Killorglin: flies, a spider, a moving bed, and a French couple!

This is post #11 of a blog series I’m writing including pictures of the recent amazing trip I took with our precious, beautiful daughter Leah. Here are posts:

#1, My daughter Leah and I went to Ireland,

#2, Ireland: Dreams Come True,

#3, We visited Bunratty Castle in Ireland,

#4, Bunratty Folk Park: the waterfall, the lamb, and the fairy village,

#5, The Gorgeous Cliffs of Moher,

#6, Galway Girl,

#7, Galway Girl, Part 2,

#8, Treacherous Corkscrew Hill, and

#9, The ferry in Kerry County.

#10, Torc Waterfall

We took so many pictures with our phones that I need to break up the posts, to make it easier for you to read, as I know you live a busy, hectic life like mine and you don’t have lots of spare time!

I hope these blogs inspire and bless you. I thank my Lord Jesus Christ, who made this amazing opportunity and prayer possible.

The recent trip I made to Ireland with my precious daughter Leah for the first time in our lives was incredible. I had booked our trip through Great Value Vacations, choosing their B & B’s package, which I believe was the right choice. It allowed us to travel throughout the southwest of Ireland at different Bed & Breakfast places.

I read lots of reviews to decide which ones to stay at as we traveled in a direction that resembled a Shepherd’s Hook. Every one of them was immaculately clean, with a full Irish breakfast served in the morning and tea/coffee and cookies in the afternoon to welcome us there.

Road in Killorglin
Road in Killorglin

There was only one B & B that we stayed at where I couldn’t wait to leave! It was in the town of Killorglin, which is located in County Kerry, located on the famous Ring of Kerry and The Wild Atlantic Way. It is founded on the River Laune, known for its salmon and trout fishing, and the Reeks District is renown for outdoor activities, mountain walks, and sports activities.

I loved the canopy of green trees driving to this B & B, pictured above, as well as the unusually beautiful roses in the driveway. It was beautiful.

gorgeous roses
gorgeous roses

 

yellow roses
yellow roses

There were palm trees and beautiful, majestic, blue-purple mountains in the background. It was one of the prettiest places we visited.

mountains
mountains

The owners of this B & B near Killorglin had a sheep farm; they had a sheep dog, a breed of dog that Leah loves. To my amusement, they also had a cat that looked just like my black cat Natalya. She even had green eyes and the little tuft of white hair on her chest like Natalya’s!

sheepdog
sheepdog

 

The cat in Ireland that looks just like my black cat Natalya!
The cat in Ireland that looks just like my black cat Natalya!

 

black cat in Ireland
black cat in Ireland

I noticed a pretty topiary plant at the entrance of the front door, which are plants pruned or shaped into certain forms. To me, this was a symbol of the entire house’s decor: elegant.

topiary plant
topiary plant

As soon as we knocked on the door of this B & B and entered the house, though, I noticed right away one disturbing thing: flies. HUGE flies–everywhere! Maybe it’s because this was a sheep farm. Leah said it was because they had the front door open when we first arrived. I assume this was to let in fresh, cooler air; most places in Ireland don’t have central air and heat.

Even though there are flies in the United States, LOL, and we have had flies in our house at times if the door is left open (especially in summer), the flies left a really bad first impression in my mind. I tried to just ignore them and be gracious, mindful that I was leaving an impression too–as a guest and an American.

The hostess was wonderful and so welcoming. She had tea and cookies for our arrival, as did the other B & B hostesses. However, she didn’t have enough tea and sugar set out for us. I wondered about this, as she knew we were coming (along with other guests there).

The room she gave us was beautiful: two single beds, as I had requested. It had large windows letting in the sunlight, and the decor was in beautiful, lacy white.

Killorglin B & B
Killorglin B & B

In fact, the room was so beautiful and clean and WHITE that I was afraid to touch anything. I didn’t want to dirty it with our muddy boots!

white lace
white lace

 

white satchel with lavender
white satchel with lavender

Leah was intrigued with the pretty lamp with faux glass on our table beside the beds, that resembled a chandelier.

"chandelier" lamp
“chandelier” lamp

We brought in our luggage and settled into our room, and then decided to go into the town of Kilorglin, which was only a few kilometers away. Leah really liked the fine dining restaurant that we went to there. They were so polite to us and seemed to go out of their way to serve us well. It also had a very nice atmosphere.

Restaurant in the town of Killorglin
Restaurant in the town of Killorglin

 

Killorglin restaurant table lamp
Killorglin restaurant table lamp

They had HUGE cheeseburgers, which we both got. As usual, it was served with some type of potato, so we chose French fries. We noticed that a small, fresh salad is often served with any entree in Ireland, which I enjoyed.

