Monday, October 05, 2015

Ireland wrap up

Our first trip to Ireland was a great introduction, and I'm really grateful that we got a chance to travel there but there's so much we didn't see, I'm already planning what we'll do on our next visit.

I didn't realize that Ireland is such a paradise for hikers.  When we go back, we'll pack hiking gear, drive out to the tip of the Iveragh Peninsula and get a boat out to Skellig Michael and climb its stairs.  I considered doing it for this trip, but we didn't have time, and it turns out they were filming Star Wars on it while we were in Ireland, so I imagine tourists were banned. We could see the island from Dingle and Beara.  So near and yet so far!

After Skellig Michael, we'd drive to Dingle and take the ferry to Great Blasket Island and do the 6.5 km hike around the island and perhaps some of the other Dingle hiking loops.  From Dingle, we'd take the Tarbent ferry across the Shannon into County Clare and see the sites there, particularly the Cliffs of Moher and the Burren.  Then we'd head north to County Mayo, where a big branch of my family comes from.  I love fantasy-planning travel!

And now I give you way more pictures from our visit than you probably want.

Trinity College

This was our neighborhood for our first two-night stay in Dublin.  The other side of the street was the DART embankment. Possibly not the greatest neighborhood, but the house itself was very nice inside and comfortable and there was a convenient Aldi nearby and we were still within walking distance of the city center.

Downtown Cork
The bell tower in Cork that we climbed. (Note the Salmon weathervane.)
Approaching the belfry.  We had to wear protective headphones.
I took this picture from the top of the ladder in the belfry. Not a great pic, but it was scary to take it. I guess the bells are hanging from that mess of supports at the bottom. It was actually too dark to see much.  This is all just blown out with flash. Essentially, you're looking at the ceiling of a belfry.
At Dzogchen Beara
Meditation room at Dzogchen Beara
Village of Allihies, Beara Peninsula
Our hike around Allihies.
Fishing boats in Castletownbere
Driving to Healy Pass
Healy Pass
Looking down from the top of Healy Pass
Killarney National Park
Killarney National Park

Dingle town.  The yellow and green bunting are the Kerry colors for Gaelic football.  Luckily, we were in Galway when Kerry lost to Dublin for the All-Ireland SFC title.  We were in Dublin for the celebratory parade down O'Connell St.

Slea Head Drive.  The space between the dashed yellow lines is for two way traffic. That wider bit is a parking lot.  See the bus taking up the entire road?  And the cliff?  Luckily, most people are driving clockwise around the peninsula.  My favorite Irish road sign was, "ONCOMING TRAFFIC IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD."  The speed limit was always 20 kmh faster than what felt safe.

Bee Hive dwellings on Slea Head
The closest we got to Skellig Michael--the pointy island in the distance
Blasket Island Ferry
Slea Head selfie
Lynch Castle, Galway

A pub in Salthill.  Somewhere along the line (in Dingle, I think) I asked a bartender if it were possible to order a beer in a portion smaller than a pint.  He was like, "I can pour a HALF pint," perhaps a tad sarcastically.  Those half pints saved me.  I know it's feeble, but I can't finish an entire pint of beer.

At a roadside overlook.
In case you're wondering why I'm wearing the same outfit in practically every picture--I packed two sweaters and two pairs of similar black pants and alternated them for the duration of the trip. I had an assortment of clean underwear and shirts.  My green down vest, which appears in a lot of my Ireland posts, was the perfect outer layer for Ireland in September.

Dublin Gargoyle--Christ Church Cathedral

Ancient inscribed cross at Glendalough
10th century cathedral ruins, Glendalough
Round Tower, Glendalough.
You might want to reconsider a trip to Ireland if you have a sheep phobia.  There are sheep everywhere.
The hike to the upper ruins at Glendalough
Jon sits in the ruins of St. Kevin's Cell
Rainbow on the Wicklow Mountains
Insouciant James Joyce statue on O'Connell Street

Dublin Castle.  I forgot to mention this in my "last day in Dublin" post. We didn't go inside because we couldn't find the door, although we did blunder into the subdued (though free) Revenue Museum trying to find the door.  I'm not even sure if the castle itself is open to the public.  We were so over sightseeing at this point, we didn't particularly care if we got in or not.  After Dublin Castle, we tried to find a sector that was labeled on my map as an "antiques district," got lost, gave up, and started pub hopping our way back to our hotel.

Titillating display of drug paraphernalia at the Revenue Museum.

Jon has a whole collection of pictures of me stranded at crosswalks that he recklessly ran across.

Bridge over the River Liffey in Dublin.


  1. Some amazing shots - love the rainbow one! The trip sounds fantastic and it sounds like you & Jon had a great time. Thanks for sharing it!

  2. Your photos are stunning! Almost feel like I've been on vacation, too... thanks for sharing!