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My visit to Ireland

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My visit to Ireland

Postby manrat » Tue Jul 12, 2005 6:24 pm

I've been to Ireland in 1997 and in 2001 and for the last trip I kept a journal and later wrote my experiences down for a website I had back then and for my mailfriends. I just thought I could maybe share this here if you guys don't mind. Because it's kinda long, I'll just post the story of one day during the trip, every day here.

Ireland roundtrip 21.-28.07.2001


21.07.2001 - Day 1


18:00 o´clock. In 5 minutes should be the take off for our flight to Ireland. Announcement: “The airplane is already at the airport, but not ready for take off. 30-40 min delay” … Mandy was away during the announcement and “granny” (an old woman we met there) looked at me and started to talk to me. I got kinda feeling that we won´t get rid of her so soon. She went to the Duty Free shop and asked us to take care of her bags. Nice as always *g* we did. “Granny” came back and Mandy tried to find something to eat and left me alone. Now my feeling became proved to be right. “Granny” took the seat next to me and told me about aaaaall her trips. Mandy didn´t pay attention to her discreetly *g* And can you guess what we found out? Yes! She booked the same trip like us.


On board of our Eurowings airplane: ultramodern equipment, video, music, whatever you want … and sitting behind us a little boy who was getting on our nerves, asking his dad this and that …. First still kinda amusing, but after more than 2 hours of crying, laughing, screaming … just nerve-racking! It seems to me that Mandy didn´t want to talk to me that much *gg* (haha, I couldn´t, because I was too afraid sitting in an airplane at an altitude of more than 10.000m *g*)

Survived and back on earth in Shannon.
But where are our suitcases? Okay, everything found but where´s the person who should pick us up here? Heeelp, there is nobody! Where to go now? Mandy wanted to go outside, but at that moment I saw the “Der Tour” booth. Yipieeeh, we´re rescued *g* John welcomed us and we were taken with circa 12 others and “granny” to our hotel in Limerick. But not to forget that Mr. XY noticed on the way that he forgot some documents at the airport – so back to Shannon airport ;-) After Irish music, bad streets, driving on the left and maaany roundabouts we finally arrived at the “South Court Hotel” at 21:30 o´clock and we were astonished … 4 stars … Do we deserve so much luxury? (Don´t you think we do Melli? I do *lol*)

Okay, let´s get the cards for our room and go to the lift. Oops where are we now? 2nd floor! Hey, we wanted to go to the 1st! Taking the stairs back to the 1st floor … would be embarrassing if someone would see us coming out of the lift again ;-) In the room 2 double beds (hey, then we could have taken someone with us ;-), TV, a welcome with Irish music, hair dryer, shampoo …. Why did we lug all that stuff? ;-) Reading our tour brochure .. hey we´ll still get dinner, although it is almost 22:00 o´clock. Oops, where we ended up now? Looks more like a pub than a dining room. But after a little bit of searching we found the dining room where the other members of our tour group are already sitting. But where is “granny”? The menu, please! … with German translation … that’s what we call luck! *g* Appetizer, main course … ready! We were almost sleeping on our chairs ;-) Coffee, tea? Oh, we don´t want more! Can we go now? Nobody is moving … Oh no, and another thing … dessert … ice, pudding, cake … eating to the extreme *g* Meanwhile “granny” was with us again or more exactly at Mandy´s side. Yeees, now it´s Mandy´s turn *g* (Hey Melli, don´t you have any compassion with me? *lol*)

23:30 o´clock, finally back in our room. After having a little rest, Mandy is going to the bathroom and I´ll try to write down some sentences about our first day. Mandy is coming out of the bathroom and I read out the first very narrowed written page to her. That will become a loooong report. 00:30 o´clock, we´re “already” going to bed now ;-). At 6:00 o´clock we want or better we have to get up again. Are we going to manage that? … ;-)
Last edited by manrat on Tue Jul 12, 2005 8:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby manrat » Tue Jul 12, 2005 8:14 pm

