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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

We visited the Emerald Isle...

My husband and I just returned from a two-week trip to the Republic of Ireland. This was our second visit to this beautiful country. We were there for the first time nearly nine years ago when we helped build a Habitat for Humanity house in Downpatrick, just south of Belfast, Northern Ireland.  When we were done building, we drove down the east coast into the Republic of Ireland, staying a couple of nights in Wicklow Head Lighthouse and then continuing down the east coast, around the southern end to the city of Cork. It was a fantastic trip, and we knew we wanted to return.

For this trip, we decided to concentrate on visiting areas along the west coast of the country. We chose Doolin as our base for the first week of our visit. Doolin is regarded as the capital of traditional Irish music. When we arrived, the townspeople were in the midst of celebrating a craft beer and music festival. We joined in, of course!

Here's a photo of my husband and me in front of O'Connor's Pub in Doolin. There is live music in this pub every night during the summer months.
Notice that I have a shopping bag in my hand? I needed a new Irish sweater. The one I bought 9 years ago is nearly worn out!

This is a view of some of the beautiful countryside. It is so gorgeous, everywhere you go and the landscape can change drastically in the different regions.

No trip to Ireland is complete without some Beef and Guinness stew (right front). It's delicious and very hardy. Notice that the servings are not skimpy, either!

This is a megalithic tomb, Poulnabrone Dolmen, in the Burren. It's thousands of years old!!

Another amazing place to see is Kylemore Abbey, which currently serves as a Benedictine community of nuns. The Abbey was originally built by Mitchell Henry as a gift for his beloved wife. Now THAT'S love!!!

We saw a number of old castles. This photo was taken at the castle in Cashel which we toured and learned a little about its history.

This is my DH standing in front of one of the millions of rock fences that you can see everywhere. I cannot imagine all the manpower it has taken over the centuries to build these fences. Doesn't my DH look like an Irishman in that hat? He actually bought it in the U.S. and has loved wearing it for years.

Don't you love this photo of an amazing field of wildflowers? We often saw these brilliant orange flowers along with fuchsia hedges and many colors of hydrangeas. Gorgeous!!!

In contrast to the field of flowers, but no less beautiful in its own way, is this view of the shoreline of Inisheer, one of the Aran Islands in Galway Bay. Do you see the lighthouse in the background? I hiked to within a few hundred meters of it, but since it is a working lighthouse, that was as close as I was allowed to go.

These are just a few of the places we visited and the sights we saw. It was a wonderful vacation, and I cannot wait to go again. If you haven't visited Ireland, please consider putting it on your to-do list. It's an amazing country, and the people are warm and welcoming.

Thanks for stopping by, and remember to laugh--a little or a lot--every day.


Patti J said...

I so enjoyed your photos! We have never been to that part of the world, so it's fun to see. You and your DH make such a cute couple! My hubby has a hat like that too. He wears it when we take our little convertible car out for a spin! Thanks for sharing your fun pics and your handsome man with us!

designbydonna said...

Cheryl, I loved Ireland. We did the east and south coasts and a little inland. Beautiful country. Thanks for sharing your pics. Makes me want to go again.

Anonymous said...

Great pictures of Ireland. I enjoyed the ones that were posted to facebook also. Glad you had such a great trip! pj

Heather said...

Love the pics, and really want to make that stew!