Friday, June 22, 2007

We're Back

... and still recovering. While we do, look at our pictures.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Big Picture

We're planning on going to Ireland this summer. The big picture is to see the Cliffs of Moher, Dingle Peninsula, Clonakilty (home of the Toohigs), Blarney Castle, Waterford, and Dublin. We'll probably add some more points of interest along the way.

Early thinking is to fly into Shannon and drive up to the Cliffs of Moher. Then down to Dingle for a night and on to Kisdale where we'll stay for a couple of days. We'll make day trips from Kisdale to Clonakilty, and Blarney Castle. Then we'll drive over to Waterford and shop! After we ship everything home, we'll drive up to Dublin and then return from there.

Here's my Windows Live Local collection of points of interest.


We'll leave Memphis on Saturday connecting in Newark and arrive in Shannon Sunday morning around 7:00 AM.

We'll pick-up a car at the airport and drive West to the Cliffs of Moher. That's not a long drive.

Then we'll drive cross-country and cross-water (via a ferry) to Tralee and stay at the The Shores Country House.

On Monday morning, we'll get up and drive to Kinsale to stay at the Trident Hotel.

Tuesday we'll spend the day in Clonakilty, about 25 miles away.

Wednesday we'll visit Kinsale and go to Blarney Castle, just North of Cork.

Thursday we'll drive to Waterford, about 2 hours away. There are some places to look for along the way. We have reservations at the Waterford Marina Hotel. We'll go find the Waterford Crystal Visitor's Centre and then find a place to ship everything home.

Friday we'll drive North to Dublin along the coast. That's about a 3 hour drive. There're certainly some places we'll want to stop at along the way. We have reservations at the Jurys Inn Christchurch.

Depending on what time we get to Dublin, we may turn the car in Friday afternoon or wait until Saturday. Won't make any difference in costs.

Saturday and Sunday are in Dublin on foot.

Monday morning we'll get to the Dublin airport and return via Newark to Memphis.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Waterford Attractions

Waterford Crystal Visitor Centre

Virtual Tourist

Dunmore east
Nine miles (14 km) south-east of Waterford city is Dunmore East, a popular summer retreat, picturesquely situated at the mouth of Waterford Harbour. The bay on which the village stands is divided by projecting headlands, broken into cliffs and coves. To the north is Credan Head and in the south the high promontory known as the 'Black Knob', beneath which is 'Merlin's Cave'. In the extreme south of the peninsula is Swines Head, and facing the village from the Wexford side of the harbour is the conspicuous Hook Head with its lighthouse. Early in the nineteenth century Dunmore was a station for the packets which carried the mails between England and the south of Ireland. It is noted today as a sea fishing and curing station, and there is excellent sea angling for visitors.

Passage east

The picturesque fishing village of Passage East has a past closely linked with Ireland's history. Strongbow landed here in 1170 followed by Henry II a year later King James left Ireland from here after his defeat at the Battle of the Boyne. Today a car ferry links Passage with Ballhck in Co Wexford. The village, with its distinctive architecture, huddled between the rocky outcrop and the river is well worth a visit.

Route - Tralee to Ring of Kerry

17 miiles, 26m

Route - Cliffs of Moher to Tralee

77 miles, 1h48m

Route - Shannon Airport to Cliffs of Moher

36 miles, 1h

Tralee Attractions

Tralee - County Kerry


Tralee, the capital town of County Kerry, sits in the ideal location, in the shelter of the Slieve Mish Mountains and Tralee Bay. Today the town is a busy epicentre in the county and serves both visitors and locals alike with its broad range of all weather visitor attractions and shopping, technology parks and as a hub of education at the Institute of Technology Tralee.

