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Six years of adventure with pics to prove it.

Dublin:Denver

Filed under: Endings,Ireland,Trains and Planes — she_travels at 3:00 pm on Saturday, October 27, 2007

One truly needs to get in just the right frame of mind for long distance travel. Be it trains, planes, cars, bikes or boats…ya really gotta get your gray matter rolling in the right direction.

I have been traveling alone for some years, I think I do pretty well given enough time. I am one of those show “up at the appointed place early and read” people, instead of scheduling so close all I can think of is “Do I have enough time?”

The flight was leaving Dublin at something close to 8am. It is recommended that passengers arrived at the airport at least three hours before takeoff. I had only been to the airport in Dublin once, eight weeks ago and had no memory past the ATM machine location and the bus pad. I needed all the time I could muster to get sorted out once arriving at the airport never mind the silly things that can happen on the way. So….

I was awake at 3:00am (Dublin time), showered, dressed and packed by 3:30. I choose the hostel I was in for the location, 15 minutes walking distance from the town down bus station with a direct non stop bus to the airport every 30 minutes starting at 4:30am.

SideNote –  It is currently October 27th. I was leaving Ireland the 19th of June. I still! have a very clear memory,  when walking into the bus station,  of never having had been there before. Why you ask, why is this of import? Cause I had! been there before. Let me remind you,   I left Colorado February 3rd, spent three months in Honduras house sitting then hopped a  flight Roatan > Atlanta arriving at 930p(over night) the next morning (6am )for LA. Three days in the LA area then jumped another plane to Dublin with a connection in Chicago. Seven hours after plopping down in my coach seat in Chicago I was in Dublin about 7am in the morning. I then found the ATM machine, had some local currency in my hand, got exact change for the bus to  YES!!  to this station I have no memory of. Could be cause I was only there long enough to buy a bus ticket to Galway. Or pick any excuse that comes to mind.

The point being I was standing on the threshold of the down town Dublin bus station at 445 in the morning staring about like a complete tourist with an on going escalating panic growing in my head. *I was here before, why do I not remember it. If I don’t remember it can it be the right place. What time is it. 345..see plenty of time…why do I not remember! Wait, hold on maybe it doesn’t matter…if there is a bus to the airport from here it  doesn’t matter. What time is it! 345…Ok, Ok  calm down. No worries, information just there see it…take a breath.. you have plenty of time. *

As you can see all of this happen in the space of no time at all but I can tell you when I walked in that place I was freakin out cause of the whole long distance travel nutties perfectly normal people lapse into when traveling long distance.

The info people were very nice just as they had been in all of the info place around Ireland. “Yes, there is a direct bus from here to the airport, do you see the sing just outside the door there, yes they start running at 430. You have about a 45 minutes wait.”

I turned to find a place to sit, took a deep breath and realized I remember the place. *Of course, I got off the bus there eight weeks ago, walked to that ticket station, used that wacky Internet access, sat there so I could see the bus pad to Galway.”*  Perception what a wacky arse thing that is!

While I was considering where I was going to sit,  I saw a bus pull up to the pad.  I trotted over to ask if he was going to the airport. He said indeed he was,  the price is six euro. I gave him the money, found a spot for my bag and me then took a look at my watch. 4am. woohoo 30 minutes early.

For those of you who have never been to the Dublin airport….if at all possible go to Shannon instead. I have not been to the Shannon airport but it has GOT to be better than the one in Dublin.  This place!! Zoo doesn’t even begin to cover the chaos that is the check in area. The airline check in desks line opposite walls. This may sound like it makes since but all the people lined up to check in were mixed up in the middle. I could not tell what people were in what line with what airline. It may be if one was looking from above one could tell other wise…  I don’t remember seeing a sign that said Delta, just people dressed in Delta colors and Delta labels. They are very helpful. “Yes this is where you need to be but no we are not checking in your flight yet. You should come back in about 30 minutes, we are not yet checking in your flight.”