Leah ordered a drink called a “Double Dutch,” consisting of gin and watermelon flavor. She liked it. I love the pretty glass bottles which water is served in and the little table lamp, pictured above.

huge burgers in Killorglin
huge burgers in Killorglin

The older couple in the picture below chatted with us, with all of us laughing over how big the cheeseburgers were!

Leah at restaurant in Killorglin
Leah at restaurant in Killorglin

 

Quaint town of Killorglin
Quaint town of Killorglin

We sat awhile in this restaurant. Leah seemed to relax here. Then we went back to the B & B, and as Leah was doing her college homework, suddenly a giant spider fell on her bed and then ran under it. We both screamed. I tried to kill it with a shoe, but to no avail. We couldn’t find it. I think it came through the window, which we had opened to cool off the room. I prayed the Irish spider wouldn’t crawl on or bite one of us during the night!

Then I went into the bathroom, which–oddly for a B & B–was across the hall. I got locked into the bathroom! Leah and the owner had to help me out. The owner tried to tell me that I just wasn’t unlocking it correctly, but Leah told her she had trouble with the lock, too, when she tried to come out. This is definitely something they need to fix if they are going to have a B & B for guests!

As I tried to lay down to sleep, each time I rolled over, the little single bed squeaked and moved, bumping into the wall! There was a couple in the room next to ours, with a little child. I was afraid the noise was going to wake them. I felt frustrated. Despite the spider, Leah liked this place. This was the one B & B that I could not wait to leave!

Killorglin bed
Killorglin bed

There was another full Irish breakfast the next morning (you could also order other items of your choice). We met other guests staying there, among which there was a young French couple. To my delight, I was able to speak to them briefly in French as we were leaving. It blessed me to be able to show Leah that if you study a foreign language, even a little bit, you can converse with foreigners. I need to brush up on my French again—and maybe learn Gaelic, too! (And Spanish!)

I apologized for our noise to the couple who were in the room next to us, and explained about the squeaking bed and then the couple. They said I didn’t wake them or their child, and laughed about the spider. Then they shared their own horror story of having a flying roach in their hotel when they traveled to Hawaii.

The hostess came into the room then to serve us more hot coffee, smiling and pleased that her guests were laughing and obviously enjoying themselves, but having no clue what we were laughing about. After my incident with the locked bathroom, I didn’t have the heart to tell her about the spider!

 As I looked later at the key that was supposed to unlock the bathroom, I thought how Jesus is the key to everything in our lives! After we left there, Leah and I laughed about the things that happened at this B & B, but at the time it wasn’t funny! But this place stands out as one of our vivid memories in Ireland!

Jesus is the key
Jesus is the key

I decided that the next morning we’d retrace our steps and go back to the town of Killarney to shop, which was only about 25 kilometers from Killorglin. In my next post on this Ireland Blog series, I’ll blog about the town of Killarney which I loved and share pictures of beautiful Saint Mary’s Cathedral with incredible stained glass windows.

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The ferry in Kerry County

This is post #9 of a blog series I’m writing including pictures of the recent amazing trip I took with our precious, beautiful daughter Leah. Here are posts:

#1, My daughter Leah and I went to Ireland,

#2, Ireland: Dreams Come True,

#3, We visited Bunratty Castle in Ireland,

#4, Bunratty Folk Park: the waterfall, the lamb, and the fairy village,

#5, The Gorgeous Cliffs of Moher,

#6, Galway Girl,

#7, Galway Girl, Part 2, and

#8, Treacherous Corkscrew Hill.

We took so many pictures with our phones that I need to break up the posts, to make it easier for you to read, as I know you live a busy, hectic life like mine and you don’t have lots of spare time!

I hope these blogs inspire and bless you. I thank my Lord Jesus Christ, who made this amazing opportunity and prayer possible.

“I’ve only been to Ireland once, and I felt I would wake up with voices in my head, almost like music, and that if I were a songwriter, I would be very inspired.”–Morrissey

Ferry going to Killarney National Park
Ferry going to Killarney National Park

During our pleasant stay at the Riverdale Farmhouse B & B near Doolin, the owner Mary told Leah and me to take the ferry to get to Kerry County so we could visit the Killarney National Park, which would cut off about 45 minutes of our driving time. 

Car GPS
Car GPS

During this drive, Leah and I butted heads because sometimes the GPS and the road signs didn’t match each other. By this time, although the Waze app for GPS on my iPhone was a God-send help and I’d never have tried driving there without it, I was tired of driving down tiny “R” roads, as it can be stressful.

