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Ireland trip

PostPosted: Sun Aug 15, 2010 8:54 pm
by Susann
I would like to show you photos I took on my holidays in Ireland from 1st May to 3rd June and tell you about some days there. I hired a car for 29 days. In the first two weeks the weather wasn’t good. It was cold, sometimes freezing and cloudy but almost every evening the weather improved. From the third week it was warm but some days were misty. Winter and spring in Ireland had been very cold and dry and so the nature was very late, for instance the Rhododendron weren’t blooming during my stay in Donegal.

I arrived at Dublin around midday on 1st May but because of some problems with my hired car I reached my B&B in Fore, Co. Westmeath, almost 3 hours later than planned. From there I went straight to the Festival of the Fires on the historical and mythological Hill of Uisneach near Mullingar. Unfortunately in the late afternoon it was raining and so the hill was a little bit muddy. But I enjoyed the festival very much especially when the fires were lit. From the hill you could see more fires in this area and around the country fires were ignited on more than 70 sites.

Also the next day I walked in the footsteps of Irish history. I was at Clonmacnoise for some hours and in the evening I went back to the Hill of Uisneach to see the area in daylight and in good weather conditions.

I planned my holidays for a month and so I wanted to go to Kerry on 3rd May but 10 days before I left Germany I changed everything. On 17th April I went to Moya’s concert in Kerkrade and there I learnt about the „Save Our Scenery“ concert against pylons across Donegal at Leo’s Tavern on 3rd May. I was lucky to get one of the rare tickets and so I drove to Donegal and not to Kerry. The stunning line-up included - beside Moya, Cormac and Sinéad - Mundy, Sarah Siskind, Paul Brady and Glen Hansard. After the concert Moya asked me if it was worth changing my plans – It absolutely was!!!
I stayed in Donegal for 20 days and every night I was at Leo’s.

On 6th May I visited Derry. In the Bogside I went with a guide who told me the stories behind the different murals. Especially because of one story I got tears in my eyes. It’s the story about the mural „Death Of Innocence“ which shows 14-year old Annette McGavigan who was shot dead by a British soldier while standing on the street in which she lived on 6th September 1971. The mural was painted in 1999 with the shape of a butterfly and a dark-coloured machine gun beside the girl. But 7 years later, when the peace process developed in a more hopeful way, the painters changed it. Now the butterfly is bright and colourful and the machine gun is broken and red in colour. The guide also told me that they were waiting for the new report about Bloody Sunday. (On 15th June the „Saville-Report“ was released and Mr. Cameron said „On behalf of the Government, indeed on behalf of our country, I am deeply sorry.”.)

On the morning of 8th May the sky was blue and so I decided to climb Mount Errigal. On the way up it was cold and very windy but on the top it was fantastic. I enjoyed the view from there for about 3 hours. In the late afternoon I walked around Dunlewey Lake. It was a marvellous day despite of my sore feet.

Some days later I was on Inishowen. I drove across the Gap of Mamore to the Doagh Famine Village. I like this museum very much. Some years ago I was already there and now I was interested in if they included the terrible economic situation in Ireland in the exhibition. Yes, they did it in a very clear and direct way.
When I came to Malin Head dark clouds were coming. I wanted to walk along the cliffs but heavy rain started and the temperature had fallen to 5 degrees Celcius. I could escape into my car before I got wet. It was comfortable to sit dry and warm in the car and to watch rain and storm above the sea while listening to CLANNAD.

On the 14th May I heard that there would be a special Donegal Festival in Dublin on 16th May. I couldn’t believe it – I was in Donegal and the Donegal musicians would be in Dublin. So I went to Carrickfinn Airport to book a flight to Dublin on 16th and back on 17th May. With a feeling of happiness about this quick decision I started a wonderful walking tour from Carrickfinn beach around this small peninsula.

When I was walking with a friend the next day up in Glenveagh National Park I got a call from the airport. It was 5:30 pm and they informed me that my flight on Sunday had been cancelled because of a new ash cloud. They offered me a flight at 8 pm. But this was the only day that I could meet my friend and so I decided to go by car to Dublin.
On Sunday I started at 6:20 am in Gweedore and arrived at my B&B in Dublin-Clontarf at 9:50 am. The roads were empty and so it was possible to drive these 300 km in just 3.5 hours. Around midday I was at Temple Bar. Until 7 pm I stayed at Meeting House Square where you could enjoy dance and music – for instance Moya, Cormac and Sinéad, Altan performed together with Paul Brady, the Donegal Youth Orchestra, An Crann Óg, Maria McCool and Fidil. The day was strenuous but very enjoyable.

On Monday before I drove back to Donegal I went to the Ardboe High Cross at Lough Neagh in Northern Ireland.

On 22nd May I had a guided hill walk in Glenveagh National Park. We started at Lough Inshagh, passed Lough Nambraddan, walked over Altachoastia and arrived at the castle from the back side. In the gorgeous gardens of Glenveagh Castle I stayed an hour and then I walked back to my car beside the visitor cenre 4 km from the castle. The weather was fantastic so I wanted to enjoy my last day in Donegal for this year to the full. I drove to Doe Castle and then to Dunfanaghy where I parked my car at the bridge to Horn Head. From there I walked around 2 km through the dunes to the beautiful Tramore Beach. At night I was at Leo’s of course to say goodbye to some people I know there.

Around midday of 23rd May I left Donegal and drove to Connemara. Every time I go south or north I stop in Drumcliffe at the foot of Benbulben where William Buttler Yeats was buried. Here I strolled a little bit around and had delicious crumble in the caféteria. The weather was brilliant. I could see very clearly the little church on top of Croagh Patrick with my naked eye from a far distance. This was a perfect day to climb Croagh Patrick but it was already 5 pm when I reached the holy mountain. But I saw the Famine Memorial and Murrisk Abbey. Through Doo Lough Valley I went to my hostel near Leenane at Killary Harbour. I love Doo Lough Valley very much and stopped here as ever when I go through it. But it was the first time that the sky was blue there.