22.07.2001 - Day 2


It´s Sunday - 2nd day of our trip and as we expected we didn´t sleep a lot. No wonder, if you have a party in front of your room door. Okay not really in front of, but it was loud as it would be there ;-) After a short night I was looking forward to have a warm shower … negative! Warm water seems to be rare here and so I was jumping for 2 minutes “under” the shower back and forth. Otherwise I´d have to pick icicles out of my hair. Isn´t it the perfect way to start your day? *g*

Now it was time for breakfast … cornflakes and toast. But remember, we´re in Ireland and so we got orange jam with salty butter *grrr*. Those who didn´t feel tortured enough could get a “hot breakfast” (scrambled eggs, bacon and sausage) after that. Huh and all this at 7:00 o´clock in the morning ;-). Could you imagine how many people suddenly asked for more cornflakes? *gg* After such a great breakfast ;-) it was time to lug our suitcases to the bus. “Granny” was clever … time for teamwork. We should save some good seats and she would take care of our suitcases.


First we went to Adare (County Limerick) by bus. It´s an old village of thatched cottages and medieval churches. After leaving Adare, Dingle Peninsula was our next destination. The Peninsula, stretching westward for 30 miles from the low-lying country near Tralee (there we saw the Rose Garden), is the most northerly of the hilly areas of County Kerry. The whole peninsula has great mountain and coastal scenery, and there are many prehistorical and early-Christian remains. The western end of the peninsula is an Irish-speaking district where the traditional customs, crafts and lore are still very much alive.

We had our lunch in Dingle. One of Ireland's biggest attractions in recent years has been the newest resident of Dingle harbour, Fungi, the local bottle-nosed dolphin. Since his arrival in the area in 1984, Fungi has been performing for fishermen and visitors, and has become a celebrity. During the summer months, visitors can take a boat from Dingle pier for dolphin-spotting, with an early morning boat available for those who wish to swim with him.

Of course we like good weather and warmth, but could have renounced of the heating in the bus! ;-) But after one hour of heat they could solve the problem :-)


Next destination was Gallerus Oratory, a really exciting building. (Melli, can you remember what it was?? *gg*) No, no we can remember ;-)
The Gallarus Oratory dates from some time between the ninth and 12th centuries. A place of prayer for monks.

Then we visited the ruins of Kilmalkedar Church where you can also see the Alphabeth-stone and the Ohgamstone. The next stop was the beach of Inch, Co. Kerry. This magnificent 6 km long beach of "golden" sand is backed by sandhills which are well known to archaeologists for old habitation sites.

A little bit later we finally arrived at the “Heights Hotel” in Killarney.
At dinner time our tour continued in the same way as it started. We made acquaintance with a married couple from our tour group. Isn´t it great if you don´t even understand your own compatriots anymore?! ;-) Greetings to Swabia! *g* We could choose again what to eat … appetizer, main course & dessert. Of course we did choose, but that doesn´t mean that we got it! Funnily enough, we and the swabian man were the only ones who didn´t get an appetizer. And so we got to know each other better … We got the main course, but Mandy didn´t get a dessert either. But our new swabian friend *g* gave Mandy his dessert. Isn’t it kind? (Thaaank you! *lol*)

After that luxuriant *g* dinner we took a walk to the centre of Killarney because our tour guide Mary Turner told us that we would only need 20 minutes to reach the centre. But how should we manage? Running? *gg*
When we came back to the hotel from our marathon walking ;-), it was a gloomy night and no light was turn on. What’s going on? Don´t they want us to come in? It was only 23:00 o´clock! After searching for our room in the darkness, we found out that it stayed dark here as well. Power failure! Writing our report – negative! The only advantage of the situation: We´re going to bed a little bit earlier and maybe will get some more sleep …
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Postby Unknownsu » Tue Jul 12, 2005 9:25 pm

There seems to be an epidemic of travel journals springing up. :wink:

Interesting read. I thoroughly enjoyed it. But, who is Mandy?

I am the "granny" traveler. I talk to everyone and everything I come across. Yes, that includes garbage bins. I'm kidding. 8)
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Postby manrat » Wed Jul 13, 2005 11:50 pm

23.07.2001 - Day 3

We had to get up early today, but it wasn´t a problem because yesterday evening we were already in bed at 23:30 o´clock because of power failure. We didn´t have to wait long for the next surprise in our super hotel “Killarney Hights” *g*. After getting a shock of coldness while having a shower in our other hotel yesterday – it was the opposite today! Our shower (can we still call it shower?! ;-) almost “boiled” *g* us with some HOT water splashes. (Hey, I didn´t want to make a fire, but having a shower right, Melli? *g*)
But of course that wasn´t enough. After also having a “shower”, we found out that the power problem wasn´t still solved … no chance to blow-dry my hair. Holidays “back to basics”!

We also sat in the darkness (hihi very romantic) during the “luxuriant” breakfast ;-) but maybe we´re too pretentious if some cornflakes and a slice of toast doesn’t suffice for us *g* Luckily nobody felt asleep in the dark, maybe because we all got a good night´s sleep ;-)


At 08.45 o´clock we started our trip to Muckross House. It´s situated in the Killarney National Park and was built in 1843, on the edge of Muckross Lake for Henry Arthur Herbert, member of parliament for Kerry. The Herberts entertained many important guests at Muckross most notably Queen Victoria of England in 1861. The gardens have large collections of trees, rhododendrons and azaleas as well as an extensive water garden and rock garden.

The visit at Muckross house was followed by a sight-seeing tour on the Ring of Kerry, where our bus driver Neill showed us his driving skills. We´ll better not mention that he rammed a stone, the bus has some more scratches, Neill didn´t react at all … ;-) We passed Killorglin, Glenbeigh, … from the mountain stage there is a great view of Dingle bay. Cahirciveen and Waterville are next. At Moll´s Gap you will have a good view to the Mountains of Kerry and at Ladies View you can see the Three Lakes of Killarney. We passed the Upper Lake and the Middle Lake before getting to Torc Waterfall and back to “Heights Hotel” in Killarney.



In the evening we went to see the musical “To dance on the moon” at the National Event Centre in Killarney. We had to pay only 20 pounds which was pretty cheap.

Back in hotel at 23:00 o´clock … the next awful surprise ;-) Only some drops of water from the shower, now it´s really out of order. Melli is taking a bath... Hopefully she’s a good swimmer and doesn´t drown *gg* (Well, I survived, but it wasn´t so easy *lol*). And I have a really hard time because of thinking about how to wash my hair tomorrow morning. Things can´t go on like this! ;-)) But we don´t have to care about it anymore because finally tomorrow we´ll go to Dublin … after having an opulent, good long breakfast ;-)))
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Postby manrat » Sat Jul 16, 2005 1:02 am

24.07.2001 - Day 4

It´s Tuesday and we started our day with a nice surprise! I had already accepted that there would be no possibility to have a shower … so I decided to run a bath, waiting for half an hour until the bath tub was full of water and had a bath in warm brownish water ... (Hey, was it really so bad? Oh, then I was lucky that I already had my bath in yesterday evening.) We survived all this and the next destination was Dublin.


First stop was in Cashel (County Tipperary) to visit the “Rock of Cashel”. It´s a large limestone outcrop set in a vast grassy plain. A round tower, a 12th century chapel, a 13th century cathedral and various other ancient buildings stand on the rock, which can be viewed from the main Dublin to Cork road.
The Rock of Cashel was a place of prominence in Ireland as the seat of the kings of Munster for almost 800 years.


On the looong way from the west coast to Dublin on the east coast we were entertained very well by Mary. She told us Irish legends and tried to sing with us “Molly Malone (In Dublin’s Fair City)” and “The Wild Rover”. We did a good job *lol* at least better than yesterday at our first attempt when we tried to sing “It´s a long way to Tipperary”.

In Dublin it was time for a sightseeing-tour and we visited for example St. Patricks Cathedral.

