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Ireland, 2004   -   2004/07/31Viewed 308 times this month, last update: 2004/08/26


Today Vanessa, her family and I are off to Ireland for 10 days! We're taking Aerlingus to Dublin, then we're going to spend two days in Dublin visiting the touristy places, then we're hitting the road, visiting Belfast, Armagh, Athlone, Tullamore and Cork. Then sunday we're comming back. I'll have LOTS of pictures.

We're back!

Ireland was wonderful beyond description. The landscapes were so clean, green and breathtakingly beautiful I could not stop gasping. I filled up my camera's memory every day. The people are just wonderful, friendly, courteous and happy. I've never felt like going somewhere to be with people, hence all the desert trips, but in Ireland, I never wanted to get away. I always wanted to stay in the pubs, listening to the stories. And finally, the history of the place permeates the experience even more than the lush greenery of the land. Everywhere you look is a castle, church, ancient stone wall or tower, and buildings hundreds of years old are right next to, and surrounded by new structures. The graveyards are as much works of art as the cathedrals.

We spent eight days actually in Ireland, and after all that time, I couldn't bear to leave! Worse, I look around this truly beautiful area of California and yearn for the smogless sky, green grass, and for god sakes... a pub!

As I said, we spent eight days in Ireland. Seven of which were touring the country side (the last day was mostly in the airport):

In Dublin on the first day, we visited Christchurch


St. Patrick's Cathedral


And Kilmainham Gaul


Then, on the second day, we walked to Trinity college


and drove to the ancient Newgrange site, which is a burial tomb five tousand years old


After meeting with the rest of Vanessa's uncle's family in Belfast, and downing at least a bottle of Tulamore Dew each, on the third day we toured the western coast. First, Glenariff in the Glens of Antrim


Then Carrick-a-Rede, a tourist trap, but some of the most beautiful coastline I have seen in my life


and the Giant's Causeway, a volcanic formation, within sight of Scotland


On the fourth day, we visited the Tullamore Dew distillery, and a bit south, the Clonmacnoise graveyard


On the way back to our Bed and Breakfast from Killeen's Pub (which has the absolute greatest Irish Stew in the world) we saw for ourselves why the Irish have so many rainbow related stories


On the fifth day we drove to the Rock of Cashel


and Blarney Castle, where yes, we kissed the Blarney Stone


And on our last real day, back in Dublin, we toured the Guiness factory. I've been known to say that here, in the states, Guiness is the foulest thing you can put in your mouth, but folks, I'm here to tell you, not only is Guiness actually good in Ireland, it seems somehow "right". Here's Vanessa and her sister Rachel mid-way into their Guinesses in the Gravity Bar high over Dublin

I took over 300 good pictures in Ireland, so these are just a few of them. You can see the rest by searching for 'Ireland' in the search box.

Comments:
Kindigulous (2004-08-07): Welcome back (forcasted)! Hope you both had a great time, relaxed, visited some cool places, and brought back lots of good photos and stories.

Matt Bell (2004-08-09): Welcome back, it looks like a great trip! Nice photos, I look forward to seeing the rest!

Erik (2004-08-10): It really was. I wish I was still there. Got to go back to killeen's pub for some more stew. It's so hot, brown, dirty and smoggy here!

Mom (2004-08-11): Beautiful photos! I also look foreward to seeing the rest of them. You write so well as a travel commentator, I want to pack and go right now. Ireland is certainly on my wish list because of what you've written. Aside from the crystal clean air you describe, the contrast of the very ancient with the modern is something which is just not here in the "New world" - and is hard for us Americans to not get excited about. So glad you had a great time!

Erik (2004-08-12): The other 300 or so Ireland pictures are on-line! Simply do a search for 'Ireland' in the middle-left search box. The delay was caused by my want to rewrite the image serving back-end of the site. It's much more modular, smart and clean now. In the next couple of weeks, I'll post to the erikburrows.com source code node about the "Image Server" project, which in it's alpha form is now driving the ErikBurrows.com images.

Erik (2004-08-13): Ooops, some of the Ireland pictures got renumbered with the new image server, so we were seeing pictures of Kilmainham where it said Newgrange! I fixed them, and added some additional pictures to this article.

Jason (2004-08-16): erik- you can use a 4 letter (jpeg) extension on a linux box? nifty! Nice photo module too. Something I can never do-create my own! (code envy) Nice shots. I uploaded the raw files for you from RPs camera. check your email for the link. Cheers!

Erik (2004-08-16): Jason, yep, *nix systems allow for very long filenames with no real restrictions on extensions. ..-._# is a perfectly valid (if annoying) filename. Thanks for the compliments! The image server will get even more cool as I have time to work on it. I really look forward to implementing a complex query tool, and some kind of standardized interface protocol. Some XML thing... I don't know.

anonymous (2004-08-19): I got here quite accidentally but I couldn't just leave! what a great site you have! I also have a hunter Kitty so that should link us together somehow

Erik (2004-08-19): Thanks!

Steve Kehlet (2004-08-23): Great photos Erik... some very beautiful countryside and coastline.

Erik (2004-08-24): Thanks Steve! Yes, the landscape is beautiful beyond description. All of us kept trying to describe it all week, but always fell short.

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See also: Irish Stew, Engaged!, Canon A80 Camera, Married!

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