There are five types of highways/roads in Ireland:

  • “M” are the motorways with two or three lanes in each direction, that are between cities and have the highest speeds. 
  • “N” highways which are the national primary roads linking larger towns together that are good, wide roads. 
  • “N” highways that are the National Secondary Roads link smaller towns to each other or to larger towns. 
  • “R” which are regional roads–the rural, winding roads with much lower speeds. On these narrow roads, hedges and walls encroach on the road and if a bus or big truck is coming toward you, it is scary!
  • Unclassified roads that often lead to a dead end, like a road to a beach, pier, or isolated farms. These are an adventure; you never know what to expect! On one road like this, I wondered if we had somehow gotten off a road and were on someone’s driveway! It was barely wide enough for one car, much less two. Eventually, we got off this road, such as it was, onto a bigger highway; what a relief!

Leah would tell me to listen to the GPS directions, but when a road sign indicated something different, I’d want to follow the road because I was afraid of getting lost in Ireland, so we’d argue and things got a little loud! Later we apologized to each other!

I finally decided that I was just “going with my gut” instead of the GPS, as God and my gut have never led me wrong in my life!

If we had followed the GPS directions to go on a rural road, we would have missed one of the most amazing views we had in Ireland–a gorgeous coastal area. My gut was right. Pictures don’t do it justice! 

Are you listening to God’s “directions,” the enemy Satan’s, or the world’s? Let God be your GPS each day, and enjoy the view as you travel this adventurous life!

This pic doesn't do the view justice
This pic doesn’t do the view justice

 

Beautiful mountain view
Beautiful mountain view

 

Kerry County coastal town
Kerry County coastal town

Along the way in this area of Kerry County, we saw a lot of windmills and factories.

windmill
windmill

 

windmills and factories
windmills and factories

I’d watched videos prior to traveling to Ireland and knew that you have to watch for sheep, goats, and cows as you are driving there. Leah and I were both amused when we had to stop the car for cows crossing the highway. Leah was delighted to see a sheepdog in action helping to herd the cows.

cows crossing the road
cows crossing the road

 

sheepdog herding cows
sheepdog herding cows

 

Pretty clouds in Kerry County
Pretty clouds in Kerry County

 

pretty blue-purple clouds
pretty blue-purple clouds

 

pretty blue mountains
pretty blue mountains

Leah had never been on a ferry before, and she thought it was interesting.

Leah by our car on the ferry in Kerry County
Leah by our car on the ferry in Kerry County

This is a GREAT pic of Leah on the ferry! Our beautiful daughter!

Leah on ferry
Leah on ferry

I thought it was funny that the ferry had a little store offering ice cream and other snacks. No, this time I actually did NOT get ice cream ~ I restrained myself!

The ferry staff were very nice to us. Overall, I found Ireland to be an extremely welcoming, warm country. I can’t wait to go back!

store on ferry and ferry staff
store on ferry and ferry staff

We saw what looked like to be a lighthouse from the ferry. I love lighthouses.

“The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple.” (Psalm 119:130)

lighthouse seen from ferry
lighthouse seen from ferry

 

back of ferry
back of ferry

We saw a boat while on the ferry. This was a relaxing time for us both, not having to drive and just enjoying the view.

boat on the water, seen from ferry
boat on the water, seen from ferry

In my next post in this Ireland Blog Series, I’ll share pics of the Killarney National Park, including the beautiful Torc Waterfalls–and how Leah discovered the bigger waterfalls through a pretty, red-headed Irish woman playing the violin in the woods!

Torc Waterfalls, Killarney National Park
Torc Waterfalls, Killarney National Park
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Galway Girl Part 2

This is post #7 of a blog series I’m writing including pictures of the recent amazing trip I took with our precious, beautiful daughter Leah. Here are posts:

#1, My daughter Leah and I went to Ireland,

#2, Ireland: Dreams Come True,

#3, We visited Bunratty Castle in Ireland,

#4, Bunratty Folk Park: the waterfall, the lamb, and the fairy village,

#5, The Gorgeous Cliffs of Moher, and

#6, Galway Girl

We took so many pictures with our phones that I need to break up the posts, to make it easier for you to read, as I know you live a busy, hectic life like mine and you don’t have lots of spare time!

I hope these blogs inspire and bless you. I thank my Lord Jesus Christ, who made this amazing opportunity and prayer possible.

“If you’re going to be lost, there’s no friendlier place to get lost in than Ireland.” —Rebekah Crane, The Upside of Falling Down

Ireland green fields & stone wall
Ireland green fields & stone wall

As I shared in my blog post Galway Girl, Galway was definitely mine and Leah’s favorite city on our Ireland trip. The city was alive with energy; it was just FUN! We loved Galway!

I bought my souvenir in Galway: a beautiful, sterling silver Claddagh Ring. Its meaning is about love, loyalty, and friendship. I’d seen them before I went on the trip, and knew that’s what I wanted as my gift!

