Wednesday 1 May 2013

Ireland: Day Eight - Bunratty, Limerick, Adare, and Killarney

Due to the 7 new travelers joining us today we got a later start today. We didn't have to leave the hotel until 11. Dad and I met for breakfast, and then afterward I headed down to the Blarney Mills shop. That was enjoyable! Luckily the bus was open so I didn't have to trek my packages up to the room just to come back down.

We gathered up our stuff and boarded the bus. Dad managed to keep his seat by getting our partners in crime (the other two that don't move) to sit behind him. This opened up room for the "newbies" as we have been calling them. Some of our group seems annoyed we are getting new travelers - they have been quietly complaining about the tour getting bigger and more names to learn, but it's only 7 people!

We started with a brief tour of Limerick City, mainly in and around it’s heritage precinct. It was okay, but there really wasn't much to be seen there. The older buildings that were part of the castles and the churches were beautiful, but I'm glad we didn't spend much time in the city. We went through the area the author Frank McCourt was born in and saw the pub and church that he mentions.

After that we traveled to Adare where thatched cottages line the main street. I loved it! Not a large area but such a cute little village - and I loved the cottages. There wasn't a lot that the area consisted of, but it was a really great stop. We walked around and took some photos of the cottages. I would love to live in a cottage like that! They are perfect Chantal height. :)

We ate lunch with our fellow "back of of the bus troublemakers" as we are referred to. It was an okay place - family run with a limited menu for picky people like me, so I stuck with soup which was good.

On our way into town we passed the area Golf Club and heard how it was named after a local lord who had a large estate beside the property. The Lord and his family were heavily involved with the town and its people and were honored to have the club named after them. However the estate eventually was sold to Americans who developed in into a large luxury hotel. They took offense to the golf club having the same name as the estate and went after them in court to try and force them to change the name. Luckily they lost, and the club remains as is. Apparently the townspeople aren't all that thrilled with this hotel. I think it's sad that so many people and corporations go in to these towns and try and change their history. That one think I love about Ireland - it doesn't have strip malls and plazas on every corner.

We made a brief photo stop at St. Bridget's well - one of those holy, healing water sites I mentioned a few days ago. This one was peaceful and serene and didn't have the rag bush attached to it.

We stopped for photos about an hour later at this beautiful area just outside Killarney. It offered incredible views of the mountains and lakes. I was drifting in and out on the bus - a lot of us feel there is something about the bus or the guides voice that make us sleepy because many of us tend to fall sleep quite often.

We made one more stop at a store that sold jewelry and gifts. They are friends of the guide and one of them took a group photo of all of us. They also gave us all Irish Coffee which was delicious. I don't think I have ever had one before - but they are really good. It definitely woke me up!

Our hotel is the Dromhill in Killarney and we are here for 3 nights. It's a nice hotel - but a little nicer in the lobby then the rooms. The room is a little worn and the toilet flushes weirdly. But the staff are super friendly, and the rooms comfortable and clean. There is only wifi in the lobby which is a downfall (that's the reason this post is so late). They actually misplaced my bags when I got here - I waited over and hour but thankfully they showed up.

The hotel has laundry services which is good because I need some clothes washed. They also have a spa/leisure center next door that I hope to check out tomorrow.

After diner I spent some time helping one of the fellow travelers with his iPad. He wanted to learn how to use the kindle and overdrive apps. We have another "lesson" scheduled for tomorrow. I seriously could make a career out of on-tour tech support apparently!

A group of us (dad included) decided to walk into town and check our the streets and try and find some Irish music. We started at a local pub that had some excellent music being played. It was packed but we stayed there for a bit and talked to a few other patrons. Afterward we made our way further into town and stopped at another pub. What a difference - it also had music but songs included "Cotton Eye Joe" and "Satisfaction". It was also empty save for two people from Iowa who left shortly after we arrived. We didn't want to be rude so we sat down. A few minutes later the band took a break and them and the bartender went for a break. We seriously had this entire pub to ourselves. When the bartender came back we joked about how we should have gotten a picture behind the bar, so dad went up and asked him - and he said sure! So the 6 of us piled behind the bar for some photos and a chance to pour some Guiness. We all would have made horrible bartenders as we poured into a Coors glass and messed up the pour which made it come out all wrong. It was still a really fun experience and photo to show a different Ireland experience.

We walked around town for a bit but it got pretty quiet early in the evening. Our guide claims this is the "Las Vegas of Ireland" without all the gambling. If that's the case, it's shows how quiet, laid back and safe Ireland is. I am looking forward to exploring the city more on Thursday when I take a break from the tour. It looks gorgeous with lots of streets, shops and places to explore. I plan on going in early - around 10:00am and then heading back to the hotel for 3:00. Just enough time to look around without getting too worn out or bored.

Photo One: Cool Phone Booth
Photo Two: Church in Limerick
Photo Three: Limerick
Photo Four: Limerick
Photo Five: Bar that Frank McCourt mentions
Photo Six: Castle ruins
Photo Seven: Adare
Photo Eight: Adare
Photo Nine. Dad and I
Photo Ten: Me
Photo Eleven. Adare
Photo Twelve: Adare
Photo Thirteen: Well
Photo Fourteen: Veiw of Killarney
Photo Fifteen: Me (not a selfie!)
Photo Sixteen: Killarney Views
Photo Seventeen: Chruch in Killarny
Photo Eighteen: My room
Photo Nineteen: Place that had good Irish music
Photo Twenty: Group Behind the Bar Photo
Photo Twenty-One: Dad as a Bartender

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