Carly Bond

September, 2012:

Ireland Road Trip – Day 16

This was our last day in Ireland so we travelled to Dublin for an overnight stay. We arrived at around lunchtime which gave us just enough time to have a longer look at the city than the last time we were there. We decided to visit the Guinness Storehouse to see how Guinness is made. The tour took about 3 hours and you got to find out all about how it is made, plus there are a number of different sections which explain about cooperage and the advertising of Guinness throughout the decades.

After the storehouse we decided to jump on a Dublin Sightseeing bus as we knew we didn’t have time to see much else. It was a little cold but a great way to see all the sights in one go & gave some ideas of where to go if we ever visit Dublin again.

We went for a meal in Temple Bar again just like the last time we were there, but made sure we had a drink in the actual Temple Bar which was great fun. Live music was played from up to date music to traditional irish music.

I am sad to leave Ireland as it has been lots of fun, but then good things have to come to an end at some point.

Ireland Road Trip – Day 15

Today was our last day in the Cork region and the boys were playing golf, so us girls decided to go with them, walking around I might add, not playing. They had booked in at the Lisselan Estate Golf & Gardens which was supposed to be one of the best courses in the region (that was in our price range anyway).

When I say the girls were walking around with them, my mum was, I on the other hand was happy to hear there was a buggy to be hired πŸ™‚ So hire one we did. I have never been on one or driven one before but I LOVED it. Yes, before you ask, there was a You’ve Been Framed moment where I very nearly rolled it down a very steep hill, but I lived to tell the tale πŸ˜€

Lisselan Golf Course

Lisselan Golf Course

Lisselan Golf Course

After the golf we went back into Kinsale for a wander and a cheeky beverage in the Grey Hound and tonight we are going out for a nice meal at Fishy Fishy Restaurant which looks right up my street and a little swanky too πŸ™‚ A great way to end our Cork region trip before we head back for another night in Dublin tomorrow.

Ireland Road Trip – Day 14

We decided to make our way down to the most South Westerly point of Ireland today with a trip to Mizen Head, taking a number of other places on the way. First stop was Castletownshend a sleepy little village with a little harbour.

Castletownshend

Next stop was Baltimore where we walked to the end to see the strange beacon that is used to warn sailors about the nearby rocks.

Baltimore

On the way back towards the main road, to head towards Mizen Head, we stopped at a sea lough called Lough Hyne, where you could swim, canoe or scuba dive due to the strange marine ecosystem that was apparently under the water. Don’t worry, I didn’t go in to look, although these two people looked like they were enjoying it.

Lough Hyne

We finally made it to Mizen Head, after passing a beautiful bay called Barley Cove and it had some lovely views. The signal station museum left a little to be desired but the views made up for it, plus we saw seals which was A-mizen. OK OK that was poor I know, but come on admit it, you laughed didn’t you πŸ˜‰

Barley Cove

Mizen Head

Mizen Head

Ireland Road Trip – Day 13

Today we took a trip to Blarney Castle to kiss the Blarney Stone. Again like with Bunratty Castle it was more than just that, with walks and gardens a plenty to keep us entertained for ages. The sun was shining like a summer’s day and later on, it was glorious with only a t-shirt needed (Annoying when you’ve put 4 layers on)

Blarney Castle

After queuing for 40 minutes we finally got to kiss the stone and I can tell you now that I am ever so more eloquent now than before I went πŸ˜‰

Blarney Stone

There was a fern garden, a herbaceous garden and a rock walk to name but a few, the latter had a little story about the Blarney witch who will now make my biggest wish come true within the year as I walked up the stairs with my eyes closed & paid the her 20c.

Fern Garden, Blarney Castle

Herbaceous Garden, Blarney Castle

The Blarney Witch

After Blarney we took a trip into Cork City, a busy shopping centre full of all the shops I love. Fat Face let me town on the ‘New handbag’ search and I ended up just buying souvenirs from the Cork souvenir shop. Very disappointing. We walked through the Old English Market which was a lovely thriving place to be and then up to the Shandon district where we visited the Church of St Anne and a little cafe called the ButterCup which do an amazing lemon cake πŸ™‚

The Old English Market

Church of St Annes, Shandon

Ireland Road Trip – Day 12

Today we went on the Ring of Beara which is quite a way from where we are staying but ‘apparently’ better than the Ring of Kerry. Having never been to the Ring of Kerry I was keen to see what it was all about.

The first stop was a town called Bantry, which was about an hour a way. It was quite a busy little town which seemed to have had quite a lot of changes over the past few years, we then we moved onto Glengarrif which was the start of the ring.

The first amazing sight was the Hungry Hill, which is a mountain that reaches 685M high.

Hungry Hill

The views for most of the drive were spectacular, with cliff edges being very close to the road.

