Friday, July 29, 2011

Last Weekend in Ireland

Well, what can I say. I'm sick! I think it is just a cold but I feel rotten. The cold, wet, gloomy weather isn't helping. I mean really, Weather God, it is almost August 1st. Surely somewhere in your heart you can find some sunshine for the lovely people of Ireland. God knows they make the best of it all. ... but even my Seattle training did not prepare me for this constant, dampness and grayness during the summer. Yes the shades of green are beautiful but the 40 shades of gray are not. I've only been warm enough a few days during my visit. So there it is, my truth about Ireland and the weather.

Maybe I need an antibiotic or a trip to the PUB!!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Goodby to My Austrian Friends

Sadly today I had to say goodby to my new friends from Austria. They are a young couple who have brought so much joy with them. We have laughed and laughed. What a delight to meet them. I wish them God Speed and they return to their families and real life. Who knows, maybe they will make a trip to the US at some time and we will meet again.

Just wondering....Is there anybody reading this blog?

I'd love to know if anyone is actually reading my blog....If you are please email me at and let me know.
Thank you

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Hoath Trip, Sunny Seaside

I took the train out on Sunday to the seaside City of Hoath. It is a scenic Fishing village that supplies much of Dublin's fresh seafood, as well as a harbor for recreational sailing. It was a beautiful day for a walk around the harbor. I had one of the best Salmon dinner's ever, and I know Salmon! People everywhere enjoying a sunny day out. They also had a Farmer's Market where the Hot Item was "OBama Bread", fit for a president!

I'm finding, that much like Seattlites, Dubliners get outside the minute the sun shines. The train ride was fun, short and scenic. I loved the color of the green line.
When I got home Sunday night, I started getting sick. I thought it was perhaps food poisoning but now realize it was just a bug which I am hoping will not stay long. This is my last week in Ireland. I have a tour scheduled for Thursday to the Wicklow Mountains. They are described as the "Garden of Ireland", so I'm looking forward to a beautiful view from the bus.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Sun Was Shining and Dublin Was Buzzing!

What a beautiful day in Dublin. Sunshine makes such a difference!! People were out and about....including me. Today I visited Trinity College and saw the Book of Kells. What an amazing piece of history. So beautiful and so old. They did not allow pictures but I purchased a DVD of the contents. I also visited St. Stephen's Green which is both an interesting shopping center and a beautiful City Park. I did so much walking today I had to finally find a place to sit down, have a Guinness and dinner before I could face the bus home. (Any excuse for a Guinness)
The exciting thing today was the Zombie Walk that took place in Dublin. A whole group of young people were costumed and made up to look like Zombies and they were all over the downtown area. I stopped at Starbucks (the only one I have found in Ireland) and there were two beautiful, young Zombie girls at the next table. I couldn't resist having a picture.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Back in Dublin

I finally got rid of the rental car on Monday. Couldn't get out of it fast enough! Now I am back at my Dublin Base, Botanic View B&B...they have posted a video on just search for Botanic View B&B. I've been doing all the necessaries....laundry, emails, banking, etc.
My last stop before Dublin was in Kilkenny. Lovely town with a castle and a beautful old Cathedral. I went to church there last Sunday and ran into "friends of friends"....such a small world. I have great pics but they are stuck in my camera. I forgot to put the memory card in and I don't have a way to get the pics in the camera to my computer. I know there was a cord that did that when I bought the camera but I haven't see it in a long time....Damn!
I have been enjoying talking with the other residents at Botanic View...especially a young couple from Bavaria and a man from the UK. The best part of travel for me, is to meet people from other countries and share stories. We really are more alike than not. I've also enjoyed watching Irish and UK news. They have big problems and their politicos seem no better equipped to come up with solutions then ours in the US. I assume the DEMS and REPS are still playing "chicken" with the debt ceiling. Am I the only one that feels like we are back in Kindergarten??
Well I'm off to explore some more of Dublin. I love that it is not raining.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Blooming Wildflower Bed and Breakfast, Dingle, Ireland

I have stayed at this B&B for 5 days and it has been wonderful. The owners Marianne and Tommy are like family. Marianne is an American from Seattle and Tommy is a Dingle native and this house has been in his family for over 100 years. The patio off my room is lovely and has a view of the sea. Marianne has an Irish Wildflower business which I found interesting and ordered some seeds. Don't know how much luck I'll have in AZ but I'm going to try. I would recommend this B&B to has been such a great experience.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Dingle Peninsula, The Ireland I want to find!

I left Limerick on Monday and drove the nearly 3 hours to Dingle. Once I got to Tralee, the scenery started to change. More rolling hills, rural with Sheep!! Up 'till then I hadn't seen any of Irelands famous sheep. The road out of Tralee begins to get narrower and winding. My first view of the Atlantic was from a high bluff and took my breath away. I got to my B&B (more on that later) and then walked into Dingle Town to have a look. It is a small Irish Village of the kind I was expecting. Since arriving in Ireland, I have been dealing with the tyranny of expectations. Over the years I've read a lot of Irish fiction, both historical and modern day. So I had built up some pictures in my mind of what Ireland would look like. Until I came to Dingle, nowhere had matched my mind pictures. Although I have enjoyed the places I've been so far in Ireland, it has been a little disappointing to my "expectations". Dingle has redeemed them all!
The beauty of the place is awesome and there is a "feel" in the air that is almost spiritual in nature. I took a tour of the Dingle Peninsula to Slea Head. The Peninsula is dotted with more than 2,000 monuments from the Neolithic Age (4000 B.C.). I saw several and it was awesome. The most impressive was the intact Beehive building that was a place of worship. It felt serene to step inside and feel the sense of all the souls that have passed through those walls.
The Town is Charming with many pubs and shops. It was once a walled City so the outermost street is a circle. Dingle is a region where the Irish Government subsidizes the survival of the Irish Language and culture. Your hear Irish spoken everywhere and it is taught in the schools. All the signs are written in Gaelic as well as English. The B&B I'm staying at is South of town on the sea but well within walking distance of Town. There is a working seaport. I've wanted to see the resident dolphin Fungie, who lives wild but has chosen the Dingle Harbor as his home and has become very comfortable with people. I may have missed my opportunity since the weather has turned and the rains have returned. I hope I get a break in the weather and can go out on the boat.
There is an old Church and Monastary, St. Mary's that has the Harry Clark Windows of Diseart, which were installed in 1922. There are 12 windows which portray scenes of Christ's live. They are beautiful and I saw them in the Chapel built in 1884. It was great to tour the Church and spend time in the Chapel with those inspiring windows.
Dingle is fabulous....I had planned to only spend 3 days here but decided to blow off the rest of my plan and stay here for the whole week. Turned out to be a perfect decision.