A Travellerspoint blog

Ireland

Ireland Day 18: Sláinte!

overcast 64 °F

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One of the great challenges for Americans driving in Ireland is keeping the side mirrors. Daniel's dad had insisted that it wasn't possible. The roads are much more narrow than most American roads, and they usually have walls on either side that make it hard to get over. We took these pictures to show our car, undamaged and with both side mirrors.
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We went in to Dublin airport, and picked up a few items in the shops there: Coole Swan, and most importantly Lyon's tea (which we have not allowed ourselves to run out of since that day, and which we drink on a daily basis). We got on the plane and got ready for the flight to Toronto.
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Our last glimpse of Ireland. We had with us the teapot and the Infant of Prague figurine Mary Kathleen gave us, two loaves of treacle bread, and the bittersweet feeling of a beautiful experience coming to an end. We were sad to see it end, but happy that we have had yet another adventure and that this one has been so perfect.
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Plane travel is never all that comfortable, but we tried to have as cozy a time as possible. Catherine realized that there was a bar in the back of the plane (or a "speakeasy" as she called it) and we got some Bailey's to drink a toast to Ireland.
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There were no clouds over Greenland as we flew over. The pilot said he had not seen Greenland that clearly in his whole career. It was absolutely beautiful, and these pictures do not do it justice.
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Back in California, having tea and treacle bread with Daniel's family. Mary Kathleen had asked us to take it to them. We had a great time reminiscing about our trip and sharing our memories.
Our trip to Ireland was a beautiful experience. We talk about it all the time, and can't wait to go back. We feel so lucky to have had this experience, and love the adventures that we are able to take together. We are also happy that we were able to finish our blog and get these pictures and memories compiled so we can remember them in the future. And as always, we can't wait for our next adventure!

Posted by danielcatherine 23:43 Archived in Ireland Tagged airport toronto dublin plane san_jose greenland bailey's lyon's coole_swan treacle_bread Comments (1)

Ireland Day 17: The Rocky Road to Dublin

overcast 65 °F

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Unfortunately, we didn't get a picture with the whole Moran family. However, we had a time wonderful visiting with all the Morans. Daniel was happy to see everyone again, and Catherine loved meeting them. We took this picture with Mary Kathleen, who was a bit shaken from her fall but doing much better in the morning. We made so many cherished memories with her and the family. It was hard to leave. Our time there was one of the major highlights of our trip. We hope to go back as soon as we can.
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Isabella (Adrian and Mikal's daughter) introducing a feral cat at Knock Shrine to Peppa Pig.
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Isabella loved "flying" around the lawn at the shrine. Daniel tried to teach her to fly on her own, but she seemed to prefer being picked up and flying around that way.
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The beautiful grounds of Knock Shrine. This church means a great deal to Daniel, as it is the place he decided to become Catholic and where his great grandfather was baptized. It always has a serene and peaceful feeling. Adrian told us some stories about miracles at Knock, and we had a wonderful afternoon before leaving. It was another sad parting, but again we hope to return and visit our friends and family in Ireland as soon as we can.
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We then set off towards Dublin. We had an AirBnB for the night near the airport. We had a nice drive across the country, seeing the sights and listening to music as we went. We tried to find a place to stop for dinner on the way, but it got late and we ended up eating at a Traditional Irish Italian Chipper in the apartment complex where we were staying. We had a cozy room, and the place was close to the airport allowing us to get a decent night's sleep before flying the next morning.

Posted by danielcatherine 23:06 Archived in Ireland Tagged dublin adrian mikal knock isabella mary_kathleen feral_cat peppa_pig chippers Comments (0)

Ireland Day 16: There's Goodness In It

rain 63 °F

Note: It is just under a year since our last entry. When we came home we got back to our regular, day-to-day lives, and it was hard to blog. However, we wanted to finish our blog so that we could use it as a photo album, and so that we could use it to show other people our trip.

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We ate a delicious breakfast, including Mary Kathleen's treacle bread and coconut bread. It was a beautiful rainy day, and we spent most of the morning and afternoon visiting with the Morans in front of the cozy turf fire.
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We did make one outing, to Claremorris. We wanted to buy one last gift: a Mayo jersey for Aubrey. Attracta had made some calls to track down small sizes. We were not able to find one in a baby size, but we found one that was sized for a three-year-old. Thankfully, going to Claremorris gave us the opportunity to try the best chipper in Mayo (according to a recent poll): Val's. Adrian and Fr. Eugene worked there as teenagers, and Val talked with us about them when we told him we knew them. The chips were absolutely delicious: ever since, we have often wished we could eat Val's chips again.
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Jillian, who does Irish dance, gave a demonstration of her skills.
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Daniel, imitating his cousin Robbie. Apparently, when Daniel's family all visited together in 2003, Robbie was fascinated by the turf fire. Catherine and Mary Kathleen had Daniel recreate the way Robbie sat waiting for the fire to start.
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Some views of the cloudy and rainy weather outside. It was wonderfully warm and cozy within.
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We spent some time playing cards and talking with everyone. It was a wonderful day, and we were happy we had the chance to return to Kilkelly after our first visit. Later that night, we sat by the fire with Attracta and Mary Kathleen. Mary Kathleen started feeling sick, and got up for a moment. Shortly after we heard a yell, and Attracta went to help her. A moment later, Attracta called to us to come help. Mary Kathleen had fallen. Marie came down to the house, and we did everything we could to help Attracta and Marie. Mary Kathleen seemed to be feeling a little bit stronger after a while. Although it was scary, we were glad there were people in the house to help her.

Posted by danielcatherine 22:18 Archived in Ireland Tagged marie chips mayo turf jillian kilkelly mary_kathleen attracta ciaran val's claremorris Comments (0)

