Friday, November 15, 2013

A very Special Adventure, The Wrap Up: Part Trois

I *only* took 1,000-ish photos but instead of being that boring person who posts every . single . frame ., I'll choose my faves by location. 

Big note: we didn't have time in Cobh, Belfast or Dublin to tour any of the Titanic museums, but they are on the list for next trip. 

Photo nerd note: only a few photos are filtered (the totally square ones, like Guinness Gravity Bar shot below. The rest have not been edited in any way). The landscape is really just that gorgeous!!

Dublin, Ireland 
St. Stephen's Green; street art; Gravity Bar & Perfect Pint at Guinness StorehouseGPO (General Post Office) where Easter Rising took place in 1916.

Killarney, including the National Park and Ring of Kerry
Perfect way to see Killarney National Park, via horse-drawn jaunting cart; view from Ring of Kerry; rock cairn at beach of Waterville, County Kerry; red deer mating season, so they were everywhere; more Ring of Kerry landscape; me and Charlie Chaplin, who owned a home in Waterville; Ring of Kerry view; Spouse on the shore; lower Torc Waterfall

The Dingle Peninsula and City of Dingle
Inch Beach, where the next stop is NYC; landscapes from drive around the Dingle Peninsula; Fungie, the famous dolphin of Dingle City; rock cottage, roof and all; Spouse and I above the beach at Baile na nGall Strands; Irish traffic jam. 

Blarney Castle and Cobh
Blarney Castle views + Spouse & I kissing the famous stone; Blarney also has a poison garden, which was really cool; Cobh was the last official stop of the RMS Titanic, so there's signs, a monument and allegedly, the pier passengers used to embark; Annie Moore (and her brothers) was the first Irish immigrant through Ellis Island; monument to the RMS Lusitania; horse chestnut I found on the grounds of Blarney House; Cobh Heritage Center.

Cliffs of Moher and Galway
Bunratty Castle, Cliffs of Moher views with Spouse & me; four landscapes featuring The Burren; Dunguaire Castle in Kinvara; sunset over Galway; the Spanish Arch in Galway; trad session at Taaffe's Pub; best.Irish.breakfast. EVER at Avalon B&B in Galway. 

Road to Derry from Galway
County Mayo features lovely farm land and the Museum of Country Life, part of the National Museum of Ireland. Turlough Park House and it's gardens is part of the Museum grounds. Gorgeous home. Museum featured a necklace made of horse chestnuts, which is very reminiscent of Ohio State's Buckeye necklaces, so we felt right at home; Strandhill Beach near Sligo; W. B. Yeats' grave, in which the cemetery had a grave for a Nash - relation perhaps?; Carndonagh is where my Nash branch emigrated from; entering Derry. 

Glenveagh Castle, Glenveagh National Park and Derry City - Entering Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is really a misnomer in a lot of ways. Officially part of the United Kingdom, folks here have British passports and the currency is British Sterling, i.e. pounds, not Euros. 

Glenveagh Castle is famous because a rich dude kicked 224 families off the land where he built the castle, because he liked the view so much. After visiting, I can totally see why. First eight photos are the castle and grounds. Stunningly gorgeous, and almost more so because of the soft weather we had. 

The photo of me with the little door is pretty self-explanatory. I am "fun-sized" and it's not often I find a doorway smaller than me. Had to have a shot.

Derry is "famous" as a main sight of The Troubles with Bloody Sunday happening here in 1972. Thirteen men were killed, including a young man named William Nash. Going to have to see if he's a relation of some sort. 

We took a walking tour of the Bogside Section of Derry with our guide, who had lived his whole life in this section of Derry. In fact, the row house over his right shoulder is where he grew up, and would have had a front row seat to Bloody Sunday. Seriously, it happened outside of the door. 

Seventh photo, to the left of the mural of the young girl, is a shot of the cemetery in Derry. It is a segregated cemetery, with a Unionist (Protestant/British) section and a Republican (Catholic/Irish) section. Republican section at the top, Unionist section below that. 

