Friday, February 24, 2006

Eireann go braugh! (Warning: pic heavy)

Yup, I have returned (however unwillingly) from the land of eternal green to the land of eternal gray skies! Our trip was wonderful. We had surprisingly good weather (only sprinkled a few times) and it was warmer than Michigan, so we couldn’t complain about that. If you have a map of Ireland handy (doesn’t everyone?), you can trace the basic route of our trip... we stayed in Mullingar (a little northwest of Dublin) with our pals that we were visiting. Nice town, but I didn’t take any pics of it. We took a three-day trip that went from Killarney National Park,

to Glengarriff where we stayed at a nice B&B (and ate the first of many enormous Irish breakfasts... any meal that includes several varieties of meat is a little too much for me!), and then drove the entire Beara Peninsula.

What can I say about Beara? Some of the most rugged, breathtaking scenery EVER. If you have a choice between the three most popular “scenic” peninsulas in Ireland (Beara, Ring of Kerry, and Dingle) I would say ignore the more “popular with tourists” Ring of Kerry and go for Beara or Dingle. Anywho, after Beara, we headed through the Gap of Dunloe

(note: Irish roads? One lane most of the time with no shoulder. Going through mountain passes? Can be a little dicey!) and up to Dingle. Stayed the night at a lovely B&B called Doyle’s

and went pub-crawling. Two highlights of that evening for me: Stopping at the pub that was a hardware store by day and a pub by night, and listening to Irish music and watching the pub patrons dance reels in another local pub. As it isn’t tourist season yet, pubs and restaurants were not packed with fellow Americans but with actual Irish people (fancy that!), just hanging out. It was lovely. After Dingle, we headed over another mountain pass and headed north towards Tralee. Eventually, we took a ferry across the River Shannon and then headed back towards Mullingar. And then collapsed because that is a lot of driving! LOL

We also spent a day in Dublin (which I had visited several times before but the hubby had not) and visited the Book of Kells at Trinity College and the National Museum. And we spent a day at the Fore Abbey in County Westmeath, which was built around the 7th century or so.

But, you may ask yourself, where is all the yarny goodness that I REALLY want to see? Well, I haven’t taken pics yet, but stay tuned for the beautiful Aran sweater I bought myself, as well as the lovely tweed yarn.... And let me just say this. Sheep? The CUTEST animals ever!! We were considering trying to smuggle one back with us. Seriously.

Until next time, BAAAA-Bye. (That was incredibly corny, I know.)


Blogger Kimberly said...

Welcome back!! So glad to hear that you had a great time in what is my most favoritest country in Europe!

The roads in Ireland are enough to give any nightmares....especially when you have two cars going opposite direction down a one lane road with high hedges on either side....madness!!

11:26 AM  
Blogger Sue said...

Beautiful pics! Looks like you had a lovely trip with your handsome hubby! Welcome back. :)

11:44 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Love the pics! I'm very jealous! Really love the castle one. What does eireanne go braugh mean? Ireland vacation?

9:58 PM  
Blogger KathyMarie said...

Ohmygoodness, your pictures are amazing. Hooray for a wonderful (and safe!) trip! Hooray for happy times! Hooray for sheep-smuggling!

4:21 AM  
Blogger DAWN said...

OH, the envy I feel right now. Looks like you had the best time ever and I'm so happy for you. Glad you got some pictures up for us to drool over.
Baaaabye! ha

5:51 PM  
Blogger Vik said...

Thanks for sharing such beautiful pics! The castle is amazing!

4:40 PM  
Blogger Tara said...

I am so, so, so jelous. You have no idea.

9:32 AM  
Blogger Tandi said...

So glad you had a great trip. Those pictures are amazing, I'm sure it was unbelievable. I would love to see Ireland some day! And I love sheep too. I've been trying to talk my husband into one for our backyard in lieu of a dog!

10:39 PM  

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