Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.
1 Timothy 4:12 NIV

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Morn's Mornin' to Ye!

Happy Saint Patricks Day to you all! In honor of the great Emerald Isle, I am going to recount my June 2008 trip to Ireland (along with pictures, of course).

Day1- We (me, Rachel, mom, and Karen) drove down to Atlanta to board our overnight transatlantic flight into Dublin. (note* this was both mine and Rachel's first transatlantic flight)

Day2- We flew into Dublin about 12:00 pm (Rachel and I were exhausted from watching movies all night) and then we were picked up by a Brendan (tour guide) bus and escorted to our hotel. At 2pm our voyage of discovery began with a tour starting in the heart of Dublin. We visited St. Patrick's Cathedral which was founded in 1190, we then went and walked the cobbled courtyards of Trinity College to it's world famous library to see the 8th century Book of Kells. After that we went back to our hotel for an amazing dinner, and we met our enchantingly memorable tour guide, Martina.

Our morning started with a drive through the Curragh, the heart of Ireland's equestrian country to view the magnificent Rock of Cashel, an impressive pre-christian settlement where all of the High Kings of Ireland reigned. The dramatic limestone rock, crowned with secular and religious buildings, dominates the flat countryside for miles around. From there, we traveled to County Cork to visit Blarney Castle (where we did NOT kiss the Blarney Stone xP)and Blarney Woolen Mills, and then we continued our journey to bustling Killarney. The town on the lakes is famous for its lively pubs and open cheerfuly atmosphere (did I mention nude art galleries?), full of what the Irish call "craic!" Gaelic for fun.

Oh Day 4! I will never forget it! On this beautiful day, we traveled on the road that winds around the beautiful Iveragh Peninsula, better known as The Ring of Kerry. It is undoubtedly one of the most magical places in all of Ireland. Here, mountains, valleys, lakes and sea blend into a landscape that was breathtaking beyond words. After that, we took a 'jarvey' ride to Ross Castle, a beatiful fortress built by the O'Donoghue chieftains in the 15th century, situated on the Lower Lakes of Killarney.


When we woke up on Day 5 we were not-so-joyously greeted by rain and thunderstorms. But, on with the trip! We crossed the Shannon estuary by ferry and entered County Clare. From there, we went for a walk along the Cliffs of Moher, rising approximately 700 feet above the pounding Atlantic waves below. Then we traveled north across the Burren, a suddenly stark and barren landscape. After our little jaunt in the country, we stopped in at Rathbaun Farm and met a Galway farming family who had afternoon tea and scones ready for us to eat. Next on the tour was Galway "City of the Tribes".


In the west of Ireland, the starkly beautiful mountains of Galway and Mayo drop down to the coast. Little whitewashed cottages are scattered over a land of mountains, brooks, and rivers. We started off our day with a visit to Kylemoore Abbey, a castellated neo-gothic mansion, occupied by the Irish Benedictine community of nuns who came from Ypres after World War 1. After the drive back to the Connemara Coast (where we were staying) we went to the Salthill Hotel in Galway to see the world famous Irish dancing show Trad on the Prom.


On Day 7, we experienced the beautiful land of Connemara, a land of rocky mountains, sparkling brooks and rushing rivers. Then, we drove on to Cong, a village with a deliberate old-world feel and the setting for 'The Quiet Man', filmed there in the early 1950s starring John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara. Cong is also where we entered the majestic grounds of Ashford Castle. Dating back to 1228 and once the estate of the Guinness family, the luxurious 5 Star Ashford Castle first opened as a hotel in 1939. We stayed one night in the castle and had a splendid 8 course dinner (honestly, it was all so good, it is strictly confidential what we ate ;D). (Oh, and also, at about 12 midnight we were woken up to the sound of cannons. yes, cannons. we thought we were under was really just a wedding party)


On the morning of Day 8, we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast at the castle, and then we crossed the midlands back into Dublin for our last day/night in our now beloved Ireland. It was bittersweet being back in Dublin, because me and Rachel knew that in the morning we would be boarding a plane back to the states. It's amazing how much you can come to love something in what seems such a short ammount of time. That's how it was for us and Ireland. Once you go, you can never forget it.


Early that morning we were driven to the very tiny Dublin Airport to board our flight back to America. I think me and Rachel were both sniffling as we looked out the window of the plane to our beautiful Ireland, a country of heritage, liveliness, and love, of which will never be forgotten.

Needless to say, we had an amazingly wonderful (not to mention memorable) trip.

Memories, memories...


Morgan said...

I LOVED all the pictures. I have always wanted to visit Ireland. I like taking pictures too!!!!


Rachel Addison said...

Beautiful Pictures, I am a redhead and my heratige on both sides, my mom and dad, are Irish, and I have always wanted to go to Irealand ! Did you know that Saint Patrick was not from Ireland at all , he was German ? I read your profile,and I noticed that you ride dressage, I jump. I enjoyed reading your blog and hope to visit more and right now I am consisering following, and your blog template is Wonderful, feel free to visit my blog anytime !

Rachel Addison

Rachel Jolly said...

oh, i miss it so much.
lets go back now, shall we?

Mia said...

Beautiful pictures!
Although I fear I'll never get over to Irish soil, I love seeing your pictures...I feel like I've been there now :)


Anonymous said...

Oh my what a beautiful place you were so blessed to be able to go there. I miss our e-mails:( How is "Sweet Mary"?

Love Amanda


Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones