Friday, 5 October 2018

Aran islands

today we went to see the Cliffs of Moher and took a ferry out to the Aran islands.  We spent the afternoon on Inish Mor and it was amazing.  The island is so rocky I don’t know how people managed to farm at all.  There are stone fences everywhere and the ground is so rocky.  They had to bring sea weed up to the pastures and fields to feed the sheep and add to the soil.  The main industry now is tourists. The young people go away to school and university to learn a profession as there is nothing for them on the islands.  We took a jaunting car around to see the island but didn’t see everything as I was unable to walk the distances so I went shopping ........ again.  

Tonight we are in a hotel in Galway and tomorrow we go to Dublin.

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

I can’t keep up

we have been so busy and when we get back to the B&B I am too tired to blog so I am going to try and catch you up on our activities but maybe not right now.  Cory is doing the laundry and then we are off to Killarney where we will visit some sites, shop and eat in a pub that has music tonight.

Sunday, 30 September 2018


today we plan to go down to the Hook Peninsula to see the light house........... this is the oldest lighthouse in the world. They had an interesting horse drawn wagon that was used when there was a ship wreck.  The wagon had a rocket on it that was launched at the ship and the line it carried was used to rescue the people on the ship.  Apparently there was a pair of sturdy trousers that people would climb into and be pulled to shore along the line that attached the ship to the wagon. This was one of the ways they were rescued.  We did make a few purchases at the gift shop.
Then we decided to take the ferry across to Waterford. On the way we saw an ad for ice cream so Cory went into the shop to get some.  They didn’t sell cones but she got what she thought was ice cream sandwiches............ the picture on the 1x3x5 inch package was very deceiving.............. no ice cream sandwiches in the box just ice cream so Cory went back and got us two spoons.
A short ferry ride and we were in Waterford.......... lunch time so we stop at this mostly outdoor pub, order lunch and a cider. The owner told us the pub had been in his family for two hundred years and that we needed to go across the way into the old pub that had been there for more than 200 years ( i can’t  remember how long at the moment).  After lunch Cory asked the son if they had souvenirs we could buy.  He came back a few minutes later with 4 of their pamphlets and a set of salt and pepper shakers for her. They had no souvenirs.
So off we go across the way to the original Meade’s Pub.............. what an amazing place.  The low ceiling and fireplaces in each room, walls covered with all sorts of things and dark wood every where.  There were three older men drinking so we talked to them for a little while........ well mostly I talked to them as Cory was trying to arrange a place for us to stay the night.  We were given all kinds of good suggestions and the barkeep phoned around for us and arranged.  We got a reservation at Dooleys Hotel. Meanwhile the gentlemen had bought me a cider and a Club soda for tasted much nicer than our club soda 🥤.  Then we purchased a drink for them and made a date to come to the pub for lunch the next day.
Off to check into the hotel and go for dinner.  We decided to have dinner at the other hotel they recommended, the Granville. Cory had a steak and I had a curry ........yummy food.  Cory decided to have desert to go so the waitress packed it up for her and we started looking for Katty’s bar as they had music every night but decided we were too tired.  As we walk into our hotel guess what I heard....... Irish music coming from the pub........ 2 men singing and playing,, one playing a guitar 🎸 the other an accordion.
So we have to go in and have a cider while we listen to the music.
Later ........ back in our room Cory opens her pudding package to find a little white cruet with cream in it for her Carmel pudding.  We figure the waitress thought we were staying at her hotel.  Anyway off to bed so we can be up reasonably early to see the Waterford crystal factory

Tuesday, 25 September 2018


Today was a down day. We stayed at the cottage and relaxed , napped, went for a walk and just enjoyed being here. Oh we did have a visitor.......... Skip the sheep dog.

I know I am way behind on posting but I will catch up.  I thought this was a good place to tell you about driving in Ireland. Cory asked the gentleman who drove us from the airport to pick up our car if he had any tips about driving in Ireland.
He told us that we had to drive on the other side of the road and unlike  Canada 🇨🇦 you can’t turn right on a red light ,................. everything else were just suggestions.  It is very true.  If you see a parking space you pull in ............ it doesn’t matter which side of the road you are on.  People make U-turns in the middle of the road, every one stops for the horses and carriages to turn around..... people walk across the road wherever they want. If you happen to be at a cross walk and the walk sign is red but there is no traffic you just walk across.

