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Julie & Thomas’s Travel Diary

Thursday, 17 Jul 2008

Location: Ireland

MapWe were surprisingly glad to arrive back in the UK for one night - it is amazing how easy life is in an English speaking country. Our overnight stay in Luton at Easyhotel was just fine - we had a really spacious room (well, for EasyHotel) with even foot room at the end of the bed and we could both fit in the bathroom at the same time !!! We were stoked.

Picked up our hire car and headed south west towards Kilkenny - well partly in search of a brewery, but that was non-existent. However, Kilkenny has a mighty fine castle with gorgeous lawns and had a really medieval feel to it. We stayed at a great B&B just out of town and did a great afternoon country walk - complete with rolling hills, fresh air (a bit stinky at times with the cows) and stone wall fences.

We visited Kells Priory which was an amazing 12th century monastic site. There was us and another couple there - so it was pretty special and worth the effort.

Following day we headed towards the Ring of Kerry - a famous peninsular but it wasn't as touristy as we thought it would be..... It had spectular scenery that you would only expect from Ireland - we took the long way through roads that motorhomes should never be allowed (slight road rage - not really...) but it was pretty amazing.

Our weekend in Ireland had some reasonably big sporting events in both hurling & gaelic football. We were able to catch the hurling quarter final game at a local pub, which was really quite good - very fast paced, a mix of hockey, AFL & La cross. Both sports are still amenteur in Ireland - so these guys get up and go to work each Monday. That is pure passion......and the gaelic game in Dublin had a crowd of 80,000 +.......

We spent the night at Cahirciveen on the Ring of Kerry - it was hosted by a lovely local lass named Mary - a woman of very, very few words and those words spoken were open to interpretation. However, she did encourage us to take the Skellig Rocks tour the following day, which will be hard to forget.

Established in 800AD by monks - it is basically a rock 13kms from remote Southern Ireland - a place where you wonder why & especially how they established a monestary? However, the dry wall (i.e. no mortar) bee-hive looking structures are still existing - see photos and you will what we mean.....amazing!!! We were also lucky enough to see some puffins & seals along the way!

Next was Doolin which is a small town close to the famous Cliffs of Moher. It had only a few pubs - but they had great traditonal music and we had a great night.

Dublin was our final stop in Ireland - what a great city! We went to Riverdance on our first night (2 dancing events....what is happening to us!). It was excellent - the music & of course the dancing was great....even Thomas was up clapping!

Did all the touristy things in Dublin - the Dublin Castle (which had an excellent tour), the churches, the Temple Bar and of course the Guinness Storehouse. Finished off the night with some local Irish comedy - Mauve (how Irish) was great!!

Will leave you with a bit of trivia......did you know how the Guinness Book of Records begun? (we didn't). The Managing Director of Guinness way back when, was out shooting and missed a bird - back at the local pub he was discussing what the fastest game bird was......there was bit of a debate. A few years later, there was a similar discussion after another fruitless afternoon shooting. He assumed that the same arguments would be taking place all over the world, so the Guinness Book of Records was born and has never looked back....