A Travellerspoint blog

Kilkenny to Athy to Dublin in a day

sunny 14 °C

We travelled from Killarney to Kilkenny and then to Athy (where the O'Brien's are from) and then onto Dublin.

Dropped the car off after landing somewhere in Dublin via GPS that was not the Hertz car rental place. Thanks to some kind blokes at Sarsbury car yard they gave us a print off of where the hertz yard actually was.

We then had two days two nights to visit Dublin.

It is not a terribly pretty city. I thought staying in a hotel on the River Liffey would be very nice, but it was a crowded busy place with lots of beggars and rubbish.

Our hotel stay was an experience! It was over a pub and we were on the first floor (cheapest noisiest rooms). It was far from cheap though as it was so close to everything. We found a place to have dinner and then found a pub with some great musicians and stayed out late. When we went back to our digs - we were laughing because the shower was so small like a cupboard (formula one type) We noticed there was an connecting door to other room but didn't think much of it. Were chatting for a while and I thought I could hear the chap next door snoring on and off. Went to bed and sure enough his had and my head were right next to the connecting door. I think he must've had sleep apnoea because he would snore on then stop and choke and cough and then start talking in his sleep!! I tried to be patient thinking he will go off to a deep sleep and stop soon. But to no avail, the sounds honestly never stopped at all. After 2 hours of this, I got up and went down to reception and said I need another room and explained the situation. They immediately found us a family size room on the 4th floor and we moved in. Then the next morning after brekkie they told us we would have to move again as the room was booked to a family. but fortunately they found us another room on the 4th floor and we slept soundly on that second night. So after 3 rooms in one night/day we went out to Dublin city.

We took a river cruise and heard some history on the buildings and sites.

We also took in the Tall Ship tour of a ship called Jennie Johnston which carried 2,500 Irish to other countries without one death due to the owner being an Irishman and making sure he had a good captain and a ship doctor. They also carried out more hygiene than any other ships - these ships were cargo ships and so as the Irish paid before they got on they were then not a valuable cargo on delivery so most owners didn't care if they arrived alive or not.

The hygiene was simple - everyone had to get out on deck each day for 30mins, shake out their blankets. They emptied the chamber pots regularly to avoid spillage and overflowing. Everybody had a team and a turn at cleaning the hull where they were living. They could fit up to 255 people in the hull - it was not a large space let me tell you. They would have 10 people to a bunk - head to toe.

It was an excellent tour and we learned a lot.

We had dinner at an Italian restaurant which was very nice. We then limped off to hotel for a good long nights sleep. I kept thinking this is the last lay down I will get for 2 days!!

The next day we headed off to EPIC which is a new museum in Dublin. It is a great set up in the old warehouses on the river front. It has a great indoor area with lots of shops and cafe's along it. I nice respite in the rain.

The museum is then downstairs in the old stone storehouses. It was really very good as well - lots of interactive stories about why people left Ireland for other lands and then history of Ireland and its culture.

We spent a couple of hours down there - coming up for lunch and then going back to it.

We wandered around the temple bar area - which is a bit of a dive really.

I think I am over people smoking in public.

We are now at airport waiting to catch the flight -they haven't confiscated Mick's shepherd's crook yet so all good.

Kilkenny

Kilkenny

Frank O'Brien's Bar and Groceries!

Frank O'Brien's Bar and Groceries!

Athy

Athy

Athy

Athy

Boats on the River at Athy

Boats on the River at Athy

Castle? at the town bridge Athy

Castle? at the town bridge Athy


In a bar - not! at the EPIC

In a bar - not! at the EPIC

O'Brien's learning Hawiian! at the EPIC

O'Brien's learning Hawiian! at the EPIC

Famous people from Ireland EPIC

Famous people from Ireland EPIC

Sculpture of the leaving at EPIC

Sculpture of the leaving at EPIC

Trinity College

Trinity College

Jeannie Johnston Tall Ship Tour Dublin

Jeannie Johnston Tall Ship Tour Dublin

Custom House at Dublin

Custom House at Dublin


.O'Connell's Bridge over the Liffey - we stayed just near this

O'Connell's Bridge over the Liffey - we stayed just near this

Posted by emgob65 13:17 Archived in Ireland Comments (0)

Killarney 6 June

rain 13 °C
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Well the weather turned on us and it was heavy showers of rain and wind today.

We had to decide by 9.30am if we were going to do the Dunloe Gap trip which sounded quite good. A bus ride around to Kate Kearney's cottage then a Jaunting cart ride through the mountain pass (about 9kms) and a stop somewhere on the lake for lunch then into some wooden boats open top (look like surf lifesaving boats but with a motor) for a trip around the lakes and rivers (hour and a half) and then bus back.

We decided not to go as the showers had been heavy and the wind cold in the morning up until then so we went instead to Muckross House. We arrived at the carpark and got out. immediately we are approached by a jaunty cart man and asked if we wanted to ride in that around the House gardens and to the waterfall. We said we were ok to walk, it was only 1.5km. Off we go in search of this grand house. The signs to the house were not very clear and we headed off on a 1.5km walk around the Estate and could not find the big house. We eventually found it and then went off to walk 2km to see the waterfall. After waterfall decided on a track back to house and ended up doing a wide loop back to house.

We arrived back at our car at lunch time after deciding not to partake at the house with the other 5000 tourists.

We had a quick lunch in Killarney which ended up being a shared toasted sandwich and two coffees because the coffee shop owner was overcome with her lunchtime rush and thought that we only wanted one sandwich!

We set off for Kenmare over the mountain range and down to the river/ocean. It was a lovely little town with great coffee shops and nice jewellery shops and a fair few tourist shops with Irish kitsch and Aran sweaters.

It had a nice feel about it. We then drove a different way back to Killarney to see some of the countryside.

A nice dinner at the Fresk Bar - nice clean place with great meals and good early bird priced menu.

Heading to Dublin tomorrow - plan is to go via Kilkenny and Athy.

On walk to Muckross House

On walk to Muckross House

on trail of Muckross House

on trail of Muckross House

The Big House at Muckross House Killarney

The Big House at Muckross House Killarney

Torc waterfall at Muckross House Gardens Killarney

Torc waterfall at Muckross House Gardens Killarney

View of mountains in Killarney National Park

View of mountains in Killarney National Park

Celtic Cross out front of Church at Kenmare

Celtic Cross out front of Church at Kenmare

Mick thinking of taking up Hurling - a mix of hockey and AFL it would seem

Mick thinking of taking up Hurling - a mix of hockey and AFL it would seem

Posted by emgob65 12:41 Archived in Ireland Comments (0)

5 June Cliffs of Moher

overcast 15 °C
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We left Galway for the Cliffs of Moher.

More Grand Prix driving up winding mountain roads to the cliffs. Rocks all over the mountain - cant believe how many rocks there are in this country!We stopped on the way at the Hazel Mountain chocolate factory. All hand made from bean to chocolate on site. Wow it smelled good - of course to help the local economy we purchased some after a tasting and explanation about how it is made. It is real yummy.

Arrived at Cliffs by 12 noon with 10,000 other tourists. paid our required fee to park and walk on the cliffs.

It was really very beautiful and scary and amazing that they let all those people walk up and down there on the edge of the cliffs. I do recommend it for a look if your in the area.

I was very brave and nearly went near the edge!!!

We had about an hour there and then headed off to Ennis for lunch - realised it was a bank holiday again. (We encountered bank holiday 28 May in Nthern Ireland!) Luckily all the cafes were open.

We then headed on to Killarney through some very pretty Irish countryside. The farms seem a bit more prosperous along this route - not so many rocks.

Arrived Killarney around 6ish checked in and headed to Kaynes Bar for dinner and a Guinness.

Heading off tomorrow on a tour of Dunloe's Pass through the mountains and out on the lake. Hope weather is ok.

cliffs of Moher

cliffs of Moher

Cliff Edge - not!!!

Cliff Edge - not!!!

Nearly the edge

Nearly the edge

cliffs of Moher

cliffs of Moher

cliffs of Moher

cliffs of Moher

Fun in the sun

Fun in the sun

O'Brien's Tower at Cliffs of Moher

O'Brien's Tower at Cliffs of Moher

chips with that????

chips with that????

Old Weir Lodge Killarney - bed looks good tonight

Old Weir Lodge Killarney - bed looks good tonight

Posted by emgob65 14:12 Archived in Ireland Comments (0)

Galway 4-5 June

overcast 15 °C
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After a longish drive - 4 hrs from Croagh Patrick to Galway we were rather exhausted.

We found Hotel Clybaun and were glad that it had a nice big room but the bed was hard as a rock and I don't think I slept properly since we left Derry and the lovely B&B there.

Anyway enough whinging.

We had a walk around the city in the morning which is quite pretty with a river running through it.

We went over to the Aran Islands by ferry at 1pm to come back on the 5pm. We hopped on a tour bus and it was rather hilarious we paid 15 Euro each and he drove us 10 mins to a little village were we were supposed to pay another 5 euro to walk up to a cliff and look at a fort. We decided to have lunch instead. The bus came back at 3.50pm and took us for 10 mins around the other main road on the other side of the island and showed us a few other interesting sites and where the seals would have been on the rocks if we had come in the morning and then dropped us back at the ferry.
They are certainly not short of rocks on the island. We arrived to get on Ferry at 4.50pm and it was packed standing room only.

