Posted in Experiences, Inspiration, Travel

First blissful European trip will make you worry…

Going through customs in Shannon Ireland. It’s all a bit scary, but also exciting! We left NYC at 10:30 PM and arrived in Ireland at 5:30 AM. I didn’t sleep on the flight, instead watched the flight monitor while tightly gripping my arm rest, the whole way.
It’s best not to think about being over the Atlantic Ocean for 5 hours during the flight. Movies help!
There’s no doubt when you finally descend close enough to see the ground that your in Ireland. Look how Green and lush it it! Beautiful!
When we landed, we were greeted with a traditional Irish breakfast. Holy smokes! I had coffee instead.
We rented a house on Clew Bay and watched the tides come and go for 2 weeks.
This is the house we stayed in for 2 weeks.
We looked across the inlet at a small farm with sheep (of course) cows and horses. And they had a friendly dog who came to say hi when we checked it.
We took walks from the house when the tide went down. Exploring small farms and inlets.
And picked wild Blackberries that grew everywhere.
Westport House is an old English Manor on an estate which is now open to the public as a museum. I’m curious about the history of Ireland/Europe and learning more each day.
While we were there, the Harvest Country Music Festival, Miranda Lambert
headlining at the Westport House estate.
We also drove to Dublin for a Gaelic Football game at Croke Park, the largest arena in Ireland. Co Mayo was competing in the finals. Unfortunately, they didn’t win.
Croke Park, Dublin, Ireland.
I have to be honest, the hardest part for me was adjusting to driving on the left side of the road. I didn’t drive during our visit, but had a hard time relaxing while driving for the first week. And you can see how narrow the roads are. The shoulder is at most, 10 inches wide and rock walls line most of the roads. So as a passenger, you see the grass and rock walls coming at you on the left. It takes getting used to!
Besides driving on the left side of the road, the road signs are all in Gaelic and English.
We took a day trip to Connamara and Killary Harbour. So Green and beautiful!
Keel Beach on Achill Island.
The Wild Atlantic Drive follows the coast on the West side of Ireland. Because Ireland is an island, the coast is rocky and dramatic in many places.
The town of Westport is charming and historic.  You see it shown in many tourism ad’s for Ireland. Irish natives like visiting Westport for “holiday” 
I prefer wine, but had to sip a pint at a local pub to get the full experience.
Bertra Strand, with Crogh Patrick (holy mountain) in the distance.
A bunch of rocks on the beach. I think it’s beautiful!
We walked out on to Bertra Strand and enjoyed the grassy peninsula with rocky borders. It was windy, but comfortable enough to spend a couple hours out there.
We visited several abbey’s. Stone is used abundantly, as Ireland is basically a rock island and it’s the easiest material to get. This is in the town of Cong, where The Quiet Man with John Wayne was filmed.
Stone ruins are everywhere. At first, I was taking pics of all the stone buildings, but eventually realized that stone is as common as sagebrush in my hometown. However, I still think its beautiful, historic and certainly durable! These walls and buildings are over a Thousand years old!
An old Abbey and graveyard. See the grave headstones flat on the ground?
These buildings are so amazing and spectacular.
An old Monk’s fishing house on the river near Cong.
Ashford Castle is a world destination and has a long and rich history. Being American I think 200 years is old, but in Ireland, the history goes back thousands of years.
A local favorite is a “99”. Ice cream cone with a flake of chocolate stuck in it! Yum!
More stonework in Westport.
A hike at Old Head Beach on the cliffs.
Kylemore Abbey. We got there too late to go in, but will try again next time!
You still see thatched roofs on some buildings. It’s an old art of tying reeds tightly together to form a roof. This one is on the Wild Atlantic Drive near Achill Island.

Author:

Hi! Life after my career has begun and I invite you to join me for adventures in retirement!

3 thoughts on “First blissful European trip will make you worry…

  1. Fascinating pictures and dialog of your trip to Ireland. A most enjoyable travel experience. Would love to go there someday. So nice when you have the time and means to get out and about. thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

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