Then we got to know the rush hour in Dublin. (tip: it´s esp. funny after staying the whole day long in the rolling bus-sauna *gg*). Our hotel, the Academy hotel, was located in the centre of Dublin near to O´Connell Street

Hey, finally a hotel where everything is working, they even presented us the fire alarm while having dinner *gg* After writing the last postcards we permitted ourselves a little bit of spare time and listened to the music from a pub nearby the hotel.

Let´s see what will happen to us tomorrow in Dublin ;-)) Two Germans alone in the jungle of Dublin ….
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Postby manrat » Tue Jul 19, 2005 4:26 pm

25.07.2001 - Day 5


Today we had to get up early because at 8:00 o´clock, we wanted to start our trip to Knowth. We started in Dublin and passed Boyne Valley. The river Boyne and his surroundings are strongly connected with Irish history. After a pretty long ride and several attempts to stay awake in the bus ;-) we visited Knowth. The Boyne Valley Cairns of Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth were built around 3200BC. We got “enthusiastic” as well ;-)) about the presentation of a ray of light at winter solstice. (Did you see that ray of light, Melli? Oops, did I miss something? *g*)

On our way back to Dublin we visited Monasterboice, a small village. It is famous for the remains of the monastery from which it derived its name and contains two of the finest High Crosses in Ireland, both of these Crosses are made of sandstone and date to around the 9th century.


Like all the other days… we always “enjoy” “smelling-grandpa”’s pipe. What would we have done without smelling-grandpa’s odour? Probably we would pass away because of too clean air. *gg* Thousands of thanks to the pipe.

Back in Dublin and first some general information.

Dublin's centre is easy to navigate. The main bridge, O'Connell Bridge, takes thousands daily from the north to the south side.

On the north side, on O'Connell Street yiu will see the General Post Office dominating the street at its half-way point.

Our next destination was Trinity College, founded in 1592, the oldest university in Ireland has long been a popular tourist attraction. The world-famous Book of Kells, which contains a Latin text of the four gospels decorated by Irish monks in the year 800 AD, is also displayed in the college.

After that there were still some hours left till dinner and so we tried to “discover” Dublin by ourselves. But to prevent homesickness our first stop was at Burger King *g* (Hey, you shouldn´t tell everything! ;-))


One of the things we´ve learned is that “Big Brother is watching you”. It seemed to us that there is a camera fixed on almost every 2nd lamppost. It´s kinda dangerous in some district.

After a loong walk now we are back in our hotel. Thanks to Mary´s map of Dublin ;-)) What would we have done without it? Asking Irish people for the way? No problem, if we would be able to understand them ;-)) Probably we better should have asked other English speaking tourists because they still speak the most accurrate English. Fortunately it didn’t happen to us.


After dinner some of us made a trip to Howth - a fishing and yachting port on the north side of Howth Head, 9½ miles north-east of Dublin´s centre. Howth Head gives fine views of Dublin Bay and the Wicklow Mountains. That trip wasn´t planned and so Mary and Neill sacrificed their spare time.

A wonderful excursion after the hectical atmosphere in Dublin and on our way back to Dublin we were listening to some Irish music. After such a long day of walking, now we try to relax a little bit … and who knows? Maybe today we´ll go to bed before 01:00 o´clock ;-))
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Postby Shazzam » Wed Aug 03, 2005 11:54 pm

Hi Manrat! I just read you posts I was wondering if you managed to go to NEWTOWNARDS or PORTIFERRY in Northern Ireland? I have an aunt and uncle in NEWTOWNARDS and a cousin in PORTIFERRY (Northern Ireland).

I have heard that Portiferry is absolutely beautiful.

ANY NEWS?

8) 8) 8) :) :)
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Postby illusion » Wed Aug 17, 2005 7:29 pm

yeah Ireland is such a magical country. It is called the Emerald Island. I'd love to go there some beautiful day especially St. Patrick's Day to see how the Irish celebrate this holiday. :-)
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