Ireland Day 15: The Pilgrims' Road

rain 61 °F

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Clonmacnoise is, in a sense, at the center of Ireland. The River Shannon flows by it, and the Pilgrims' Road (really a glacial esker) which bisects the northern and southern halves of Ireland runs directly to it. We stayed right off the Pilgrims' Road, and only had to drive a short distance to get to Clonmacnoise. This statue is outside the gate, and it depicts Aedh, the son of a king of Oriel who died during a pilgrimage in 606.
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Clonmacnoise is similar to the Rock of Cashel, but was predominately an ecclesiastical site. It was alternately under the patronage of the King of Connacht or the King of Meath, as it is locate immediately between those two ancient kingdoms. Luckily we were here early enough to watch the informative video and get a guided tour. The monastery was founded by St. Ciarán in the 540s. It was sacked several times, by Vikings, the English, and other Irish kingdoms. There are several high crosses, including the scriptural cross in these pictures.
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One of the buildings (probably the pharmacy?) at Clonmacnoise. Our tour included a Franciscan priest originally from New York, but now serving in Limerick.
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Some views around Clonmacnoise.
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St. Dominic, St. Patrick, and St. Francis. The Franciscan in our tour was easily able to identify St. Francis by the stigmata and the cord.
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Some more of the buildings around the site. It has two round towers: a very large one and a much smaller one, as well as a cathedral.
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The modern oratory, where Pope John Paul II said mass when he visited Ireland in the seventies. He was aware of Clonmacnoise and St. Ciarán before coming to Ireland, and wanted to say mass at Clonmacnoise, where thousands of local people appeared when he landed in his helicopter.
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The nuns' chapel, which is a short distance from the main site, and has a sheela na gig on one of the arches. It is a fascinating little chapel, founded by Dervogilla, the wife of Tiernan O'Rourke who was abducted by Dermot MacMurrough, thus inciting the Norman invasion of Ireland.
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Us at the nuns' chapel.
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Some more pictures of the site.
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St. Ciarán's chapel. The legend is that soil from the floor, if sprinkled in the corners of a field, ensures the fertility of the field. The walls are bowed in from all the dirt that has been taken from the floor, which now has stone pavers on it. Some people have left coins near a stone inside. We asked the tour guide what the stone is, and he said no one knows. Daniel suggested that the people who leave coins must at least think they know what the stone is.
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Daniel in the scriptorium, and a view of a cross from inside the scriptorium. This is where monks would have copied manuscripts. There are several extant manuscripts from Clonmacnoise, which include historical records.
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The real crosses, as well as other artifacts, are inside the museum. There was a large tour of nuns going through while we were there. It was kind of interesting to see priests and nuns touring an old religious site, but on the other hand it was sad, just like at Cashel, to think that if history had gone differently there would be priests and nuns living and working here rather than simply touring ruins.
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There are several hypotheses about this image. We thought it was probably St. Michael defeating the devil.
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When we drove through Athlone we texted Adrian, as we were planning to see him that night. Daniel said "I bet Adrian will have a food recommendation in Athlone." A moment later, we got a text urging us to go to Seán's Bar. It is the oldest pub in Ireland, and most likely in the world. It was built in 900, making it older than most of the buildings at Clonmacnoise. The original wickerwork of the walls is on display on one wall.
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Athlone Castle and the River Shannon. After this, we headed to Kilkelly where we met Martina and Mary Kathleen. We had a conversation with them, then headed to Adrian's house in Knock.
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We picked up some food in Kilkelly village along the way: Shish kebab and chips to split. We went to Adrian's house and had a nice visit. We were there very late: somehow we lost track of time and it was 3:00 AM when we headed back to Kilkelly. We had an interesting night, particularly when Adrian's mother came to the door with two hypodermic needles in her hands (for the dog's bee stings) and expressed the opinion that Americans being bitten by a dog was far worse than Irish people being bitten (she meant that since we have to fly home soon, she wouldn't want us to have to deal with medical treatment or quarantines, but it sounded funny.) Adrian pointed out that this is the first time we've visited his house that there hasn't been a coup, which was very true. It was a great night.
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When we arrived back in Kilkelly we found these creatures that Martina had left in our bed for us. It was nice to have the companionship of stuffed animals.

Posted by danielcatherine 10:14 Archived in Ireland Tagged cross adrian pilgrim athlone martina knock clonmacnoise kilkelly mary_kathleen st._ciarán river_shannon Comments (0)

Ireland Day 14: Cork, Youghal, Cashel

overcast 64 °F

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The view from the kitchen of the house where we stayed. A beautiful north Co. Cork landscape.
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We drove through Bweeng again on our way to Cork. This is the pub.
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St. Peter and Paul's Church, Cork. This was an absolutely beautiful church. We went to a Traditional Latin Mass here. It was a low mass, and not very long, but it was beautiful and the building was so incredible. We also got an excellent parking space right in front of the church, and went to lunch right nearby. Cork City is a little bit crowded and hard to navigate, but it was pretty and we were glad to see it during our trip.
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The outside of the church.
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After leaving Cork we drove to the town of Youghal. Daniel's parents went there and highly recommended it to us. We went to the museum and drove around the town a little.
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So is the group called Batty and they're playing tonight? Or is it called Batty Tonight?
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More pictures of Youghal. It was once one of the most important harbors in Ireland. It reminded us a lot of New England, mostly because it had an intriguingly similar history involving puritans, witch trials, etc.
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More of Youghal.
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Some sights along the road to the Rock of Cashel.
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We arrived at the Rock of Cashel just before it closed. The staff seemed eager to lock the doors, so we were lucky to get in. We went to the museum first.
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Cashel was both an ecclesiastical and political site. It was the capital used by Brian Boru, and before him, by the Eoghanacht rulers. It was also the site of a cathedral (to is day the diocese is called The Diocese of Cashel and Emly, even though the cathedral is in Thurles.) There is thus a great variety of buildings and artifacts here.
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The saddest thing about these ruins is that they don't have to be ruins. If history had gone differently, this could still be a thriving cathedral, with masses being said and people traveling to see the historic church. It lasted for centuries being used that way, and churches just as old are still in use in other countries. These were part of a patrimony that was sadly stolen from the people.
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More pictures from the Rock.
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And some more. It's a beautiful place.
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Some pictures of us at the Rock of Cashel.
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It was extremely windy there that day. It was very difficult to walk around without being blown off-course, and it made Daniel's allergies really bad. Still, it was a nice day to see the ruins with no rain.
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This monument is visible for miles around. It is only when you walk behind it that you realize...
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...that it used to be a cross! It would have been incredibly huge as a cross. Unfortunately, without a guide we don't know if it was wind or human action that blew it down.
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In the gift shop, Catherine tried on this cloak. She said she wishes that cloaks were a more socially acceptable thing to wear. Unfortunately, the €500 price tag prevented her from doing her part to bring back the cloak. (Also, she wondered if daggers were a necessary accessory with cloaks.)

We went to dinner at a pub called Brian Boru's, where people were watching a darts competition, and the Italian waiter kept promising the owner that he would bring in Italians, then delivering on his promise (he must have brought in at least four Italians while we were eating there.) Only after we finished eating did we find out there was another side, which was a restaurant with live music. It was a nice dinner. We then set off on our drive to our next AirBnB, which was near Athlone and especially close to the ruins at Clonmacnoise, which we were very excited to see.
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Some pictures of the sunset along our way. We arrived at our AirBnB on the Pilgrims' Road, and met our hosts who also had large dogs, had a farm, and the husband was named Joseph. We had a nice conversation with them, then went to our room and went to sleep.