I have never been asked to wait to check in at any airport…I was a bit confused, confusion turned to annoyed when I could not find anyplace with in sight of check in to sit. I am not saying all the seats were taken…there are none. I asked some random uniformed person where the nearest seating was. He said “downstairs”. I found the stairs and realized I was in baggage claim staring at the ATM machine from eight weeks before. Being the good little tourist I plopped myself in a seat to watch people for the next 30 minutes.

Tired of typing I am..I will get back to this soonest!

Dublin Dart

Filed under: Educational,Ireland,Photos,Trains and Planes — she_travels at 3:26 pm on Friday, October 26, 2007

The DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transit) is the rail line running along the coast of Dublin, from Howth southwards as far as Greystones. Bray is the stop just before Graystones. I had heard about Graystones on a house hunting show while house sitting in Sligo,  it was also on my list of places to see.

I got on the train at Connolly station downtown Dublin about half way between  Howth at the north end and Graystones at the other end. I had to choose a direction,  to Bray it was.

I musta followed my nose when the train stopped in Bray cause I found the beach fairly fast.

Reminds me of New Castle with the beach and mountain. This area also had a sorta Coney Island feel to it. The closer I got to that “stuff” down there the more it felt this way. I have no idea where the pics, if I took any are. There were very few people out that morning. It was Monday and a bit wet. I wandered through going back inland thinking it should not be hard to find “town” and a sandwich.

I was pretty much lost-ish by the time I happen upon this….

I had been wandering Ireland for close to seven weeks by this time…this was the first of these I had seen.

Cool huh?

Graystones had a much smaller feel…the train station was between the main street and the beach…

Then…..

I found this….yeah that purple stuff was all over the place. Oops.

Back on the train I was looking forward to seeing more of the bay and the other end of the track. We were moving pretty fast and there was nothing close to a smooth ride so …no pics.

Howth…I am telling ya people,  Howth is a place to see. What a delightful little place this is!

My mission in Howth was to locate a library to email a few people letting them know I planned to be in the States the next evening. Following the road toward what looked to be the main part of town on one side and the sea of the other I came across a sign indicating the library was up the hill. Part way up the incline I realized the bit below near the sea was for the tourists and the bit above where I was headed was more of town.

The library was a cute little place with plenty of people coming and going…a single computer in the corner with no one seated. I asked the young guy behind the counter if I could have a quick go at the internet. He said, “Yes, but I have someone coming to use it in ten minutes. Is that enough time?” I assured him it would be. Once finished I asked if he had any suggestions on walking trails about. He was kind enough to dig out a couple of maps and point me in the right direction, or what we thought would be the right direction.

I promptly found myself in a housing area unsure of what direction to go. I could see the ocean so I was far from lost but still. There was a gentlemen in his driveway to my right, he looked to be on his was out some where. He must have noticed I was unsure.

“The path is just past that second street light pole, do you see it?”

“Ahh yes, thank you so very much.” Perhaps I was in the right place after all.

The view from just past the light post. As you can see the weather has cleared some from Graystones to Howth. You can just see the rock formation in the back of this photo, that was where I was headed.

Walking along I saw these a few fisher persons.

Nice Coast line yes?

When I arrived at the end of the street I noticed a man sitting on the rock wall. I asked if he was fishing. He said “No, selling weights.” With the accent I was unsure if I heard what I did so I asked. “What does that mean?” He suggested I take a seat next to him and he would show me. Sure enough the guy melts lead, pours it into molds, cools it then packs up all his toys to bring to this place where people fish. He was a delightful old guy.

I noticed this building on the way back.

There are many buildings built very close to the road like this..I was not paying much attention to this one until…..

I saw this….and the round bit caught my eye.

Poet’s house…now..why did I not know this?

Once round the other side of the bend you could see the water side and understood why they built it as they did.

See the long white house along the edge of the bluff?

There are also two images of town-ish.

Yes, I climbed yet another hill to get a view.

A perfect last picture of Ireland. The new mixed with the old. This view is just left of the one above.

Next up.. the travel crazies from Ireland to Denver all in the space of a waking twenty-four hours.

