Ireland

Our first trip to Ireland was in the fall of 1996.  We took part in a tour, which included seeing the Notre Dame football team play Navy in Dublin!  Hope you enjoy our travels thoroughout Ireland as much as we did.

After arriving at the Shannon airport, we headed toward Killarney.  We made a stop in scenic Adare, County Limerick.

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Thatched cottages in Adare, County Limerick, Ireland

We enjoyed our visit in Adare, short as it might have been.

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Holy Trinity Abbey Church in Adare, County Limerick, Ireland

I’ve always been interested in architecture, especially historic / vintage architecture, so you can rest assured that I took a photo or two or interesting buildings while in Ireland.

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Doorway, Adare, County Limerick, Ireland

Back on the bus, heading to our first night’s stay in Killarney, we passed this beautiful scene.

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Lough Leane and Macgillycuddy’s Reeks, Killarney, County Kerry, Ireland
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Walking near Castlerosse Hotel in Killarney, we came up this lovely cottage.

We spent our first two nights at the Castlerosse Hotel in Killarney, which was situated near the National Park.  After checking in, we took a walk along some paths behind the hotel and found some beautiful scenery to enjoy during our first full day in Ireland.

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View from Castlerosse Hotel, Killarney
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Killarney National Park, County Kerry, Ireland

The Murray family made a another trip to Ireland in 2015 — this time to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day!

We had all been to Ireland before — except our six year old granddaughter — so we began our planning for the trip by pulling  out a map of Ireland, thinking about what we’d like to see and do this trip and highlighting our journey around the Emerald Isle.

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Map of Ireland

Up, up and away!

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Flight from Cleveland to Newark

We arrived at Shannon Airport and upon leaving, the first thing we saw was a Welcome to Ireland sign!  And, of course, we were on the “wrong” side. of the road.   🙂

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Welcome to Ireland!

We had just left the airport when we spotted our first ancient structure.

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Shannon, County Clare, Ireland
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A Church somewhere between Shannon and Adare

Driving toward our first destination — Dingle — we passed through Adare, County Limerick, and enjoyed seeing the thatched cottages.

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Thatched cottages in Adare, County Limerick, Ireland

We spotted a beach and decided it was a good place to stop and stretch our legs.  We were certainly glad we stopped, because we discovered beautiful Inch Beach!  Inch Beach is a long sand spit stretching into the sea between Dingle Harbour and Castlemaine Harbour.

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Inch Beach, County Kerry, Ireland

Wouldn’t you love to own one of these homes overlooking Inch Beach and the Dingle Bay?

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Inch Beach, County Kerry, Ireland

After finding our B&B on Strand Street — which overlooks the Dingle Bay — we checked in and immediately set off in search of lunch.  Luckily, only a few doors away was John Benny’s Pub:  Dingle’s Home of Great Food, Irish Music & Song.  Some of us decided to try a local beer, brewed by the Dingle Brewing Company.  Crean’s Fresh Irish Lager hit the spot!

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Crean’s Fresh Irish Lager at John Benny’s Pub, Dingle, County Kerry, Ireland

We weren’t disappointed when our food arrived!  Everything was delicious!

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John Benny’s Pub, Dingle, County Kerry, Ireland Prop. John Benny Moriarty

John Benny’s Pub had a nice selection of beers on tap.

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John Benny’s Pub, Dingle, County Kerry, Ireland Prop. John Benny Moriarty

Stained glass in the doors at John Benny’s Pub in Dingle.

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John Benny’s Pub, Dingle, County Kerry, Ireland Prop. John Benny Moriarty

After that wonderful meal, we decided to take a little walk and see the sights in Dingle.

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Dingle, County Kerry, Ireland
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Dingle, County Kerry, Ireland
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Dingle, County Kerry, Ireland
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Dingle, County Kerry, Ireland

Even after a huge meal, we still managed to find room for some ice cream from Murphy’s Ice Cream Shop.

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Murphy’s Ice Cream Shop, Dingle, County Kerry, Ireland

Have you noticed that a lot of the businesses in Dingle go by the name “Murphy?”

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Murphy’s Pub and Bed & Breakfast, Dingle, County Kerry, Ireland

We flew from Newark to Shannon through the night, arriving in Ireland on a Sunday morning.  Trying to get used to the time change and jet lag, we headed off for a drive around the Dingle Peninsula.

As we were passing through Ballyferriter, we decided to stop and spend a little time in this lovely, quaint village

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Ballyferriter, County Kerry, Ireland

Ballyferriter (Irish: Baile an Fheirtéaraigh, meaning “Ferriter’s townland”, Irish pronunciation: [ˈbˠalʲənʲ ɛɾˠˈtʲeːɾˠiɡʲ] or An B[h]uailtín),[1]), is a Gaeltacht village in County Kerry, Ireland. It is in the west of the Corca Dhuibhne (Dingle) peninsula and according to the 2002 census, about 75% of the town’s population speak the Irish language on a daily basis. The village is named after the Norman-Irish Feiritéar family who settled in Ard na Caithne in the late medieval period and of whom the seventeenth-century poet and executed leader, Piaras Feiritéar, remains the most famous member. The older Irish name for the village An B[h]uailtín (“the little dairy place”) is still used locally.
And we can attest to the fact that the locals speak Irish — which we found out when we stopped in one of their pubs.

