Whistle stop family road trip

Old Jul 21st, 2017, 09:40 AM
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Whistle stop family road trip

We (my husband, myself and 14 yr old son) from Australia are half way through a 5 week circuit of the globe. The first two weeks of our trip were in Canada. You can read about them here if you want.

http://www.fodors.com/community/cana...eek-taster.cfm

Now we've been joined by our daughter who is working in London this year, for a 9 day trip around Ireland.I like to blog in real time so here's the first couple of instalments from Ireland.

Day 1
The worst part of any great trip is the air travel. Being squished like a sardine for hours on end, shoulder strain from heavy carry on bags, expensive airport food, dreadful on board food that you eat anyway because it breaks up the time, the balancing act between staying hydrated and not having to go to those disgusting toilets too many times, running between connections or twiddling your thumbs in boarding lounges where there aren’t enough phone charge ports, arguments about window seats and aisle seats (and then ending up as the piggy in the middle), not to mention puffy ankles, sore ears and stuffy noses! Surely someone will invent teleporting soon – I’m afraid it just won’t be soon enough for me.

In Dublin the LEAP transport Visitor’s Card gives you 3 days of travel on buses, trams and trains for 19.50 Euro. This included transport to and from the airport to the city so was well and truly worth the cost.

We’re staying at the cutest hostel you’ve ever seen. Dublin is a very expensive city and I spent a long time searching for something to fit our budget. I’m not even sure how I stumbled upon Tipperary House but at 80 E a night for a room that sleeps 4 and has its own bathroom AND breakfast, pretty much in the centre of the city, its about a 1/3 of the price of anything else available. I was a bit dubious but the trip advisor reviews were good and luckily they were right. Our room is at the very top of the lovely, old boarding house- up 3 flights of tiny wooden stairs- luckily I had a couple of strong men to get my luggage up the stairs! We have a double bed and bunks, a TV and a window that opens. Its only 200 metres to Houston Station and within walking distance of the Guiness Storehouse. Who could ask for more?

Day 2/3

I’m not sure about Dublin. We’ve just come from the pleasantest (sp) place on Earth and it’s been raining since we got here so that makes it hard to be objective. I love the Irish accent- everything sounds like a song. I don’t like the amount of rubbish in the street or the number of blazed people we’ve seen on the tram or down by the Liffey. I love the architecture and the history and the music coming from every pub. I don’t like the second hand smoke or the price of bottled water. It feels a little bit edgy, like Glasgow but it’s very walkable and that’s bonus. I wish we had longer here to truly explore.

Our hostel is actually amazing. When I told them Sophie would be staying with us tonight so I could pay for the extra person I was told the charge was by the room, not the number of bodies. When we went down for breakfast this morning it was like stepping into 1940. Flowered tablecloths, baskets of bread and little jugs of (warm) milk on the table.

I guess 24 hrs without sleep has some benefits. Despite being right by the road, we slept like lambs in our tiny room and this morning we were ready to tackle our only full day in Dublin. The Guinness Storehouse was in walking distance so we headed there for the 10am tour. The building and the business is an iconic part of Dublin and they have done a great job in promoting it through this tourist attraction. Over 7 floors you can learn about the production of guinness, the history of the company (the founder signed a 9000 year lease – how’s that for forward planning!), learn how to taste test the brew, pour your own pint (and drink it) and get a fantastic 360 degree view of the city. I enjoyed my pint, even if it was a wee bit early to start drinking. When in Ireland etc…

Because Tipperary House is so central we were able to call back in and recharge our phones and drink some coffee ( to counteract the guinness) before we left for our tour of Kilmainham Gaol. The gaol is the number 1 tourist attraction in Dublin and they run tours every 15 minutes of every day and we were lucky to get the only time slot left today at 3pm.
It felt very like the Old Melbourne Gaol- so much sadness and suffering. I realised how little I understand about the political uprisings in Ireland, something I hope to rectify before the end of this holiday.