Dublin

Filed under: Ireland,Photos,Trains and Planes,Walks — she_travels at 2:10 pm on Friday, October 26, 2007

As some of you know, I had a standby ticket (space available) on Delta to get my person back to Colorado. I was hoping to hop a plane long about the 26th to be back for two clients leaving town the 29th of June.  Good thing I starting checking the number of seats available two weeks before I wanted to fly. My best bet for an airline trip over that big blue puddle was the 19th of June. I was a bit disappointed in this cause I had not seen any of the southwest of Ireland, this being where many a person say is the best. Not to worry though, it’s a grand reason to pop on back to see the friends I made the first trip.

I had a chance to chat with a Delta agent via telephone while in Cork to get the load down on how the whole standby things works. The last time I flew standby I was much younger and there were no computers to help.

Having  the protocols firmly in mind I sorted my stuff out and walked down to the Cork bus station. I was so very pleased to find a price special for Cork/Dublin.  Half the normal price..woohoo. The bad bit was I think it was a five hour drive or some crazy thing. The buses left every hour on the hour. When buying the ticket I asked if I could hop off at any given spot then hop back on the next bus an hour later just to break it up some.  Sadly, that was not do-able for the special price.  Bummer.

Dublin,  I can tell you maybe two things about it…MAD HOUSE! There are stacks and stacks of people every where. Yeah, I have pics to prove it. Mind you this was a Sunday afternoon.

People!

People…

People…whew…  I needed to get out. Before I did I snapped a few more pics.

To go with all those persons going to and fro ya need police. Can’t miss this guy  huh?

I was in Dublin for all of a few hours before I decided to go back to the hostel, find a way to wash some clothes and then find some thing to do other than walk Dublin the next day. I was in luck, while doing laundry I was talking to a couple gals who had taken the green train (commuter)to out lying areas. Sounded good to me..anything to get me out!

Finding the train station the next morning was a breeze I followed the tracks. Upon location of the ticket window I asked the ticket master “If you could go any where on this line where would it be?”

He did not hesitate to say “Bray”.

I smiled and said “One return ticket please,” Then paused to ask “Is it possible to get off the train before Bray, then get back on later to resume my trip?.”

He said “No, but you could buy a day pass. It allows you to get off and on as many times as you wish. The difference in price is only three euro.”

“Thank you so much, that is exactly the thing to do.”

Cork

Filed under: Ireland,Photos — she_travels at 9:47 am on Wednesday, October 24, 2007

As I remember it I was only in Cork one afternoon and part of the next morning.

They do this very cool thing in Ireland.  It seems to me the major shopping areas are all pedestrian ways. In every town I was in there was at least one street which was only walkable. This is one of the many in Cork. It was a Saturday afternoon. This pic was taken more for the church in the back but the more I look at it..it’s another example of very old and fairly new all in the same image.

McDonald’s anyone? Cool building  no?

Street performers. See the orange hat to the right? I gave one of the children  a coin or two to toss in the hat for me.

This image is tougher to figure than it seemed at the time I took it. There really were a ton of people about but if you try really hard you can see the very long line had formed starting at the ATM machine. The machine is in the large greenish wall behind the guy in gray with the cell phone. Follow that left to the guy in light and dark blue, the the guy closest to the gray just to the left on the…any who I think I counted 14 people in line for the ATM.

All kinds of hustle and bustle on the streets. In the left -ish corner just below the green trees you can see a single building with several colors. The dark blue bit was the Hostel I was staying in. Very nice place with nice people and free internet…gotta love that when it runs between one and two euro for 15 minutes.

I snapped this mostly for Mosher, its  all about the new and the old. Crazy stone brick building coming down and build another around and about it.

I just though this a very cool building.

Shall we check out Dublin next?

Ireland Continued…

Filed under: Coach Tours,Ireland,Photos — she_travels at 9:22 am on Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Well then, look at me…whew! Long wait huh guys?

I am in Colorado again house sitting with a couple of horses and a very silly cat by the name on Biskit. More on the house, horses and kitty later. Now…whew, now on with Ireland.

Last was the beehive loop, a grand romp in the hills behind Cahersiveen with the sheep and the ever changing weather that is Ireland.

As with other places in Ireland this/that time year (before peak season) I had to take a tour bus out.

One side of the parking lot he stopped in and…

The other. You can sorta see, in the right hand corner, what is left of one of the many “Ring Forts’ that dot the country side of Ireland.

