Globetrotting–Ireland

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I just got back from a 9 day trip to Ireland. I had a wonderful time -Philadelphia to Dublin – then onto Galway.

Ireland-globe

The main purpose of the trip for my hubby, Ed and I was not really to sightsee, but to see our daughters. One is spending a semester in Ireland studying and the other whom we haven’t seen in over a year as she is currently serving in the Peace Corps in Africa flew up to Ireland with two of her Peace Corps buddies.

They enjoyed a bit more globetrotting beforehand as they like obtaining lots of passport stamps. Casablanca, Lisbon, Paris.    We also needed a break  – from living in limbo, 2 years of unemployment and dealing with aging parent issues. It was the perfect getaway.

My daughters in front of a florist shop in Galway– X O

Ireland-Storefront-Flower-S

It was so nice to see them and be together after such a long time. We Skype on a regular basis.

We were on a strict budget.  We used our accumulated timeshare points to travel on the cheap. We didn’t stay in a resort or hotel, but  in an authentic Irish cottage with a thatched roof in Connemara.

It is on the west coast of the country in the lake region.  We felt authentically Irish.  The interior was quite simple, but the kitchen was brand new and looked very IKEA-ish.  These are views from the cottage – most mornings there were sheep grazing right next to the cottage.

Ireland-Cottage-back in ConnemeraIreland-Cottage-viewIreland-view-from-our-cottageIreland-Cottage-Sheep

We felt pretty authentic by driving on the wrong side of the road, too. We rented a car and Ed drove – making right hand turns and going through many roundabouts in Dublin and Galway were a bit intense at first, but then he got the hang of it.   We could not have gotten anywhere without the GPS. It gave us freedom to do our own thing on our own schedule.  I would highly recommend traveling this way.

Ireland-drivng-on-the-wrong

Our little cottage was up on a hill. It was also on the road where the bridge scene from the 1952 movie The Quiet Man was filmed.

The Quiet Man Video cover

Being quiet silly on The Quiet Man Bridge.

Ireland-Quiet-Man-Bridge---

There is even a photo of John Wayne at the site. Tour buses stop here.

Ireland-Quiet-Man-Movie-Bri

The cottage next to ours was getting a new roof. It was very interesting to watch the roofers work. A thatched roof will last 30 years – who knew? Simple yet amazing process.

Ireland-cottage-roof-being-

Our cottage had the most unique glass doors – I wish I had found out more about the glass.

Ireland-Cottage-Door-glass-

We went sightseeing. The first place was Kylemore Abbey.  It was sunny and warm – very pretty even though Spring was just emerging.

Ireland-Kylemore-Abbey-

Ireland-Kylemoor-Abbey-Work

Ireland-Kylemoor-Abbey-Fence turquoise

Gumby and Pokey came along.  They got their photo taken everywhere we went.

Ireland-Kylemoor-Abbey-Gumby and Pokey on a rock.

This was the only day we had full sun all day – it was so pretty.  This is Kylemore Lough right in front of the Abbey.

Ireland-Kylemoor-Abbey

Look closely below – YES- that is a thriving Palm tree growing on a North Atlantic island – not on a tropical one.

Palm-Trees-in-Ireland along a lake

They show up along the coast too –

Ireland-Palm-Tree along water's edge

Speaking of the coast – Ireland has lots of coast and ocean views – The most popular is the view  from the Cliffs of Moher in County Clare. The day we went was overcast and misty.  I was a bit disappointed not to be able to see the cliffs in all their glory.

Ireland-Cliffs-of-Moher

Ireland-Cliffs-of-Moher-rig

Ireland-Cliffs-of-Moher-bet

This is what they look like on a sunny day – I love nature and rocks – in my past life I think I was a geologist!  Such a wonderful site.

Ireland-Cliffs-of-Mohr-on-a

Since we didn’t get to really enjoy the cliffs – we did have fun in the welcome center.

Ireland-Cliffs-of-Mohr- image with girls in shadow in front of it.

We spent a lot of time in the car going from place to place and passed a few castles

Ireland-Castles

and pretty vistas.

Ireland-Pretty-vistas

Ireland-Connemara-lake-region

We passed through colorful villages and towns

Ireland-towns with colorful row of homes and shops

Ireland-Storefront-Orange

If you are wondering what is in the pretty pink bags that line the windows of this butcher shop below – potatoes.

Ireland-storefront-butcher

walking along a cobble stone street

Unique windows –Here is the glass again – love it  – I saw it everywhere we went.

Ireland-Buildings with decorative glass windows

Perfectly named eateries

Ireland-Storefront-Kellys

and quaint homes with perfect hedges.

Ireland-houses-hedges

We also saw lots and lots of pretty yellow gorse.   This is along the road to the cottage.

