A Week in Eastern Ireland 2017

After our last vacation in Val d’Aosta back in May, a cumulation of stressy stuff at work since then, and some unexpected health issues complicating everyday life, we were very thankful to have planned a get-away trip to Ireland with our old college pal the Malge well in advance. This trip was definitely necessary to chill the heck out. Continue reading A Week in Eastern Ireland 2017

So long, Ireland…

We had grand plans for our last day in Ireland — Blarney Castle, or maybe even another shot at the Cliffs of Moher.

But in the end we decided to play it closer to “home” in Kenmare, and we are glad we did. We were rewarded with spectacular views of the Lough Leane in Killarney National Park and on a whim strolled 500 meters through the woods to the Torc Falls.

From there we headed to Ross Castle, took a short tour, and headed home to get ready for the big travel day (today). Fortunately, that all went smoothly.

Here’s the whole set (below).

Mizen Head and Southwest Cork

After the big, wet trip to the Cliffs of Moher, we opted for a somewhat easier drive down to the most southwestern point of Ireland, Mizen Head*. We were rewarded with much brighter skies and stronger winds blowing the clouds around. We had a blast setting destinations into the GPS into our rental car and then ignoring them if something interesting appeared on the horizon. Stopped into Schull for lunch.

Cliffs of Nowhere

Cliffs of Nowhere Yesterday we tried to drive up to the Cliffs of Moher because we heard they are fantastic. The weather was crummy when we left, but we were hoping it would clear up or at least break a little bit while we were visiting the cliffs.

pa064603 Didn’t work out that way. We got soaked and couldn’t see ANYTHING. So we bought some postcards and shipped ’em out. The postcards look nice. After that we stopped in a little town on the way to explore its prominently displayed graveyard on a hill high above the town’s center, which resulted in some spooky photos. But it was very quiet and peaceful up there, which was refreshing after the disappointment of the invisible Cliffs of Moher.

pa064618The GPS device included with our rental car gets big cheers for taking us along some of the cutest roads we’ve seen yet, on our way to the ferry to help us skip past the mouth of the River Shannon (shaving at least an hour off our drive time on the return trip).

Ring of Beara

We arrived in Kenmare in County Kerry yesterday at our lovely B&B and promptly set off on the road along parts of the Ring of Beara.

We saw a lot more sheep than people.

Here are all the photos we took from our little ring around Kerry (with dips into County Cork). Today: we’re braving the rain to head up to the Northwest Coast to explore the Cliffs of Moher.



Greetings from Cork

After three days, we finally gave up on the wireless internet access that is supposed to work from our room. It just doesn’t…but it does from the lobby.

It’s going pretty much as planned. Thursday we wandered around after arriving in the afternoon. Yesterday (Friday) we explored Cobh (a.k.a. Cove, previously known as Queenstown), a major emigration center in past decades. They have a lovely museum on the topic of emigration. Oddly enough, our first excursion in Bremen was to Bremerhaven to explore their emigration museum (a few posts back). Today the weather kinda disappointed us, so we stuck to exploring Cork on foot, with a little light shopping, and a visit to their Butter Museum (no samples!?).

We’ve been making sure to have Bailey’s in our coffee and a glass of Murphy’s with dinner and are enjoying the Irish Breakfast selections (barring the black pudding).

Look out, Ireland — we’re on our way!

Where in the world?Off we go to the bus stop to get to the train take us to another bus to get to our terminal to check in for our flight, at long last, to Ireland. We’ve been meaning to visit Ireland since about 2004 or so, but it’s never worked out before. Here’s our rough itinerary:

  • fly to Cork, check in at the Lancaster Lodge
  • Hang out there and explore — our Frommer’s guide says Cork is the culinary capital of Ireland. We’ll see about that. I’m looking forward to corned beef and shepherd’s pie.
  • Snag a rental car and drive to Kenmare, check in at the Riverville House Kenmare
  • drive around the Ring of Kerry in a clockwise direction
  • drive home and fly back to Munich, fully refreshed, energized, and motivated for my upcoming trip to Romania (surprise — it’s not Iasi!).

Oh, and about the shirt: it was a very odd coincidence that this shirt arrived this morning in the mail before our departure. shirt.woot.com was offering three random shirts for $6.66 each + $5 shipping and I couldn’t resist. I’m calling it a good omen.