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Ireland

Dublin to Galway

sunny 62 °F

After a good breakfast and checking out, we headed west towards our next destination - Galway. Our first stop was the Kilbeggan Distillery - the oldest pot distillery in Ireland - no longer functioning as a full borne distillery, but producing boutique whiskeys under the same name. It was fascinating to see the old brewing machinery.

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After a nice lunch in their tea room, we headed to the Castle at Althone. When we got there, the castle was closed for significant renovation, so we went across the street to the Church of St. Paul and St. Peter and then found the oldest pub in Ireland - Sean's Pub - in the Guinness Book of Records - continuously serving since 900 AD.

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From Athlone, we headed to Clonmacnoise. Why you ask? When I was confirmed as a Catholic, I purchased a Celtic Cross that was a reproduction of a 10th Century stone from there. I wanted to find that stone. It turned out to be a wonderful visit to some ruins from the 10th Century. What a surprise!

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From this unexpected delight it was off to Eyre Square in Galway for our two night stay

Posted by rpickett 17:46 Archived in Ireland Tagged dublin to galway Comments (0)

Ireland

Dublin Labor Day

sunny 69 °F

After a leisurely breakfast we took a cab to the 'famine ship' Jeannie Johnston. This is a reproduction of a vessel built in the 1840's that made 16 trips across the Atlantic without a loss of life unlike the other 'coffin ships'. One of my traveling mates had sailed on it when it made its way up the US east coast in the early 2000's. If you have ancestors, as I do, that immigrated to the 'new world', it gives you a good idea of what these 45 day sailings were like.

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We then headed to St.Patricks Cathedral, the representation of the Church of Ireland, with such as Jonathan Swift, who served as Dean of the Church.

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After the tour, we had a sandwich in their little tea room set up outside, and decided to finish our Dublin experience with a tour of the exhibit about Viking Ireland and Christ Church - vintage 11th century. It was an interesting display of the significant influence the conquering Vikings had on the Irish of the time.

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Tomorrow it's off to Galway with two stops along the way!

Happy Labor Day!

Posted by rpickett 09:57 Archived in Ireland Tagged - dublin us day 3 sept labor Comments (0)

Ireland

Dublin Sunday Sept 2

sunny 69 °F

There was still a buzz of college football in the air the day after the game, as many of the game tours were still in town. We started out the day going to the 11:00am Mass at St. Mary's Haddington Road, which turned out to be the "official" Sunday mass of the event. A Notre Dame priest was the Celebrant and the Notre Dame student choir provided the music for the entire mass. Out Ambassador to Ireland was also in attendance and it was standing room only as the church was totally filled. It was and exciting event and a wonderful mass. The local parishioner were ecstatic to see so many people.

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I was then off the the Guinness Storehouse to learn about the history of this famous stout - the largest selling brew in the world. Although you never actually see the current commercial process, a converted former part of the brewery shows in great detail the brewing process and the history of Guinness over time. There was a large crowd there and fairly long lines to get into the rooftop bar to view the city. We decided to pass on that if favor of seeing more of Dublin, however we did make the obligatory stop at the Guinness store.

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We then took a substantial hike to the Kilmainham Gaol to view the renovated jail where most of the political prisoners of the Irish Revolution were housed and were many of them were executed. Although built as a modern jail in the 19th century, it was a pretty solemn place given its history in the Irish Republic.

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It was then back to the hotel for some brew, fish and chips.

Posted by rpickett 00:29 Archived in Ireland Tagged dublin 2 sept Comments (0)

Ireland

Killkenny to Dublin and the Game

sunny 65 °F

We got off early from Killkenny as we wanted to make sure we beat any traffic that might have been around Aviva Stadium for the Notre Dame Navy football game. When we got the the hotel - only a few blocks from the stadium - it was the typical game day atmosphere at any college campus. Navy and Notre Dame fans were everywhere, as were burgers, beer, and game day vendors. There was a buzz in the air for sure and the weather was a perfect fall football day - clear and mid 60's. Navy was the home team, and they had brought over more than 1000 Midshipmen who did a full march on to the delight of the crowd. The Notre Dame band did the halftime show, which was a tribute to the traditional music of Ireland. The game itself was not close. Notre Dame was much stronger than Navy and easily won 50 - 10. I am not sure this particular game says anything about either team - only time will tell. At the completion of the game both teams assembled together out of respect for each other during the playing of Navy Blue and Cold and Notre Dame Our Mother. It's a great rather new tradition of this rivalry. We met up with some friends for dinner at the hotel, and were looking forward to a good nights sleep.
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Posted by rpickett 02:23 Archived in Ireland Tagged dublin Comments (0)

Ireland

Dublin

semi-overcast 61 °F

After sort of a hectic day of travel under two different airline tickets, we arrived in Dublin at 0520 this morning. The flights over were fine, but those who plan on traveling through Boston need to plan for about 3 hours to check in at the International terminal and go through security, especially if you want to stop at the Duty Free shop. It was a madhouse in Boston.

Of note was on the short flight (5 hours) from Boston to Dublin, the food in business class on Aer Lingus was excellent as was the service. It was a wonderful way to get to the Island. On board the flight were a bunch of my clients and many others, including two HS football teams who were going to play as part of the weekend of football in Ireland. The Irish are even more excited because the semi-finals of the Gaelic Football tournament are on Sunday. Both the Navy Notre Dame game and the Gaelic Football game are a sellout.

After a few hours of sleep, I had hired a 3 hour private tour for the afternoon. Promptly at 1400 Catherine and our driver showed up and we had a wonderful tour of Trinity College, including the Book of Kells and the highlights of Dublin.

A good nights sleep tonight, pick up the Hertz car tomorrow and off to Wexford during the day.

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Posted by rpickett 20:59 Archived in Ireland Tagged dublin Comments (0)

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