Ireland-Gorse

We went to a few pubs and watched more than one soccer football game on big screen TV’s with the locals.   “Mom – you are soooooo NOT taking our picture from across the pub are you?” 

Ireland-Girls-in-Pub

and we downed a few of these…

beer_photo_draught_pint

We walked along Salthill in Galway and climbed up on a diving platform used in the summer months.  It was blustery, but was worth putting up with as  the view of the area and the Aran Islands was stunning.

Ireland-Salthill-in-Galway Dad and daughters

There were people swimming laps in the freezing water without wet/dry suits.  Crazy!

Ireland-Galway-Salthill-Swiming

We spent some time in Galway enjoying all the shops

Standing in from of a Galway-Storefront

and scenery.

Ireland-Galway--River-with-row of homes

On our last day we went hiking up Diamond Hill at Connemara National Park.  It was overcast and got misty the higher up we climbed.

Ireland-Connemara-National-Park Hiking up

Not quite halfway.

Ireland-girls-hiking-in-Conemerra

Ireland-Connemara-Accent up the mountain

Yeah!  Jump up and down we are half way to the top.

Ireland-Girls-at-half-way mark up mountain and jumping up and down

jumping in excitement after getting halfway up the hike

At the summit – SUCCESS

Standing at the summit on Ireland-Connemarra-Nat-Park

The descent.  Kylemore Abbey is way down in the valley.

Ireland-Connemarra-National descent

Ireland-Connemara-Nat-Park- family photo

I also went to- not TJ Maxx, but TK Maxx.  I didn’t buy anything, but it sure was tempting.

Ireland-shopping-TK-MAxx

We had a great time and it flew by. Before we knew it – it was time to say goodbye.

It was hard saying goodbye to my daughter’s, but I live for Skype so we can stay connected with them.  We stayed in a hotel that evening and the next morning we flew to Frankfurt, Germany to meet a relative of Ed’s.

Germany-Ed-and-Herb

After our visit we were back in the air flying home. It was a 9 hour flight. I thought I would sleep, but I made the mistake and drank really strong German coffee during our visit. I was wired – so I ended up watching 3 onboard movies to pass the time, read a book and ate too much.  US Air does not let you go hungry.

Even though we had a wonderful time, when I come home after traveling I am always reminded of this song by Frank Sinatra.

It’s very nice to go trav’ling
To Paris, London and Rome
It’s oh, so nice to go trav’ling
But it’s so much nicer
Yes, it’s so much nicer to come home

It’s very nice to just wander
The camel route to Iraq
It’s oh, so nice to just wander
But it’s so much nicer
Yes, it’s oh so nice to wander back

It’s very nice to go trav’ling
But it’s oh so nice to come home
passport

No more customs
Burn the passport
No more packing and unpacking
Light the home fires
Get my slippers
Make a pizza

It’s very nice to go trav’ling, but it sure is nice to be home!

Home sweet home  - my house

9 days traveling through Ireland Text overlay says 9 Days in Ireland

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40 Comments

  1. Diane,

    The pictures are absolutely breathtaking…I just loved looking through them.

    Your daughters are gorgeous…what a great chance to get to see them!!
    xo
    Ashlyn

    1. Hi Ashlyn-

      We had a great time and traveling with grown kids is a whole new experience – going to the pubs with them was enlightening, plus the fact they just want to have fun. I was not allowed to take “boring” photos of them. They made sure there was something fun or action packed in each one I took. I have many that I didn’t post of them hanging upside down on fences, doing cartwheels, making faces, etc.

  2. That looks like it was a great trip! Your pictures are amazing. You have some beautiful girls. How lucky that they get to travel around. My sister went last year to Ireland and she loved it. One day I hope to get there!

    1. Hi Anita-

      It is a fun place to travel and no language barrier to deal with. I put my little camera on auto and just shot away. Most of the vista shots I took while we were driving and moving – I can’t believe they even came out. I hope you get there one day too.

  3. Wow, thanks for taking us along. This may be the only vacation I get this year! A goo d friend of mine is planning to go to Ireland later this year. I need to share your story with her. Welcome home!

    1. Hi Laura-

      This is the first trip we have taken in the last two years. We thought hard if we should do it or not, but decided yes we can. I am so happy we did. I hope you get to get away even if it is a short trip. I always find travel renews me and broadens my view on so many things. I am happy that you enjoyed my little travel log.

  4. How beautiful, Diane! It sounds like you made the most of your trip. I would have had to restrain myself from spending, too. My son was lucky enough to go to Ireland and England last year. He really enjoyed Ireland and he DID buy lots of things to bring home.

    1. Hi Kathy –
      I would have loved to brought some things home, but with the new baggage weight limits it costs way too much if you go over the 50 lb limit. We packed light so we had an extra bag to bring home – 50 lbs worth of things my daughter’s didn’t need anymore – like winter boots, excess clothes, and books that will not fit in their bags when they do come home.