The Claddagh Ring has been the traditional wedding ring in Ireland since the 17th Century. There are four different ways to wear it:

Claddagh Ring
Claddagh Ring

Single: You should wear the ring on your right hand with the heart facing outwards.

Relationship: You should wear it on your right hand with the heart pointed inwards.

Engaged: You wear it on your left hand with the heart pointing outwards.

Married: You wear it on your left hand with the heart facing inward.

The saying goes that if you’re taken, you wear the ring with the heart on the ring facing your heart, and if you’re searching for love, you wear the heart facing outward.

I’m interested in fashion, but I noticed what other people were wearing as I traveled. This young woman’s white sneakers and backpack were cute. I noted a lot of people wearing backpacks everywhere we went.

The Latin Quarter of Galway
The Latin Quarter of Galway

 

Young woman's cute white sneakers & backpack
Young woman’s cute white sneakers & backpack

I wanted to stay much longer, but I had booked a different B & B each night throughout our journey and since it was starting to rain, Leah and I both thought it best to start heading out after our lunch at The Quay Street Kitchen located in the thriving town’s center.

Thriving Galway center <br/>A talented street musician--guitarist
Thriving Galway center
A talented street musician–guitarist

 

Menu at Galway restaurant
Menu at Galway restaurant

 

flowers on our table
gorgeous fresh flowers on our table

Leah seemed more interested in the bird (a pigeon, I believe) that stayed near our table outside than anything. Throughout our trip, Leah took several pics of birds, to my amusement. This is a good shot below. Now you know what a Galway, Ireland bird looks like!

pigeon near our sidewalk cafe table
pigeon near our sidewalk cafe table

Before we ate lunch, we enjoyed window-shopping at the shops. One of the first things we saw was a pretty street mime in a French cap, turtleneck shirt, big hoop earrings, black and grey leggings, and boots, performing on the sidewalk. A man playing a guitar accompanied her. This was the first time that Leah and I had ever seen a mime in person, so it was interesting.

Galway street mime
Galway street mime

 

Galway street mime
Galway street mime & town center

I saw a music store and asked Leah if she wanted to go inside. Naturally, she did (she plays the violin and other instruments). She later told me that I should know better than to go into a music store, where she’d want to spend all her money! She actually didn’t buy anything there, but wanted to buy a lot!

I took a pic of a harp at this store, because our granddaughter Annabelle–who plays the violin, too–wants to learn how to play the harp. 

Music store in Galway where we stopped
Music store in Galway where we stopped

 

Harp in music store
Harp in music store

Leah was captivated by all the street musicians, as I knew she would be. Here is a shot that is closer up of the guitarist, who reminded me of the musical prodigy in the movie August Rush.

Leah and I listened to him for quite awhile. Leah said he was really good. As he played, he gathered a much bigger crowd than shown here.

amazing guitarist in Galway
amazing guitarist in Galway

 

A big crowd began to gather to listen to this young man
A big crowd began to gather to listen to this talented young man, who played incredibly on the guitar

One of the historic landmarks in Galway is the Wolf Tone Bridge over the River Corrib. The bridge is named after revolutionary Theobald Wolfe Tone, who helped found the United Irish Society, which worked to unite Roman Catholics and Protestants. We were trying to find parking to walk across the bridge.

Wolfe Tone Bridge Image source: Google
Wolfe Tone Bridge
Image source: Google

Leah found parking lots on my phone using the GPS, which I didn’t even know you could do. But it proved to be challenging as traffic was INSANE in Galway!

We just drove in circles, with me trying to listen to my phone’s GPS lady Siri, as I drove through unknown and ridiculously narrow streets and tried to avoid hitting cars in our rental car! Leah was getting frustrated with me, and I was getting very hungry!

Car GPS
Car GPS lady’s voice Siri telling me where to go

I winded up mistakenly going down a dead-end street and having to back up (not an easy feat, as the automatic cars in Ireland are a little hard to put into Neutral or Reverse!).

Leah and I decided to forget the bridge!

We did see this pretty stone bridge pictured below. I believe it was near Galway, but can’t be postive. There are a lot of bridges like this across Ireland. Unfortunately due to parking, I was unable to get a picture on the Wolf Tone Bridge.

Ireland has many legends, and the Wolfe Tone Bridge has one, too: in the 1800’s, it was that any Claddagh person traveling west over the bridge at midnight would be attacked by a ‘gliomach’ or sea monster. We were there in the daytime, not midnight, but good thing I don’t believe in legends, anyway!

stone bridge
stone bridge

In my next post in this Ireland Blog Post series, I’ll share about one of the scariest times that Leah and I had in Ireland: driving in the rain up Corkscrew Mountain!

Driving through mountains in Ireland
Driving through mountains in Ireland

 

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