Our first stop is at Newgrange
The Megalithic Passage Tomb at Newgrange was built about 3200 BC.
It was constructed with "sun allignment" to the opening
such that the sun, at one point, shines directly into the interior
of the burial chambers.
It is filled with ancient carvings of all sorts.
This is a pic of another yet unearthed tomb (seen in the upper background).
Ireland is truly "The Emerald Isle". Everything is REALLY green!
Here we are at the entrance of the main tomb at Newgrange.
One of the ancient structures surrounding the main tomb.
Cyn in a basket.
The next 3 pics are of a handprint left by one of the ancient builders of Newgrange.
The first is of the handprint. The second is Cyndy's hand on top of the handprint.
The third is Dick's hand on top of the handprint.
Dick's fit perfectly - really a strange coincidence.
We head for Dublin.
Below are several pics of downtown Dublin.
Kind of strange to see a middle eastern restraurant in Dublin.
Just one of the many, many, many pubs in Dublin.
Just one of the many, many, many Catholic churches in Dublin.
Here's something you don't often see.
Dick & Cyndy share a pint of Guinness.
Dick's first beer in over 40 years.
It was truly a lot better than I thought it would be.
Dick gets into this "Guinness thing".
Our hotel in Dublin was across the street from Oscar Wilde's house.
We spent some time at Trinity College.
The main Library at Trinity College.
The Book of Kells is truly awesome.
We went to St. Patrick's Cathedral.
Next, we head to Wicklow.
We visit Glendalough, a maonastic ruin.
We head toward Waterford.
Along the way we run across yet another ruin of an old church, St. Mary's.
As an interesting side note, we stopped for lunch at a "roach coach".
It was run by these 2 Egyptian guys. They were shocked that we
knew a little Arabic.
The food was great!
We arrive at Waterford.
It turned out that the Waterford Crystal factory had just gone bankrupt in January.
All the employees (some had worked there 40 years) lost all of their pensions.
The old owners bled all the profits of Waterford to fuel non-profitable other ventures.
The below pic is of the deserted factory parking lot.
We now head for Blarney, home of the famous "Blarney Stone".
Along the way we run across a small pond called "Swan Lake".
It was full of swans, by the way.
We arrive in Blarney.
The Blarney Castle is a "do not miss" place.
Below are various pics from in and around the castle.
At the entrance to "Badgers Cave".
Cyndy & Dick kiss the Blarney Stone,
Looking up at the Blarney Stone from below with telephoto in use.
A waterfall on the grounds.
Cyndy in the "witches' kitchen".
The castle from the back side.
We now head to the Cliffs of Moher (town of Doolin).
The entry to the cliffs vistor center.
The parking lot at the cliffs.
A sentry tower at the cliffs.
A view from the cliffs.
A view from our B&B in Doolin.
Some of the kittens who live at the B&B.
Murphy & Cyndy at the B&B.
Murphy & Dick at the B&B.
A stream in Doolin.
Cyn with the cliffs in the background.
It was COLD.
We take a day trip to the "Burrens" from Doolin.
An interesting note: Arctic, Adriatic, and Mediterranean wildflowers all
bloom in the crevices of the limestone rocks in the Burren. Biologists can't
explain it. 22 of the 32 types of butterflies in Ireland live in the Burren.
But, still no snakes in all of Ireland.
And THEN, on our side trip to the Burrens, we ran across a bunch
of crazy people SURFING in 50 degree water. AND, there was a
surfing school there. We were dumbfounded.
We return to Doolin and eat at Gus O'Connor's pub.
The Guinness Irish stew and their Roast Duck were GREAT!
The food was GREAT!!!
Click Here to hear an Irish band playing at O'Conor's.
The video is bad due to the lighting.
This is a pic of the band.
A pic of us at O'Connor's.
We now head up to Cong where the movie "The Quiet Man" was filmed.
On the way up we run across still another ruin.
Cyn at the ruin.
While at the ruin we run across a "bud".
We arrive in Cong.
A couple of scenes from "The Quiet Man":
When Sean Thornton arrives at Cohan's bar.
When Sean Thornton plays "paddy fingers" in the holy water with Mary Kate.
Click Here to hear another Irish band playing in Cong.
This video also has bad lighting and is more like bluegrass than Irish.
We leave Cong for Shannon.
Pics of the Ashford Castle Hotel in Shannon:
Here's somethig you don't see very often in Ireland:
Pics of and around Bunratty Castle in Shannon:
The castle was renovated and restored with furnishings of the
period (hundreds of years old) - really interesting. Some of the pieces
were intricately carved and the doors/drawers still worked reasonably
well. The antlers mounted on the walls of the Great Hall were easily 10 - 12
They used tourtise shells as serving dishes.
This pic is called "Dickie and his Ass".
Don't mess with my babies!
Chickens huddle together to stay warm.
Siesta Time in Ireland
OK! I'll wake up just for you!
We leave Shannon and Ireland to fly home.
Both of us thought this was a neat shot of Manhattan from EWR.