Founded in the 13th century by the Anglo Normans, the town takes its name from the River Lee which flows into Tralee Bay. Modern Tralee began to take shape in the 19th century with the structuring of streets like Day Place, Staughton’s Row, Princes Street and Denny Street in the early 1800s and the courthouse built in 1835. Although much of the towns former historic buildings have been lost in turbulent times, visitors can enjoy a step back in time and learn more about Tralee and North Kerry’s history through audiovisual, history board and artefact displays at the Kerry County Museum.

The Tralee ship canal (1846) and the arrival of the railway marked a new time in the era of the town and helped develop the town into its present day role. When visiting Tralee, do not miss out on a scenic walk along this canal far out to Blennerville and the Spa area.

Tralee town has never forgotten its historic past and link with myths, folklore and ledgends and celebrates this in its broad range of festivals and events held throughout the year such as the International Rose of Tralee, Tralee Garden Festival and Kerry Pagent Festival.

Steam Railway
Described as Europe’s most westerly railway, today’s visitor attraction takes in a mile of the former Tralee and Dingle light railway.The current day locomotive carries visitors on the long mile scenic journey back in time to Blennerville.

Blennerville Windmill
Blennerville Windmill constructed in 1780 and restored today as a visitor centre,café and craft complex on the shores of Tralee Bay. Blennervile was the main port of emigration from County Kerry during the great famine and the visitor centre also houses a detailed display of Irish Emigration including models of famous ‘coffin ships’.

Crag Cave
Castleisland is home to one of the Southwest’s most unique underground visitor attractions, Crag Cave where young and old are fascinated by a world older than mankind. Also ‘Crazy Cave’ adventure play area for children.

For families and younger visitors, Tralee has an extensive range of activities and attractions on offer. Take a leisurely splash at the aquadome, one of the finest indoor water activity centres in Ireland,

Night Time
For nighttime entertainment you will be spoilt for choice in Tralee with many of the bars offering live music. Enjoy a visit to Siamsa Tire, Ireland’s National Folk Theatre, housed in a ring-fort with a round tower whose architecture effectively reinforces the traditional focus of performances within.
For an alternative and entertaining evening with the locals try a ‘Night at the Dogs’ at Tralee Greyhound Stadium where you can join in the fun of betting whilst enjoying dinner

Dingle Peninsula
Savour the enchantment of the Dingle Peninsula, a land of blue gold hills and sandy beaches, of glorious waterfalls, hidden bays, wonderous rock formations, caves and arches, busy harbours and wayside pubs, a land dappled with heather, primroses, bluebells, foxgloves and fuchsia, and smiling faces to welcome you. This peninsula that inspired films like "Ryan's Daughter" and "Far and Away" has much to offer people in search of something different.

Ring of Kerry
Stretching out into the Atlantic Ocean, the Iveragh Peninsula has a backbone of mighty mountains. Every environment is here, from the snow-capped Corrán Tuathail, Ireland´s loftiest peak, through woodland and blanket bog, to the sandy beaches of the coast. The warm waters of the Gulf Stream ensure a mild climate all the year round. Sub-tropical plants grow quite happily here - adding marvellous splashes of colour to the countryside.

The Geraldine Experience
"Kerry the Kingdom" at the Ashe Memorial Hall, Tralee, tells the story of Kerry and Ireland from the earliest of times. The Geraldine Experience is a unique visitor attraction located within the building. Visitors are transported back in time via a "time car" to the Middle Ages in Tralee. Experience life in a Medieval town along with the sights, sounds and smells of the time.Tel:066 7127777

Cliffs of Moher

Virtual Tourist

Official Cliffs of Moher website

Ring of Kerry


Kenmare is charmingly situated at the head of Kenmare Bay, where the Roughty River meets the sea. It is an excellent centre for exploring both the Iveragh and Beara Peninsulas. Kenmare has a long and varied history dating from the stone circle adjacent to the town which dates from 2200 - 500 B.C.