I was really keen to get out of town to the sea at Howth for lunch but we didn’t have time during the day so we decided to go for dinner. This involved using our Leap passes to take the tram to Connolly Station and then a DART train to Howth. Seemed simple. When we got to Connolly we looked at the board, found the right platform and headed off. As we got close we could see people running to catch the train so, of course, we ran too, jumping into the train just as the doors closed. We were busily congratulating ourselves when another passenger, overhearing our conversation, enquired into our destination. Turned out we had jumped onto the wrong train, going in the opposite direction. Oops! Lucky we had a helpful Irishman! Off the train at the next stop, wait awhile for a return train, try again to get the right one, finally arrive in Howth at 8pm. Definitely worth the trip because it’s a beautiful spot, especially at sunset. A restaurant near the station had a Thursday special offering fish and chips and mushy peas for 10 E. Unfortunately after we’d been seated and went to order the server told us she’d run out of fish. Awkward- we took a tram and 3 trains for fish and chips – probs should have taken the specials board down! Second choice was across the street at a place claiming to have Ireland’s best fish and chips. Based on this statement I will not be eating fish and chips anywhere else on this trip because the fish was bland and the chips were ordinary.

Back on the train and then back on the tram we settled in to wait for the best part of the day, the arrival of our daughter Sophie who was flying in from London. Her plane was delayed and the buses had stopped running so she didn't arrive until 1.30am.

A very late night meant some tired travellers but we managed to get ourselves up and dressed and back to the airport to pick up our rental. Geoff was pretty excited to be driving this one on the 'right' side of the road and we set off for the next destination on our whistle stop tour, Belfast.

We took the long road via Strangford because it's always more interesting than the freeway. We wound our way through pretty little villages and along narrow country, roller coaster roads where you had to breathe in every time you passed another car. This isn't called the Emerald Isle for no reason. The whole place practically glistens with green.

Strangford is Game of Thrones country, with many of the scenes set in the area. I was surprised by the lack of 'cash in'. The only reference we saw was a few tired looking t shirts in the gift shop in Strang(e)ford. There wasn't a lot else to hold us there, so we took the ferry across to Portaferry where we wished we'd stopped instead because they clearly had a festival happening with dress ups and floats but we resisted the urge to join in and kept driving to Belfast.

Our accommodation tonight seems like another good find, a two bedroom apartment overlooking the harbour, complete with a kitchen, a washing/drying machine and excellent wifi.
Its also beside the freeway and the train line and there are lots of planes flying overhead so I'll reserve my judgement on sleep quality until tomorrow!
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Old Jul 21st, 2017, 02:33 PM
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Enjoying your trip report. It is a destination on my list of places to visit. I am enjoying reading about the good and not so good things about your visit. Thanks for sharing.
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Old Jul 21st, 2017, 03:24 PM
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Sorry about your Howth trip. Usually there are so many excellent places to eat there. I looked up Tipperary house. So strange because Google maps has it pre-luas and their remodel was amazing. That can be an iffy side of town. Parts of Dublin are dirty and late nights on the tram can be scary. We always do a buddy system after dark. I love NI.
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Old Jul 22nd, 2017, 11:53 AM
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Thanks for reading along Andee and Macross. I can understand the wisdom of the buddy system- the luas certainly felt a bit dodgy after dark. So far NI has been lovely, just a shame we don't have longer to spend exploring.

I was right to worry about the traffic noise in Belfast. Combined with a lack of curtains in the apartment, we all found it a bit hard to sleep. Geoff & Sophie got up and went for a run around the Titanic Quarter then we made our own breakfast (courtesy of Lidls) and headed to the Titanic Belfast exhibit.

This is a very popular exhibit and there were already a lot of people, including several school excursion groups there when we arrived. This forced me to put on my school teacher voice a couple of times- much to the horror of my own children. The exhibit covers 7 floors, with information not only about the Titanic but ship building in general, and particularly, in Belfast. Some of it is a bit tedious but all in all we enjoyed it enough to spend nearly 3 hours examining the displays.

There’s lots of symbolism built into the design of the building, with each feature paying tribute to different elements of the Titanic, from the span of the façade matching the width of the ship, to the morse code patterned lines on the path outside. My favourite part was reading the testimony of the survivors and the information dispelling some of the movie myths about the sinking. Given that some of my students are basing their Drama solos on one of the survivors, it was also good research material.

As luck would have it, the ticket seller at Titanic Belfast was from Ballycastle, our next destination. He gave us a copy of his suggested route along what he called the Causeway Coastal Tour, dedicated to his dad who had coined the phrase back in the 60s. All he asked was that we visit the bench named in honour of his dad on the Ballycastle foreshore, take a photo and send it to him. I love the interesting and helpful people you meet while traveling!

