Friday, June 24, 2016

Ireland, Part 2, Dublin and Galway.

Having already spent a week in Dublin at the beginning of my trip, I probably didn't need to come back.  My reason was to rest a bit before heading back home.  I did hit some important places to visit and it was sort of fun being back and knowing my way around.

Interesting when I arrived in the City from the airport and saw throngs of people, everywhere, hundreds and hundreds.  The crowds actually made my taxi ride cost me more money since street crossings were mobbed, as well as all sidewalks on the main streets for blocks.  I had to wonder what was happening and my cab driver said there was a Bruce Springsteen concert in a few hours.  The concert was about 3 blocks from my hotel and I could hear the music and roaring applause. 

Easter Rising - 100 year celebration while I was there.

Garden of Remembrance 
In memory of many insurrections for Irish freedom*

 Children of Lir by Oisín Kelly, symbolizing 
rebirth and resurrection, added in 1971

100 Year Celebration Flags were everywhere.

The Great Famine changed the face of Ireland and America too.**
Heartbreaking sculptures

Cutest gelato store ever with these scooter stools.

Beautiful display

The harp is the symbol of Ireland

Beautiful harp suspension bridge.  This is just so fantastic

Harp (also known as Brian Boru's Harp), medieval

from 14th or 15th century, on display in the long room at 

Trinity College in Dublin.

Magnificent library at Trinity College,
founded 1592

Ancient Book of Kells, quite moving.
No photos allowed. ***

Had to make a trip to the Guinness Brewery and I was very impressed.  No long lines or huge crowds when I was there and it is the number 1 tourist attraction in Dublin, so I was pleased.  Nice history of the brewery and lots to learn about making beer.  I also enjoyed the tasting.  I do like Guinness beer.

Guinness - founded 1759
Since the Storehouse opened in 2000, over 4 million
people have visited.

Step by step info on the beer making process.

Most important ingredient, their great water from the mountains.

They had a great film from back in the 1950's showing how
the beer barrels were made.  Fascinating, hard work to make, 
barrels, extremely skilled woodworkers.

12-foot-tall, two-ton wood carving of a giant pint of Guinness.

Several displays of their advertising over the years.

Following are views from the top floor, Gravity Bar, 7th floor.   Glass windows afford great views of Dublin and surrounding areas.  Best view in the city.

Guinness goes with everything.

Galway, Ireland

I wanted to take a trip out of Dublin, so I hopped on the bus and took a scenic 2 1/2 hour ride to the Irish Coast.  Lots of history in Galway since it was an ocean port.  The crowds were about as thick as they were in Dublin, maybe worse since the sidewalks were narrower.  By the time I got back on the bus I was glad to get away from people for awhile.  I don't think you could walk in that town during June - August with more tourists.

Got a city map from the tourist office and hit just about every important spot.  A wonderfully walkable city.  History every turn.  I am glad I took a day to visit.  Again, if I return to Ireland I'd like to find some place that is more remote.

 Some country views as we drove by in the bus.

Content cattle in the countryside

Eyre Square, a/k/a John F. Kennedy
Memorial Park

People out enjoying a sunny day in the park

Part of the old city wall is incorporated into
a large shopping center in the center of the city.  

Signs share info on the various time periods in Galway.

An old church now an office building

I talked to this man awhile and asked him questions about the above building.  He teased me and said, "Aren't you going to take my picture." so I did.  I told him he could be my Galway man.

Down at Galway Harbor.  So many people outside
enjoying the sunshine that they don't get that often.

Beautiful swans 

The Spanish Arch, 1584 

Galway Museum
Interesting and well done --free

Full sized fishing boat inside the museum.

Interesting mix of old and new

I just can't write any more about this, so I'm closing.  My next blog will cover Edinburgh, Scotland.  I was very moved when I made my first walk down  Princess Street and really can't describe how amazing those first sights were.  It was just like turning back time, or that I had wondered onto a movie set.

In summary, Ireland is rich in history at every turn, remembers her past with fervor.  I loved walking through the city, enjoyed the bridges and river, and drinking a pint.  Not what I expected, but that's why I went -- to see what Ireland was about to me.  Enjoy.



Sunday, June 19, 2016

My favorite things............

Traveling around so much it is  how fascinating to see so many new things in each place.  Certain destinations give me different types of feelings and move me.  Some just seem to be there, but that is probably because we didn't have enough time to get to know it.  Here are some of my favorite places in no specific order.

Colorado - fall in the high mountains with the aspens changing to yellow is amazing.

Million Dollar Highway
September 2012

New Mexico - there is a magical feel to this state.  I love New Mexico.

Albuquerque, NM 
Balloon Festival
October 2013

Santa Fe Sunrise

Sedona, AZ

I was moved to tears here.

Stanley, Idaho
Sawtooth Mountain Range
One of the most beautiful places on earth

Waimea Valley, Kauai, Hawaii
Stunning sight.

Pu'u O Kila Lookout
A total fog out would come and then
clear so you could see all the way to the ocean.

 Pure silver
Waimea Bay Recreation Pier - Kauai

Kauai rainbow
Genesis 9:12-17, 
I have placed my rainbow in the clouds.

  Honu (turtle in Hawaiian)
I was estatic here snorkeling
 Anahola Beach, Kauaii

April 2016
My favorite USA City - Savannah, GA
Fountain in Forsyth Park

My first cenote - Yucutan, Mexico
November 2004
A top five sight in the world for me
* not my photo, but a copy of a postcard.  Impossible for 
regular camera w/no extra light to take a good photo.

Paris - I love Paris

My first sight in Paris - on my birthday.

View from the top of Notre Dame

Night of a full moon - magic

Puerto Penasco

A peaceful place.  Picturesque, loved the beach
and shelling and the food was out of this world.
We were with Cheryl and Mike and we just had the best week.

Ocotillo in bloom

Fun watching the birds plummet into the ocean