Sunday, January 17, 2010


Wednesday, September 17, 2003 Our Front Seat Day (just behind the driver)

Out the door to breakfast by 7:30 am and on the bus by 8:30 am; one has to be a fast eater to survive the schedule! We drove through Enis that is known as an information town. They gave every family in town a computer several years ago. There are about six of these cities being used as test sites for testing individuals ability to work from home.

The freeway is just reaching this area. There was a problem with a Hawthorne bush in the way of the building of the freeway. This particular Hawthorne bush was known to be used for the wee people in this area and no one would remove the tree. Months and nearly twenty five million euros later; the freeway was rerouted around the tree. No construction company would remove the tree!

Our first stop this morning was at the Bunratty Castle and Folk Park located in the town of Bunratty. We toured the castle with Ken as our guide. This was an optional tour and those who elected not to go had the opportunity to do some shopping. The castle was furnished in the 18th to 19th century style; it was very interesting and complete. An individual bought the castle for 1,000 pounds and after restoration gave it to the government. They decided to move some of the old 18th and 19th century homes to the site and created a Folk Park to show tourist how the Irish people lived in those days.

Leaving Bunratty we drove the long route through Limerick to see the ruins of King John’s Castle, the Treaty Stone, St. Mary’s Cathedral and other well-known sites without really coming to a full stop for any of them. It’s a great day to be sitting up front for better views of the non-stop sites that we’re passing through.

We arrived at Adare for an hour of walking about town and having a bite to eat. We did not go through the castle in Adare, but we did see the many old homes with thatched roofs that are now used as little shops for the tourists. There were many tempting woolen items, but decided they took too much room in the suitcase.

On the bus we continued south towards Killarney through one town after another; the sky darkened and ended our bright sunshine weather as the day progressed. On the way into Killarney we made a shopping stop at the Macken of Ireland Shop in Fossa. We were greeted with piping hot glasses of Irish coffee topped with whipped cream. An incentive to buy something I’m sure. Mary found a black Irish woolen square scarf! Now we can be twins! She’d purchased one for me earlier in the trip!

The bus arrived in Killarney about 5 pm….then back on the bus by six for a drive to Tralee for dinner at Finnegan’s Cellar Restaurant. We dined with Mary and Phil; Ron and Gayle; sharing a bottle of wine and lots of good conversation. Bailey’s cheesecake topped off our delicious dinner. Then off across the park to the Siamsa Tire Theatre to watch the Irish National troupe perform a traditional Irish story in Gallic with lots of River dancing set to the story of island people who had to leave for the mainland. Their island is off the southern peninsula; better know as the Ring of Kerry. It was a very quiet bus on the way home. We were about half hours drive each way and arrived back at the hotel just after 11 pm. Good to know that we have a later call in the morning as we stay two days in Killarney.

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