Monday, July 27, 2015
Friday, July 24, 2015
Monday, July 13, 2015
We started today with a boat trip on Lake Corrib.
It included an Irish coffee making demonstration that was actually quite informative. And the coffee was really good.
Then we explored more of Connemara.
We finally got a good view of an area where peat was cut and stacked for drying.
We visited Kylemore Abbey, built as Kylemore Castle in the mid-1800’s by Mitchell Henry for his wife Margaret. After going through several owners, it was acquired by the Irish Benedictine Nuns in 1920. It was a boarding school for many years and a few elderly nuns still live there.
Margaret Henry died of dysentery while visiting Egypt in 1874 and her husband built the chapel in her memory.
We also toured the gardens, which are in the process of being restored.
Our final dinner was at a restaurant on the coast outside of Galway.
We fly home tomorrow.
Sunday, July 12, 2015
Today we drove through Connemara with its miles and miles of rock walls
to the fishing port of Rossaveal where we got a ferry to the Island of Inishmor, one of the Aran Islands. We landed at the small town of Kilronan
where there is this nice Irish cross.
We toured the island by minibus
and stopped at the ancient stone fort of Dun Aengus. The walk up to the fort was a challenge.
The rocks and the walls made of them were amazing.
Then there is the view from the top of the cliffs.
We then drove to the area with the seven churches, which is really the remains of just two churches and associated buildings which were built in the 7th or 8th century.
Saturday, July 11, 2015
Today we said goodbye to many of our party and began a few additional days in Ireland. On our way to Galway we stopped at the Kilbeggan Whiskey Distillery and had a fascinating tour.
When we got to Galway, it was pouring rain, so we didn’t see much on our guided walking tour.
We are spending the next three nights in the NOX Hotel in Galway.
Friday, July 10, 2015
We started the day at the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin. It is a structure the beermaker no longer uses so it has been converted to a tourist attraction. There are good views of the city from the top floor.
The tower with the green top in the photo below is an old windmill built c. 1805 to grind grain for the former Roe’s Distillery.
We gave an afternoon concert at St Patrick’s Cathedral. It was built on the site where it is believed St Patrick performed his first baptism in Ireland, in a well on the grounds that is still there. The Cathedral fell into poor condition and was restored by Sir Benjamin Lee Guinness in the 19th century.
Then we explored Trinity College. Queen Elizabeth I founded it in 1592 on the grounds of an old Augustinian priory. We were fascinated by the library there, which houses the Book of Kells along with many other priceless manuscripts.
Thursday, July 9, 2015
This morning we headed for Dublin, going through some typical countryside: sheep in a field, though they are hard to see in the distance in this photo.
And a ruined famine house, of which there are many.
We stopped at Glendalough on the way, the site of a monastic settlement dating from the 6th century. It is amazing that the perfect circular tower is still standing.
This scenery is typical of the drive.
We had a city tour of Dublin and drove by many typical Georgian buildings with their colorful doors and windowboxes.
We are spending the next two nights in the Doubletree Hotel in Dublin.