 I mentioned the traffic circles in Dublin that have traffic lights on them but on the motorways (highways to us) the traffic circles are like we have.  As the towns get smaller so do the traffic circles, down to the point where it is about a 5 foot circle in the middle of the intersection.

Then there is the "Traffic Calming" areas.  This is done by putting honking great speed bumps across the road ( Cory uses a different term for them which I won’t repeat).

Speed limits:- on the motorway the speed is usually 120 km
                     -in town it is anywhere between 30 and 50.
                    -  the smaller paved roads with no shoulders ( these are either hard or soft, shoulders that is not the road surface), just wide enough for two vehicles and very winding have posted speeds of between 80 and 100 km
                     -unpaved roads have a speed of only 70 because they are slightly narrower and bumpy.

So this is what we know so far about driving in Ireland.

Day three "We are off to Dublin in th morning"

Today we are up earlier and head off to Dublin. Cory is a little more comfortable about driving on the left hand side but I still need to say "wrong side, wrong side, wrong side" when we turn ...............especially turning right.
So we arrive in Dublin and find a parking space that we figure is near the Guinness factory as we decide to go there first. As we are strolling along we find this little place called "The Sweater Shop" so we go in to have a look.  What does Cory find almost right away ...............  the green sweater I liked so much AND it was on SALE for twenty euros less. You will never guess what I did ................
well maybe you will....... I bought the sweater, merino wool from New Zealand knit in Ireland 🇮🇪.  It’s loverly. The shop keeper tells us there are no more yarn shops in Dublin but we don’t know if we believe him.  Cory said she saw "the constant Knitter" shop across the street and it looked closed........can you believe she didn’t even point it out to me....

Across the street is this spectacular church so we decide to go in and have a look.  The inside is stunning.  There over a dozen large, beautiful stain glass windows, wood pews and pillars and every thing is amazing.  We are not catholic but we do stop and we both light a candle for Che.

We are feeling a little peckish so go into this little shop for tea and cake. We get a raspberry square and a lemon one and share them. There is an older man at the next table who strikes up a conversation with us. He is a retired electrician who has been trying to learn French and has also joined a writers club. He said the most thing he enjoyed about the writers club was the stories the other members wrote. After a very enjoyable half hour we had of to the Guinness warehouse.

So we walk on looking for the Guinness warehouse, and on and on and then discover they have a parking lot close to the entrance. Oh well the walk was interesting.  All the old stone and brick buildings and funny little alley ways. The Guinness warehouse is seven stories tall. The last two stories are new and have a lot of glass, in fact everything but the floor is glass in the top one. So you start on the ground floor are work your way up.  They tell you what they use and how they brew the beer. I found the description of how the cooper made the barrels was the most interesting.  The barrels were all handmade and NO nails. They cut and shape each stave and then placed metal rim on one end of the staves.  This is then put in a steamer to make the staves pliable enough to get a metal rim on the other end.  Then they shave each stave so they are all smooth and the same level before putting on the metal bands. It was amazing to watch the video.
The tasting room was on the fifth floor and we each got a miniature glass of 🍺 and were given detailed instructions on how to drink it and what we should notice as we did.  It was okay but not being a beer drinkers we never manage to finish the glass of beer they gave us when we reached the seventh floor.  Oh yes Cory went a got a wheel chair from them for the tour as she didn’t think I would be able to manage all the walking.  As much as I hate to admit it ........ it was a good idea.
We were going to take a taxi back to our car but took a horse and buggy instead. It was really fun and the cars gave way to us.  The driver turned around in the middle of the street and everyone just stopped and waited.
So into the car and on the road again ............... it is rush hour and the motorway is wall to wall so we decide to take a drive the other way.  We end up in Bray at a restaurant that overlooks the water and have a delicious dinner.  Cory had a steak you could cut with a fork and I had a green chilli curry thing that was delicious.  No desert as we didn’t have it first and were too full after. Time to go home as we are both tired and sore especially Cory.  I think pushing me in a wheel chair wasn’t the best idea for her.  So I talk to her, keep telling her how far it is , rub the kink in her back, open the window.  Anything and everything to keep her awake.  We made it back safe and sound and went to bed.