Waterville, famous as an angling centre, also has much to offer the general tourist. There is a fine sandy beach on the shore of Ballin-skelligs Bay, and a championship golf course(18). Around Waterville The town is on the eastern shore of Ballinskelligs Bay, on a strip of land that separates the sea from Lough Currane, one of the most beautiful lakes in Ireland and a great fishing centre. The little Irish-speaking village of Ballinskelligs is charmingly situated on Ballinskelligs Bay: its attractions include boating, bathing, fishing and fine coastal scenery. A beach outside the village stretches for 4 miles (6km). A little to the west are the ruins of an ancient castle of the McCarthys, and of an ancient abbey.


This pretty fishing village lies at the bridge which joins Valentia Island to the mainland. Just across this bridge is 'The Skellig Experience' centre.

Clonakilty Attractions

Clonakilty Chamber of Commerce

Clonakilty Picture Gallery


A busy market town located near to several popular seaside resorts such as Inchadoney and Owenahincha. Fine 19th century mill buildings have been nicely adapted for modern use, and now house the town library and County Council offices. Nearby, a small disused Presbyterian Church has been put to service as the post office. Local planning authorities have encouraged the use of traditional hand painted signs with a special emphasis on the Irish language on business premises in the town. See also the fine statue of a pikeman. For a town of its size, the Roman Catholic Church is impressive, with fine glass and mosaics. A model village is being developed and will include a reproduction of the West Cork Railway and industrial development in the area during the period of World War 11. Michael Collins, one of the great heroes of the 1916-1922 period, was born at Woodfield, near here. He was General of the Free State Army, and his Dynamic and powerful personality made him a legend in his own lifetime. the small West Cork Museum in Clonakilty has many momentoes of the hero. The memorial to him at Sam's Cross was unveiled by General Tom Barry, himself a prominent figure in the Republican Movement. From Clonakilty westward the coast becomes bolder and more rugged, the sea carving deep inlets and bays as it rolls in from the Atlantic.

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Dublin Attractions

Dublin's Top Ten Places to Visit
Guinness Storehouse
Trinity College Dublin and The Book of Kells
Temple Bar
Kilmainham Gaol
The Old Jameson Distillery
Dublin Castle
National Gallery of Ireland
St. Stephen's Green
Christchurch Cathedral

Dublin Hotels

Jurys Inn Christchurch - Map

This has been reserved From Standard Double Room - [€142 ($185) per room per night]

Cassidys - Map , TripAdvisor, TripAdvisor photos, Yahoo, Yahoo photos

Double - $177 (

Temple Bar Hotel - Map

Double - €182 ($237)

Baggott Court - Map

Fitzwilliam Guest House

Roxford Lodge - Map


Double Room - Average room price per night €158 ($205)

Rick Steves says a cut above Jurys Inn.

Albany House - Map

School House Hotel - Map, photos

Double Room - $214

Georgian Hotel - Map

Double Room - Average room price per night €149 ($192)

O'Callaghan Mont Clare - Map, brochure

Friday, January 5, 2007

Drombeg Stone Circle

Blarney Castle

Here's another tourist's photos. They also went to Kinsale, Waterford, Dublin, and more Dublin.

Here's the wikipedia article.

Route - Waterford to Dublin

112 miles, 2h43m

Route - Kinsale to Waterford

89 miles, 2h5m

Waterford Hotels

Waterford Marina Hotel - Map

This has been reserved From Double/Single Room - One queen bed and one twin bed - [€109 ($142) per room per night]

Granville Hotel Waterford

Double Room - $145

The Fitzwilton Hotel - TripAdvisor,, map

Double Room - $141

Offers free wireless access

Trip Advisor on Waterford Hotels

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Route - Ring of Kerry

114 miles, 2h28m

Route - Kinsale to Ring of Kerry

64 miles, 1h24m

Kinsale Attractions


Kinsale - Fine Food
Gourmet Capital, Culinary Centre are just two of the titles attributed to Kinsale. The town is certainly famous for its variety of eateries, which have sprung up in recent years, as a result of the enterprise of a few in the '60's and the following close camaraderie of Kinsale's Fine Food Restaurateurs. The Fine Food Festival and our "Taste of Kinsale Breaks" are a great opportunity to experience the wealth of cuisine available in the town.