Posted by danielcatherine 12:53 Archived in Ireland Tagged history ruins church museum cathedral dogs farm cross latin wind athlone joseph cork mass cashel clonmacnoise rock_of_cashel bweeng dromohane youghal Comments (0)

Ireland Day 13: A Very Quick Tour of the Southwest

overcast 66 °F

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First, we went to a shop in Liscannor to buy some gifts for people. Catherine found a couple pieces of jewelry to buy. A shamrock necklace and a St. Brigid's cross. Here, she's wearing the St. Brigid's cross.
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Classic-looking haystacks. Usually we see perfectly square or round ones, not ones that appear this "natural."
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We stopped to visit the old cathedral of Kilfenora. This tiny diocese is run by the Bishop of Galway now, but is supposedly technically without a bishop, supposedly making the pope the bishop here. Whether this is canonically accurate is debatable. There are several High Crosses here, and the ruins of an old cathedral, part of which is now a Church of Ireland church. It was a very interested place to see. Daniel had seen it when he was here last, and wanted to show it to Catherine.
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The village of Corofin. We were thinking of having lunch here, but there was a horse festival that day and the village was very crowded with nowhere to park.
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We visited Dysert O'Dea Castle. Daniel had visited some of the sites here, but not the castle which was closed when he came here last. These show the views from the top, as well as the workshop in the castle. This castle is intereting as it actually belongs to a member of the O'Dea family who lives in Michigan.
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There's a small exhibit in the castle of objects related to various risings, especially 1916. There are some weapons which were used in 1916, and letters and other documents of people involved. It was very interesting, especially as Catherine had been reading a book on the Easter Rising.
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This is a murder hole, where defenders could drop objects on invaders from above. Strangely enough, it is located in the chapel.180_404B1524AE2E8EAB367B98DCAE8B6C67.jpeg
A person risking her life by standing under the murder hole.
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More views of the castle.
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We had lunch at a pub in Ennis called Dan O'Connell's. Co. Clare was playing Co. Roscommon in Gaelic Football that day, and the game was on. The pub was crowded with people watching the game. It was fun, but we didn't stay and watch the whole game as we had places to be. We wanted to visit Adare Castle, which was on our heritage card. When we arrived, however, they were closed for a wedding (which is impressive...we wondered whose wedding it was to close down a public heritage site.). We moved on from Adare and, since we had some extra time, headed to Killlarney to see Ross Castle before going to the place we were staying.
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Ross Castle was closed by the time we got there, but it was still an interesting place to visit. We walked over to the lake and got as close as we could to the castle. It was much larger than most of the castles we have seen.
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A cute dog we saw on our walk back from the castle.
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Some of the beautiful hills of Co. Kerry. Catherine pointed out that the green is particularly green in Kerry, and started referring to the color as "green green."
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We stopped at a small pub/disco bar for dinner.
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Some more pictures of the beautiful scenery as we drove from Killarney to Co. Cork.
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When we were planning our trip, Catherine noticed that there is a village called Bweeng in Co. Cork. She wanted to go there, and looked forward to "Bweeng Day." Today was Bweeng Day. These two pictures show the metropolis in all its glory: a post office, and a selfie in the church car park. We didn't really stop in Bweeng because it was getting late and we had to move on to Dromohane where we were staying.
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The sunset over Dromohane. Our hosts there were wonderful. We had a nice tea and a lengthy conversation about Irish and American politics and current events. They were very nice and helpful hosts, and the room at their house was a perfect place to stay. It is a dairy farm, and the owner also has seven German shepherds. Also, the host had a very strong Cork accent. At first, Catherine thought he was from the Netherlands.

Posted by danielcatherine 19:47 Archived in Ireland Tagged castles wedding green pub heritage disco ennis ross cork killarney hay adare st._brigid o'dea corofin kilfenora diocese bweeng dromohane Comments (0)

Ireland Day 12: Moher To See

overcast 64 °F

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We started the day by driving to the city center and finding a parking garage. We went to the Claddagh Jewelry shop and got a Claddagh ring for Catherine. While Daniel had purchased other jewelry for Catherine when he was living here, for some reason he hadn't gotten her a Claddagh. We got one today.
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Then had a delicious lunch at Busker Brown's before heading to Co. Clare.
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On our way to Liscannor, where we were staying, we stopped at Dunguaire Castle, which is a restored castle that can be toured. It was built in the 16th Century and is a fascinating thing to be able to see. It is really more of a "tower house" than a castle, as it was not really intended as a strong fortress but more as a fortified home.
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Some pictures inside the castle. The different floors are arranged to show different eras: the 17th century is depicted by the banquet hall, and the 20th century (when an Englishwoman restored the castle as her home) is depicted in the top floor. The castle hosts a "medieval banquet" which the staff was preparing when we were there.
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The passages on top are very narrow and difficult to get through.
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But there are beautiful views from the top once you get out there.
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Us at the top of the castle.
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More views from the top.
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More pictures from outside.
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The burren, a barren landscape of limestone in Co. Clare. It is strikingly different from the landscape of the surrounding area, and seems to lend itself to the preservation of ancient sites, or at least make them more obviously visible.
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Yes, it seems like something you would see on a postcard from a rural area: "Co. Clare Traffic Jam" with a picture of cows walking down the road. And yet, it happened to us in real life. These were dairy cows being taken to be milked, it would seem. We only had to wait a little: the farmers moved the cows fairly quickly. Of course, it was a frightening experience for Catherine after her run-in with the calf the day before.
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Some pictures in Liscannor, where we stayed. Our hosts there also owned a pub, and they have a house across the street from it. We drove to the pub, and our host had us follower her to the house and checked us in. It was a wonderfully comfortable room, and our host recommended that we go to the Cliffs of Moher (which were right next to the house and pub) after 9PM so that we wouldn't have to pay to park. We decided to go to the village for dinner, then go to the cliff.
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Dinner in Liscannor before going to the cliffs.
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The O'Brien Monument in Liscannor, right near the pub. This was constructed to honor Cornelius O'Brien, who was a well-liked landowner in the area despite being part of the British power structure (the O'Brien family has an interesting history: they are descended from Brian Boru, and are thus native Gaelic nobility, but the senior heirs of the family embraced Anglicanism and fought for the English and against various rebellions by other Gaelic nobles like the O'Neills and O'Donnells). Cornelius, however, was known for building projects and other well-regarded projects in the area.
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St. Brigid's well is right next to the O'Brien monument. It is unlike any of the other holy wells we have visited on this trip: less "polished" than St. Catherine's in Killybegs, but far more trafficked than St. Dymphna's and the others. There were rocks that people had written "thank yous" to St. Brigid, and a statue in a glass box.
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The upper shrine. There is a graveyard hear, as well as some more small objects that seem to have been left by people frequenting the wells. There were also ribbons tied to the trees, which apparently are left by people who have prayed for something there.
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The really numinous part of it is the lower shrine, where there is a tunnel leading to the well. The inside has all manner of offerings: statues, cards with prayers written on them, funeral Mass cards, missing person reports, stuffed animals, candles, rosaries, scapulars, icons, photographs, etc. It was an amazing thing to see, and a testament to belief in another plane of existence beyond the world we see around us. Most striking were the "thank you" notes: letters detailing how St. Brigid helped a person. Really a small, easily-missed thing but one of the most intriguing places we saw on the trip.
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Then, it was time to see the cliffs. The parking lot was now closed, which meant that we could park for free and walk to the cliffs. Unfortunately, it meant that all of the visitors' center buildings were closed, including the tiny "meditation room" which Catherine pointed out should probably be unnecessary, considering that a person who wants to meditate about the cliffs should probably do that...at the cliffs, and not in a tiny windowless room sort of near the cliffs.
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There's not much to say about the cliffs. They are stunningly beautiful, and the pictures sort of speak for themselves. It was nice seeing them in the semi-darkness: no crowds, and the light seemed perfect. Since they are on the west coast it was a beautiful sunset and a great way to spend the evening.
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More views of the cliffs as night fell. It was an incredibly peaceful night: we were the last to leave the cliffs as far as we could tell.
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More of the cliffs after dark.
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The twinkling lights of the village.
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A drink at Considine's Bar, across from our AirBnB and owned by our hosts. It was a nice, small pub, not too packed but not empty. There is a house attached, but the Considines no longer live there, and apparently use it for storage, etc. The house where we are staying is rather new, having been built around six years ago. We loved our stay in Liscannor and would highly recommend it to other people staying in the area.