From one of the many web sites about Ireland…

“A ring fort is, in its simplest form, a circular space surrounded by a bank, with possibly a fosse or ditch outside the bank. The typical ring fort was used as a dwelling-place, and would have contained one or more simple houses made of upright wooden posts interlaced with a wattle-and-daub lattice construction. At night the domestic animals would have been herded into the enclosure through a gap in the bank, which would have been closed by means of a simple gate or other barrier.”

I wish I could remember the name of the next town the bus stopped in. Or maybe I have it blocked out cause of all the people. Whew, I do not like feeling the tourist but some days when you are one… when I stepped off the bus I saw no less than eight tour coaches, several shops selling post cards and so many people eating Ice Cream I thought I was in Estes Park, Colorado. Whew! that place was tourist-ville.

I walked the opposite direction from the shops and found this cool bridge they built into the rock.

The view while standing in the bridge. That crazy tourist town/strip of building is not any distance to the left of me yet there ya have what looks to be the wilds of Ireland. How can you not like a place like this?

This photo is tough to see do to the tinted window of the bus and the reflection of what looks like a printed sign in the bus. I took this photo to show just how close the Irish live to their history. That is a Murphy’s beer advertisement painted on the side of a building. Behind it, the ruin of a castle.

These last two images are taken from a place along the”Ring of Kerry” called “Ladies View”. If you remember back to the Gap of Dunloe post these are the lakes I was in viewed from above. They are not as clear as one would like but…after all it rains in Ireland.

Beenhive Loop

Filed under: Ireland,Photos,Walks — she_travels at 12:05 pm on Monday, July 9, 2007

It was not really called the Beenhive Loop but it was something very close. Since I can’t remember the real name… I have looked on all the maps I have but… no loop.

I got up the next morning feeling not great but ok. My Momma always says “exercise fixes everything” I had been on and off of buses for several days, perhaps a bit of a walk would sort me out.

I set out in the direction one of the maps the info lady gave me suggested. The weather was promising to be typical Ireland, alternating wetness, rain, overcast and if I was lucky I might get a ray of sunshine.

Just past the market I found a sign saying Beenhive Loop. This was not on the map I had but loops are always good in my book. The idea of turning around has always rubbed me the wrong way. I was not sure if this loop was the one the info lady had been talking about but I had all day so…why not.

Being a loop one could travel either direction. I didn’t think much about which way I would go, my feet took me left.  I was following a black top road up a hill, it turned to dirt just before coming to a huge fence with signs saying “no entry”. I stood there for a moment in the rain wondering where on earth my loop had gone, when I saw there were two fences to the left … one could walk between them. When the wire fence on my left changed to rock I could see the village behind me.

Cahersiveen, the water is a inlet of the sea.

Looking to my right from the same spot above.

The road, both dirt and black top, were gone..this was when I realized I had found my kinda walk. See the path up and over what was once a rock wall?

Cool..huh?

I came out of the tree area above to find this.

And this.

Then realized I was in a rather large open field..what now? I had walked over a stiles to get into the field. I could see the brown post with a walking person in yellow on it but where did the path lead?

Hmm ya can’t really see it in this pic but a the far end of this field is this…

This was when I understood…the loop is marked with brown posts and stiles. I started looking for both along the way.

Another change in path.

Ireland on the whole is so civilized. This sign doesn’t say “Keep Out” or “No Trespassing”. It just suggests that you beware the bull.

One of my arty pictures. I snapped this for mom who has always had a thing about dead trees.

More open field, valley and mountain.


Rock wall with Fushia covering it… there are many a sheep on the other side.

I loved this spot. Overgrown rock walls on either side. The blurry bits are rain drops on the lens of the camera.

You can just see the Dingle Peninsula under the clouds.

I liked the look of the low clouds coming off the trees. By the by – all the pine trees are forest land. They plant, grow, harvest, replant and start all over.

The contrast of the flowers and the blueish mountain were worth a click of the camera.

Even the trees don’t mind growing on rock walls.

You can’t tell just how steep this hill is but I had just climbed up the rock path. At this point I was only half way up the hill.