We found a place to stand and something to hold onto. We chatted to a bloke who owned a stationery shop on the mainland and another young girl who had been to Australia previously for a few years and did the working and holidaying thing.

We are heading to Cliffs of Moher and then onto Killarney tomorrow.

Obrien's Bridge over Corrib River Galway

Obrien's Bridge over Corrib River Galway

River Corrib Galway

River Corrib Galway

site of the seven churches on Inis More

site of the seven churches on Inis More

Beach at Inis Mor Aran Island

Beach at Inis Mor Aran Island

Posted by emgob65 13:42 Archived in Ireland Comments (0)

Ballymoney to Derry then Westport

sunny 17 °C
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Went in search of Derry with a bit of trepidation a city of 100,000 or so and a city where the "Troubles began".

We were booked into a B&B called "Redgate House". It was a rainy day again so we weren't in a hurry and took a long scenic route as check in was at 3pm and it was a bit of way out of the city.

We arrived at "Redgate House" it was high on the hill overlooking the city with a hugh garden. It looked like a stately manor! We knocked on the door and Joseph opened the door and introduced himself saying "mum's away down the town - I don't normally do this" But he made us welcome, showed us our room and took us down to TV room and made a cuppa tea.

His "Mam" came home about half hour later as she had been down doing her nails. Eilish (Elizabeth Bernadette) was her name. She was an amazing host. A real Irish type. Friendly, funny welcoming and helpful to the max. Ended up getting her husband (Brian) to drive us down the city and drop us off for a meal as their friend "Seamus" the taxi driver wasn't answering his phone. She later text us and said Seamus can pick you up when youre ready here is his number.

We had dinner and a bit of a look around the city - walked over the "peace bridge" and had a look at parts of the "walled city".

Next day we had a good breakky with two American ladies (California) and a German couple who had friend in Sydney working for Aust Meat standards.

We set off for the city to take part in the walking tour which included walking around the city walled area and being informed of the history of the "Troubles" and other history.

This was interesting and well done. Finished off with tea and scones and then set off for a look at the Catholic Cathedral which was a 15 min walk outside of the walled section. We went past all the murals on the buildings and the "Free Derry memorial"

We then set off for Westport and arrived late afternoon as it was a 4 1/2 hour drive - longer than our usual ones.

We were staying on the harbour in a hotel that had a bistro and bar below. It was a bit downmarket - the upside was that it had a washing machine with a dryer! We had a meal in the bar with the promise of live music - kept ducking upstairs to change washing.

Exchanged ideas with some English people sitting next us over dinner.

The promised music never seems to kick off until 10.30pm. by 9.30pm we went for a walk and then couldn't be bothered going back in cause it was packed to the hilt by then.

We were heading to Galway the next day and decided to go to Croagh Patrick (the mountain that Saint Patrick climbed and spent 40 days there fasting)

The sign said it would take at least 3 1/2 hours or so to complete the return journey. We thought we would have a go and see how we went.

It was truly a great experience. The climb is quite arduous, rocky and steep and heaps on people trying to do it. We took raincoats and water and needed them both.

After an hour we had reached the first summit and decided we really didn't have the time to complete the whole journey. It felt good to be able to get to the first summit and a bit disappointed we couldn't go on. We were feeling it in my calves and Mick's ankles and then the knees on the way down with all the propping!

We had a rest at the bottom and some lunch and looked in admiration at all the photos of the faithful Catholics of old. They have a Mass up on the peak once a year and it was a pilgrimage that people did every year. It was amazing seeing the photos of all those people (crowds of them) in their good gear climbing the mountain - all the way!

Even had a photo of the Archbishop up there saying a Mass!

When we were coming down we saw in the fields to the side of the track a couple of priests and nuns all in their white robes (looked like they were African) kneeling down praying and then off they went up the mountain.

We met some young girls on our way down who were going up and some of them had done it 4 times. One girl said that the stairs at the beginning are difficult - you know why? then she said "the priest said the devil makes them seem hard so try to keep you from coming on up the holy mountain".

They were a crack up!

We had a really enjoyable time doing it and would encourage anyone to go and have a go - only have to pay 3 pounds for parking and then it's free.

Peace bridge

Peace bridge

walled city

walled city

FreeDerry memorial

FreeDerry memorial

Derry mural

Derry mural

Derry mural

Derry mural


Croagh Patrick - near Westport
having a break on the way up Croagh Patrick

having a break on the way up Croagh Patrick

View from up here - Croagh Patrick

View from up here - Croagh Patrick

After an hour of mountain climbing we made the first summit

After an hour of mountain climbing we made the first summit

photo of pilgrims back in the day all dressed in their good gear climbing the mountain

photo of pilgrims back in the day all dressed in their good gear climbing the mountain

Posted by emgob65 13:25 Archived in Ireland Comments (0)

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