Posted by danielcatherine 00:37 Archived in Ireland Tagged cliffs village meditation pub beautiful castle farm cows burren clare moher the_cliffs_are_closed st._brigid o'briens considine traffic_jam dunguaire_castle Comments (0)

Ireland Day 11: Adventures on Inishmaan

rain 70 °F

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Our ferry to Inishmaan, or Inis Meáin in Irish. The ferry is Banríon na Farraige, which means "Queen of the Sea." Daniel thought we were safe from any kind of ferry accident, as reporters all over the world wouldn't be able to pronounce the boat's name.
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The journey from Rossaveel to Inishmaan was beautiful, but a little bit rough. We were both extremely tired, and we had some coffee to try to wake up.
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When we got to the pier on the island, there was no evidence of a village and no transportation to the sites we wanted to tour. There were only about five people who got off of the ferry with us, as the rest of the people on board were heading to Inisheer. Daniel had been to Inisheer and Inishmore before, and wanted to tour Inishmaan as he had not seen it. It is said to be the least populous and the least touristy of the islands, and thus far it was meeting both expectations. Soon, a man in a red van sped onto the pier and rolled down his window. "I'm the taxi to the village. Five euro each."
At that moment, a woman in a smaller car also sped to the pier, jumped from her car, and began speaking in Irish to the man. She then told us that she would take us to the village. We got in her car, as did an older man and an older woman. Indicating the other woman, our driver said "This lady will tell you all about the history of the islands. She's Dutch. I can drop you at her tea house if you want."
We were dropped off at the tea house and had a nice conversation with the Dutch woman. She lives on Inishmaan, having studied Irish in college and fallen in love with the island on her first visit. We purchased some tea and pastries, and a map to show us other things to see on the island. It was one of those surreal experiences where you are not quite sure if it is real, hence our confused expressions.
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A donkey outside a house on the island as we walked away from the tea house.
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Small fields, houses, and religious shrines: common sights around the village as we walked.
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Some of the island's scenery.
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Us on the island. It was absolutely beautiful, and we were glad that we came to this island as it was incredibly quiet and peaceful.
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The ruins of the Church of the Seven Sons of the King. The information plaque explains what it is. It was an interesting ruin that we would have missed or assumed was just part of the stone wall work if it hadn't been signposted.
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A green water pump, similar to the one in Mountcharles but without any plaque about its history.
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The Church of the Immaculate Conception, which is the current Catholic Church on the island. It has Harry Clarke Studio stained glass windows, and an altar made by Patrick Pearse's father (which was originally installed in the old church then moved to this one when it was built). The church is beautiful.
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Some of the Harry Clarke windows. They really look different from other stained glass windows.
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The Pearse altar, some more of the windows, and the crucifix above the altar. This church is quite arresting: every part of it seems to draw your attention and make you think. It's amazing that such a beautiful church with such great artistry exists on such a remote and unpopulated island.
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Some pictures near Teach Synge, a small house where John Millington Synge and other authors and notable people went to learn Irish. We had an excellent tour with the owner of the house, a woman whose family owned the house and hosted Synge and the others. It was where the Gaelic Revival began, in some sense, and from that house spread new interest in the language and culture of Ireland before the English conquest.
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Us about to climb to the fortress.
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Dún Chonchúir, the fortress in the background, is a huge ring fort and very similar to Dún Aonghasa on Inishmore. It has extraordinarily thick walls, and is almost perfectly circular. The huge mound of stone in the background of these pictures is the fortress.
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Our first attempt to reach the fortress. We followed signs towards it and then cut through fields and pastures to the wall. We reached the wall, but there was no entrance. Daniel climbed the side of the wall, and saw how thick the walls were. It is an incredible fortress: reaching it is difficult, and once you reach it the walls are extremely difficult to get over. In an actual battle, we imagine that it would be nearly impossible to conquer if defended: it would be impossible to reach if there were archers or javelin throwers on the walls.
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Of course, the fortress does still have some fierce defenders: this mother cow and her calf! We found the correct path: there were small yellow arrows that are easy to miss pointing the way. The path cut through one pasture where a mother cow was with her calf. Daniel thought there must be another path: they wouldn't advise people to get that close to a mother-and-baby animal. Catherine thought that it would be fine: after all, cows are domesticated animals. We started through the pasture, and Daniel reached the next style before Catherine. He saw from there that the calf was chasing Catherine, and told her to hurry. She ran, and the calf continued to chase her. Unfortunately, now we were closer to the fortress. The vicious creature was between us and the village!
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Information and a close-up of the fortress.
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Inside the fortress! It is a huge area within, and feels very protected from the outside. The design almost makes it so that the outside world seems far away: it is quiet and sheltered. It was getting late and our taxi back to the pier was going to meet us at the pub in the village at exactly four, so we had to head down sooner than we would have liked.
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Views from outside the fort.
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Teach Synge, photographed as we walked back to the village. The owner didn't want pictures taken inside, and she explained that people are often disrespectful in their picture-taking on the islands, acting as if everything is so intriguing and quaint and different and photographing people who are just going about their lives. She said it was okay to photograph the plaque and the outside of the house, so we did.
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Journeying back to the village.
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The pub. We arrived here a little earlier than expected, and were able to order a lunch and a couple drinks before the taxi arrived. Everyone in the pub seemed to be facing the same way, having quiet conversations in Irish while eating or drinking. We sat near two men who engaged us in conversation, though it was quiet and somewhat halting. We learned some interesting facts about the island and its history. Eventually the taxi arrived: it was a different person we hadn't seen before, but he said that the cost was still five euro per person. We got to the pier and waited in a small enclosure as it was starting to rain. We struck up a conversation with a woman who was keeping a blog and walking the Wild Atlantic Way, and waited while several other ferries came before Banríon na Farraige arrived. Finally, our ferry came and we got on our way back to Rossaveel.
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The Claddagh, where we started our Galway Pub Crawl for the evening.
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Dinner, including margaritas, at Seven in Galway's Latin Quarter.
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This street performer stood on a board balanced on a cyllander, juggled axes and machetes, and put a tennis racket all the way over his body.
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Walking around Galway after dinner, we come upon this large square which is well appointed and nice looking. It is Eyre Square, but Daniel doesn't recognize it because last time he was here it was completely under construction, and a chain-link fence surrounded the entire square area. Only the streets were open. Now it has several small kiosks within the square, and banners of the "tribes" (Anglo-Norman families) of Galway. It was wonderful to be here together.
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Some drinks at John Keogh's-The Lock Keeper pub. The bartender was an expert on Irish beers and whiskies, and the drinking habits of the Irish people. It was an interesting place and a nice conversation about social trends. And also, some good drinks.
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We ended our night at The Crane Bar. Daniel went here as well on his 21st birthday, so it seemed like we should go there. They have traditional music every night. When we went in, there was no music, but there was a persistent thumping coming from above. We went upstairs, and there was a woman doing Irish dance while the band played a song. We found a place to sit with an Irish couple and two Danish men who were touring the country. We listened to the music and had a nice conversation: the Danes were quite interested in drinking, and were planning to go to a beer festival in America later this year. The band played a mixture of Irish, American, and British songs, and we had a wonderful time.

