Waterford Crystal

A memorial to Irish born, Father Mychal Judge, who worked hard with rescue workers during 911.  The NYFD was presented with a memorial, and a 2nd one is on display at the factory in Waterford. 
 During the economic downturn, Waterford Crystal changed.  It moved it's long time factory, and scaled back in size and number of employees.  Even so, everything is still hand made.
 As you tour the factory with your guide you're to watch the craftsmen as they work.
Our golf tournament, here in Columbus has a connection to Waterford Crystal.  We were surprised to see that.  You can tour the factory, and shop (if price is no object) in the show room.  We didn't get enough time to tour the town of Waterford at all, which was disappointing to me.  It's quite an historic town dating back to The Vikings.  A quick bite to eat and time to board our Insight Tour Coach again for another adventure.

County Kildare, The Irish National STUD Gardens

Colonel William Hall Walker established The National Stud Gardens in the 1900's.  He believe you could tell how successful a horse could become on the racetrack by knowing their birthdate.  The grounds are quite pretty with flower gardens, water falls, serene bridges and lots of places to just sit and enjoy the countryside.
 Our tour explained how important breeding (covering) was throughout Irish history.  Currently their top stallion is Invincible Spirit.  Invincible Spirit was seeking protection from the rain so not in the picture.  He has fathered many champion racehorses around the globe.  At auction his offsprings can sell for millions!
 I'm sure the gardens would be prettier if you were lucky enough to visit on a day when it wasn't windy and rainy...though that's quite a trick in Ireland.  Though I did see a fairly sunny day in pictures when Queen Elizabeth was visiting.  She's a lover of horses, has been her whole life and has been here multiple times.

St. Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin Ireland

Eli Dillion
 George Bernard Shaw, known for many things, but I especially like several of his quotes:
"Life isn't about finding yourself, life is about creating yourself." 
"Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds can't change anything."
 James Clarence Mangan
 Jonathan Swift
 And more
 Honored in St. Patrick's Park (Cathedral).  So many gorgeous old cathedrals throughout the country.
 Oscar Wilde many influential people.  What a lovely way to honor and remember them in this pretty park.
A bit dark, chilly and windy as you can see how wind blown I am in the foreground.  Some of my travel companions walking about behind me.  We managed a few minutes here between the rain drops.  Would have been nice to spend a bit more time and read all the memorials, and enjoy the flowers on a prettier day.

Map of Travels, Dublin post I
Trinity College, Dublin and The Book of Kells

Trinity College, Dublin Ireland

Despite our being on The Trinity College Campus in Dublin, Ireland as part of a tour group with Insight Vacations and a local guide, there were really campus type activities going on.  These tent areas are for what they call Freshers Week.  Each area was set up so student could learn about activities and social clubs on campus.
I thought the students must think it odd, to see so many tourists day after day on their campus.  But, I suppose you get used to it after awhile.
The top of the gate/arch.  Gorgeous old buildings.
The arch, as you can see is quite large.  AND look how green the grass is, we were in Ireland after all.  A cool, windy day, as you can see from the sky.  Weather doesn't seem to stop people in Ireland from being out and about.  After leaving the campus area, we walked and toured more in the area via our coach. 

Pop back in, as we tour a beautiful park that pays homage to some of the Literary Giants who hail from Ireland.  And if you missed the previous posts abo…

Trinity College, Dublin and the Book of Kells, part I

The Brian Boru Harp or Celtic Harp which is the official emblem of Ireland.  This is taken in the long room at Trinity College in Dublin.  Trinity College was founded by charter by Queen Elizabeth in 1592.  The oldest part of the library was built between 1712 and 1732.  This is one of the world's great research libraries holding the largest collection of manuscripts and printed books in Ireland.  This harp is the oldest to survive from Ireland and they believe it dates from the fifteenth century.
 The ceiling looks like a ship.  Each section is marked by a bust.  The books are not filed alphabetically by title or by author, but by size.  Since the shelves go floor to ceiling the largest books are the first layer and with each new layer/shelf the books become smaller with the very smallest at the top.  You can see how that gives them the ability to house more books.
 One view of the very tall shelf unit.  You could get a noise bleed climbing the ladder to get a book at the top.

Touring Ireland and Scotland

This is a map of our travels through Ireland, North Ireland and Scotland.  Counting the day to travel there, and the day to travel back, this was a 15 day tour with Insight Tours.  The tour started in Dublin, then went south and then traveled along the coast, upward through the Ring of Kerry, northward again on the coast, inland a bit to Limerick and back to the coast, northward to Sligo Bay.

On day 9, we left Ireland crossed into Northern Ireland only briefly though.  Spent one night there and then across to Scotland via a ferry from the Port of Larne, docking in Cairnryan, Scotland.

In Scotland you can follow the path northward, along the coast often up to Inverness before heading southward to Edinburgh.

We traveled approximately 6,925 air miles, 25 ferry miles from Northern Ireland to Scotland and if the map I plotted on line is right maybe 4,000 ish in our jaunting around?  I need someone better with maps than me to look at it. 

Our tour guide, Robbie with Insight Vacations is a …

Vacationing Could be a Walk Away.

Been ages since I've posted on this blog, life has been entirely too busy.  A little kick start from a mini type of travel.  Over The Labor Day Weekend we attended the annual UA Arts Festival.  Spotted this unusual flower that requires no watering, no fertilizers, and no weeding!  AND it's made of re-cycled stuff.  Click to enlarge and take a look.  I love how at a time when things are turning drab in the yard with flowers gone I can still have a flower blooming.
Last year, at the same Arts Festrival I added the little bird sitting on a robin blue egg, and the year before Martini Drinking Toad.  These are positioned such that I can see them well from my kitchen window over the sink so I get lots of enjoyment from them.  One lone yellow Stella De Ora trying to photo bomb my yard

There are many different types of travels, some are close at hand, right in your own neighborhood.  Look up your cities calendar of events and take in these little mini vacation…