Monday, August 1, 2011

Blog 47 - 1st August

The third week of our European holiday was spent in Ireland beginning in Limerick (which we later discovered is the drug and criminal capital of Ireland), driving arond the south, staying with our friends, Jackie and Aiden Sweeney in Athlone, in the central County of Roscommon, followed by a few days in Dublin checking out the famous writers and going to a play at the Abbey Theatre. We fluked an excellent performance of 'Translations' apparently a well known play by Brian Friel. The guy I was sitting next to had been three times before and had also read this play.

Here's a windswept me, trying to look like an Irish lassie on the Cliffs of Mohor. I don't think I do it very well - better stick with my Lebanese heritage!

This coastline of the Cliffs of Mohor reminded me very much of Tasmanian scenery - wild and green. Gorgeous! Luckily the hordes of tourists and buses are not visible in these photos. Locals tell us that this place has changed lots and has become a big destination with an excellent visitors' centre built into the hillside.

Staying with our friends, Aiden and Jackie Sweeney in Athlone, was a highlight of Ireland for us. Here we are with Jackie and one of her sons, Damien. Thank you all so much for your hospsitality, especially Aiden coming back from Germany. After not having seen each other for over ten years, catching up was a joy.

The Catholic Cathedral St Peter's in central Athlone. Can you see a theme emerging here?

Driving around Ireland on the left hand side of the road was fun and even relaxing. We had to take a photo of this very Irish sign!

The sixth century Clonmacnoise Abbey was an amazing historical site. If you are interested check out more information at this website

Athough Damien is sixth generation Irish, we saw lots of people who looked like his family in Warnambool, Australia. The main motivation for our visit to Dublin was to have a cup of tea at Bewley's. To me it was quite downmarket and we were both disappointed to be served tea bags!
Things ain't what they used to be...

One of Damien's many claims to fame is that he has read 'Uysses' by James Joyce. He did this not once, but twice, while living alone in Korea for three years between 2001 and 2004. Apart from work, what else do you do on those quiet, cold evenings in university digs? Here is a statue of the man himself in St Stephen's Green, Dublin.

About 30 minutes south of Dublin we visited Powerscourt, the largest and one of the most famous gardens in the whole of Ireland.

Here is Damien (yes, the black hat again!) in front of some guilded garden gates at Powerscourt. Stay posted for the final European chapter - England.

1 comment:

Dom said...

Just putting this out there, I like the hat.

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