Friday, June 3, 2011


I visited Ireland last week and fell in love. It's been my dream to visit since childhood and it was everything I'd imagined...with a little more rain than I like. Green is truly in my blood. Here are some of the memories from the trip. England and Scotland updates to follow soon!
The trip got off to a rough start. The GPS wouldn't work. Our phone was about to shut off when we traveled from England to Ireland. Shanna forgot her license and they almost didn't let us rent our car. We were those Americans at the Ireland airport and provided entertaining dinner conversation for the Irish employees at the car rental place who told us a GPS was pointless anyway because none of the roads are marked or have signs. It was a fun adventure.

It rained the WHOLE time we were in Ireland. Truly the Emerald Isle. But we rolled with it and had a great time. In Galway, we were caught in a sudden downpour on the beach and were completely soaked to the bone by the time we found our way back to our Bed and Breakfast.

 Our first stop on our tour through the Irish countryside was Galway, a coastal town and the ancestral home of the Lynch's. Galway is known as the City of the Tribes. Back in the day, the Lynch family was one of the top 3 most prominent families and and over 40 Lynch's were mayors in this town. Lynch is Gaelic for "mariner" or "seafarer" and the family motto is Semper Fidelus...always faithful.

Welcome to Lynch castle, located in the heart of Galway town center. It was actually the townhouse and the family castles were located outside the city. It is now a bank.

We decided it was only appropriate to eat lunch and warm up with some tea at Lynch's cafe. Both were delicious.

There is nothing dreary about Ireland. They live life in vibrant color, especially on the seaside. These are shops in the Galway city center.

This is Lynch's window. Apparently one of my ancestors way back in the day, a mayor at the time, hung his guilty son on this spot and the town commemorated his courage and justice with this memorial. Can't seem to get away from that hanging connection.

This was on the beach in Galway Bay right before the torrential downpour.  We were told by our tour guide (an old Irish man who told us our whole family history and sang "The Yellow Rose of Texas" when he found out where we were from) that in October the sky turns a crimson color at sunset and the water is a deep turquoise. Beautiful!

Bunratty Castle. We loved our time in the village around the castle. They remodeled the cottages to symbolize the homes of the serfs who once lived and worked there. 

Once again, they were bright colors and set in deep green woods. Each house symbolized a different trade. This was the fisherman's cottage. I LOVED the thatched rooms and the earthy smell of the fire place.

The beautiful Cliffs of Moher. Cows grazed on the hills and the water was a deep turquoise color before it smashed against the rocks. It was REALLY windy but I enjoyed exploring the hills.

I loved this place!

King John's castle in Limerick.
Blarney Castle. Home of the famous Blarney Stone. It is said that if you hang upside down and kiss the stone then you will forever be blessed with the gift of blarney, or insulting someone in a round about, unoffensive way. We decided not to kiss the stone that has had millions of lips on its surface. Kinda gross.

So instead of kissing the Blarney Stone, we explored the Wishing Steps. The grounds of Blarney Castle are said to be magical. The Wishing Steps are bewitched. If you walk up and down the steps backwards with your eyes closed and don't fall while thinking of a single wish, your wish will come true within a year. We had fun trying to do this on uneven steps that go into a tunnel. Always an adventure.

No comments:

Post a Comment