Ring of Beara

My favourite part was the beach near Allihies, we were almost the only people on it & the sea was good enough to paddle in, if not a bit cold πŸ™‚

Allihies

Allihies

Ring of Beara

Ireland Road Trip – Day 11

Today we headed to Cobh which is the entrance to Cork Harbour. A pretty run down town but it had a huge cathedral up on a hill. This was the last place the Titanic stopped before its fateful journey so with it being the centenary year it was all over.

Cobh

We jumped on a road train tour which took us round the town & it was probably the funniest tour I have ever been on. It explained that Sonia O’Sullivan was from there but no longer lives here and took us past the local old peoples home πŸ˜€ classic!

We then went to the Jameson Distillery in Midleton. It was a great tour and my husband got a certificate to say he is now an official Irish Whiskey taster and after 4 whiskeys I’m not surprised! πŸ™‚

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We then went on a bit of a coastal tour coming back via the river ferry which was a bit different.

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Ireland Road Trip – Day 10

We thought we’d have a drive round the west coast of Cork today and hope that the weather improved. The mist kept coming in more and more but we still carried on.

First stop was a place called Garretstown, where there were people kite surfing and then further round there was a surfing school! Far too cold for us to venture out πŸ™‚

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We moved on a bit further down the coast to just outside Clonakilty to a place called Inchydoney Island. It’s a huge beach where we had a lovely walk & an ickle paddle! Loved every bit of it, especially as the sun came out at the same time.

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So off we went to Galley Head which is the tip of the spit we were on, only to find it private property at the end, so if your thinking of going, I shouldn’t bother πŸ™‚

Next stop was the Drumbeg Stone Circle which dates back to 150 BC. Never ceases to amaze me when I see these things, about how they lifted them into place and how they knew exactly where to place them do the sun shone on them on at a certain time of year.

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We even made it home in time for milking time! Love being on a farm even if it’s a bit smelly and there are lots of flies. Eggs and milk as fresh as you can possibly get them πŸ™‚

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Ireland Road Trip – Day 9

Today was transfer day so we moved on to Cork via guess where…

There was a young man from Leeds
Who swallowed a packet of seeds
In less than an hour
His head was a flower
And his feet were a bundle of weeds.

Yes, you’ve guessed it…it was Limerick! Just a pretty standard shopping town but nice all the same!

Limerick

Then we got to our new digs, a farm about 16km from Cork and 10km from Kinsale. It’s lovely, if not short of a wifi connection for me to blog, but hey, I’ll be ok. There just might not be pictures on these blogs until I get home.

We spent the evening in Kinsale which is a lovely little fishing town, with lots of lovely shops AND a Fat Face πŸ˜€ Love it already.

Kinsale

Ireland Road Trip – Day 8

Today is our last day in Kinvara, County Galway. I have enjoyed my time here immensely and although I still have a week left of my holiday to go in Cork, I still am reluctant to leave this beautiful view out of our apartment window.

We decided to visit BunrattyΒ Castle and Folk Park today, based on a recommendation from some people from Dublin that we met a Dungaire Castle last night. We didn’t know what it was when we set of (other than it was a nice castle) so when we got there and found a mini Beamish, it was a pleasant surprise.

Bunratty Castle

Bunratty Castle

Basically it was a mini Irish village, with old shops and cottages alongside the impressive castle itself which has been restored to its former glory. It was lovely, and we got nearly 5 EUR each off the price, just for going to the medieval banquet last night, nice touch from Shannon Heritage.

Bunratty Castle

Bunratty Castle

Now it’s back to the apartment for one last glass of wine looking out onto this lovely harbour.

Kinvara

Ireland Road Trip – Day 7 – Medieval Night

I just thought I’d write a little review about the medieval night at Dungaire Castle we went to last night as I mentioned it in a previous post. Well who doesn’t want to have dinner in a castle? The weather was a little ropey and we had a 15 minute walk to the castle from our apartment. Thankfully the rain stopped long enough for us to get some cool pictures & get inside nice & dry. Not really knowing what to expect but excited for the evening, we were greeted with a glass of Mead. Well it wasn’t a glass, it was a pot gauntlet, really cool.

Dungaire Castle

We were treated to an array of songs and tales of Irish folk, poets, musician, writers, etc, all to the tune of a harp. There was only about 6 people running the show, or so it seemed and they dressed up in different costumes throughout the night.

Dungaire Castle

We moved upstairs into the food hall, where the tables were all laid out like on Harry Potter (although a little smaller). We had smoked salmon, soup, roast chicken with vegetables and apple pie for dessert. Wine was never-ending too (which was the best bit).

Dungaire Castle

I have to say that it is thoroughly recommended if you ever want to try it. Very enjoyable evening.