Look sunshine!! woohoo

The path I had come up was along the bit of pine tree up the hill, then following what you can just make out as a fence line. This still was not the top. The good news….

The view from the top was worth it.

And worth it..

And worth it. That is Valentia Island out there.

Just me and the sheep on the top of the hill.

Gotta love a view!

Cahersveen from the other side of the hill/mountain.

Going down the other side. The ground is so wet and the grass so deep it springs back to your feet,  like a grass covered trampoline.

The whole of the loop took me 4.5 hours. It was such fun, I had rain and wind, I had sunshine and stillness. I was hopping down the hills giggling. Seems my Momma was right “Exercise fixes everything” Though ice cream comes a close second with mom.

Cahersiveen

Filed under: Coach Tours,Ireland,Photos — she_travels at 10:10 am on Monday, July 9, 2007

I was so disappointed with the communication between myself and the people in Dingle, I decided I would get out two days before I had originally thought. I did not see the magic dolphin. I did get on a local bus to Tralee connecting to Cahersiveen on the Ring of Kerry.

There was a two hour wait in Tralee. The luggage storage was 4 euro for any amount if time and the only place within walking distance was Dunnes. Dunnes is a Target with a Safeway in the basement. Some times the two are combined in the same building sometimes they are a block apart..sometimes ya never do find the other bit. This one was more Target than anything else.I had sandwich makings with me so I bought a knife to slice bread and spread mayo.

Back at the bus station I found a spot out of the rain to make a sandwich…I had water with me as well. People were looking at me a bit funny but I was hungry. I would have liked a cup of tea with milk but had no way to heat water. Nor had I milk.

The bus from Tralee only went as far as Killorglin. I had to get off to wait on a bus coming from Killarney to get to Cahersiveen. Did I mention everything begins and ends in Killarney?

I had arranged a hostel in Cahersiveen while waiting on the bus in Tralee. Good on me..huh? The hostel was almost directly across from where the bus stopped. As I always do, I dropped my bag on the bed after checking in and popped down the street looking for something saying information. I wanted to know two things, was the local bus running the Ring of Kerry and were there any good walks about.

I found the library first. This was a good thing cause often times you can use their computers for free. Indeed this was one of those, 50 minutes for free daily. They also pointed me in the direction of the information place.

Not any distance down the main street I found the building I was looking for. The information lady was very nice. She called the local bus people to find out the Ring of Kerry bus route didn’t start for another week (high season in Ireland is July and August). Not to worry plan B was to ring the tour company I used to get to Dingle..see if they are going the same direction, if they would stop to pick me up and what would it cost. I didn’t know at this point how long I wanted to stay in Cahersiveen so I was holding off on calling.  The info lady also gave me several maps of walks in the area.

Later that evening I was felling pretty crummy, not at all wanting to go anywhere or do anything so…I crawled into bed with a book and read for many an hour. I think I was still bent out of shape from the odd experience with the crabby people in Dingle.

No worries, I was armed with maps and energy the next morning.

Shop Fronts

Filed under: Ireland,Photos — she_travels at 2:43 pm on Saturday, July 7, 2007

Speaking of….

Dingle Peninsula

Filed under: Coach Tours,Ireland,Photos — she_travels at 2:40 pm on Saturday, July 7, 2007

The bus system in Ireland is a bit lacking in spots, you may have noticed this from past posts. Hey, by the way while doing the research for the Dingle Pen I found out there is a  bus once a week to Tarbert. No wonder no one knew where the stop was..it’s an after thought.

The evening of the day I went to the Gap of Dunloe I sat for hours trying to figure out the best way to see most of the Dingle Peninsula. Several people came over to see what I was up to, being pointed my direction from the desk person at the hostel. The bus system doesn’t do any of that part of Ireland, I would have gone by way of my thumb but I was running out of time so… I decided to ask the tour companies if there was any flexibility to them much like those in the Connemara. Sadly what I found out was…sure you can get off the bus and get back on but every time we have to save you a seat you have to pay us again, full price. Bummer!

I thought about hiring a car but since I had no idea when I would be back to Killarney besides car rental was around 50 euro a day plus some wacky insurance…that was a me no can do.

