Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Ireland - September 2006

In September, I got to go to Ireland with Mel's cousin Karen and her friend Kerry.....

Here I am at Trinity College in Dublin.  I'm feeling very collegiate.   It's beautiful here!   We saw the Book of Kells - an elaborately decorated copy of the four gospels which was painstakingly transcribed by monks.

Here I am at the beautiful St. Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin.  It is an amazing cathedral.  What they don't tell you - there are St. Patrick's Cathedrals all over Ireland!

This is the view from atop the Rock of Cashel.   The Rock of Cashel was originally the home to royalty and was handed over to the church in 1100.   What stands today is a collection of religious buildings, once the home to both Protestant and Catholic Bishops.  It was a hike to get to the top, but the view was worth it!

Yummy!   With all this touring, it's important to start off with a hearty breakfast.  I was a big fan of the full Irish breakfast.  It's a good thing Gnomads don't have to watch their cholesterol!   My only suggestion - stay away from the Black Pudding - IT'S NOT PUDDING!

Blech!   I just kissed the Blarney Stone.   Karen would have gotten a picture of me actually kissing the stone, but the line was moving too fast.  Some people just don't understand us Gnomads...
I did get a cool certificate though, showing that I was there!

It was a long hike up a spiral staircase to reach the top of the Blarney Castle - here is the view from the top:

And this is Blarney Castle in the background:

What a view!   Here I am on the Ring of Kerry.  The weather was uncharacteristically warm and dry - perfect for all the pictures we were taking.   It was an adventure driving on the narrow roads on the "wrong side."

Brrr!  It was overcast and a little rainy today as we toured the Dingle Peninsula.  The wind nearly blew me over the edge!  The Dingle Peninsula is the western-most point in Ireland.  The views were amazing!

Hello from the Cliffs of Moher!   This was my favorite site in Ireland.   The cliffs were magnificent - it was like something you only see in a postcard.  They stretch along the coast for 5 miles.  For most of the walk, there is nothing holding you back from a sheer drop to the ocean.

If you look closely, you can see me in the window of these old ruins.  The ruins were on the grounds of Dromoland Castle (where we stayed on the last night).   The castle is a five star resort - this is how Gnomads should travel!!

Thanks Karen & Kerry - it was a GREAT trip!

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