Ireland ~ Dingle Peninsula, Voted one of the most beautiful places in the world.

Sunday July 20th ~ Dingle Peninsula, Ireland

Dingle Peninsula

Dingle Peninsula

Day two of our weekend get-a-way started with a nice breakfast at our little B&B.  It appears that this place has changed names four times.  They may be running from a bad reputation???  It certainly was basic and in need of some TLC, but we did fine.  I actually slept for 12 hours straight!

At 11:00 our new guide for the day, Fergal, picked four of us up at the B and B.  The sun was trying to come out and front row seats had been reserved for us which got us started on a positive note.

Travel Hint:  If you have a choice, sit on the right hand side of the bus for Ring of Kerry and on the left side for Dingle Peninsula for best viewing.

One of the first stops was at Inch Beach. Continue reading

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Paddywagon Tour, Ring of Kerry and Goat Kings

Saturday July 19th, Ring of Kerry, Ireland

Mollie Malone Statue, in front of Old Stone Church

Mollie Malone Statue, in front of Old Stone Church – the meet up point for day tours from Dublin

Very early Saturday morning we departed our third hotel in Dublin (Clyde Court) and dropped our roller board suitcases off at what will be hotel number four (O’Callaghan Alexander Hotel) when we return Sunday night.  We are off for a two-day weekend with Paddywagon Tours to explore the Ring of Kerry, overnight in Killarney and then the Dingle Peninsula on Sunday.  I am dividing this up into two posts, one for each day.

Continue reading

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Giant Irish Deer, Bog Bodies, Yeats and Birthday Wishes

Wednesday July 15th ~ Dublin City

National Museum of Ireland - Archeology

National Museum of Ireland – Archeology

We had been told about the bog bodies that had been found, and our curiosity had been peaked.  When we left the hotel, our original plan was to walk a few blocks to restaurant row and have a late lunch.  We were only a few feet down the road when Tim suggests we go to the museum to see what the bog men display was all about.

There is usually a line of taxi cabs in front of major hotels, and we simply went to the head of the line.  Since this was totally out of the blue, we did not have any idea which museum housed the exhibit.  Inquiring with the driver, he too did not know, so he consulted with two other fellow drivers, they came to a conclusion of which museum, and off we went.

Continue reading

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Rock of Cashel and Kissing the Blarney Stone

Tuesday July 15th ~ Touring through Ireland in Tipperary and Cork

On our drive south toward Rock of Cashel, fields of wild flowers

On our drive south toward Rock of Cashel, fields of wild flowers

What fascinates me the most is the amazing marketing campaign that has somehow managed to get a million people or more a year to travel 1000′s of miles, then wait in line for one to two hours, climb up narrow winding steep steps to the top of a rock building, put your life in the hands of a total stranger, bend over backwards, and then put your lips on a piece of stone covered by God only knows how many germs.  Well done Ireland!!!

And we, like all those others, are off today to do just that! Continue reading

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What is it with demonstrations wherever we go?

Monday July 14th ~ Lazy day in Dublin

Garden view

Garden view

Some times we need a day off from traveling.  Today was one of those days for me.

As I have mentioned before, we normally try to book a hotel that is located in the middle of the city, especially the old historic section if we can.  It did not work out that way here in Dublin.  Most of the hotels were full, and those that were available were VERY expensive or had really poor ratings.  We are now on our third hotel, and finally settled in.  It sure felt good to NOT have to pack everything up and move again this morning.

Tim likes to get out and walk around the neighborhoods to get a feel for what life is like in any area we stay in, so this afternoon we just went for on a little mission to find a place for lunch outside of the hotel and explore the area.

Here are a few pictures I snapped to give you an idea of what the Ballbridge area of Dublin looks like.

At the first corner we came to, a demonstration in front of the Israeli embassy looked to just be getting started.  Local Garda (Irish police) had the entrances to the property blocked and a large stack of riot blockades at the ready. Continue reading

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Cliffs of Moher, The Burren, Corcomroe Abbey, Irish Day Tours

Sunday July  13th ~ Dublin cross-country tour, Ireland

Map of our bus trip today

Map of our bus trip today, round trip from Dublin (courtesy of Irish Day Tours)

One of the most visited tourist attractions in the entire country, the Cliffs of Moher had to be on our “must see” list.  With over 1 million visitors a year, it tops the list of scenic natural destinations in Ireland. In fact I think the only place that more tourists go to is the Guinness Brewery.

After a bit of research, we chose to use a local tour company and booked two different day trips out of Dublin.  One for today, and then the next one for Tuesday.  There are several others we are interested in, but we thought taking one or two first to see how good (or bad) they are before booking five tours sounded smart.

The tour company we selected has really good reviews on Trip Advisor, so after booking online, we were ready for another full day adventure.  It required a very early wake up as well as a short taxi ride to the meet-up point in front of the Old Stone Church on Suffolk Street.  Our tour was scheduled to depart at 6:50 and we were asked to arrive 10-15 minutes early.  Tim and I got there at 6:25 and at 6:30 were on our bus.  Being one of the first onboard we got a front row seat with an excellent view. Continue reading

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Dublin ~ Fire alarms, SIM Card top off, Taking care of business

Saturday July 12 ~ Dublin, Ireland

Shocked out of a deep sleep by the hotels fire alarm blaring early this morning at the Ballsbridge Hotel. Not a pleasant way to start the day.  And then it stopped.  And then it started again.  And then it stopped.

Waiting a minute and listening, looking out the window and throwing on yesterdays clothes. Being on the fifth floor, we checked to find out where the closest stairs were located in case we had to evacuate the building.  Calls to the front desk went unanswered. Continue reading

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