By the time we hit the road it was after 1 and unfortunately it was raining pretty hard so the magnificence of the coastal road was a little bit muted into a solid sheet of grey sky meets grey sea with no discernible horizon and we couldn’t get out of the car. Nevertheless it was majestic and I’d love to drive that way again when there was a touch of blue in the sky.

From Casheldun we took the scenic (and incredibly skinny) Torr road. No need to spend money on fairground roller coasters- here was one for free. Up, up, up, then around and down, down, down- repeat. All done on a road just barely wide enough for two small vehicles to pass one another on the straight stretches and a sheer drop on one side to the sea many, many, many metres below. It was a crazily beautiful drive, even in the rain.

We were really lucky at Torr Head that the rain let up long enough for us to climb to the top for a view across the Mull of Kintyre to Scotland. No doubting where Sir Paul McCartney got the inspiration for that song.

Another big win with the accommodation awaited us at Ballycastle. At the An Caislean guesthouse we have been upgraded to a little family suite; two separate bedrooms, a bathroom and vestibule. Up on the top floor of the beautiful Victorian building we have a lovely view down towards the sea.

Taine was running low on fuel so we walked to the sea front in search of a snack and then took our ice creams for a stroll around the harbour. There were some hardy Irish families swimming at the beach (it was 14 C), people playing tennis on some lovely grass courts and lots of fishing boats coming in with their day’s catch. Altogether a very pretty vista. We stopped long enough to take a photo on Jack O’Kane’s bench and to skip a few stones across the river mouth and by then it was time to search for dinner.

We’d been given a few suggestions from the B&B and another one from my geography class at home (thanks Liam) but they were all chockers except for the Diamond Hotel who luckily had just one table for 4 left. We’ve had terribly bad luck on this trip with fish and chips but ever the optimists, we all ordered the cod and sweet potato chips. Hallelujah! The fish was fresh, huge and crisply battered. The accompanying salad was just enough and the beer was cold. Lucky there are 3 flights of stairs to take the edge off before bed.
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Old Jul 23rd, 2017, 04:48 AM
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City hall in Belfast was built by the same craftsmen that built the Titanic and has similar features.
That coast on a clear day is the most amazing view.
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Old Jul 25th, 2017, 08:59 AM
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Northern Ireland turned on its prettiest face for us today. Blue skies, clear water, no wind.

We dined on a scrumptious Ulster breakfast (eggs, bacon, black pudding, sausage, potato bread and mushrooms) at the guesthouse and then tried to beat some of the crowds to the highlighted tourist spots of NI. We were almost successful at the Dark Hedges (as featured in Game of Thrones). We parked at the Dark Hedges hotel car park (very nice of them to allow this and a considerate tourist thing for everyone to do so you don’t mess up other people’s photos with your car) and walked the 500 metres or so to the road. I managed to take two clear shots of the hedges with no one else in them and then suddenly we were swamped by other people on the same mission. Unfortunately, most of them just parked their cars on the side of the Dark Hedge road, making it impossible for anyone to get a sense of the mysterious atmosphere.

We weren’t quite early enough at Carrick-a-rede rope bridge. The ticket box had just opened but the car park was already full and the path to the bridge was reminiscent of the hordes at Niagara Falls. The bridge spans a little gorge between the mainland and a rocky outcrop. It’s a loooong way down but the bridge is steady and they only allow 8 people on it at a time so I managed it quite easily. On the other side, the views are spectacular, especially on a gorgeous day like this but the edges are unfenced and the drop is sheer. The terror of watching everyone get as close as possible for the perfect photo gave me a panic attack so I had to sit and do some mindfulness exercises!

From there we went to the Giant’s Causeway and that’s when the desire to see the natural wonders of the world on a sunny Sunday in Summer got crazy. The carpark looked like the MCG on grand final day, as every tour bus and international school camp in NI and about ten thousand locals vied for a chance to pay 10 pound, (about $18 each), to step foot on the ancient, tessellated rocks. This was too much for us Aussies (not bad grammar, just an appropriate line from Spamalot) so we retreated to try again at a later, or earlier time.

Portrush is the epicentre of the beach towns along the northern coast. We’d planned to have lunch there but it too was wall to wall cars along the beach front, the harbour and the street. There were numerous amusement arcades and a giant mobile home park. In the public toilets there were several teenage girls changing into bikinis, applying 57 layers of makeup and creating cocktails with vodka in their drink bottles! We parked down the far end and did a bit of people watching, decided we were very glad we were staying in Ballycastle and took off again, back through Coleraine and the Dark Hedge road (bumper to bumper by this time). Ballycastle was busy too but in a pleasant, country village way, with a hurling tournament and a market by the beach. The runners (everyone but me) did their exercise thing and I strolled through the market and down the beach.

