The plane from
Schiphol airport left early therefore we booked in to a hotel near the
airport the night before. We had time to visit Zandvoort for a beach
walk and a large helping of chips and kibbelings. Shuttle bus to
Schiphol and the booking in went smoothly. Because we started the day
early, when we arrived in Cork we could start exploring Ireland
immediately. First stop we made was the last official stop of the
Titanic. After that a visit to the original Jameson whisky distillery.
Susan took a liking to the product and ordered it at every
Lunch and offcourse it is raining
We had to pay for
our own lunches but the places were nice. Most of the time we ordered
chowder. A thick fish soup. Apart from one hotel, all were nice with
fantastic English breakfast and dinner. Next day to Kinsale and Bantry.
Kinsale is a fishing village. On an Garnish island near the coast
fabulous gardens and we sailed past a seal colony.
Typical row of
When you walk
through a village it is completely different from anywhere else. Each
house has it's own colour. This stems from the time before house
Next day to the Killarney national park. We drove through the park on
a horse drawn carriage. A big castle at the edge of a lake was the big
attraction here. The evening attraction was a traditional dance
depicting the Irish culture.
Colours and flowers like
this are everywhere.
Day four. The
Ring of Kerry. This is a 170 KM road following the coast of the
Iverach peninsula. Fabulous views, dainty villages. We had a
demonstration of Border Collies herding sheep. We had seen it before
because this is the standard way in Oz but still interesting. Spend
the night in Tralee. At night the whole group walked in to town in
search of traditional Irish music. When we arrived at one place it was
chockers but we managed to find a table and had a great time here. I
like this type of music.
birthday was celebrated in style. The tour group
listening to Irish music.
Anneke's birthday. Susan had bought flowers and the whole group sang
happy birthday. Visited Crag Cave. When you have been in caves before
this one is a waste of time. In Limerick is a big open air museum
showing off the old style buildings. Those of you who have been in the
Arnhem openlucht museum will know what it looks like. Again an old
castle the big attraction. Every day we drive around 200 KM. I have
great admiration for the driver. A big coach on narrow roads with
often no space beside the bitumen. A tall hedge or stone wall. We
often had to stop because a car came from the opposite direction. When
you have a window seat the hedges fly by just inches from your face.
Next stop Ennis where we spend three nights.
View on the Ring of Kerry
Bunratty Castle in open air museum Sheep
The hotel in
Ennis had never been used by the tour operator. The room stank of
cigarette smoke. I was surprised to see that it was allowed to smoke
in a hotel room. The kitchen was run by a Chinese restaurant. In short
it could be better. But this was the only time the whole group
Day six. A trip
to the Connemara district. Here flowing hills. A lot of lakes because
they still use peat for heating. There is even a giant electricity
plant which runs on peat. The town of Galway in the afternoon, where
there was a market and sheep auction. I have not mentioned the weather
yet because this was the big unknown. We did have rain but all in all
we were very lucky. Most churches we visited were very simple. Even
the older ones, this compared to the ones we saw on the mainland.
One of the
many fabulous views. Galway. This is one of the most
Day seven. A tour
through the burren. This is a turf producing area with also a boulder
thrown landscape. The most imposing part of the tour was a visit to
the cliffs of Moher. Probably the most spectacular view in Ireland.
Luckily the weather was perfect. The only dissonant was a young driver
decided to modify the bus and his car. On those small roads you can
not fly around a corner without knowing what is on the other side.
Cliffs of Moher
Day eight. We are
slowly heading towards Dublin and the end. A visit to Clonmacnoise , a
medieval "klooster nederzetting" situated beside the Shannon River.
All buildings are in ruin but they still have original Celtic crosses.
After dinner we made a tour through Dublin which included a visit to
the nightclub area Temple Bar. No loud disco music but a lot of live
bands playing traditional Irish music.
One of the
buildings at Clonmacnoise
Day nine. A tour
through the Wicklow Mountains. Great views on the way and a castle (Powercourt)
with beautiful gardens. In the afternoon to a peninsula near Dublin
where all the fishing boats are. The seals swim here in the harbour.
Afternoon tea with an Irish coffee.
gardens. This seal just caught
something to eat.
Day ten and time
to head home again. Before we leave we were let loose in Dublin. First
photo had to be from the Molly Malone statue. Famous song in Ireland.
Visited some churches. We had to pay to get in and they were not very
Malone Saying goodbye.
part of Ireland we visited, South and Southwest was very interesting.
Their culture is very similar to what we are used to. The scenery is
spectacular the people very friendly and their beer downs easily.
There is a lot of history here but when you come from the mainland you
might be a bit blasť about it all. Luckily the weather worked in our
favour a bit of rain every now and then but nothing to spoil the day.