Day 6 & 7- Cobh, Kinsale and Cahersiveen

Cobh.

Jack, our wonderful Irish guide took us to Cobh to view the Heritage Centre. Cobh was the last stop for the Titanic and the Heritage Centre had some great Titanic memorabilia that Louise just lapped up. We also got a quick tour around town before we dropped Jack at home and said a temporary goodbye to Jack.

Kinsale.

Stopped at Kinsale on the way to Co. Kerry and had lunch. We think it was a pretty town, except for the driving rain that made our short stay a tad uncomfortable. Decided to pull some cash from an ATM only to find the Bank of Ireland (The. Bank. Of. Ireland. no less) didn’t like the taste of Louise’s pink Visa card. The next bank we tried was fine so we had some lunch in a lovely cafe and then set Google maps to take us to Cahersiveen. This little adventure deserves it’s own H2…

The trip to Cahersiveen.

I am not sure how it happened but the trip to Cahersiveen was quite eventful. Google maps took us down some VERY dodgy ‘L’ roads for miles and miles and miles. L roads are so narrow that you occassionally have to back up to let cars past, anyhow we finally made it onto a decent motorway and I tell you, if it hadn’t een for Louise helping me keep an eye on our speed, what gear I was in and providing generally sound advice as to how to drive the f*&#ing car, we would never have found our way out.  Yes, Louise we should have bought a f*&%ing road atlas. Yes, Louise google maps doesn’t work everywhere. We could easily have ended up in Brigadoon if it wasn’t for her calm demeanour and sound advice.

<Insert Louise’s right-of-reply here>

Cahersiveen.

We finally arrived at our destination – the Final Furlong AirBnB.

…which was an absolute delight with a fantastic view out the back…

We also managed to meet Jack and Eimer and Michael for a lovely dinner at the Ring of Kerry Hotel in Caheersiven. (more pints)

Home to the Final Furlong for a well earned rest.

The following day, (after a fairly awkward shower in which I nearly lost a fairly important piece of my anatomy – let’s just say that the shower was small) our awesome guide, Jack met us far earlier than he likes to get out of bed normally and took us on a great tour of the ring of Kerry, which included catching the ferry to Valentia Island and showed us the slate quarry which included amazing views and an extraordinary Virgin Mary grotto built into the cliff face about 30m above the entrance to the quarry (to keep the miners safe)

Next it was off to the Geokaun mountains for another amazing view of the Fogher cliffs and our first view of the Skelligs (made famous in Star Wars: The Force Awakens) – and then onto Portmagee for lunch (obligatory burger for Peter). Boats leave Portmagee for day trips to Skellig Michael where people can climb to the top and pretend to be Rey handing Luke Skywalker his light sabre. However, it was quite clear that it’s not for the faint-hearted.  There were many warnings along the lines of:

It is quite steep and there are no hand rails. People have died
The steps can be very slippery. People have died
…etc

Louise decided that I would be too much of a wus to attempt such a trek, so we had an ice-cream instead.

We went in search of the famed (?) Co. Kerry Chocolate factory after lunch, but it failed to materialise (Brigadoon-like). So we ended up visiting xx and yy

before another trip up the side of a mountain at Kells Bay to visit Orla’s cousin Denise who owns the most beautiful slate cottage (house) with a view to die for. Voila!

 

Homemade scones and jam for supper, then home for another battle with the micro-shower before bed.

We packed a lot into this day!

 

 

Day 5 – Blarney

Ireland would be a great place if it wasn’t for the bloody tourists…

Went to Blarney to kiss the stone – and to catch up with Orla’s family – it was wonderful that they all made an effort to meet us! I’m pretty sure that Orla ordered them to (I have it on good authority that she’s pretty good at bossing them all around). Notwithstanding, it was still great…

More shopping in the Blarney woollen mill (three floors of irish goods – Louise was in her element and we now have enough goods (irish linen, trinkets, …etc) to post home in a post box. I bought a shirt.

Drinks and coffee with the Phelans – inluding Rose, Kieran and family – check the photos, then:

Managed to kiss the Blarney stone almost exactly 50 years after my dad did, so that was pretty cool.  Had plenty of help from Mille and Laoise’ cousin Ruby  (7 years old) getting up and down the stairs. She’s taken a particular fancy to Louise and I.

