Friday, November 03, 2006

Well, our trip to Ireland is now a memory. We returned to the states on Oct. 19. We were all sad to leave, and we're already looking forward to our next trip.
We had great weather. It rained overnight two different nights, and only one day.

Our guide was wonderful. He has a real strong knowledge of Ireland and its history, and is just a deep well of trivia.

One very striking thing about the towns we visited, and I would think all of Ireland, is that even though the houses are mostly white or muted colors, the doorways and window sills are bright colors. Most windows showed lace curtains, and quite a few had flower boxes even though the flowers were not in full bloom since it was Oct.

We visited several areas of the coast. Each was a little different, but all were beautiful.

Below is a local gathering periwinkles. While he methodically worked, his dog romped around in the surf and seemed to be having a grand time.

We visited many old abbeys, castles and graveyards. We thought that this location was the best one we had seen for taking our group photo. One of the ladies who was booked for the trip encountered some serious medical situation that prevented her from going with us. Someone took a photo of her, blew it up, and took her with us vicariously. You can see her sitting on Pat's shoulder in the front row.

In one of the towns we visited, this store had a display of "wellies" outside. Everyone in Ireland owns wellies because of all the wet weather they have. They come in all sizes, colors, and decorations.

The day that it rained, our guide, Olcan, took us to Galway City to do some street photography. Great fun. In spite of the rain, we all got some really good images. I was just fascinated by this barber shop.

This chap managed to get around in spite of the rain. With the high price of gas in Ireland, I was surprised that there weren't more bikers. Of course in the country there is no room to ride on the roads. Some of them are "boreens" = a road that is just wide enough for two in-calf-cows to pass each other in opposite directions. It's one of those situations where one car has to back up or go into a field.

The Irish people were so sweet and down to earth. They always smiled and they like Americans, so it's very easy to be there. However, as is the case almost everywhere, there are some folks who seem to exist outside the box. At one place we stopped, we encountered this group of locals. They didn't seem to mind having their pictures taken at all--even their back sides were fair game...

It seemed as though almost every alleyway had a scene like this. The Irish do seem to like their ale. Guiness is big there, and they even use it for medicinal purposes.

Well.... almost a month later, most of us are still trying to sort through the hundreds of images we each shot. I thank God constantly for the blessing of being able to take that trip, and for the memories it created. Hope you enjoyed the little tour.