A Travellerspoint blog

Dublin Here We Come

rain 6 °C

We were thinking of tracking along the coast toward Dublin but decide Dungarvan and Kilkenny are on our hit list as we head north. But first I have to take a picture of the crab berries on the tree beside car. Lovely rich reddish berries almost like cherries at a quick glance.
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We knock on the front door and give our room keys to Maureen, and just as we’re about to reverse out Gerry pulls up and say goodbye. He’s heading off to swing a stick at that little white ball at the local golf club.

Before we know it we’re in Dungarvan and securing a seat in Meades Café, they have the best Irish Crème cappuccinos, especially when accompanied with apple crumble a big dollop of cream. The staff are welcoming and very friendly. I spot the old pushbike on the way in and have to get a picture before we leave.
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Even the view from the local car park is almost spectacular with the old stone buildings surrounding its perimeter.
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So many churches dot the landscape here, and Kilkenny is no exception. One is undergoing some major renovations but looks fabulous all the same.

The streets here seem even narrower than other towns we’ve been through, but I’m continually impressed with how polite all drivers are – many Australians (especially those with a dose of road rage) could learn a great deal from these drivers.

We park the car and jag a parking lot machine out of order. We walk away but I see the local parking inspector making a beeline for the lot – I wait, and I watch - as we have no parking ticket on our dash. All good, he sees the dysfunctional parking ticket machine.

A quick lunch at Brassiere 17, as we have to be in Dublin by 3:00pm to connect with our next BnB hosts – a young couple named Diago and Rocio. You guessed it – another delicious soup for lunch with some crunchy breads. Good food is a constant in this cold weather – so much energy used up keeping warm and the soups are loaded with veggies.
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Lynn spots a photo opportunity across the road – two very colourful doors – it seems these are attractions and a lot of people make the trek to Brassiere 17 for the photo. Maybe it’s the colour and the patterning across the top, there is a little something that makes you want to look at these bright coloured little timber pieces.

Dublin here we come – we’re running a little late – still having trouble with our mobiles and contacting our hosts. On the way though we see an hilarious photo moment, but we're travelling fast along the motorway and don't have time to get out iPhone cameras out and shoot. Traffic ahead had slowed to a crawl - then as we speed up and pass an off-ramp - we see a police 4WD with lights and siren blaring trying to either pull over or round up a stray little old white Morris with reindeer antlers poking up from each front window and a ton of coloured balloons hanging out the back windows. Someone was getting into the Xmas spirit early.

We reach our destination and are met by Diago who shows us to the apartment. He works in the investment sector so has to head back to work – we decide to take the light rail tram that just out front of the apartments and see the streets and places around Dublin.
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We settle on Diago’s recommendation of Madigan’s Pub in O’Connell Street – a very warm and inviting spot – although the walk up O’Connell Street is absolutely freezing (wind chill) – the gorgeous Christmas lights give the cold night air a little warmth.
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With the long trek from Cork to Dublin we decide on an early night so we can rise early tomorrow and see more of the city before we jet out to Manchester late in the afternoon.

Posted by BioC12 11:02 Archived in Ireland Comments (0)

Oranmore BnB Ireland

overcast 5 °C

A good night’s sleep at Shane and Veronique’s farmhouse and we’re well rested and ready for the next leg to Cork.
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The farmhouse is a warm family home with two lovely little girls rounding off a family of four. Veronique is off early to work in morning, with Shane organising the daughters and away to school and work before we’re out of bed. Their yellowish farmhouse sits on a portion of the family farm with a great view from our bedroom window overlooking other nearby farms and across the countryside.

Downstairs we’re greeted by a lovely choice of cereals, breads and coffee for breakfast, a very appreciated offering. Lynn loves the fruit loaf and digs into her second toasted piece with a coffee chaser. Its cold outside so these warm beans are just the ticket.
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Packed up our trusty little car and we’re on our way again – taking our time - soaking in the countryside, the little towns and views as we go. We head across to Galway and then track toward Cork.
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Our path takes us through Limerick, and a lunch stop in Charleville at O’Leary’s Bar. The soups are hard to pass up for lunch and decide a couple of beers won't go astray (Heineken for Lynn and a Guinness for me). We’re not beer drinkers but a Guinness in Ireland is a must. That smooth dark silky amber is quite delish.
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We arrive at our Cork BnB mid afternoon and are greeted by our hosts Gerry and Maureen. Our room is ready but we’re going to do some quick shopping at the local stores and on our way back do dinner at Douglas a local suburb.

Our BnB accommodation is a very well appointed granny flat, with everything for an overnight stay and recharging of batteries for the next stint to Dublin. Our guests love roses which are on their last legs before winter claims them and their fabulous colours and aromas. The mass produced roses have nothing on these exquisite smelling little bundles.
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Lynn decides to turn in early, while I finish writing more content for our blogs. Still behind in my writing - just don't get enough time during the day to blog on time!!!

Posted by BioC12 10:29 Archived in Ireland Comments (0)

Luck Of The Irish

semi-overcast 5 °C

Up early this early morning to get the car packed and ready for our Irish leg of the journey.

