It was a big travel day and we covered a lot of ground transferring from Ireland to England. We took a 3 hour ferry ride out of Dublin to get to Wales. Upon arrival, we went and checked out Beaumaris Castle. The castle was never completed, but was considered a marvel because of the concentric walls built to protect the castle. Wales has the highest density of castles compared to all other countries of the world. Additionally, we learned that there are 3 times as many sheep in Wales as people.
We finished our journey today in Coventry.
We had a "grand" time in Dublin today. We ventured around and visited St. Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin Castle, Temple Bar, the Parade, and Trinity College to see the Book of Kell's. Clicked off over 14K steps on our Fitbits! The crowds in Dublin today were crazy and it was a sea of green. Tomorrow, we take the ferry to Wales.
I think the thing that resonated with us today was the energy and excitement that was palpable. The city was packed with partyers decked in green. There was a sea of people who came together to celebrate and have a good time; it was an incredible energy to experience.
On our road trip to Dublin, we stopped at Blarney Castle. We all kissed the Blarney Stone and have been granted the gift of eloquence! Dublin is abuzz with preparations for St. Patrick's Day tomorrow. We stopped at some of the shops to get our green accessories so we fit right in tomorrow.
Blarney Castle sits on extensive grounds that include a Poison Garden, caves, waterfalls, and walking trails. Woolen Mills is on site and we did quite a bit of shopping.
Before our bus tour of Ireland, we stopped Phoenix Park where the Pope held mass in 1979 with over a million people in attendance.
Our bus tour in Dublin, found lots of activity as the locals prepared for the St. Patty's Day festivities. We passed the Guinness factory, which was huge. We walked Temple Bar area where the night life was loud and festive.
Tomorrow, we will visit Trinity College, St. Patrick's Cathedral, and take in the St. Patty's Day parade.
Wow, so much ground got covered today!
We had a full day during our tour of the Ring of Kerry! We visited a bog village, watched a sheep herding demo, hiked to a waterfall, rode in jaunting cars through a national park, and took in some scenic overlooks with great views of the Atlantic and Kerry Lakes. Tomorrow takes us to Dublin.
The sheep herding demo was a crowd favorite. We were amazed at the agility and focus of the border collie as she rounded up the sheep on the rocky terrain. We were in love with the baby lambs in the barn and several in the group got to hold them.
Another favorite was the jaunting cart ride thru Kerry National Park, Ireland's largest park. The horse-drawn carriages took us thru forests, pastures, and past a castle.
After spending 3 hours at the United desk in Raleigh rebooking our flight that was cancelled because of the weather (thanks Stella), we finally made it to Europe! The weather in Ireland on our first day was gorgeous and tomorrow should be the same; we lucked out.
Our main stop today after meeting our tour director, Alec, was Bunratty Castle near Limerick. The site is over 600 years old and is surrounded by a village that has been restored. Much of the furniture was original. Nearby bogs were where antlers of extinct 12-ft tall elk were found. The antlers were hanging in one of the main halls.
On our way to Tralee, we passed by Limerick and got a quick lesson in limerick-writing. So, the homework assignment this week is to write a limerick about our trip.
We are spending the next 2 nights in Tralee, a quaint village.