Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Are we done yet?

A few of the things that are sooooo Ireland and fun things along the way!


Monday, August 15, 2016

Kilkenny

Today, we walked our fannies off out and about Kilkenny. We walked throught the ruins of what had been the Jerpoint Abbey. Fortunately we coule climb the stairs because the view of the country side were quite nice. We also stopped at St Canice's Cathedral but did not climb the watch tower. It required youth and stamina. We had the promise of lunch.

And then their was Kilkenny Castle which was built in 1195. I am always stunned when I consider the age of these beautiful buildings in all  of Europe. How they were ever constructed, considering the tools they had then and that they remain in existance.


Sunday, August 14, 2016

Waterford

I love Waterford crystal and really wanted to see how this beautiful glass was made. The rest of the group didn't want to go but Brenden agree to take Rick and me there. It was a short buss ride south. 

The Waterford factory was very interesting. I learned that Waterford is not just made in Ireland anymore but is also made in other parts of Europe. This factory mostly made the one of a kind trophy glass, which they always make two of...just in case.

We were able to see the glass melting phase, then pouring it into molds, some blowing and the etching which was done by the master craftsman. There was a showroom with some of the pieces that were made for world events. It was truly fascinating.




Thursday, June 23, 2016

Mount Juliet

We stayed in apartments on these lovely grounds. Walking to dinner through beautiful gardens was such a treat.

 This was my favorite golf course. Perhaps because it was so much like what I am used to. It was Rick's least favorite as he likes the challenge of the rough and wiry Irish links courses.



And then there is the challenge of repacking the van. Stuff seems to grow as we travel. Why is that?



Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The Swiss Cottage and the Cahir Castle

Everything about this cottage was delightful. From the gingerbread look to the garden surround. We were able to go inside and climb the stairs to see some of the furnishings and decorations such as wall paper that was installed during the times this cottage was actively used.


Cahir Castle, one of the largest castles in Ireland, is located on an island in the River Suir, in Cahir town centre, County Tipperary. It was built from 1142 by Conor O'Brien, Prince of Thomond. 

Once the stronghold of the powerful Butler family, the castle retains its impressive keep, tower and much of its original defensive structure. It is one of Ireland's largest and best preserved castles. Check out their modern toilet operation. Oh my!



Sunday, June 19, 2016

Killarney national park and the Cahir Heritage Trail

Killarney National Park near the town of Killarney, County Kerry, was the first national park in Ireland, created when the Muckross Estate was donated to the Irish state in 1932. The park has since been substantially expanded and encompasses over 25,425 acres of diverse ecology, including the Lakes of Killarney, oak and yew woodlands of international importance and mountain peaks. It has Ireland's only native herd of red deer and the most extensive covering of native forest remaining in Ireland. The park is of high ecological value because of the quality, diversity, and extensiveness of many of its habitats and the wide variety of species that they accommodate, some of which are rare. The park was designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1981.


Next, we walked along the Cahir Heritage trail for a bit, eventually reaching the Swiss Cottage. It was a lovely park like setting with waterfalls and a river bridge and then of course the shamrocks.

Brandon seemed to know just when we needed to get out and explore and he knows and loves Ireland so much he made it a point to stop at many interesting sites that were not on our itenerary.



Friday, June 17, 2016

Ballybunion

Home to mounds, millions of mounds, all creating blind spots, rough roughs, wiry, thick grass and it's redemptive value, the sight of the sea. AHHH!

 Mike missed the group photo as he was out in the rough looking for his golf ball. From then on Bob and Mike held a firm grip on his shoulders to insure he stayed with the program.

Ballybunion was ranked by Golf Digest as the seventh best course in the world outside the United States.