Ireland

This trip to Ireland was one of the most amazing experiences I've ever had! To travel around the country with my husband, mom, dad, sister, soon to be brother-in-law, aunt and cousin, was just beyond words. Here is a list of the places we visited in Ireland, which I learned is about the same size as Maine.  

Dublin, New Ross, Co. Wicklow, Waterford, Youghal, Blarney, Killarney, Iveragh Peninsula, Waterville, Ring of Kerry, Cliffs of Moher, Bunratty, Limerick, Gallway then back to Dublin.  

It was definitely a marathon- we were up at 6am every day and out the door by 7 and most nights didn't get in until 10 or 11 pm. There were a lot of sights seen, Guinness and Irish Coffee drank, and good times had!  

This first set of photos is from New Ross. This is where the Dunbrody sailed out of during the potato famine. My mom's side of the family emigrated during this time along with some 1.5 million others. There was a random ship manifest printed out and on the list is Annorah Powers! Maybe a relative of ours! Also exciting in New Ross is the JFK connection. JFK's family is from this town and there is JFK memorabilia everywhere. 

 

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Next we went to Waterford. A beautiful water town with Vikings heritage and also the central location for Waterford Glass. Here we toured the facility and saw the masters doing their craft. It takes 10 years of training to become a glass sculptor and they were incredible! The pieces are made using wooden molds, then diamond wheels are used to craft the pieces. After the tour of the glass facility we did a walking tour of the town and saw many ancient churches and buildings that were used by the vikings. The Vikings used animal blood and both animal and human hair in the construction of their forts... must have worked because they are still standing tall! 

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Check out the detail on this tiny piano set! All handcrafted! 

Check out the detail on this tiny piano set! All handcrafted! 

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AFC Trophy, only tiny. 

AFC Trophy, only tiny. 

Having a quick break before starting the walking tour

Having a quick break before starting the walking tour

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Franciscan Monastery ruins  

Franciscan Monastery ruins  

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Irish pub we went to- they had a terrible towel here! Steeler World!   

Irish pub we went to- they had a terrible towel here! Steeler World! 

 

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Blarney Castle 

Blarney Castle 

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This is where the owner of the Blarney Castle lives

This is where the owner of the Blarney Castle lives

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Jaunty Car Ride through Killarney National Park

Jaunty Car Ride through Killarney National Park

Red Deer are protected so they have huge antlers! 

Red Deer are protected so they have huge antlers! 

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Our first view of Ross Castle 

Our first view of Ross Castle 

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From the Jaunty Car, we went right to the Lilly of Killarney and took a cruise around Lough Leane, which translates to Lake of Knowledge.  

From the Jaunty Car, we went right to the Lilly of Killarney and took a cruise around Lough Leane, which translates to Lake of Knowledge.  

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After our cruise, we took a driving tour of The Ring of Kerry. This charming duo was at one of our photo stops along the way

After our cruise, we took a driving tour of The Ring of Kerry. This charming duo was at one of our photo stops along the way

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Such amazing vistas! 

Such amazing vistas! 

After the driving tour Aunt Marcia, Kyle, Forrest and I saddled up for an awesome ride around the Killarney National Park. It was so great being back in the saddle! Aunt Marcia and I cantered about while Forrest and Kyle trotted ahead. Definitely one of the most memorable moments of the trip for me :) 

After the driving tour Aunt Marcia, Kyle, Forrest and I saddled up for an awesome ride around the Killarney National Park. It was so great being back in the saddle! Aunt Marcia and I cantered about while Forrest and Kyle trotted ahead. Definitely one of the most memorable moments of the trip for me :) 

Forrest and his horse, Bacardi 

Forrest and his horse, Bacardi 

Me and Diamond! 

Me and Diamond! 

I am going to dedicate a whole blog post to the Cliffs of Moher... There are just too many awesome photos to include in one post!  Thanks for reading!