Today we got up a little late, had some breakfast and headed out to the car 🚘.  Our host family was having difficulties with their car getting wet inside.  The son had pulled out the back seats as they were wet as was the trunk area. Cory told them she was in the car industry and proceeded to look in the car ........... then she lay down on the ground and looked under the car much to their surprise.  She said she didn’t know how to fix 🚘 S but she did know how they looked when new.  She pointed out several things that were not original and suggested what they might do.  Cars are way more expensive over here.
We were going to go to Dublin but they said we would be better to go on a day when we got started earlier so suggested Kilkenny castle.   So off we went to see a castle.  They have been restoring the castle and there was hand painted wall paper, these huge paintings, most all of them portraits and the 4 huge tapestries that were hundreds of years old. When we go back through Kilkenny I am going to buy the book about the castle ................ that would be the one I should have bought when we were there. All in all it was a wonderful experience.
We also went shopping in the Kilkenny Design Centre which is across the street from the castle. The building used to be the castle horse stable and was full of amazing handcrafted items.  We did purchase items here and I fondled a lovely green sweater twice but didn’t buy.........this was a good thing will see..
Oh yes we had lunch in the castle.
Time to get some food and head 🏡 it had been a lovely day with only a tiny bit of rain ☔️.
That evening Michel, the son , came over to fix the 📺 and we had a long talk with him which was really nice. They raise black angus cattle but may have to sell some of the cows this year as there was so little rain in the summer that there’s a shortage of feed. Apparently the neighbours cattle broke out Saturday night and were all around the main house and our cottage .............. we never heard a thing.

Sunday, 23 September 2018

Review of day one in ireland

After many hours of flying and trying to sleep 😴 we arrived in Dublin.  After we retrieved our luggage are arranged for the smallest 🚘 we could get we were off.  Cory is driving and the first thing she needs to remember ................. which side of the car to get in, then to stay on the wrong side of the road.  We have the B&B on the GPS to I navigate and Cory drives.  Every time we make a turn it is my job to say "wrong side, wrong side, wrong side", so we stay on the right side of the road or rather we stay on the left side which is the right side over here.
Then let me tell you about the traffic circles ............ they all have lights where you turn off or enter.  I always thought the purpose of circles was to eliminate the lights but this is ireland so I don’t know.So we are motoring along and are on the highway no problem but then we turn off onto a narrower road, and a narrow road, and a narrow road. The hedges get closer and closer............. the road gets narrower and narrower.  We are now down to a one vehicle slightly rough road until we finally arrive at the B&B which is delightful.  It is an old stone barn converted to a little cottage.  If google would left me add photos I would show you. We have a living room,bedroom kitchen room with a wood heater and a bathroom with a lovely big shower but....... the best thing is the king size bed with the feather duvet.
The owner is a delightful woman who made sure we had everything we needed.  She started the wood stove for us and said the lads would drop the sticks off later.  Okay so I am thinking kindling. ............ but no the sticks are a small log cut in half.  No kindling, she uses a kind of fire starter to get the fire going.
So we’ve had decided to fight through the tiredness and do things today.  After we hauled everything in and got settled we decided we needed to have a nap before going anywhere..................... one nap led to another and soon it was 7:00pm and we were hungry so we head for this little pub.  We are too late for food as it is after 8:00, so we each have a cider. The bar tender and a couple of patrons give us directions to a take out place and a small market where we can buy dinner and food for breakfasts 🍳 and lunches.  Off we go to get some food and head back to our cottage.  After eating and watching a movie guess where we went .............. if you guessed bac to bed you are correct. That was our very exciting day in Ireland 🇮🇪.