For dinner we packed a picnic with ingredients from Tesco and headed back to the Giant’s Causeway. This time we avoided the Information Centre altogether and, quite legally, took the red trail (extreme cliff climb!), at no cost, to the causeway. Our picnic spot at Saguenay Fjord last week was a definite winner for lunch but this is a new contender for best dinner venue. I doubt there are many days in NI where you can comfortably walk across the causeway in your shorts and t shirt at 9.30pm, but this was one of them. It was absolutely stunning.

The Giant’s Causeway stretches out and up like a 3D version of Hexa. It’s pretty hard to believe that these stones aren’t man made; there are thousands of perfect hexagons in different sized stacks, reaching out into the sea. To make it even more perfect, the sun was beginning to set and we were sharing this amazing vision with only a handful of other people. Don’t get me wrong- I think it’s wonderful that so many people are travelling the world but like my fantasy of first class air travel, I just wish they weren’t all doing it at the same time as me so the decision to wait till the evening to visit will go down as one of the best decisions of this trip. Turns out the blue trail (moderate, no steps path) is also accessible without an official ticket, so we returned to the car that way.

On the way home we stopped at Ballintoy harbour to watch the last of the sunset.

It was a perfect day.
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Old Jul 25th, 2017, 11:33 AM
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Really enjoying your report. I am seriously considering Ireland as a destination sooner rather than later. Your dinner at the Giants causeway sounds just lovely, and I understand what you mean about enjoying the quiet moments when there are less people about. Still following along.
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Old Jul 25th, 2017, 01:39 PM
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Loving your report - your words paint such a vivid picture and are bringing back beautiful memories - we stayed in a gorgeous b&b in Ballintoy (whitewashed cottage over looking emerald green fields with sheep and the ocean) that was built in 1737.

And after clicking on the link to the Canadian part of your trip, I now think Canada may be on the radar!

Thank you
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Old Jul 25th, 2017, 03:06 PM
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The causeway picnic sounds like heaven. I have been twice and never paid a fee to see the causeway. I also never went into the info center. Is that where they get you to pay? I have walked back and forth, such a great walk. We went once in May during the motorcycle road race and once in Sept and not as crowded.
We did a small bus tour first time and the driver had a flat Stanley of Arya Stark for us to pose with. We sort of had it all to ourselves that late afternoon. I think the road race had put off the tourist. So glad you got some good pictures.

I am so happy you had sunshine.
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Old Jul 26th, 2017, 11:38 AM
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Thanks for the feedback everyone. The Giant's Causeway was definitely a highlight. Currently working on a plan to see the Cliffs of Moher in a similar, relaxed fashion. If you want to see some of our photos, they are on my blog

http://demansersintheusa.blogspot.ie...connemara.html

After a brilliant stay in NI we had a couple of travel transition days, moving down the island from North to West.

When you try to gauge distances using Google Maps, it’s easy to fall into the trap of equating distance with time. It doesn’t work that way in Ireland! Unless you travel on the main highways (predictably boring as they bypass all the towns), travel is slow. The roads, even in towns were designed for horse and cart width and are bordered by hedges – high, thick ones that you don’t want to wrangle with in your rental car. It’s virtually impossible to see what’s coming around the corner or over the rise and I’ve taken to closing my eyes and holding my breath in each instance so that I don’t make involuntary shrieks that might distract the driver. Generally, all drivers are very considerate and one person or the other will pull in tight to the hedgerow to let the other pass but, as in every country, there are a fair share of hoons who overtake or just whiz around the bends with no thought for anyone’s safety. As a result of all of the above, travel is slow. This doesn’t worry us as we are in no rush to get from place to place, the journey, not the destination being the priority for us on this trip.

As you cross the border there’s nothing to tell you you’re changing countries, from Northern Ireland to the Republic of Ireland except that the bunting – a regular feature in most towns and outside many houses, changes from the Ulster flag accompanied by the Union Jack to the green, white and orange of the Irish flag, the speed limits are in kms instead of miles and you suddenly have to pay in Euro rather than Stirling.

