Saturday, July 23, 2016

Europe - Part 2

Part 2 of the British Isles:



 Heathrow Airport waiting for our flight to Dublin - when we still had lots of energy!

 At first, we thought our rental was the huge, white van, but we were so relieved that it was this gray VW van/car...until we all tried to fit inside.

 Our Airbnb rental for the first two nights in Ireland.

 Rhonda and our host

 
The inside of the cottage - This was one of my favorite places that we stayed!


The Rock of Cashel 





We had an overnight flight from JFK to Dublin with a layover in London.  When we arrived in Ireland we rented a car and promptly started touring.  This was the end of our first day and we were tired!



Day 2
Before we started driving around the Ring of Kerry, some of us had a hearty Irish breakfast in the little town of Kenmare.  This breakfast consisted of black pudding, white pudding, bacon (which looked somewhat like ham), tomato, fried eggs, sausage, and toast!





Some of us got to talking to a group of ladies from Germany.  We mentioned that some of our ancestors had been from Switzerland and Germany.  Through the course of the conversation we learned that Melody and Marian shared last names! 




 
Ashley, Melody, Rhonda, me, Amanda, Amber 

 So thankful these ladies came along on this trip!


 During our drive around the Ring of Kerry we witnessed a dramatic water rescue by the Irish Coast Guard.  From what we could gather, someone had fallen off a cliff and needed to be rescued.


We arrived at the Cliffs of Moher around 9:30 pm - after they had closed.  I would highly recommend seeing this magnificent natural wonder at this time of the day.  The light was gorgeous and there weren't many other people there.




Day 3
 Our host referred us to some ruins - Athassel Abbey.  Her directions were rather vague, but we knew they included climbing over a stile.

Shepherd's Pie for lunch


 This was my lunch, but after asking the lady several times what it was, I still don't know what she said... :/





 A fellow tourist, from South America, took our photo for us.  She was friendly although she apologized often for her English, which was actually pretty good.




 This is why "some" people kiss the Blarney Stone

 Our Airbnb rental for the second night.  This also was a nice place except we had great difficulty in locking the front door (as previously mentioned & shown) and more importantly, we couldn't figure out the hot water (or else it didn't work) and we all had icy cold showers.


 The thoughtful hostess left us with a loaf of brown soda bread and a stocked refrigerator!



 In the evening, we were hungry and it was getting late.  I was driving (in circles) looking for somewhere to eat and/or somewhere to park.  Finally, we found both.

  The maitre d' observed us looking at their menu in the window.  He asked us if we were Amish. (A question we were growing rather used to).  After asking, he was apologetic and acted slightly embarrassed.  Then he told us they have a special menu for larger groups and brought one out to show us.  By then we were tired of looking for somewhere to eat.
It was an authentic Italian restaurant and boy, we were glad we went!  The staff was so attentive and friendly (probably because we said no, we weren't exactly Amish, but somewhat similar...) and the food was spectacular.


To be (possibly) continued...
Photo credits to the talented Ashley, Melody & Rhonda...

Monday, July 18, 2016

Europe - Part 1

Happy Summer!

It's been awhile, but I decided for now to keep this blog limping along.

A lot of things have changed - I graduated from college, took the NCLEX (and passed!!!) and celebrated with the trip of a lifetime to Europe!

So, pictures...


We supposedly received the gift of gab....

This is how many of our selfies went....

I forget what this place was called but this "building" (basically a wall) was built many, many years ago and without the use of any kind of mortar.



Cliffs of Moher - so pretty with the evening sun....at 9:30-10:00 pm!

One of our host told us about the nearby ruins of an old Abbey, which we finally found.

It caused us to spontaneously burst into "Sound of Music" songs...

The house at Blarney Castle.  An Earl still lives there, but moves into a cottage during summer months to allow for the tours that are given there for about 3 - 4 months out of the year.


The gardens at Blarney castle were gorgeous!

Melody, me, Rhonda

The poison gardens at Blarney Castle - all of the plants in it were poisonous - usually in large doses, but the especially potent ones were enclosed in cages.


In our defense - the door locks WERE different....it took us a long time to figure how this door locks.

The Waterford Crystal Showroom


The Famine Ships



Giant's Causeway


To Be Continued....