Absolutely freezing cold - walked up to RAFA car park to a car that was all frosty and frozen.
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Traveling light to Ireland – small backpack with only a few changes of clothes and toiletries. Going to be a fun time, staying with families who rent spare bedrooms out to travelers under AirBnB. We get to interact face to face with our hosts and share conversation and knowledge. Our target today is Galway, more specifically a farm house near Oranmore in the countryside.

First up though is a quick trip back to Chester and pick up a few items at the markets in "The Rows". Just couldn't leave without getting these. The lady at the stall is lovely and shaves off a few pounds and wraps them well for a safe journey home.

Back onto the motorway for a quick sprint to Manchester airport - park the car long term till we get back on Saturday.

I see why we need the full blown NBN in Australia - we book parking online putting numberplate in - instant recognition of car type and colour. Driving into the carpark - it recognises our numberplate - opens the boomgate and drops me a token - I jump on a shuttle bus that whisks us to the terminal. Nice service.

Flying RyanAir today - quick flight - Manchester to Dublin (35mins). Pick up a little Seat and hit the road - highways are nice and cars here also travel around 160km/hr in the fast lane.
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No not that one - this one.
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Arrive late in Oranmore - our SatNav decides to use the regional roads instead of the motorway. Shane our host rescues us from the myriad roads and we turn up to a warm farmhouse and welcoming family.

We chat for a few hours and make our way to bed - Shane and Veronique are early risers - children to get to school and then off to work. It'll be interesting to see the farm house and the surrounding area in the morning.

Posted by BioC12 10:31 Archived in Ireland Comments (0)

All About Lllangollen Today

overcast

We have a few Skype chats home this morning, first daughter-in law Amanda – then with son Chad and wife Clarissa. Great to see their faces and hear what’s news back in the Land of Oz. We’ve decided to spend the day in Llangollen, slowing down a little, doing some banking, flights and accommodation things. Also a last walk around town to check things out such as delicatessens, fudge shop, car park markets, and cultural centre.

Tomorrow we’re in Manchester for our flights to Dublin. Four days driving around Ireland staying with people and families in Oranmore, Cork, and Dublin under the AirBnB accommodation group. Much of our European trip is designed this way.

Online tasks today are made that bit easier with skinny cappuccinos warming us up at the Corn Mill, followed by lunch and a couple of matured ports in the downstairs bar as we blog away, or rather catch up on our lazy blogging responsibilities as messaged to us by Chadee.
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Giggle puss tickling the computer keys inside in the warm - while outside I’m freezing my bum off taking photographs in five degrees. I must admit though these stone building are magnificent.
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I thought I'd better go and get a picture of some dragons - the grandsons Cooper and Maddox love dragons - I think they'd have loved the local kids game centre.
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The delicatessen in the main street had some nice things on offer for dinner. A big Welsh Oggie Pie (Beef, Potatoes and Leek) and a big Venison, Rabbit, Lamb, Leek and Potato sausage roll. Off course when you come from a family such as Lynn's who made delicious sweeties then you just have to finish the night off with a chocolate steam train and chocolate crackle.
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Everything seems to be in order for tomorrow's trek to Dublin - but first will be a quick stop in Chester - picking up something I missed the previous day.

Posted by BioC12 10:20 Archived in Wales Comments (0)

We Hear That Chester Is A Roman Town

overcast 6 °C

Tried connecting to Skype to contact family, without any luck. So off to the Library and Information Centre this morning before driving to Chester, which has amazing markets and shopping streets called “The Rows” built by the Romans. Lots of people out shopping and jewellery stores everywhere. John has lost an earring so has been looking to buy another pair, but mostly sterling silver here. IMG_3655.jpgIMG_3659.jpgIMG_3658.jpgIMG_3657.jpg
Temperatures getting down a bit today so time to warm up with something hot for lunch. Spotted an eatery with some nice soups on offer. John tries the chicken, broccoli and brown rice soups and I try the ham hock.
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We continue to notice just how many businesses and products support charities, each cup of soup sold gives 10p to breaking the cycle of homelessness. A homeless person is also given an opportunity to work for three months for the franchise; if they stay for this period they are given a job.

Another of the market shops in the square sells these gorgeous colourful hand-woven beanies. This company buys the colourful wool and supplies it to finger-weavers in a village in India – beanies shipped back to United Kingdom for sale and the majority of monies earned go straight back to the weavers and in also buying them more materials. Gives us some great ideas for Indigenous Australians and strengthens my theory that economies that function like ecosystems have far more affect on poverty and disadvantage than trickle-down economies.

We drive home early afternoon and John goes over to The Corn Mill Bar and Restaurant near the river for a coffee and wi-fi connection. He says the Mill is absolutely beautiful, with a big working waterwheel and lots of old mill photographs on the walls. It was originally built for milling corn (1300’s), then milled feed grain for animals, and later a textile factory before closing down a few decades ago.
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Then time for some local fish and chips for dinner from Franks…very nice too. The cod is very different, not oily, lovely white sweet flesh. John tries homemade fishcakes, scampi and thick cut chips. There is a lot of fly-fishing here, and astonishingly, a man-made canal sits above the river on a hillside with its own port. These hand built canals were used in the early days to ship slate. At the mill are a few old pictures showing what they used to catch in the river below. The size of that trout, geez!
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The view from the old Corn Mill back to our house is a nice one. IMG_3676.jpg

Posted by BioC12 09:13 Archived in Wales Comments (1)

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