The next morning I parked my car at a quarry beside Tullyconor Bridge around 7 km west of Leenane. Here I started my walking tour along Killary Harbour. It was beautiful. Shortly before I reached the end of the fjord at Rosroe quay I met a nice British couple who offered me a lift to my car. So I had time to see more from Connemara at that day. I stopped at Kylemore Abbey and drove to Roundstone. On the way back to Leenane I took photos from one of the most photographed islands in Connemara – Pine Island in Derryclare Lake. At night I was at Gaynor’s Pub in Leenane.

On 25th May I started at 8:00 am to the ferry port in Rossaveal to take the ferry at 10:30 am to Inishmore. In 2008 I had wonderful walks on Inisheer and Inishmaan and now I wanted to walk on the biggest of the Aran Islands. If you go there just as a day tourist you don’t have time for a bigger walk and so I decided to stay overnight. Unfortunately the B&B where I stayed was a “tourist rip-off”. Anyway my 8 hours’ walking tour was fantastic. I was very amazed about the “Worm Hole” and impressed about the ring fort “Dún Aengus”. I could avoid crowded places because the ferry back to Rossaveall left at 5 pm. Generally day tourists “go” straight to the fort and don’t have any time to go to the “Worm Hole”.

On 28th May I climbed Croagh Patrick. It was cloudy but the top was free of clouds. Especially the last part of the way was very strenuous.

Before I left Connemara the next day I had an interesting guided tour in the Glengowla Mines and visited Aughnanure Castle in Oughterard. At 7:00 pm I was at my B&B “Hunslow House” in Fore. I wanted to see the sunset at Fore Abbey but I was a little late. But then an atmospheric waft of mist rose from the meadow in front of the abbey.

I like Fore Abbey very much so I went back the next morning. Then I drove to Dublin Airport to hand back my car. I had booked a B&B in Clontarf for the last four days of my holidays. At night I visited Sinéad’s concert at “CrawDaddy”. Yoshi is a member of Sinéad’s band. Moya, Tim, Cormac and Sinéad’s parents were in the audience. Moya even sang background for two songs. It was an enjoyable night.

On 31st May I took the DART to Howth and walked along the cliffs around the peninsula. The weather was very good so I streched the walk to approximately six hours. This was really beautiful.

Because I didn’t have a hired car in Dublin anymore I booked a guided tour with “Walkabout Wicklow” to Glendalough on 2nd June. Here we were in the ruins of the monastery and walked around Upper Lake. This was a beautiful finish of my holidays.

Next midday I had to go back to Germany. ... yJune2010#

PostPosted: Mon Aug 16, 2010 10:46 am
by mise
What a wonderful account of your holidays. You went to see so many lovely places! Your story makes me want to plan my own Ireland holidays again. Wonderful, thank you :D

PostPosted: Mon Aug 16, 2010 6:30 pm
by eadgyth
Stunningly beautiful pictures as always, Susann. Ever considered becoming a full time photographer?
Thanks a lot for sharing :)

PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2010 8:50 pm
by dids
what a nice trip you made! And your photos are great! I hope I will make such beautiful ones when I will go in Ireland in 3 weeks...

PostPosted: Fri Aug 20, 2010 10:45 am
by Susann
Thank you all :D.

Will you be at the DERVISH concert on 3rd September in Dublin?

PostPosted: Sat Aug 21, 2010 5:23 pm
by dids
no, because on this day I will still be in France and I will not go to Dublin during my trip.
Only from Cork to the Dingle peninsula and then I will go to Lisdoonvarna (via the Cliffs of Moher), Adare and then Cork to go back home...

PostPosted: Sun Aug 22, 2010 12:12 pm
by Dubhy63
Great pics Susann,you must have had a fantastic time.I wanted to go to the Dervish concert,but unfortunately I can't get the time off work. :(

PostPosted: Sun Aug 22, 2010 3:22 pm
by Dab051176
Awww, Dubhy, that's a shame - it would have been great to meet up at the NCH! :( Looks like it's up to us to fly the flag for the forum, then, Susann - not long to go now! :wink:

PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 1:51 pm
by Susann
dids, are you going to the Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival ? :wink: :wink: :wink:

PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 5:04 pm
by dids
Susann wrote:dids, are you going to the Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival ? :wink: :wink: :wink:

I am not going espacially there for the festival, but I will have a sleep in a b&b next to the city, so... Guess I will not miss it! :roll: :lol: :lol:

PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:10 pm
by gregoing
Susann, I only had time to skim just now, but it sounded like you had an AMAZING time - one I'm trying SO hard not to be jealous of!! Thank you so much for sharing your memories with us! Tomorrow I'll come back and finish reading your story and look at your pictures. I can't wait to live vicariously through the experience of reading your post!


PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 10:33 am
by Susann
Thanks, Greg!!!

I love Ireland especially Donegal sooooooooooooooooooo much :D :D :D .

PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 8:59 am
by aaron

PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 11:18 am
by Susann
Aaron, many thanks for the photos.

New Years Eve must have been a very special gig with all the Brennan generations. I think you were really happy to be there :D .

Most of the landscape photos I have recognised - Slieve League, Silver Strand at Malin Beg, Mt. Errigal and Glenveagh National Park :). In May I will be back :D :D :D.

PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 7:23 pm
by Dubhy63
Great pics Aaron,the ones of the Brennan family in particular.The scenery is familiar ground for me,once you've been there,you want to go back over and over again. :D