Once at the top, I had to feel sorry for the old bloke who had to repeat instructions over and over again to the tourists, but credit where credit is due, he managed to keep my shirt from riding up and making me look like a beached whale.

Another really good fun day with the AWESOME Phelans.

That night Louise and I had a memorable meal at Market Lane in Oliver Plunket street, Cork. It was genuinely great food – and I highly recommend it to anyone travelling to Cork…

Day 4 Shanagarry and Ballycotton

Strap yourselves in settle in and enjoy the ride. A bit of catching up to do…

After a morning’s shopping in Cork City (we’ll be camping on the streets at the back end of this holiday) and after nearly driving the wrong way down a one-way street (officer, I was only going one way), we managed to find Jack’s house up from somewhere along Ballyhooly rd. We met Fiona (Orla’s sister), Robbie, Lauren, Niamh Clodagh and Little Robbie.

Jack finally guided us successfully to Shanagarry where we Met Martha, Con and their daughters Rachel and Lisa for Lunch at the Kilkenny shop and Design Centre.  

Whilst we waited for a table, Louise proceeded to empty the shop of all of it’s worldy goods. I bought a cap.

Our lunch at The Kilkenny shop in Shanagarry was awesome – fresh produce beautifully presented. I had the Brie-cheese melt, which is particularly good for the diabeetus.

Next stop was Ballymaloe shop where ‘we’ proceeded to buy more goods – by which time I am thinking how on earth are we going to meet Ryanair’s strict 15Kg bag limit in a weeks time. I guess if I have to chuck my work laptop and iPad at the airport it’ll be worth it for the Irish moss-flavoured soap and the ‘luck o’ the Irish’ fridge magnet…

Anyhow, ’twas a beautiful shop and we got a potted history of Ballymaloe house from Rachel who used to work there.

Next stop was Ballycotton.  Gerard, Orla and Millie used to live here and it is the most beautiful little fishing/holiday village.  We saw Gerard and Orla’s old house and we also saw where Freya and Rhys used to go to school.  A (very) short work along the cliff walk gave us a great view of the bay and islands.

Many thanks to Michelle Fahey for putting us in touch with Martha (Michelle’s sister), Con, Rachel and Lisa. They were FAB company and we have definitely made new friends and are grateful to them for showing us around their little corner of Ireland…

Here are some pictures from today

Dublin to Cork Day 3 (Friday)

Dubai to Dublin was indeed a long day.  It’s a bit of a blur so nothing to report on other than Louise has finally ben convinced that aisle seats are the way to go.

Picking up our hire car was not too much of a drama – and we managed to get out of Dublin on the M8 motorway headed towards Cork.  We stopped for Lunch at The Kilford Arms in Kilkenny and picked up some supplies for our travels.

Google maps let us down a bit in Cork when we arrived – declaring we had arrived at our destination when we could quite clearly see our hotel across the River Lee. Cork City Hall looked a bit grand for the likes of us. 

Side Note: Louise will be guest posting soon on my difficulties with drinking black coffee from takeaway cups.

Not long after our arrival, we met Tony and Dolly, Mary, Jack, and Eimer and Ruby in the foyer of the hotel for coffee. Coffee lasted about 5 hours.  

A big thanks to Eimer and Michael for taking me out on Friday night (after coffee with the fam). Photos below of Charlies Bar and The Phoenix

Dubai Airport

TIL in Dubai: a Ceathair cheese sandwich is a cheddar cheese sandwich. We’re in lounge before the lounge. It’s going to be a long day.

Day 1 of TBA (The Big Adventure)

Pretty quiet day today – just thawing out and spent a bit of time looking in and around Clarke Quay. The trip was pretty uneventful – other than the stupid (50+ something) woman in front of Louise who kept flicking her Shirley Temple hair over the back of the seat and in front of Louise’s screen. This was a massive issue because Louise couldn’t rewatch a whole bunch of Fixer Upper episodes.  I was not allowed to hack the offending hair off with a blunt Emirates butter knife.  

Anyhow, here’s some pickchas for you to hve a look at. (BTW, there won’t be many – if any – photos that have me or Louise as the subjects…)