Wednesday Sept 26 2012

We are home after a wonderful visit to England and Ireland.

Great friends

with Katie, Josie, & Allan at “The Thatch”, Nantwich, Cheshire, U.K.

Wonderful friend Roger Siddle ( sorry Hilary, I forgot to take a photo of you )

Simon, Bruce & Ashley Moore

The Thatch,    www.thatch-nantwich.co.uk/

Our Route in Ireland

The route indicated in yellow is about as close as I can figure we took. The red dots are our overnight stays. I may be off a little as some of the roads(?) we took are not on the map. From leaving Crewe to returning we did 1700 miles. This averages to 2 photos per mile. You do the math…. I have some sorting and editing to do this winter. (Click on map for larger scale)

Friday Sept 21 – The end of our trip is near.

We are now back in Crewe, Cheshire at the home of our dear friend and chauffeur Katie Moore. We cannot thank her enough for making all the B&B arrangements for Ireland and then doing all the driving even after we had given her our colds. It has been a trip that we will never forget. I will be taking some photos during our last days here but will probably not post till I get home. Hope you all have enjoyed our trip with us in England & Ireland.

Our wonderful hostesses:

 

 

Thursday Sept 20

 

Leaving Ireland… 🙁

A final farewell to our wonderful Irish friend and hostess Maureen who escorted us out of town to make sure we would leave….

On to Dublin where we boarded the ferry to return to England.

Farewell to the “Emerald Island”…

 

Departing Dublin Harbour.

Our last sight of Ireland. We will return.

We must be in Wales !

Tuesday ?? I forgot Tuesday Sept 18!

How could I forget to put in Tuesday, one of the most interesting days of the whole trip. Starting out from our 300 year old farmhouse in Letterkenny, we drove along the side of Lough Swilly to Londonderry ( aka Derry). Here we took a tour of the city by our special guide Maureen and visited some of the walled city and also some of the areas where there had been major problems during the “Trouble times”. It is a shame that in such a lovely city so much hatred exists. From Derry we traveled up the coast stopping in Portstewart and Portrush before coming to the “Giants Causeway”.  A really unbelievable natural occurrence that just takes the breath away. Not just a few odd shaped rocks but thousands of them. Then off to Ballycastle, down the coast to Larne and finally home to Portadown.

Belfast & area – Wednesday Sept 19

Today we toured Belfast and area with our delightful hostess, Maureen. Maureen is the Federation President for Soroptimists International. The Rotary equivalent would be RI Zone Director.

 

The Titanic Center. It was on this spot the Titanic was built.

The Titanic main staircase

Of course they sell Titanic beer at the cafe.

The northern Ireland Parliament building.

WHAT????  YES!!!!!  Tim Hortons is available from a machine in some local Spar stores. This was in Portadown.

Monday Sept 17

Today we began from Portadown and went west across the country to Ballyshannon then turned north working our way along the coast and a tea break at a lovely hotel, then  to LetterKenny where we stayed at a 300 year old farmhouse ( see tomorrows photos).

 

Sunday Sept 16

Leaving Enniscrone we travelled eastward toward Sligo passing through Ballysadare and then on the N16 to Enniskillen. Then south along the western side of Upper Lough Erne to Butlers Bridge then up the N54 through Clones and Monaghan then on up to Armagh and finally Portadown.

Saturday

WOW! The Image of Ireland being rolling hills with green grass, grazing cows and sheep was wiped from our minds today. We left Athenry, drove around Galway and headed up the Galway Bay coast. |Little towns like Spiddle, Camas, Carna astounded us. But we soon realized why the Irish took to Newfoundland so easily. One word “ROCK”. The rolling hills became granite mountains and the fields became rock pastures. The many long rock walls became massive rock walls heading off in all directions. I cannot imagine how they built them by hand. The one thing the stuck out was the housing. If it was not new it was recently renovated. Where did all the money come from? What industry can support that sort of infrastructure. NONE! It is all European Community money. Our B&B host told us that they could borrow 120% of anything they wanted to do. Renovate the kitchen? Why not also buy a new car and the bank will even finance your insurance. They all went to more and more credit. Now Ireland is in deep problems.

Tonight we stayed at Enniscrone, just north of Ballina.

That’s all folks. Sunday will have to wait. I’m too tired.

 

Friday

Today we left Tralee and went up the coast going through Ballybunion and to Tarbert where we took the ferry across the Shannon River and took the N67 up through Kilkee and Quilty ( where I would not let Dale stop). Next we went along Galway Bay and ended in Athenry. I must say that all the B&B’s have wonderful, clean and very pleasant people.