The Rest of Ireland

IRELAND – DAY 4

  • We packed the car up in Dublin to take off for the next 4-5 days
  • Castletown Estates {*1}
  • Drove a bit more around the country side
  • Clonmacnoise {*2}
  • I’m a restaurant snob {*3}
  • First B&B experience in Co. Galway

IRELAND – DAY 5

  • Tried the black and white pudding for breakfast {*4}
  • Talked to my family on the phone for the first time with the help of the B&B owner {*5}
  • Really took in downtown Galway… by shopping! {*6}
  • Co. Galway’s Market was a sight {*7}
  • Started driving towards The Burren
  • Stopped in Kinvara to take pictures of the coast/countryside
  • Pictures of the mountains in Co. Claire
  • Made it to The Burren {*8}
  • During The Burren drive, we stopped at a poulnabrone {*9}
  • Drove to the Cliffs of Moher and took a BILLION of pictures {*10}
  • Had dinner back in Co. Galway

IRELAND – DAY 6

  • Started driving towards Co. Mayo (Where my family lives)
  • Stopped at Galway Bay for pictures {*11}
  • Lots of pictures driving past the coast
  • Stopped in Roundstone to get tea and a break from driving
  • Followed the coastline again around to Clifden
  • Stopped in Ladderfrak real quick to look for a B&B for the night {*12}
  • VISITED FAMILY IN ARDAGH, NEWPORT {*13}
  • Had dinner at Nevin’s Bar as recommended by a family member {*14}

IRELAND – DAY 7

  • Had smoked salmon and scrambled eggs for breakfast at the Kylemore House B&B
  • Visited Kylemore Abbey for 3 hours! {*15}
  • Started driving around back through Connemara National Park towards Galway to get back to Dublin
  • Stopped in Oughterard to take scenic lake pictures
  • Picked up my suitcase (for Italy) in Dublin
  • Stayed at Bewely’s Hotel next to the airport to catch the shuttle at 4:00am to the airport to leave for Rome at 7:10am

If you have been wondering, “Where are all these beautiful pictures you said you took?” Never fear! I have attached my FB album for your viewing pleasure.

{*1} – Castletown Estates that the Ireland government owns as a historic landmark, The outside is definitely not as breathtaking as the inside was. Unfortunately they prohibited any photography at all inside the house. (I would’ve been greatly happy to just not use a flash though.)

{*2} – Clonmacnoise
 {*3} – Restaurant snob. I really wanted authentic Irish (cheap) food. So we walked around downtown Galway for a bit to find something that all 3 of us would agree on. My uncle pointed out the orange Indian cuisine building, and I said no! I put my foot down to any shops with neon flashing lights, and that included neon painted buildings. So we kept walking. After checking about 5 more restaurants, we looked at the menu at the orange painted Indian restaurant and decided to eat there. It was actually pretty good! I had the veggie curry. Don’t judge a book by its cover folks! Also, remember how you are portraying yourself to others (Personal PR).

{*4} –  Since I am a vegetarian, the Black and White Pudding could have killed me. Apparently the black pudding is made out of blood. It tasted like sausage.

{*5} – The B&B owner in Galway listened to my story of how I wanted to find my family and all I had was a post card and names of my family members (the numbers I had would not work on my phone in Ireland). He immediately picked up the phone to call the operator to ask an address and number while telling the operator, or directory is what the Irish called it, we were looking for someone from 1914. Eventually, I got a new number and a town and village the number came from. I was so excited!

{*6} – So when I went shopping downtown Galway, I really only had one prerogative: to buy a Claddagh Ring. The Claddagh ring was first made by a certain gentleman in Co. Galway. So I bought a Rose Gold lady’s claddagh ring for myself. I bought this ring for myself adverse to the original tradition as a personal value to remind myself that my heart is only mine to give.

{*7} – Downtown Galway’s Market had a fish stand 🙂

 {*8} – The Burren was really neat; almost like jigsaw puzzle made out of limestone stretch across miles and miles of mountains and valleys. We actually ran into a model/fashion designer trying to capture her elegant pieces in the hard cuts and cracks of the rocks.

{*9}Poulnabrone 

{*10} – Cliffs of Moher

 

{*11} – Thankfully my uncle is a photographer/retired physics teacher, so we were able to stop anywhere that looked remotely interesting to get a good shot of the landscape. you can view some of his traveling photography here.

{*12} – Kylemore House (built in the 1700’s)

{*13} – I GOT TO MEET MY FAMILY! Yes, I am very excited to cross a HUGE list item off my bucket list. We sat around the front living room discussing the family tree, memories, and any information I could take in about our relatives. I also was able to shed some light on the part of the family they have never met. They asked to keep in touch and for pictures of the US relatives, in turn I asked for a thoughtful completed family tree.    🙂   I am definitely going to keep in touch to understand more of my family and my cultural background/heritage. Maybe I will start on my German heritage next, who knows?

{*14} – After meeting my family, Paddy (Patrick) sent us to Nevin’s Bar. The owner, Nevin, kept telling me over and over again how happy I should be to have found Paddy as a relative. I asked why, and he responded, “He is such a gentleman.” Apparently one of Paddy’s daughters worked for Nevin at the Inn and Bar. Nevin actually has a few chains in the US too. Maybe you should visit one.  Nevin really treated me like family after he heard of who my relatives were. It was strangely odd, but Ireland, after that, felt like a real home – like I belonged there. It was really nice.

{*15} – Kylemore Abbey was breath taking! Originally The land (144 acres) was bought and mansion was built as a love gift from a husband to a wife for a 5 year anniversary. The mini cathedral was built to honor the passing of the wife. It has hence been a boarding school, a gambling place (casino type), and a convent/abbey. Amazing beautiful gardens to draw visitors from all over the world.


 Concluding this blog post, I just thought of another way to make it more efficient. No worries! I will try harder next time.  Ha! I hope you enjoyed the pictures and commentary. If you have any questions, please ask!

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