorrow we hope to go to Blarney Castle, we are only here for one and a half days so we have to get in all we can.  We walked through an open market on our way here to the Internet.  Very interesting, as they sold meats, vegetables, baked goods, and fish and there was even a small cafe.

 Me at Ross Castle in Killarney and my feet in the Atlantic Ocean in Ireland.


The Cliffs of Moher

When we were in Galway we took a tour of the Cliffs of Moher. Des our driver kept us entertained with his jokes and commentary as he drove the bus. We stopped at the Poulnabrone Dolman and ancient burial place on the Burren. The Burren is a vast waterless plateau of limestone hills and countless colourful flowers.

We stopped at a sheep dog demonstration where the border collie herded the sheep. We had lunch at Doolin with a lady named Peggy who is from St John, NL and lives on the same street as Joanne. She also knows Doris.

The cliffs were gorgeous and very windy. There is an area where people walk along the top of the cliffs which is very treacherous and they are trespassing on private property. Nine people have fallen to their death this year from this area, and yet there are still people walking up there.

Yesterday we went to the Ring of Kerry. Our bus driver was not as talkative as Des was but the trip was great.

In Killarney you see regular cars, jaunting cars (horse driven carriages) and tour buses.

One spot we stopped at - The Valley of the hidden treasure- was so windy it was like we were in a hurricane, but we were high up in the mountain and looked down on the valley.

I will shorten this as my session is almost up. The day was intermitten rain and sun with low lying clouds over the mtns. We finished the day walking around the town centre looking at stores and pubs. We had dinner at a pub and returned to the B&B around 8:30.

All is well here. Nice sunny day today. I should have left my coat at the B&B but the weather is very unpredicable so it is hard to say what the day will be like.