One of the main structures on Ballyferriter is St. Vincent’s Catholic Church, which was built in 1865.

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St. Vincent’s Catholic Church, Ballyferriter, County Kerry, Ireland

We loved seeing this Celtic Cross — not only because of it’s beauty, but because we saw this written on the base:  “Pray for the Rev. Father O Regan C.C., died 20th of June, 1904, aged 59 years, R.I.P.”  My paternal grandfather’s mother was a Reagan!

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Celtic Cross at St. Vincent’s Catholic Church, Ballyferriter, County Kerry, Ireland

After enjoying St. Vincent’s Catholic Church, we wandered in to Murphy’s Pub.

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Tig Ui Murcu — which, we think, means Welcome to Murphy’s — Ballyferriter, County Kerry, Ireland

Back in the car to continue our drive around the Dingle Peninsula.  After leaving Ballyferriter, we stopped to view the Atlantic Ocean and found this interesting standing stone.

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Standing Stone on Slea Head Drive, Derry Peninsula, County Kerry, Ireland

And then we stopped at Coumeenoole Strand which is almost at the tip of the Dingle Peninsula.

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Coumeenoole Strand, Dingle Peninsula, County Kerry, Ireland

Slea Head Drive around the Dingle Peninsula was one of the most scenic drives we’ve made during our trips to Ireland!

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View from Slea Head Drive around Dingle Peninsula, County Kerry, Ireland.

Next stop was Ventry.

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Church in Ventry, County Kerry, Ireland.

Ventry is also home to Paídi Ó Sé’s Pub, where we spent some time.  Perfect place to end our first full day in Ireland!

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Paidi O’ Se’s Pub, Ventry, County Kerry, Ireland

Back in Ireland again in 2019!  We flew into the Dublin airport this time, instead of Shannon, to be near friends of ours for St. Patrick’s Day.  Our first two nights were spent at The White House, which was established in 1620.  Lovely, historic pub, restaurant and hotel.

The White House Dublin Ireland
The White House, established in 1620, Dublin, Ireland

We had a pint or two of Smithwick’s while we were in Ireland.

Smithwick's Irish Ale Pint

While in Northern Ireland, we made sure to visit the Dark Hedges — made popular by the Game of Thrones.

Dark Hedges Northern Ireland

Also while in the North, we spent a night at The Causeway Hotel so we would have quick access to the Giant’s Causeway.  Here’s the view from the Hotel.  Lovely, isn’t it?

View from Causeway Hotel County Antrim Northern Ireland

The nice thing about staying at The Causeway Hotel is that you can simply walk over to the Giants Causeway.  Here’s a view of the Atlantic Ocean as we made our way to the Giants Causeway.

Atlantic Ocean Giants Causeway County Antrim Ireland

And then — there it was — The Giant’s Causeway!  The Giant’s Causeway is an area of about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, the result of an ancient volcanic fissure eruption.   They columns were formed 50 to 60 million years ago from the flow of lava heading toward the coast and cooling when it came in contact with the sea.   The basalt columns were formed, and the pressure between the columns sculpted them into polygonal shapes.  To the eye, they look like stepping stones that lead from the cliff foot into the sea.  Most of the columns are hexagonal, although there are also some with four, five, seven or eight sides. The tallest are about 12 metres (39 ft) high, and the solidified lava in the cliffs is 28 metres (92 ft) thick in places.

The Giant's Causeway County Antrim Ireland

The Giant’s Causeway is located in County Antrim on the north coast of Northern Ireland, very close to the town of Bushmills — and yes, that is where Bushmills Irish Whiskey is made!  So, if you’re in the area, be sure and visit the Giant’s Causeway, the Old Bushmills Distillery and — if you’re brave — the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge.  When we visited in 2015, we visited all of those places.  This trip, it was only the Giant’s Causeway, and then we headed on our way.

 

After we left the Giant’s Causeway, we made our way to visit the Belleek factory — to buy a few trinkets.  And then it was on to Sligo!  While in Sligo we like to visit Strandhill, for their ice cream, as well as the incredible view of the Wild Atlantic Way.

Strandhill Beach County Sligo Ireland, Great Atlantic Way

 

After our walk along the beach, as we headed back to our car we noticed these fellows golfing.  It was a tad windy, making golfing a challenge I’m sure.

Strandhill County Sligo Ireland Golf Course

 

I had to take a photo of this cute sign in Strandhill.  Unfortunately, the place was closed.  It looked like an interesting place to visit!

The Draft House Strandhill County Sligo Ireland

 

On our way back to Sligo town, we spotted this thatched cottage and, of course, had to stop and take a photo!

Dolly's Cottage Strandhill County Sligo Thatched Roof Ireland

After leaving Sligo, we traveled through County Mayo and stopped for a few quick photos in Aughagower.

Aughagower Cemetery County Mayo Ireland

You know me and cemeteries, so after leaving the cemetery in Aughagower, we came upon another one and had to stop.  This one was Leenane Graveyard in County Galway.  Leenane Graveyard is across from St. Michael’s Church.  It is a gorgeous, scenic spot facing out towards Killary fjord.

Leenane Cemetery County Galway Ireland

We enjoyed a lovely drive through the winding roads of County Galway.

Road County Galway Ireland

We spent a night in Carna and visited the birthplaces of my husband’s grandparents.  Here is scenic Bunnahown, County Galway:

Bunnahown County Galway Ireland

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