From Ballycastle we drove down through Derry and Donegal to our overnight stop at Dromahair. It was here we struck our first issue with accommodation because, a) the place was hard to find, b) there was no sign of life when we got there except an elderly man who mistook Geoff for a ‘Jimmy’ (policeman) and got quite agitated believing that he had come to complain about some kids who were ‘no any of his responsibility’. Thankfully we have Sophie’s UK phone for such events but when she rang the owners they told her the apartment wouldn’t be ready for check in till 5pm because the laundry was late!

To fill the time we drove back into the closest big town, Sligo and checked out the Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery. I usually find standing stones quite fascinating but at the end of a long day, and at 13 Euro, we were struggling to find our zen and this field looked pretty much like any paddock around Dundonnell at home. The information provided was interesting though and it is certainly fascinating to know you are looking at evidence of a civilisation that existed 6000 years ago.

Back at Dromahair, still no sign of a check in person meant another phone call to be advised that someone would come and let us in immediately. Immediately in this case turned out to be 20 minutes, so it was nearly 7 by the time we were settled. Given that the check out next morning was 9, the price seemed a little excessive for a 14 hr stay! To add insult to injury, there was no wifi (even though it was advertised) and no toaster. One of our travel issues is avoiding Taine’s ‘hangriness’ (getting angry because you’re hungry) and morning hangriness is the worst.

Given the lack of toaster it wasn’t hard to make an early start the next morning to the Connemara. This drive took us down through Westport where we stopped for lunch at a lovely café in the main street. From Westport you enter a whole new landscape, one that’s difficult to describe. It’s a bit like the Scottish Highlands meets the Otway Forest by the sea!
The paddocks were dotted with black faced sheep (who cross the road whenever they feel like it), there were fishing boats of every description out on the fjord and crofters in the fields harvesting peat. I didn’t even know that was still done.

Clifden is the hub of the Connemara and like all other coastal towns in Summer, full of people. We’re staying in the penthouse of the Tom Barry House apartments. It’s a penthouse because it’s at the top of the building, up 66 stairs from the ground, above a bookmaker’s shop! We even have a little decking outside the lounge window. Unfortunately this is a shared decking and has public access so anyone who wants to sit up there looks straight in our windows but so far no one has so it’s a lovely little kingdom at the top of the town. And it has a toaster. And wifi!

We used the 2 night layover opportunity to have a bit of a sleep in and then took a drive around the Sky Road with a view to hiring bikes and going back around it later in the day. The Sky Road is beautiful with expansive views out over the coastline. Despite its close proximity to the town, this is a quiet and laid back countryside, punctuated by little farms, lots of Connemarra ponies, tiny harbours and the odd B and B. I’m not sure the photos will do justice to the kaleidoscope of colours.

We’d packed a picnic lunch so we drove out to the National Park looking for a nice walk to get our steps up for the day. Geoff spotted a mountain (it was called a Diamond Hill, but I know a mountain when I see one) and discovered on his Maps.me that it was only a 3km walk away. I hate climbing things but holidays are all about family bonding and the sun was shining so I agreed to walk the base track and maybe wait for them to do the climb. Of course, one base track led to another and there were small children gallivanting on in front of me so on I tramped until suddenly we were committed to the one way track to the summit. With Geoff physically dragging me up the steep bits and the kids making encouraging noises I managed to make it to the top, only truly losing the plot when the uneven stone steps became an actual rock climb and the wind threatened to pick me up and throw me over the edge.

The fun really began as we started our descent and the weather turned from sunny to wild and windy to sleet followed by rain so heavy that no one could see, especially not the old lady wearing glasses. Sophie got the giggles as I crawled sideways, blind and Gollum like, down the steepest bits, clinging to Geoff’s hand in the hope he might be able to drag me back up if I fell. Keeping in mind that I managed to fall flat on my face walking down the street in Montreal, falling off the mountain was a definite possibility!

Completely soaked, we finally made it to the base track and so desperate was I to get back to cover (and the toilet) that I broke into a jog for the last bit. I sincerely hope I am able to walk well enough tomorrow to get down the 66 steps to the car. I may need to be removed with a crane.

Tom Barry House let us down by not having any hot water when we got back, the only black mark in an otherwise perfect accommodation.
We’ve been trying to get to an Irish pub for dinner since we got here. We tried again tonight and finally got a spot at Guys. Unfortunately, they didn’t have any live music but the pub next door to us does so we’ll open the window and listen to that for free.
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Old Jul 29th, 2017, 11:10 AM
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The drive from Clifden to Doolin takes you out of the Connemara and into the Burren, a strange, barren landscape of rocks and more rocks.