Desmond Castle International Museum of Wine
Kinsale's International Museum of Wine tells the romantic story of the Irish emigrants who colonised the wine trade throughout the world after being forced to leave their own shores. The museum is located in Desmond Castle, a 15th century Customs House which belonged to the Fitzgerald family.

Kinsale was a designated Wine Port and supplied ships for the Vintage Fleet (forerunner of the British Navy) as far back as 1412. In that year the Vintage Fleet of some 160 vessels plying from Bordeaux included five Irish owned vessels - three of which were from Kinsale and two from Dublin. For more information see the Winegeese website.

In the 17th century Desmond Castle was turned into a prison - its inmates were mainly French and captured at sea so the castle was populartly known as the "French prison". Conditions were grim with overcrowding, lack of food, cold and disease. In 1747 there was a disasterous fire in the prison in which fifty four prisoners perished.

During the American War of Independence the crews of many American vessels were held prisoner in Kinsale in poor conditions. The Rev. William Hazlett, a Presbyterian minister from nearby Bandon, and Reuben Harvey, a Quaker merchant in Cork, worked to improve conditions and in 1783 George Washington thanked Harvey for "his exertions in relieving the distresses of such of our fellow citizens as were prisoners in Ireland".

Desmond Castle now belongs to the Irish State, and is being leased by the Office of Public Works to Kinsale Chamber of Tourism, for the development of The International Museum of Wine. Photograph: John Collins

St. Multose
Built in 1190, St. Multose still retains many of its original features. The black letter inscriptions in Norman French, the Easter sepulchre, the baptismal font and the reredos from the Galway Chapel are all features of note.

Also worth seeing are the town stocks and a wooden coat of arms. Here Charles II was proclaimed as King by Prince Rupert. St. Multose is one of the oldest Church of Ireland churches in the country.

The Courthouse
The Courthouse building, located in the Market Square, was built in 1600. Additions in 1706 included the frontage with the loggia on the ground floor. The Kinsale Town Corporation and its Sovereign conducted their affairs upstairs. There is a Museum within the Courthouse with a display of the Kinsale Giant who was believed to have been over 8 feet tall. The Courthouse was used in May 1915 for the inquest into the loss of the liner Lusitania, off the Old Head of Kinsale.

The Almshouses
At the top of a steep hill is The Mall which contains almshouses built in 1682 by Sir Robert Southwell. These houses were originally built to accommodate eight old people. The long building beyond the Almshouses it the Convent where the Sisters of Mercy established a school of lace and fine needlework in 1849 which survived for 100 years.

Charles Fort
The vast star shaped Charles Fort, which was built in 1677, is only a short distance from the town. William Robinson, the original architect, also built the Royal Hospital at Kilmainham in Dublin. Charles Fort has undergone many changes in the last few centuries and it continued to be garrisoned until 1922. It is open to the public from mid-April to mid-October and guided tours are available.

Kinsale Crystal

Kinsale Hotels

Trident Hotel - Photos

This has been reserved From Superior Double - 2 people, ... including breakfast & VAT. [€125 ($163) per room per night]

"We have (complimentary) broadband in all of our bedrooms..."

Blue Haven

"Deluxe Double Room - €230 ($303) per room per night"
"Superior Double Room - €195 ($257) per room per night"

Long Quay House

Actons Hotel

Old Bank House - Karen Brown

Bed & Breakfast per room per night - Standard €195 ($254)

Old Presbytery - Karen Brown, TripAdvisor, photos, map

"Double Suite - 2-bedroom suite consisting of 2 double bedrooms, each with private bathroom as well as a good-sized living room and kitchenette. €270 ($356)"

Trip Advisor on Kinsale Hotels