Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Ireland Trip - Dublin to Killarney

We got up early on Friday and had a delicious full Irish breakfast, with eggs, bacon, chipolatas, black & white pudding, coffee and Darryl included toast and jam. On the road we tried to find the first Megalithic Tomb, on Seefin road. The Tourist Info was definitely Irish, the lady was on the phone to her friend when I arrived, and as she didn't know about the directions she asked her friend. We started to work it out, and the friend called back with instructions, which were, of course, almost the opposite to the Tourist Info lady's! By the time she worked it out, (it took ages), Darryl, waiting in the car, was none too pleased. We drove the directions, but there were Military warning signs up regarding the firing range, so we weren't game to go in. We had pretty much given up when coming the other way, we had to pull over for a local with a horse trailer. Darryl signalled him, and he stopped to help but I have got to say that his instructions were even worse. Needless to say, we gave it a miss and started towards the next destination on our 'To-See' list. Along the way, I noticed on the map, a ditched standing stone ring (Castleruddery embanked stone circle). It seemed large (well it WAS on the map), and we saw the turning sign (with no distances I might add), so drove up the road. After a while we hadn't seen it, but came up to a small shop and a pub, so I went into the pub for directions. We had only just gone past it, so we turned around, and it was no wonder we missed it...the sign was missing (only the pole remained), and it was a turn up and off the road. A short walk took us to it, and it was pretty amazing...hard to believe that people could have transported rocks that big. After this we headed towards Carlow and, by a strange quirk of luck, just happened to be on the back-road which passed the Brownshill Megolithic Tomb (Dolmen). A short walk in, under a sprinkle of rain, and we were able to view it, along with 3 other visitors. All countries have their challenges for us, and here it is definitely a lack of parking, picnic facilities and NO public toilets obvious in towns (also see the narrow town roads in the last photo!) We got to Carlow, where Darryl waited for me (in a 15 min parking zone) while I went to the tourist info and made use of their facilities. We also stopped at Carlow Castle ruins (13th century), which was quite pretty, but the parking situation was grim, so Darryl stayed with the car. Still no toilet facilities for Darryl! We saw a couple of signs which said “Picnic Area” but didn't see the area. Eventually, when on the motorway, we stopped at a parking layby, which really stank of was very off-putting while trying to eat our lunch! Obviously we are not the only ones having problems with these things. We continued on, and eventually arrived in Killarney around 5:30pm. We found a Tescos and did a little shopping, then made for our Hotel – Travel Inn Killarney. Here Darryl crashed while I went to the in-house pub for dinner.

Canada Trip - Transit to Ireland - Brittas

On Thursday we flew through the night, and arrived at Heathrow. That airport is a-MAZE-ing!!!! Whoever designed it is absolutely crazy. There is a waiting area, and you only get told your gate 30-40 mins before boarding....our gate was 78, and, you guessed it! - a 25 min walk to it!!!!! Bizarre! I had a sleep in the waiting area, and Darryl tried, but a couple of minutes after he fell asleep...we got our gate! I was too scared of missing the flight to wait, so woke him...and we raced towards it. We made it in plenty of time...but had to go through security a second time. I would hate to be slow and elderly with this system. In Dublin we finally found our car-hire place, and got sorted. They had a bus to collect the vehicle – it was supposed to be a Yaris, but they upgraded us to a diesel Corolla. Then we had to try and use the GPS to find our B&B...nup...the address doesn't exist! Great! Well, I suppose this IS Ireland! Eventually I rang and got the directions – everything here is navigated via a Pub! It was the 4th house behind a Pub up for sale. Just as we drove in the driveway, a really heavy rain shower came down. The owners of “Pine Lodge” at Brittas could not have been nicer, Margaret and Tony, and the accomodation was terrific. We were so tired, we managed to drink the cuppa that they prepared and then just crashed.

Wow! Green, Green, Green!

Canada Trip - Montreal - Day 10

I am not quite sure what happened on Wednesday, but Darryl woke up really early and went out to read the online news. When he came back to bed, I got up as Shane was getting ready to leave for work, and I wanted to chat with him. It was overcast and when Darryl got up we did some shopping, the washing and packing for our flight to Ireland. Jess was on night-shift so she had been sleeping all day. She woke up then Shane arrived home from work. Winston finally started letting me pat his forehead. We had Baked Salmon (cooked by Shane) for dinner, and I did the veges. Shane then dropped Jess at work, and us at the airport. I can say that I am absolutely disgusted with QANTAS. The whole reason that I had gone for the more expensive QANTAS flights for this trip was so that we could access the Lounges for our flights, and any web research I had done (on their site) made me think I could do so, but apparently not! Eventually we boarded our flight and started to relax, (although it was 15 minutes delayed due to some technical issue – we never found out what it was). There are no photos for today.

Canada Trip - Montreal - Day 9

Tuesday was a rainy day so we decided on some inside activities. As we had not seen all of the Museum of Fine Arts we decided to return (there are 3 buildings). This place was really amazing, there were so many different types of collections, and I took lots of photos. After ribs at Dundees for lunch I went in to see the Chichuli Glass Exhibition – and it was absolutely amazing! I loved it all, but especially the 'Persian Carpet ceiling' We walked back via Mont Royal Park seeing the lake, and Summit Park,seeing some really nice houses (some of which were for sale).