The "Death of Innocence" mural, the one with the young girl, is haunting. The young girl is Annette McGavigan, who was killed in 1971 when a skirmish erupted outside of her school. Every day from her death, at age of 14, to his, in early 2010s, her father sat vigil for a few hours. Every single day. Even worse, her death was attributed to the Unionist (British) forces for decades, but within the last few years, has been found to have been the IRA (Irish), which means, basically, she was killed by her "own side". I'm not ashamed to say, hearing the whole story made me tear up. Talk about a perspective moment. 

The next five photos are landmarks of Derry that pre-date the Troubles: Bishop's Gate, Apprentice Boys Memorial Hall, Guild Hall, walls and Tower Museum. The Peace Bridge, over the River Foyle, was built after the Good Friday Agreement, as a symbol of The Troubles being settled. 

Last two are Spouse & I having a pint at Peadar O'Donnell's Pub and one of the trad session we listened to while hefting a pint, (or two, etc.). 

Dunluce Castle

Giant's Causeway
Yes, we know what Ohio State nerds we really are!

I was nervous about this. I don't like heights. However, it is so structurally sound, even with four HILARIOUS Australians young'uns jumping up and down while I was crossing, that it was totally fine. The mile and a half walk to it did hype it up in the noggin though. The mile and half walk back took it outta me. Tea house in the car park has lovely tea & coffee beverages and delightful gluten free snacks though!! I was much restored after my nosh.

Oh yeah, and Buckeye fans: Spouse wore OSU gear on the two Saturdays we were in Ireland, even though the one week was our first bye. 

The city where the modern day Troubles started. We took a black taxi tour of Belfast, which took us to the Shankill Road (Unionist/Protestant/British) neighborhoods and the Falls Road (Republican/Catholic/Irish) neighborhoods. Even with the Good Friday Agreement, Belfast still closes the gates between the Unionist neighborhood and the Republican neighborhood, every single night. In-between the neighborhoods, is the peace wall. Note the group shot and Spouse's note at the peace wall - third & fourth photos. 

Fifth, is Bombay Street, where the Troubles officially began in 1969. The photo next to it, which I left larger, shows the back of the row houses abutting the wall. Note the white girded structure on the very back of the bricks? That's not a greenhouse or a lanai; it's a reinforced gate, just in case hooligans toss a Molotov cocktail over the fence.....Jeez-o-pete - not kidding.

There are crap-ton of murals in both neighborhoods and I took a lot of photos of them, but am only posting one of Bobby Sands, the most famous of the Irish hunger strikers, who died in 1981, at the age of 27. 

First and last two photos are of the city itself. Second photo are our charming keys to our not-so-great accommodations in Belfast. 

Monasterboice, on the way back to Dublin
Monasterboice is famous for its' 10th century High Celtic crosses, plus the ruins of two churches. 

Back in Dublin, before heading home
Our last day in Ireland, we visited Jameson Distillery on the north side of the River Liffey. We got to do a tasting, which was groovy, especially since up to that moment, I didn't think I liked whiskey. Now I do, but Irish Whiskey only. 

Fifth picture is our new favorite band, The Cool Hand Dukes, who we met and listened to at The Porterhouse

Finished with a trip to Dublin Castle, which still closed, proved to be an excellent back-drop for some photos of Spouse and me. He had just purchased a Donegal tweed waistcoat and cap and was looking devastatingly handsome, as always. But I whorked his cap for a few minutes. 

Last four photos are from our room at The Schoolhouse. We stayed in the Bram Stoker room and it was just lovely. Enjoyed a hot whiskey in the bar before we hit the hay. 

If you are interested in visiting Ireland, contact me for ideas on 
what to see, what to do, where to stay, if you like. 

If you have visited Ireland yourself, please let me know what we missed. 
We started a list on this trip, of places and things we want to see 
when we go back, but would love to hear from you too!!

Thanks for slogging through my photos.  


  1. Slogging? More like, drooling over.

  2. Loved reading about your trip. Thanks for sharing tips and photos.