Our next destination was Doolin as a base from which to explore the Cliffs of Moher. We had great plans of hiking the 7km to the cliffs and taking the bus back or vice versa, but when we got to Doolin the wind was blowing a gale and even my gung ho travel companions were a bit wary of walking along the cliff face so we drove to the information centre and used the safety of the observation barriers to view this amazing piece of nature’s handiwork. I’ve seen lots of pictures of the Cliffs of Moher but nothing beats seeing them in person. Like Niagara, the majesty and magnitude of the sheer, 200 metre drop, needs 4D (3D plus the wind!) to be appreciated. Once again, our timing was great because we didn’t get there till after 6 so all the tour buses had departed and there were just a few other hardy souls to share the experience with. We spent about 20 minutes watching the ferocity of the sea and took a lot of fairly disappointing photos (due to the lack of aforementioned 4D on the camera).

Back in Doolin, we sought sustenance at O’Connor’s pub, where we had a wee wait but not too long to get a table. Geoff had the roast lamb, Taine had a burger (for a change- he’s averaging 2 a day) Sophie and I both had the guiness Irish stew, washed down with a bottle of red, followed by cheesecake and Irish coffee. It was all excellent. At 9.30 a traditional music session started so we hung around for an hour to tap our toes. We stayed at the Doolin Inn, an up market backpackers and they had the best continental breakfast we’ve come across, including berry smoothies and fruit platters.

If we’d had longer in Doolin we definitely would have taken the ferry to the Aran islands. From the harbour it looked like it would be a hair raising ride on a very angry looking sea. We spent a bit of time ogling the beautiful knitwear in the craft shops. No doubt if there was any room in our luggage we would have bought some.

Our lunch stop was in Limerick and we used the time to visit King John’s Castle. A.A Milne’s poem, ‘King John’s Christmas’ was a favourite of mine as a kid so the idea of seeing his castle was appealing. Turns out King John never actually visited, let along lived in this castle in Ireland but nonetheless it was an interesting history lesson and we learnt quite a bit about sieges and under mining. Now, whenever I feel under mined, I will think of the poor inhabitants of King John’s Castle.

From Limerick we drove to our overnight stop at Dromineer, just outside Nenagh. I’m actually not sure what my thought process was when I booked this. I think I’d planned on Ennis and then went further afield when I couldn’t find anywhere suitable. Don’t bother googling ‘things to do in Dromineer’, because there aren’t any! There’s a great big lake called Lough Durgh but it’s a mighty way around, certainly too far for us weary travellers on a dinghy grey day. We checked into our B and B, a very intimate little house. With no space to bring our cases in and walls thin enough to hear a mouse squeak, we high tailed it into Nenagh to look at some ruins and find dinner. It was too wet to get out to look at the ruins but the meal at the Thatched Cottage made up for the lack of entertainment. Full as googs we opted for an early night.

After a fantastic cooked breakfast, we accidentally drove off without paying the bill. Most of our accommodation has been pre paid so when we couldn’t find our host when we were leaving, and given that he hadn't mentioned payment when we checked in, we just assumed he’d used the credit card details lodged with Booking.com, however, an email from them saying we hadn’t respected the conditions of the agreement (i.e, we’d done a runner) ensued. Awkward! We’ve spent some time trying to contact the owner to rectify the mistake but so far to no avail. I hope we don’t get black listed by B and Bs. Geoff will be thrilled ;-)

Today was our last full day in Ireland and with an early flight tomorrow we elected to drive all the way back to the airport. We took a bit of a deviation to visit Kilkenny for lunch and I’m glad we did. It’s a beautiful old city with a lovely castle and the most extensive grounds (open free to the public) that I’ve ever seen. We had a bit of a wander and then continued the drive back through County Carlow, with scenery similar to home.

Tonight we’re staying at a guesthouse near the airport. We ate at an old coach house, run by a Bulgarian couple, offering an English carvery with a lot of cabbage. You couldn’t get anything more Irish!
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Old Jul 31st, 2017, 01:50 PM
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Loved your pictures. Last trip we stayed five nights in Westport. Glad you stopped for lunch. I like Doolin. We have stayed there once for two evenings and it was great for a touring base and the pubs with music at night. Those rocks are slippy in the rain, bravo for climbing.
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