The Burrens and the Ring of Kerry

Trip Start Jun 13, 2005
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17
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Trip End Jul 15, 2005


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Thursday, July 7, 2005

Hiya! I know it's been a few days since I had chance to email...we are in Kinsale, Ireland right now...it's in the south near the water (if you have a map to look at you can see that it's close to Cork)....this is a lovely little artist town (tiny streets that meader with colorful buildings full of shops, galleries and pubs...and I'm talking tiny...really they only have room for pedestrians, but somehow the Irish seem to be able to park cars on them and drive up them really fast). We are staying in a B&B called "The Gallery" and it's run by an eccentric couple (Tom & Carol O'Hara) he is a famous jazz musician and she is a painter. The decor of the place is sort of that 1920's 1930's avant garde style inside. Carol is wonderful...being artists, we've had a grand time chatting about painting and she is very talented. Today we set off to see the Blarney Castle and to kiss the Blarney Stone!   But let me back up a bit...I should fill you in on the past few days since I last wrote.   Monday night we went to a pub in Galway that has live traditional Irish music playing every night. Okay...can I just say that this was one of those moments where I needed someone to pinch me cuz it seemed like I was in a dream of a movie or something...it was so cool! The pub was packed with revelers drinking Guinness as the 3 men in the corner played their reels and jigs (an accordian player, a banjo player, and a bodhran drum player). We made our way to the bar (being little as we are...my mum and me had no problem getting a place to stand where we could see, people were really nice to move for us). We ordered our beers and the 3 of us enjoyed a night of hand clapping, toe tapping, and grinning ear to ear fun. There was one guy who would shush everyone so someone could sing a solo ballad....there were a couple of older women who would get up and dance a jig and sing while we all watched...lots of people hoopin it up....and the people just kept coming in (we were like sardines in there)...at one time my mum says to me "there are so many shapes and sizes Lisa you can just have yer pick!" Ha! My mum...trying to get me set up with an Irish bloque...now wouldn't that be nice!!! Ha! Anyways, we had so much fun...I've never seen my mom tipsy...and I don't know if she was or not...but she sure was having fun and laughing!   On Tuesday we set out from Galway and drove the Burren (wow that's a beautiful mountainous area) to the Cliffs of Moher. OH MY GOODNESS! I've seen pictures and postcards of these cliffs before...but to actually be there lookin at them in person was breathtaking! I've said before that everything seems to have a green tint here...it's so true...the greens here are so vibrant and rich!   We kept driving, past thru a wee town known for it's "Matchmaking Festival"...do you remember the movie called "The Matchmaker" starring Genine Garafalo set in Ireland? There is a real town known for it's annual matchmaking festival...I'm told that it's just an excuse for all the old men in the town to get drunk. But...they made a movie about it!   We continued on thru Limirick, which is an industrial town (also known for the movie "Angela's Ashes") and past to a wee town (I don't even remember it's name) where we stayed the night in a brand new B&B that just opened this last February...it's NICE! The couple who run it are my age and they were so cool! The lady made us dinner!!! And then sat with my mom and I for a cup a tea and a chat while she helped us do our laundry. She showed us her wedding pictures (her and her husband got married only 4 weeks ago!) and talked to us about being Catholic (and siding with the IRA in political views) in Ireland...yes, you heard right...we talked religion & politics! Ya know...if you take the time to get to know people and be polite and be yourself and ask them questions and take the time to really want to know them, they'll be open to talking about even the subjects people try to stay away from! We had a real grand time!!! She let us watch dvd's and drink wine and eat chocolate...and in the morning she made us pancakes! WOW! I really liked her...and our stay there was very personable.   Yesterday we set out and drove southwest to Dingle. That is a lovely seaside town. We got to drive thru a mountain pass (where I got out and climbed some large rocks for a bit). We did a bit of driving thru the Ring of Kerry...but not much...we headed to Killarney and went to the Ross Castle (an old 14th century Irish castle) where we took a tour inside. We ended up in Kinsale last night and we're here thru tomorrow morning.   As I said, today we plan to go to Blarney Castle....tomorrow we set out thru Cork and over to Waterford (to see the Crystal factory) and then on to Wexford where we'll stay thru Sunday morning. Sunday we set sail on a ferry to head for Wales...and our last week of our journey abroad.   I'm at a wee internet place here in Kinsale right now....don't know when I'll get my next chance to email but I wanted to get this out to you and let you know how things are going. Thank you all for your prayers and your encouraging emails.   PLEASE PRAY for us regarding health....all 3 of us have been battling colds since we arrived in Ireland. Our spirits are up...but dealing with soar throats, hacking coughs, congested chests....actually has been wearing us out. Well...I honestly think it's partly because of the pace we are keeping on this holiday (practically a different place each day, with walking, hiking, driving, etc.)...and the amount of different places we're staying at (different smells, different pollens, molds, weather, etc.) that is wearing us out. We will need a holiday from our holiday when we all get back!!! BUT we are having a blast! We are trying to remind ourselves that we can't possibly do everything there is to do...and we are trying to be flexible and pay attention when we're tired or not feeling well. We appreciate your prayers for healing.   Bless you! I send love from this wee green isle! Cheers, Lisa
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