Posted by danielcatherine 11:57 Archived in Ireland Tagged taxi cow tea pub ferry fortress dutch pub_crawl calf inishmaan aran_islands irish_language synge Comments (0)

Ireland Day 10: God Bless Our Daniel

overcast 67 °F

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First, we drove to Gort na Coiribe, where Daniel lived when he was attending National University of Ireland, Galway. The houses are student housing during the college terms, and holiday rentals in the summer. We had thought about trying to stay there but their minimum stay was slightly too long. However, it was nice to see it again. We took some pictures in front of the flat where Daniel lived, and then went over to Dunne's Stores across the street.
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Years ago, Daniel had told Catherine of a brand of juice called Fruice. She never believed it was real for some reason. At Dunne's Stores, the truth was revealed.
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We turned down a side street while trying to find a place to park, and encountered this banner. We have no idea what the actual intention was of the people who put it up. But it seemed like a nice "welcome back" from the people of Galway.
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From Dunne's Stores we walked to the University, along the route Daniel would take when he was here. These are a couple pictures of the River Corrib from the bridge.
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The old Quadrangle building at NUIG. THis is the most photogenic building on campus, but Daniel didn't actually have any classes there when he attended. However, it was a nice spot to take some pictures and look at the historic part of the campus.
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Just past the campus, a canal that runs beside the campus and a view of the cathedral. This was the route Daniel would often take to go to lunch.
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The Galway cathedral. It is not as old as it looks, having been built in the sixties. It is a beautiful building, deliberately built as a sort of Irish-Mediterranean (especially Spanish) hybrid to emphasize the historic links between Galway and Spain. It is quite large and has a variety of artwork, including stained glass windows and murals on the walls. We used a paper "self-guided tour" booklet to tour the cathedral, then went on to lunch.
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On our way, we saw this evidence that someone doesn't know how to read a sign.
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When Daniel was here before, he and his friend Adrian would often visit An Tobar Nua, a small cafe in Galway. We went in to have lunch there. It was started by an American, and the food seems to reflect that, as some menu items that are not particularly common in Ireland are available here.
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Us at An Tobar Nua.
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Ran into one of Adrian's friends and heard some amusing stories.
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DInner/snacks at Monroe's Tavern, right across from An Tobar Nua. It's one of the places Daniel went on his twenty-first birthday, and we were happy to go there now.
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Catherine tried a beer called "bogman" in commemoration of her adventures in the bog in Glencolumcille.
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The beginning of our "pub crawl" in Galway.
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A view towards the cathedral from the Claddagh.
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Some buskers playing the song "Wagon Wheel" as well as some traditional Irish and American songs.
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Drinks at The King's Head, a popular pub in Galway.
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From Breaking Bad?
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Drinks at Sally Long's at the end of the night. Pubs seem to close fairly early here.
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Capital Turkish Kebab House for some chips to finish the night.
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The relatively empty and quiet street late at night. From here, we got a taxi back to our room and headed to bed to rest for our trip to the Aran Islands!

Posted by danielcatherine 16:05 Archived in Ireland Tagged rain clothes college chips laundry memories galway kebab pub_crawl irish_pubs monroe's king's_head sally_long's Comments (0)

