Sunday, June 21, 2009

Where Do I Begin?

Where do I begin to talk about our trip to Ireland? How do I ever show all the pictures I want to show when I took several thousand shots? We crammed so much into 11 days.

We saw castles, abbeys, and churches. Here we are at Blarney Castle and no we didn't kiss the Blarney Stone. We did walk by it though! And got soaking wet when a rainstorm hit just as we reached the top of the castle.

We saw busy big cities and beautiful little villages. This is Grafton Street in Dublin. Too crowded for this country girl!
I much preferred the quaint little villages and towns which we traveled through.
We saw birds and horses and swans. This Raven was quite the entertainer.
This Connemara Pony and her colt were contented to just eat and let us take their pictures.
I was amazed at how many swans we saw. This was a huge flock on the Shannon River in Limerick.
And of course you can't go to Ireland without seeing lots of sheep. We saw the best Sheep Dog demonstration I have ever seen in my life. It was truly amazing to watch these dogs in action.
We saw ruins of medieval castles and houses at practically every turn in the road. This was the ruins of a church in the town of Cong where the Quiet Man starring John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara was filmed.

This was part of the ruins of Blarney Castle.
This was what was left of an old house just sitting in a field next to the road. We saw lots of these.
We saw hedgerows and stone fences everywhere. The western part of the island had a lot more stone fences. It was amazing to see these fences and hedgerows from the air as we were flying in.

We saw beautifully painted houses. Rows and rows of them in every city and village we went through.
Many of the pubs and merchants had beautiful hanging flower baskets outside their establishments. Oh and by the way, practically every other building in every town was a pub or a Bed and Breakfast.

And of course, what is a trip to Ireland without a trip to the Guinness Storehouse?
Part of the gang at Guinness. Chuck and Al with their free pint of Guinness.
One of the surprises of the trip was when our friend and tour guide, Alex Beaton, announced his engagement to his lovely lady, Linda.Here they are picking out her engagement ring.
And what would a trip to Ireland be if you didn't see a Leprechaun? We happened upon this little guy beside the road. The baby donkey was just a few days old. Here I am with said Leprechaun. I have a big grin on my face because I had just received a kiss on the cheek from him.
What made the trip even more special was being able to share it with our friends, Jan and Al. We met them in 2004 when we went on our first Scotland tour. We just found out recently that Jan and I share the same birthday. I have lots more pictures to share but this is it for now. I will leave you with one last picture that I thought was fantastic!


ramblingwoods said...

It looks like it was a wonderful trip and I look forward to seeing more photos..Welcome back...

Shama-Lama Mama said...

Oh, I love that you got the first pictures up so quickly! I was hoping to see them soon!

Probably a good thing that you didn't kiss the Blarney Stone! Check this out!

Gayle said...

How exciting. I'm so glad you had a great time and came home safely!

ChrisC and JonJ said...

Cannot wait to hear about the rest of the trip,and to see the pictures,too!
That would be a good place to have a bar crawl.....

Little Black Scrap Cat said...

What beautiful pictures! Looks like you had a wonderful time. Can't wait to see more!

gpc said...

Karen's link is hysterical (yuck). Beautiful trip -- I thought only warm climate towns painted their houses in such pretty colors! I love that!

Welcome back!

Neptunesmuse said...

Welcome back to the States.
You are such a good photographer. Thank you for sharing your photos and your trip.
Hope to hear and see more soon.

The Farmer Files said...

My favorites are all of the colors of the little row houses! It looked like an amazing trip with the engagement, the beautiful countryside, and good friends!