Castle Street squiggly
lines on circlular grass
with Dublin Castle in background
2010 - Dublin
a couple of days in Cheshire in North West England we flew
from Liverpool to Dublin, staying at Abigail's Hostel. We
were lucky enough to see Dublin Castle, a few museums and
stroll along the River Liffey.
Waiting for my ship
to come in
I was trying to get hooked
up on some big business venture selling Jelly Baby Wine
made by English teddy bears to Ireland but they weren't
interested. Maybe I should have tried in the convention
centre on the otherside of the river rather than sitting
around on a giant hook.
sudden torrential downpour had us running back to the hostel
wet through. Well Debra was wet through but had the presence
of mind (rare for her) to put me under her jacket to keep
The Guinness Harp
the rain had calmed to a managable level we outed again
to the Guinness Storeroom. 15 euros is a bit steep but at
least we got a free pint of Guinness in the Bar with panoramic
view of the city.
It's all too much
for a small bear
The Guinness was so much
nicer than in England that I didn't share any with Debra.
The post boxes are
green in Ireland
Sent a postcard to the wife
and kids but for some reason the postboxes are the wrong
colour - you can't have a green postbox it's just not right.
6th July - Galway
Gaelic v English
Before she had me Debra
had a flatmate called Finola. No, she didn't carry her around
and make her speak to people like she makes me do, I just
mean she had a flatmate.
Debra tells me Finola was
from Galway and spoke with fondness of it's beauty. So we
just had to go and have a look. Forget Chicago - the windy
city is in the west of Irealnd. The rain was outdone by
Galway's wind so it meant we didn't get to see too much
of what is indeed a beautiful place.
Built in 1584 the Spanish
Arch, also known as The Blind Arch sits on the edge of the
River Corrib . The site it sits is known as Ceann na Bhalla
(The Head of the Wall). The arch used to be an extension
of the city walls protecting the quays.
There is a wooden sculpture,
called Madonna of the Quays, sculpted by artist, Claire
Sheridan, who's 1950s home was the adjacent building. We
didn't know it during our visit but the The Spanish Arch
houses the Galway City Museum. I blame the wind!
An unturned boat
proves a great place to be
I got bored of Debra taking
photos of boats and colourful houses as backgound at different
angles so I took a pew on an upturned boat and watched the
birds fly around.
According to local tradition
in in 1493 James Lynch FitzStephen, the mayor of Galway,
hanged his son from the window of his home . for murdering
a Spainish man in the care of the family that he thought
might be a rival for his girlfriend's affections.
According to a local man
we met and asked about the ivy covered window the hanging
was because Lynch's son had got a girl pregnant, causing
shame on ther family as they were unmarried.
The famous window is set
in a stone facade at the side of St. Nicholas' Church in
Market Street . A young man Lynched me by my own straps
so my evil owner could re-enact the scene for a photo. It
would be a logical mistake to jump to the conclusion that
the word lynch/ed came from the hanging by Lynch but the
origin of the word lynch likely came from a shorted form
for 'lynch law' (the punishment of a person for supposed
crime without the justice of a legal trial.)
Nora Barnacle House
Nora Barnacle House was
home to the Barnacle family between 1894-1940. Nora was
married to Writer James Joyce and was his inspiration for
the character of Molly Bloom in 'Ulysses'.
The small house is now a
museum open during summer.
Chillin with my
Had he been around in my
time I'm sure he would have written about me. When people
say nasty things about me and Debra I just think of Oscar's
quote @there's only one thing worse than being tlaked about,
and that's not being talked about'!
- 7th July
Arriving at the
town that has nothing to do with limericks
The city of Limerick is
not the origin of the 5-lined poem by the same name.
Stopping to set
We spent 4 hours hours strolling
along the river, making a visit to a museum before getting
a bus to Killarney.
Paying my respects
Ahhh the smell of
St Mary's Cathedral is an
Limerick must-see we didn't see other than at a distance
across the Shannon when we stopped to sniff the pretty flowers.
The Shannon River
& Limerick Castle
The modern facade build
onto King John's Castle ruined it. We wern't going to part
with 9 euros to see inside.
The castel sits on on King's
Island next to the River Shannon and was built in the 1200s.
The Treaty Stone
on which the treaty of Limerick was signed
The Treaty of Limerick ended
the Williamite war in Ireland between the Jacobites and
the supporters of William of Orange. It concluded the Siege
of Limerick. The treaty really consisted of two treaties
which were signed on 3 October 1691. Reputedly they were
signed on the Treaty Stone, an irregular block of limestone
which once served as a mounting block for horses. This stone
is now displayed on a pedestal in Limerick city. Because
of the treaty, Limerick is sometimes known as the Treaty
Sitting down on
Thought I'd help out the
dockers as they seemed to have ground to a halt; though
my words of encouragement seemd to fall on deaf ears.
7th, 8th and 9th July
Not the best of
weather to be by the lake
Killarney is beautiful,
honest. I know you wouldn't guess from this photo but the
rain limited our walks.
At least the rain was only
light as we walked to and around Ross Castle. Built by the
O'Donoghue chieftains on the Bay of Ross it overlooks Killarney's
lower lake, the 7th century monastery and a 12th century
oratory on Innisfallen Island. Word has it that the High
King of Ireland, Brian Boru was educated here during the
9th Century by Monks.
St Mary's Cathedral
The church was build in
1855 and designed in gothic style by Augustus Pugin. We
sat in silence in various parts and put someones name in
the prayer book just incase that sort of thing works.
We checkily camped in the
wooded area o this beautiful hostel and used its kitchen
to cook our food. Lots of bunny rabbits hop around and we
got rather near to the young ones and everything before
they ran away. We lay awake most of both nights listening
to the rain on the tarp over our tent. Not sure how much
it would have cost to stay in the hostel but there were
lots of youngsters from France staying there and they must
have been doing gymnastics in the rooms above the sitting
rooms when we snuck in the to relax from the rain.
The cost of joining
the golf club for a teddy bear is to laugh at nasty
jokes about teddy bears
We could have played golf
but opted for walks instead and a lift from a lady called
Barbara who works at the place below where they make the
big yellow container cranes.
Birth place of large
Liebherr also make scrap
loaders and other equipment vechicles that are used all
over the world. The people we met later in the nearby pub
seemed very proud to work there.
Aghadoe Church ruin
Aghadoe (Achadh Deo) overlooks
the town and lakes of Killarney. The ruins of 13th century
Parkavonear Castle and of the old Romanesque church ruins
make the spot popular with archaeologists. Aghadoe takes
its name from Acha Da Eo, which means 'The place of the
two yew trees'. It was traditional for church yards to have
just one yew tree, so this one was special.
Perusing the Irish
We were sheltering from
the rain back in our tent and heard the French kids with
the youth workers walking along the drive that passes the
wooded are we were camping in. We quickly followed them
as we thought that maybe they would be going somewhere worthwhile
but got fed up with the rain and did a 180 degree turn and
headed to The Valley Bar instead. Rain is just not good
for a teddy bears fur. We chatted to the staff, locals and
hotel guests and I even got to dance with a pink pony with
glittery wings called Sally or something and read the Irish
Blarney - 10th July
Long prelude to
Kissing the Blarney
Cork - 10th and 11th
to travel centre