Ireland Day 9: Patrick's Footsteps

sunny 80 °F

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Croagh Patrick is probably the most climbed mountain in Ireland: according to legend, it is where St. Patrick fasted for forty days and forty nights. There is an annual pilgrimage on "Reek Sunday" (a "reek" is a mountain), which is in July. People climb it at other times as well, particularly in the summer. Since we were heading to Galway, and Croagh Patrick was so close to us, we decided to try to climb it. Daniel's parents had tried to climb it when they were here, but had not finished the climb. Thus, we were prepared to only go so far.D386910EDDF5E69DA47E171996245A54.jpegD397747DFD80EF89208FD4BCBBA5FE7E.jpeg90_D3AFD373C7E7141FD01EF774363B9737.jpeg90_D3BCA456E6D0CC2E8D0178D9D8A3DC0F.jpeg90_D3C9AF8CEBF0A0E761CFAEB531CCF97A.jpeg
Some pictures of the low part of the trail. There is a beautiful stream that runs down the side of the mountain, and the path at this point is mostly rock and dirt.
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When we had climbed some of the way, Catherine started to feel like she needed to turn back. We had a discussion about what we should do, and she said she wanted Daniel to climb the rest of the way if he wanted to. She said she would go back to the visitors' center and wait, read a book, etc. Daniel continued on his own.
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Daniel: I will write this part in my own voice since Catherine wasn't with me for most of the climb. The pictures show some of the beautiful scenery from the climb towards the ridge. It was actually a very warm day: the warmest of the year, and fairly sunny. In some ways it was a perfect day to climb, but it was uncomfortably hot. Catherine is actually in some of these pictures, making her way down as I climbed. I can't find her in them but I know she would have to be.
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One of the cairns along the way. There are prayers that are traditionally said at these "stations."
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More views from the mountain.
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People seem to have climbed down to write messages using rocks around the pond here. Many messages are unclear, as if people have removed stones from them. I didn't see anyone climbing down to add messages, either.
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There are a couple of small buildings with toilets and sinks. They aren't particularly clean but it is good they are there.
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Some more views of the climb.
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Some graffiti on the rocks. Advice, encouragement, and Eastern European rivalries.
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I took this picture with my camera exactly at eye level facing forwards. It shows how steep the climb is at this point. This is the cone, the final part of the climb.
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A glorious moment: my first glimpse of the chapel on top of the mountain. I was there!
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St. Patrick's bed and a cairn. Both have many small objects (rosaries, crosses, ribbons, etc) that people have left.
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There is such an incredible view from the top of the mountain: I am very glad I decided to go to the top. It is beautiful in every direction, and there is a great sense of accomplishment.
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The beautiful chapel at the top, where I lit a candle for a variety of intentions.
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I have to prove I was there, and didn't just download these pictures online.
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This appears to be some prayers in Cyrillic writing. Perhaps the Russians that graffitied the rock? It is nice to see the wide diversity of people who come here.
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More pictures of the church, including another selfie.
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And another.
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I took this picture accidentally, but it was a good picture to show what the trail is like.
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From the path going down.
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I took this picture also at eye level straight up and down. It shows how steep the path is.
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As I went down it seemed both easier and harder. It was quicker, but more painful and more frustrating. It truly is a "whole different muscle group."
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Back to the statue.
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Catherine had waited at the visitors' center while I climbed. She purchased a book about the 1916 Easter Rising and learned some Irish history. At one point, a man came down from the mountain bruised and bloody. Is frightened Catherine, so when she saw me she was very happy. We took this picture of us with the mountain in the background. I bought an "I Climbed Croagh Patrick" T-shirt, and thought about buying the one that said "'I Climbed' Croagh Patrick" for Catherine. I was happy to have achieved it, but exhausted from having done such a long climb.
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Both:A delicious dinner at an Italian restaurant in Westport.
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We drove through Connemara on our way to Galway. It was getting dark so we didn't take many pictures. However, when Daniel was studying in Ireland eleven years ago he took a picture in Connemara that was published in a magazine called Dappled Things. The picture is called A Connmara Landscape and is one of the first Google Image results for "Connemara landscape."
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Killary Fjord, the only fjord in the Republic of Ireland. It is a beautiful spot and we took several pictures even though it was starting to get dark. From there we went to Galway.

Note to Readers: we are now back in California, where we have our own internet connection. It was often hard to blog from Ireland as we would get in late, and also sometimes have spotty internet coverage when staying in rural locations. We plan to finish the blog, as we have pictures from each day and would love to share them with all of you. We also use this blog as a kind of photo album, and often use it to show people what we saw on our trips. Stay tuned for updates: we should be posting one or two posts per day.

Posted by danielcatherine 23:00 Archived in Ireland Tagged islands history statue views book stones climb chapel fjord shirt connemara westport saint_patrick 1916 croagh_patrick reek killary a_connemara_landscape Comments (2)

Ireland Day 8: The Edge of the World

all seasons in one day

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We started off our day on Achill Island by driving clockwise, starting off towards the southwest. We came to a place called Kildavnet. The element "kil" in Irish place names generally derives from "cill" which means church. "Davnet" is a form of the name Dymphna, an Irish saint who is patron of those struggling with mental disorders. St. Dymphna was an Irish princess whose father went insane and began to lust after her: she fled, and he eventually caught up with her in Belgium and had her killed. According to legend, she stopped in Achill on her way, and thus this church and well are associated with St. Dymphna. We looked at the church and the tragic graves of victims of the Famine, then walked down to the well which is next to the ocean.
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Next to the church, graveyard, and well is Kildavnet Castle: it was one of Granuaile (Grace O'Malley)'s strongholds. Granuaile was a chieftain of the O'Malley clan during the sixteenth century. She is often referred to as the "pirate queen of Connacht" for her actions against other clans and the English who were consolidating their power in Ireland at the time. This was one of her smaller castles: nearby Rockfleet (outside Newport) and her castle on Clare Island were more important. It is an interesting ruin, and is open for anyone to go inside.
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Beautiful views as we drive around Achill Island. It really feels like the edge of the world, especially when you are driving along the side of the cliffs.
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A lonely island off of Achill.
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Lunch at a tiny pub along the way.
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A beautiful stream at Keem beach at the tip of Achill Island.
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Keem Beach: our host mentioned that from there "the next stop is America." It is a beautiful place. Adrian and Mary Kathleen both highly encouraged us to go to Keem, but both warned us about the roads. The roads weren't that bad, probably because most everyone is a tourist frightened of the roads and thus being careful.
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Catherine enjoying a delicious ice cream at Keem beach.
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Some views of the Deserted Village in Achill. This was formerly used as "booley" housing, for semi-nomadic cow herding people. We spoke to a "modern day shepherd" near the village who was training his sheepdog. We had a nice conversation with him about how life has changed in Achill and how he retired from a job in England in his thirties to buy a farm in Achill. It was a very interesting conversation.
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Palm trees!
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A bog where turf was dug up and drying. We drove in looking for "the crannog" that was signposted, but Catherine has been fearful of bogs since our adventures in Glencolumcille and so we drove out quickly.
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A place we stopped to look at the view in between Achill and Newport.
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Croagh Patrick, the holy mountain, from across Clew Bay.
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Rockfleet Castle, another of Granuaile's strongholds. It is larger than Kildavnet and seems better defended. Unfortunately it is closed for restoration right now: usually it is open for people to go inside.
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After Rockfleet, we went to Burrishoole Friary, which was a fascinating ruin. There are several intriguing grave markers here, some of rather notable people.
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More pictures of Burrishoole.
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Dinner in Newport at a very nice and cozy pub. In fact, this was the first time we tried Guinness in Ireland!
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The moon from our room in Achill as we had a cup of tea and some cookies for dessert.

