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.





Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The Cliffs of Moher

The cliffs are 320 MILLION years old.

Ancient rivers laid down sediments on the sea bed to form the rocks of the Cliffs of Moher – sandstone, siltstone and shale.

The Cliffs of Moher are 702 feet  high and span across eight miles  along the Wild Atlantic Way. The highest point and the best views are at Knockarden, near O’Brien’s Tower, which was built by Cornelius O’Brien in 1835.

They are not the highest cliffs in Ireland but the Cliffs of Moher are the steepest, due to the type of rocks.

And perhpas most interesting for modern times readers, the cliffs were the site of a few sets from Harry Potter Chamber of Secrets.

Spectacular!


Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Sheen Falls and the Burren

We lucky ducks got to stay at this former country estate converted into a lovely hotel near the Bay of Kenmare. The views from the hotel were spectacular. It was a real special respite.


Along the way we stopped at The Burren, which is a striated landscape of limestone. We trekked down the rocks to the oceans edge. The terrain was rough. I am always amazed that vegetation finds a way to set roots among such a rocky outcropping.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Connemara

Arriving at the Connemara golf course, we discovered a Golf Digest tournament.  We should have had our heads examined (but feared what they might find there) so instead, we participated. Susan did well. She was invited for the second round...in September. For me, the wind did well.



Afterward, on our drive through the town of Connemara, the Millar's shop was spotted. Photo op it was and so we stopped. We also discovered Connemara marble and managed to drop a few bucks on jewelry. YEAH!