Tuesday, August 16, 2011

4 Nights in Ireland.

4 nights is not long so we only saw part of "The Emerald Ilse" - it really is. I loved the beautiful countryside. We ( all 4 ) flew from Gatwick to Dublin, where we hired a car and V drove us across the centre area to Limerick then up to Ennis. While the young 2 went to a wedding in Ardrahan and afterwards Dromoland Castle ( above ) we set off to explore County Clare. We couldn't see it all so I had chosen "Craggaunowen," as the place I wanted to see. It is near the village of Quin. Now that has to be the prettiest place we drove through .
 We arrived at Craggaunowen right at opening time before anyone else ( good move ) so were able to enjoy the seclusion of this reconstruction of Ireland's past  by ourselves. The first building near the parking place was this beautiful little toilet block. I used it on our way out and it was just as clean and lovely inside.
Craggaunowen covers 50 acres and has examples of the Crannog (a lake dwelling on an artificial island )and ringforts.

Approached across this bridge ,

a wattle and mud thatched house on the crannog. There were several of these within ring fences.

A peat fire was burning here for cooking.
Also at this site and the reason for putting it here was Craggaunowen Castle. A small fortified Tower house built in 1550.( restoration was completed in 1965 )

These are some of the stairs up the tower.

This young lady was fun to talk to and showed me the weaving they had accomplished on the ancient loams. The view of the countryside from the top of the tower was worth the climb.

Also on this site were quaint little tearooms and a shop.

 For whatever reason I bought more gifts and mementos in this shop than anywhere else we went. Needless to say I just loved this place.
This next photo is for Molly. It is looking out ( from where we stayed ) to the main highway between Ennis  and Limerick. ( I didn't manage to find your church, but could understand how you might be homesick for this beautiful place! ) 

 We spent some time in Galway.

We had lunch at this pub. They make a yummy bowl of leek and potato soup with homemade bread. There was a very chill wind as we walked around Galway and out to near the river mouth. Back on the streets we saw some performers. This was the most talented person there in my opinion. He made this day from sand. ( The day before it was a sow with 7 little piglets feeding ).Every few days he makes something new.

 We drove back across to Dublin and took a city Bus tour. I liked the huge green Phoenix  Park best. In the street there we saw some young entertainers ( Key West I think but stand to be corrected if I'm wrong. ) They were good and attracted quite a crowd.

Dublin had some pretty modern transport.
 On the final day the boys went on the Guiness factory tour and V and I went shopping ( quite successfully ). The only sad thing about Irleand in the lovely countryside was the half completed big beautiful new houses that had been started then abandoned and now for sale.


molly said...

Thank you for "my" picture Ali! It and all those others have made me homesick! Glad you had such a nice time in Ireland....It's always blustery and chilly in Galway, though it is a very lively town!

Thimbleanna said...

Oh, you lucky, lucky girl! I love going to the UK but haven't made it to Ireland...yet. Your photos are beautiful -- thanks for sharing!

julieQ said...

What a beautiful place!! Love the sand sculpture, what a talented artist!

Pam said...

Lovely - that sand dog is amazing! I wonder if he does cats...

Meggie said...

How beautiful it all looks. It was always my mother's dream to go to visit Ireland.

Unknown said...

The sand dog is great.