Posted by danielcatherine 17:35 Archived in Ireland Tagged newport achill croagh_patrick granuaile kildavnet dymphna modern_day_shepherd keem rockfleet burrishoole Comments (2)

Ireland Day 7: Knock, Turlough, and Westport

overcast 66 °F

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Our day started with breakfast: Catherine's treacle bread was delicious!
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After breakfast, we went to Knock for Mass with Mary Kathleen, and did a little shopping for souvenirs. It was a very pleasant morning. On our way back to Kilkelly we stopped to see Mary Kathleen's husband John's grave. Catherine never met John, but Daniel knew him eleven years ago when he went to college in Ireland.
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The graveyard is named for St. Celsius, who Kilkelly is also named for. There is a monument to Irish people buried far away right next to John's grave.
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We stopped to visit Michelle (Mary Kathleen's daughter-in-law, Ciarán's wife) and their children. Ciarán's house has a nice view of the fields nearby.
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Then we went to a late lunch at Attracta's house, where we saw Attracta's husband Michael and their daughter Ciara. Ciara is planning to be a math teacher, so we had a nice talk with her about teaching. We also watched some Gaelic football, which Catherine had not seen before.
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Old family pictures on Mary Kathleen's table.
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When we put "Achill Island" in our GPS, it took us to this tiny road. The GPS directions voice said "you are on the fastest route" right as we turned here.
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We stopped to see a ruined church and round tower in Turlough. Daniel had been here before with his grandparents and John and Mary Kathleen. It is a beautiful tower, and very impressively preserved. Incidentally, the city of Turlock in California is named after Turlough, Co. Mayo: the founder of Turlock was from Turlough.
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Stopped for a late dinner in Westport and tried a beer called Mescan. Mescan was the name of St. Patrick's personal brewer, and the brewery makes their beer at the foot of Croagh Patrick, Ireland's holy mountain where St. Patrick fasted for forty days and forty nights. The beer was good. We got to Achill Island very late, and almost got lost finding the place with directions telling us to go "past the green boat" and "down the boreen."

Posted by danielcatherine 11:34 Archived in Ireland Tagged tower dinner lunch mary michael michelle kathleen ciaran's knock westport ciara attracta turlough achill mescan croagh_patrick round_tower Comments (1)

Ireland Day 6: Baking Lessons and Other Adventures

semi-overcast 65 °F

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We started the day with a delicious breakfast at Mary Kathleen's house. It was Catherine's first time trying Mary Kathleen's delicious and (literally) world famous treacle bread. Daniel had tried to bring some to her last time he was here, but it fell on the floor of his apartment in Galway and never made it to Catherine. Thus, she waited ten years to try it. It was delicious, and in fact Catherine asked Mary Kathleen to teach her how to make it.
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Jake, Attracta's dog.
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Views from Mary Kathleen's house: it's a beautiful place and we loved staying there.
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We went on a morning walk with Mary Kathleen and her daughter Marie. We had Marie's dog and Attracta's dog with us. Apparently there are still several cows there on the farm, which Ciaran (Mary Kathleen's son) takes care of. They are beef cattle, but Mary Kathleen likes to think of them more as pets.
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Our walk brought us to Marie's house, where we had tea and bread and jam, and ham and cheese if we wanted it. It was a nice little stop along the walk.
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We walked up towards the bog land where the family gets the turf they use for fires, and snacked on wild bilberries along the way. They tasted like blueberries, but they were more tart and smaller.
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Catherine talking with Mary Kathleen during the walk.
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Snowy and Molly, Mary Kathleen's pet donkeys. Marie gave Catherine a bowl of carrots to feed them.
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Attracta, Mary Kathleen, Catherine, Róisín (Mary Kathleen's granddaughter), and Rose (Mary Kathleen's daughter, Róisín's mother.
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Daniel, Mary Kathleen, Catherine, Róisín, and Rose.
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Mary Kathleen, Daniel, Róisín.
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In looking through old family photos, we found this one of John Caulfield Senior. This is Mary Kathleen's great grandfather, and Daniel's great great great grandfather. Catherine felt that his "smile" was similar to Daniel's.
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Mary Kathleen and Daniel imitating their ancestor.
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Mary Kathleen showed us the church in the village of Aghamore, where Daniel's great great grandparents regularly went to Mass, and where his great grandfather Dominic would have grown up going.
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The graves of John and Margaret Caulfield, who were Daniel's great great grandparents and Mary Kathleen's grandparents.
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Some more views of the Aghamore graveyard.
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Daniel driving and talking with Mary Kathleen.
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Knock Shrine, the old parish church. This is where the Virgin Mary appeared in 1879, and it is a huge shrine that attracts pilgrims from all over the world. Today there was a rededication for the newer basilica, which was first opened forty years ago. The Archbishop of Boston, Seán Cardinal O'Malley, was celebrating a Mass along with three other bishops. There was also a large delegation from Boston present, and most local people, hearing our American accents, presumed we were from Boston.
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The new (or forty year old) basilica at Knock. Some pictures show the Mass going on for the rededication. There is also a new mosaic above the altar, which is beautiful. This seems to have been added within the last year, and Mary Kathleen was quite proud of it.
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The grave of Monsignor James Horan, who was pastor at Knock and raised money for the airport. The airport is a great benefit to the community in County Mayo, and several of Daniel's cousins work there, and Mary Kathleen has a high opinion of the Monsignor.
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Mary Kathleen's daughter Martina, Martina's daughter Sorcha, Mary Kathleen, Catherine, and Daniel. Martina could only stay for a minute, but we were glad that we were able to meet her. Sorcha wasn't born when Daniel was here last, so it was nice meeting her as well.
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Stopped at Marie's house again to see the garden. She has a beautifully decorated garden with little figurines and other cute items. Most of Mary Kathleen's children live on the same property: Attracta lives just south of her along the road, and Marie, Liam, and Ciarán live along a small driveway. Rose and Martina live in nearby towns, and Sean is currently working in England and living with his uncle. It is very nice for Mary Kathleen to have her children and grandchildren so close to her.
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The back of Mary Kathleen's old house.
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Baking lesson! Catherine learned how to make Mary Kathleen's delicious treacle bread. We can't wait to make it at home. It is incredibly delicious, and, according to Mary Kathleen, has a lot of health benefits.
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Liam's daughters, Shannon and Caitlyn, were the judges for Catherine's treacle bread making. Shannon gave her 84 1/2, and Caitlyn gave her 61!
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Catherine's first treacle "cake." Waiting for breakfast tomorrow!
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A cozy turf fire, a cup of tea, and a nice conversation to finish off a fun and busy day.

