Better late than never! My husband and I finally got to take our honeymoon (2 years after the wedding) to the beautiful, magical country of Ireland. It was incredible. Thought I'd write a post on wh
Don't know if anyone else will read it and it doesn't really matter, but I wanted to have an online copy of our trip. Our adventure... :-)
Here starts part 3, the final entry in our saga!
Back in the car - drove through Glandore town - SO pretty! Makes me want to spend all day there just sitting and looking at the harbor and being lazy and having tea... Maybe someday we'll have a cottage there. Very idyllic. Stopped in Skibbereen for some tourist info and some postcards, then continued on. Saw some more gorgeous coastal scenery including a huge white sand Caribbean-blue beach! We stopped and walked in on the boardwalk, then a floating pier they use to get across the water when the tide is up. Climbed up the dunes and down to the beach. Took our shoes off and just enjoyed for an hour or so. Barley Cove Beach is lovely. Drove around the corner and up the cliff and found Mizen Head. Had to get my lighthouse fix. :-) Mizen Head is a sight to behold. Gale force winds on a bright sunny day make you only wonder and shudder at what it looks and feels like during a storm. We spent some time in the visitors centre and then decided to walk down and over to the the bridge built during the early 1900's, between 2 cliff-sides connecting the walkway and the end of Mizen Head where the station is. We'd overheard some people in the visitors centre swearing they wouldn't go across that bridge for ANYthing. hahaha! The bridge was strong and not scary at all. We even saw a harbor seal sunbathing down below us. It looked as though he was waving! The views were incredible. I felt more 'in-touch' here than I did at the Cliffs of Moher which was where I thought I'd really connect. Mizen reminded me of all the lighthouses on the Great Lakes where I grew up (except bigger). It felt like home. The man taking our tickets at the station was from NYC & salty. I liked him. He reminded me of all our east coast salty sailors. :-) Neat museum inside the station on the end of the cliff. Very informative. Learned about Marconi and his innovative technology. Then went out on the point and was almost blown off the cliff! Loved it. The caves look like they house sea-creatures such as mermaids and other 'supposed' mythical beings. Here in Ireland I wouldn't doubt their existence for a second. When leaving Mizen Head, we got back to the parking lot and saw two huge, beautiful black horses playing with each other on the cliff! It was so surreal...like watching a scene in a movie. Perfect way to end our trip to Mizen.
Drove back into town by a mountain top road and got to see different views of all the nearby harbour towns. Drove back into Bandon town and checked DH in for his his half-marathon then drove back to Ballinascarthy/Clonakilty for dinner. Had a beer and took a photo at Henry Ford's Tavern. Then had really great food at a little spec of a shop tun by a Tajikistan man. Had excellent curry chips (fries) and a meat pizza (including lamb). Very good. The owner even let us take a picture of his curry sauce for future culinary reference. Went back to Ard na Greine fat and happy and passed out for the evening. It was a very good day.
we kept driving and decided to check out a place I'd seen in the B&B book Norma gave us before we left called Killiane Castle in Wexford, Co. It's a 15th century tower attached to a 17th century manor house. Incredible place. The owner showed up at the door and told us the price of the room (which was great) and he showed us up to our room! After getting our luggage up there we walked back downstairs and outside to try out the "farm walk". We traipsed all over the place. Got thistles in our feet/legs stepped in mud, cow poo, climbed over fences and braved a really big kinda pissed off looking horse. It was fun!!! Plus, the chickens chased me all over the yard... Then we decided to climb the old tower. What a place! I wasn't sure if it would be stable or not but we climbed... Old brick fireplaces, narrow stone steps gave way the rooftop. Incredible views. Went back down after awhile and saw the owner outside! He asked if we'd seen the head (!?!?). There's a head carved out of limestone on the top part of the tower - just coming straight out of the wall. Way cool. Next, went out to dinner at a pub about 2km from the Castle. Good food. Drank a bottle of wine and had an Irish coffee. Larkins was the name of the place. I had curry chicken and chips and DH had fish goujons. We shared profiteroles for dessert. Mmmm!
Started driving towards Wicklow and when we got there, parked in town to find the Black Castle. I was really looking forward to this ruin. Followed the directions I had found online past Hopkins Hardware along the harbour and up the hill. Once we got closer we just couldn't miss it - huge black ruins rose up from the edge of a cliffside. Really awesome place. Very dramatic/romantic. Lots of cannons surrounded the ruins as well. I really enjoyed that we had the ruins to ourselves. It made it a lot more personal and gave me another sense of belonging.
Started driving north towards Dublin and stopped at Avoca where we got many a thing for friends and family including an Irish wool scarf for me! :-) When we realized town would be a mess because the Queen was coming to town the following day. So we couldn't go to Guinness but drove around Dublin and back up to Newgrange/Bru na Boinne to see Knowth! Took our time at the visitors centre and had a sandwich. Got on our tour bus, met some ladies from Canada and had our tour of Knowth. There were only 5 of us on the tour. It was great. Very interesting how it's construction coincides with Newgrange and Dowth. VERY windy! Got to climb to the top of the main chamber where the settlers used to live. Neat perspective.
On the way out of Bru na Boinne, we stopped in Duleek at the Woolen Mills store. I got a gorgeous grey, Irish wool cardigan and another scarf. Fantastic!
Drove back south towards Dublin again to look for a place to stay. Wound up at the Premier Inn in Swords. Had dinner at the restaurant downstairs. Nothing spectacular but it was very filling. I had the fish & chips (huge fish!) and DH had the curry chicken! Got a bottle of mediocre Cabernet Veneto. Profiteroles for dessert which was awesome.
Packed everything up. Wine wrapped in clothes and carefully put in suitcases.
After several gate changes we got on our plane and headed to Charlotte, NC, USA! Got to Charlotte and heard about the bomb threats to the Queen on her visit to Ireland. Kinda scary... Had some American junk food - boy did it taste good!
Got on our plane for Baltimore and sat there for an extra half hour due to snarly weather on the eastern seaboard. Finally got back to Baltimore. Watched with trepidation as our bags came down the baggage claim belt. Thankfully, none of them were dripping with wine! So we were happy. :-) Took a taxi back to our car which was still sitting there waiting for us (thankfully). Then drove over to pick up the Plottador from her sitters house. Scary driving on the correct side of the road again!!! Lucy was SO happy to see us! That made leaving the Emerald Isle so worth it.