Ireland Day 5 and 6

Ireland Day 5        Dingle to Limerick           Sunny & warm (by Irish standards)

We had a leisurely start to our day – we watched the sun come up, with all the beautiful colours changing the appearance of the bay and harbour.  We had a lovely breakfast  – Maggie at Emlagh Lodge certainly spoiled us.  We enjoyed our stay and wished we could stay longer.

We left Dingle and travelled through Connor’s Pass (a suggestion made by Gerald, who Sandy works with – thanks Gerald!) and thoroughly enjoyed the beautiful views of Dingle Peninsula, Brandon Bay and the Atlantic Ocean as we came up over the Pass.  It was interesting to come across a road crew on the downhill side, as the road was very narrow and in some places was definitely only one lane – the road crew were actually widening one section of the road.

We continued on through still more emerald green fields with the occasional beautiful views out to Tralee Bay.  After Tralee, we found a quaint little village called Listowel, where we stopped for a coffee/tea at the local pub, which was the only thing open other the hairdresser, little shop and the post office.

We reached the Shannon River at Tarbert and watched the vehicle ferry come in, before continuing along the banks of the river until we reached Foynes, where we went to the Foynes Flying Boat Museum – fantastic!!  We saw a video presentation first, then wandered through a small but interesting museum, eventually coming to a flying boat that had been restored (less the full wings of course).  It was a Boeing B314 Flying Boat, similar, but larger than the Sunderland Flying Boats that used to operate out of Brisbane.  We were able to walk through the two decks of the plane and see the cockpit, flight deck and the passengers’ seating, eating and sleeping arrangements.  It is much bigger than Richard had thought they were.  He also had a go on a flight simulator, but unfortunately the plane crashed!

Adare turned out to be a very interesting little village.  We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to the Old Creamery, which is now a very unique craft and gift shop, which they are in the process of making into a Christmas wonderland.  We sampled and bought some fudge – Rum and Raisin and Triple Deck… mmmm mmmmmm!  Missed out on lunch again!!!  We visited the thatched houses and the old Abbey – interesting – one of the stories was that the old monks used to keep a special small, rock domed building for the pigeons…….. which they ate!

After leaving Adare, we were surprised to find ourselves on a Motorway – quite a change form the narrow, hedged roads no larger than lanes, that we had been using earlier in the day. Unfortunately poor old Sean didn’t have the street of our B&B in his memory banks, so we got a little lost and had to phone Evelyn, the proprietor, who gave us the address of a pub close to Avondoyle Lodge and Sean took us to it and then we phoned her and she came and got us. 

We are now in Limerick County after leaving Kerry County this morning.  We have been to 10 Ireland Counties already and by the time we finish our trip we will have visited 14 counties!

We didn’t take anywhere near as many photos today because the scenery was similar to what we have seen and also it was quite hazy this morning.

We had dinner at Collins Pub, which was very nice – we both had a crumbed chicken breast.  Richard had 2 pints of Irish beer which was a cross between Guinness and a lager – must have been ok as he had the second one!

We came back to Avondoyle Lodge, had showers and settled in to read for a while and then had an early night.

 Day 6           Limerick to Galway                    Sunny – cool to start, then warm

 From Limerick we headed to Bunratty to the Castle and the Folk Park – we were very impressed – thanks again to Gerald for suggesting it.

Bunratty Castle was built in 1425 and is furnished with 15th and 16th century furnishings.  It has 4 main floors and the turrets have six levels, all accessed via spiral, stone stairways.  We looked through the entire castle and took some lovely photos from one of the turrets.

The castle is at one end of the Folk Park, which is a living reconstruction of the homes and environment of Ireland of over a century ago.  Rural farmhouses, village shops and streets and Bunratty House with its formal regency gardens were reconstructed and furnished as they would have appeared in the time.  We took much more time than we had expected to look through the thatched cottages, which were furnished as they would have been at the time, as well as the whole of the village and its houses and shops, including the doctor’s rooms and residence.  We bought sweets from the traditional sweet shop, where they weighed them out on old fashioned brass scales.  What we thought would take an hour altogether, took us over three hours, and we thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it.

The Cliffs of Moher were spectacular!  We parked in the huge carpark across the road and walked to the Visitor’s Centre where we watched a Virtual Reality Cliff Face Adventure.  The computer generated images allowed us to stand on the edge of the cliff and follow the flight of a gannet soaring along the cliffs and at one stage, plummeting down the cliff face, into and under the water – amazing stuff!!

We walked up heaps of steps to a vantage point to see the amazing cliffs and take photos, then we walked back down the steps and over to the other side, up a long path to a different vantage point to take more photos.  We were a bit naughty and followed several other people into a section that we were not supposed to go into as there was nothing to stop you from falling off the edge of the cliff, but we stayed well back from the edge! From there, we got some stunning photos of the cliffs and one of the stacks – see the gallery.

We were impressed that the Visitor’s Centre with café etc and the little shops were built into the hill and were very unobtrusive.  We had a sandwich at the café overlooking the lovely scenery.

We drove from there, along the Burren coast road, which is a minor road – back to narrow windy roads, stopping to let cars and buses pass – to Galway.  We are not getting blasé about the beautiful green countryside or the spectacular seascapes, but we haven’t taken as many photos of that type of scenery today.  We were interested to see the countryside divided up into paddocks/allotments with stone walls and also to see the mountain that had no trees and hardly any grass as it was all rock – we couldn’t even stop to take a photo as there was nowhere to stop and there was other traffic on the road, preventing us from just stopping in the middle of the road for a photo!

Along the Burren Coast the rolling green paddocks gave way to landscapes very similar to what we had seen on the western side of the Outer Hebrides in Scotland. It was interesting to see that the western coast of Ireland had similar landscapes.

Sean took us directly to our accommodation for tonight, Claremount House which overlooks the fourth tee of the golf course overlooking Galway Bay.

After we got organised, we went for a stroll along the promenade beside Galway Bay, which seems to be the thing to do in Galway in the evenings.  We had a delicious meal at Lohans, about 2 kilometres walk from here. 

After dinner, we walked back along the promenade and “Watched the Sun go down on Galway Bay” – the change in colours across the bay was beautiful.  The Bay was like glass and we could have stood and watched it for hours!Another beautiful end to another grand day in Ireland!

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