Posted by danielcatherine 12:03 Archived in Ireland Tagged tea family smile marie graves cozy shannon martina turf baking knock mary_kathleen attracta aghamore caulfield scowl sorcha caitlyn bogs bilberries Comments (1)

Ireland Day 5: Onward to Mayo

rain 60 °F

First, a note to our readers: we couldn't get a solid internet connection in Achill Island, and in Kilkelly we were up visiting so late with family/friends. We are thus several days behind, but we will be updating regularly now.

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The famine pier and wall in Mountcharles. These were projects that the Quakers set up as a famine relief scheme. The local people built them and got paid for it, somewhat relieving the Famine.

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Some beautiful views of our drive through Co. Sligo on our way to Mayo.

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We saw a ruined Round Tower, which had clearly been broken at some point in its history.

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We stopped for gas and before we left we got a couple rolls of candies that aren't widely available in the United States.

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We arrived just in time for lunch at Daniel's cousin's house. Mary Kathleen, who is Daniel's grandpa's first cousin (thus Daniel's first cousin twice removed), had made us a very nice lunch and visited with us for some time. Her daughter, Attracta, came over as well. Catherine felt like Mary Kathleen reminded her a great deal of Daniel's grandpa, Tom. It was a wonderful lunch and we had a great time. We then went on to Daniel's friend Adrian's house. Adrian lives in Knock, the same village where there is a huge Marian shrine where the Virgin Mary appeared in 1879. Adrian made us a "traditional" Irish dinner of Pakistani curry, but not before tricking Catherine into thinking that Irish people traditionally eat a single boiled potato each on Fridays. We visited with Adrian and his family in their thatched-roof cottage. His brother, Fr. Eugene, came by as well, as did his sister Barbara's boyfriend Johnny. Eugene and Johnny are fixing up the house across the road for Barbara to live in. We had a very nice visit, talking about politics and current events and everything else imaginable. While we were visiting, news of the coup in Turkey came on. This was very much in line with Daniel and Adrian's interests, and so we stayed until almost 2 AM watching the coverage and analyzing the situation.
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Daniel, Catherine, Mikal, and Adrian.

Posted by danielcatherine 15:54 Archived in Ireland Tagged turkey adrian thatch donegal mikal mayo coup knock sligo kilkelly mary_kathleen attracta Comments (0)

Ireland Day 4: O'Donnell Abu!

(the title is also the name of a great song. And, our day started at Donegal Castle and ended at a Middle Eastern restaurant 😀)

storm 55 °F

We had a wonderful night's sleep at our B&B in Mountcharles. It was extremely comfortable and restful. When we got up, there was a delicious breakfast ready for us: brown bread and toast and tea. We had a very nice chat with our host, ranging from Irish history to modern politics to her surprise that the Americans staying in her house all seem to prefer tea to coffee. She gave us a detailed route to follow, along the "wild and rocky hills" (another lyric from another great Donegal-focused song) up the Wild Atlantic Way. We began by going to Donegal Town.
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We found a place to park in Donegal Town. It overlooked this harbor, where the boat in the picture was blasting Meatloaf's "I'd Do Anything For Love." It proceeded to blast other songs of like nature. The machine did not take cards so we had to get cash. The tourist office had a sign that prominently displayed that they do not change money for the parking lot. So, Daniel walked to a bank (AIB) on the Diamond, or main square of Donegal.
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Donegal Castle is really an amazing thing to see.
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According to the cashier at the castle, the Choctaw Nation donated to the Irish during the Famine. This led to connections between them and the Irish.
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Some more images of the Castle. The empty manor house area was built by the Brookes family after the Flight of Earls.
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The Diamond in Donegal. It is sort of a roundabout, sort of a death trap.
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The Catholic Church in Donegal. It has a replica Irish Round Tower.
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Killybegs Harbor. Killybegs is one of the major commercial fishing ports in Ireland. The ships are really impressive to see.
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Outside Killybegs is St. Catherine's well, one of Ireland's many holy wells. These have small sources of water and involve specific prayers that should be said. Catherine had not seen a holy well before, and she was especially interested because this one was St. Catherine's.
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For some reason, there are stuffed animals tied to many signposts and fences throughout Co. Donegal.
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The Wild Atlantic Way: the beautiful coast of Donegal.
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Sheep in the road.
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While driving through the small village of Glencolmcille, we saw signs for St. Colmcille (Columba)'s well. We decided to take the hike up to see it. We left our car near a farmhouse and began walking up the path. It was lightly misting and the sun was high in the sky. We continued up from a gate that had signs pointing towards then well. We never found the well. The hike was quite long and went through empty, desolate bogland. The storm begin to get worse, soaking us and blowing rain in our faces. We kept going. We would walk to the next trail marker and see the next on up another ridge. Eventually, Daniel said he thought it wasn't safe to continue and we started to turn back. However, we decided to go to one more marker. Daniel got there before Catherine: there was a castle up ahead. Catherine caught up and we looked at the castle together. It was beautiful but slightly creepy. The storm was so bad we had to turn back. We wish we could have seen the well, but we had a great time nonetheless. Side note: while Catherine was hiking to catch up with Daniel who had gone slightly ahead she jumped over a little patch of mud. The grassy area she landed on was more mud than grass and she found herself knee deep in a bog. She barely escaped with her shoes. We thought this accidental adventure led to one of the best days of our lives. Just the two of us on a desolate hill overlooking the Atlantic Ocean with unbelievable views.
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Some pictures of the hike. Can you believe we were all the way up there?
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It's a whole different muscle group going down.
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"Climb to Colmcille's Well they said. It will be fun they said."
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We were so happy to find our cozy car again and get the heater working. We had a wonderful adventure.

We wanted to stop and eat at a pub in Glencolmcille. Unfortunately, they all look were closed. We tried the next village, Carrick, and they were also closed. In Killybegs most places were closed as well. We ended up getting a pizza to go from a small Middle Eastern restaurant, then going back to eat in the parking lot of St. Catherine's well. We had a wonderful day, and we can't wait until tomorrow when we go to Kilkelly to see Daniel's cousins.

Posted by danielcatherine 16:50 Archived in Ireland Tagged church towers castle pizza round glencolmcille colmcille. columba killybegs donegall o'domnell holy_wells Comments (2)

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