Plan C became…hop a tour coach to Dingle while seeing the bits I could not get to in a bus, stay a few days then take a bus to Catherciveen, hang a few days then hitch a ride to see the remainder of the Ring of Kerry on a tour coach.

Inch Beach…its truly huge!

This picture was taken from inside the bus…its kinda cool. The reason I had a moment to click the camera, there was a very large truck coming down the hill we, in the coach, were going up. It took an amount of time to get the two big vehicles sorted out.

Begging Seagull ~ Nice view

Another pic through the coach window…look at the island…do you see it?

Fuchsia…lots of Fuchsia.

Dingle town.

They have a famous Dolphin in Dingle Harbour, the reason for this shop front. If ever in Dingle…go see him, I am told he is a hoot to watch on a good day. I didn’t stay in Dingle as long as I had planned cause I just was not getting on with the locals.  More about Fungi below.

In 1984, a young bottle-nosed dolphin started to appear at the mouth of Dingle Harbour. The now world-famous dolphin has remained in Dingle since, and has become both a friend to the locals and a great “attraction” for visitors.

Christened “Fungi” by the local fishermen, the male dolphin lives and plays within a small area at the mouth of Dingle Harbour, overlooked by the lighthouse. A small cave under the cliffs at Burnham is thought to be his home, and from dawn till late night, Fungi is always around to welcome boats, trawlers and yachts to the Town.

He is a curious and friendly animal, and has been photographed bringing gifts to divers of still living fish, clasped gently within his jaws. But to show his freedom, Fungi never accepts gifts from divers, or fish thrown from returning trawlers.

Fungi rarely ventures far from the mouth of the harbor, a fact that has baffled scientists and specialists. A simple explanation given is that at the time of his arrival, the body of a young female bottle-nose was washed up locally. Dolphins are thought to show great fidelity in their relationships, and may only have one mate for life. Every June and July, schools of dolphins are to be seen in the area, although usually further offshore, and once or twice Fungi has been seen playing with these groups. His much-publicized fling with a young dolphin, named Smokey, was expected to cure his love sickness. Unfortunately, Smokey left, and Fungi stayed.

It is rare that humans can interact with these beautiful animals, but Fungi has swam and jumped and played with us. He has remained wild and free, existing in his own area at the mouth of Dingle Harbour, playing in the bow waves of boats and launching himself out of the water to startle and excite the crowds. He has warmed the hearts of the thousands of people that have traveled from near and far to see and swim with him.

Gap of Dunloe

Filed under: Ireland,Photos — she_travels at 2:00 pm on Saturday, July 7, 2007

Killarney is the jumping off point for many a tour. Both the Dingle Peninsula and the ever famous Ring of Kerry begins and ends in Killarney. Ahh, but the tour I am about to tell you about was more adventure than tour, this would be the way I like my tours…hidden in a bit of excitement.

So..on to the Gap of Dunloe.

1st up ~ The three lakes ~ Lower Ross, Muckross and Upper Ross.

After a short vintage car ride to Ross Castle, we are pointed in the direction of the water. At the lake there are several other people choosing seats in what seems a smallish boat. In the boat I was directed to,  were four Germans and their bikes in the front, two Germans with their daughter,  an English couple and the Irish boat driver. I choose a seat in the middle behind the bikes so I could face forward.

From the boat, looks like rain…

The guide told us we were going up, around and to the other side of this mountain range.

Meeting of the lakes… Lower, Upper and Muckross. Cool old bridge huh?

Yes, I really was with other people in a boat.  Nice spot, huh? The guide asked us to get out and walk while he maneuvered the boat under the bridge.

Seems to me Leprechauns should live in this place.

I liked the sun on the water. This was a bit of river between the upper and lower lakes.

They tossed us out of the boat about 2 hours later. This is looking back the way we had come from a place called Lord Brandon’s cottage. Lunch was offered for a price, I brown bagged it.

Me..and trees!

Just past this tree,  there are four  Jaunting Carts waiting. We are loaded in to the carts, off and away through the Gap of Dunloe.

Yes, it was raining but not so much did I care. This was looking back the way we had come.

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