Sunday, May 6, 2012

Moog family trip to Ireland 2012 - very photo heavy post!

Mr Moog and I have wanted to visit Ireland for years and this Easter we finally set sail across the Irish Sea, from Pembroke Dock to Rosslaire. We had a wonderful two weeks and Ireland was everything we'd dreamed of and more and here are the photos to prove it...

Week 1, Fethard on Sea, Co Wexford and the beach, five minutes walk from our cottage.

Fossils embedded in the limestone rocks at Hook Lighthouse, on the Hook Peninsula - Monster and I spent a very happy hour pootling about on the fossil filled rocks trying to find the biggest ones.

Avoca, Wicklow National Park - the location for Ballykissangel and home to the beautiful Avoca Weavers Watermill where we enjoyed a very delicious lunch. Sadly the village looked like it was suffering from the effects of the dramatic slump in the Irish economy but, as with everywhere we visited, the people were wonderful - warm and welcoming and always happy to help.

Mr Moog spotting gannets diving offshore at Kilmore Quay. My mum was a keen birdwatcher and her favourite bird was the gannet. In fact, just days before she died my brother and sis-in-law drove her and Dad all the way to Edinburgh, for a boat trip to see the awesome sight of the gannets diving at Bass Rock, something she had always longed to do.
Ireland gave us many gannet sightings and we really felt Mum was there with us every single time.

The fishing fleet at Kilmore Quay. I do love wandering about in a busy fishing port with their hardworking weathered boats and hardworking weathered fishermen, and piles of nets and lobster pots. The sea here, and everywhere else we went was absolutely crystal clear.

Raven flying into the round tower at the Rock of Cashiel, Co Tipperary - this tower was pure Rapunzel material! Cashiel was a delightful village with some gorgeous shops and The Bake House cafe where we had a superb lunch before climbing up to the rock.

Cahir Castle - next stop after the Rock of Cashiel and quite possibly the very best castle we've ever visited. Like many historic attractions it is owned and run by the Office of Public Works, cost less than £8 for us all to visit and delighted us all as so much of it was open to explore, from down in the dungeon right up to the tops of the towers.

Week 2 - Gleesk, near Sneem, Co Kerry and the view, in the evening light, from our 'cottage' (twice the size of our own home!).

...and the view to the right from the Gleesk house. This is what we woke to every day for a week and it was a huge wrench to leave it.

7.30am Easter Sunday hunting for eggs left by the Easter Hare - we saw no rabbits but plenty of hares and decided Ireland must have an Easter Hare - this is two and a half hours after the children burst into our bedroom shouting 'HAPPY EASTER' - yup 5am....on a Sunday....on holiday!

A rainbow (one of dozens we saw while in Co Kerry) over 'our' island just opposite the house.

The light in the wake of a heavy rainstorm turned the sea an incredible deep blue.

Another rainbow - this time the crock of gold is in our nearest neighbour's garden.

The beautiful gardens at Muckross House, in the breathtakingly beautiful Killarney National Park.

Minx's 11th birthday brunch at Strawberry Field Pancake Cottage, just off the Ring of Kerry. Should be compulsory for anyone visiting Kerry to visit this fantastic little pancake house. Minx chose banana, chocolate chips and cream, Mr Moog had smoked salmon and sour cream with leeks, Monster opted for chocolate chips, chocolate sauce and ice cream, while I enjoyed goats cheese, thyme and honey. Yum!

Strawberries on the gateposts, in the statue's baskets, strawberry red windows and even red strawberry shaped patios in the garden. We loved it so much we visited twice and wished we were staying longer as we'd have liked to have worked our way through the whole, extensive menu!

Derrynane - fabulous beach, glorious rock pools, gannets and one time home of Daniel O'Connell. We found this gorgeous place towards the end of our holiday and really need to go back and spend more time there. Monster loved it and indulged his new found love of 'rock climbing'.

And finally, one more rainbow - a double one! This time in Sneem, our nearest village and home to the superb O'Shea's pub where we had one of the best meals of our entire holiday and a rather lovely pint or two of the black stuff.

I hope you enjoyed that 'small' selection of our many many holiday photos. Ireland totally captured our hearts and we will be back for more :o)

Those of you who haven't been able to leave comments because Blogger is being stoopid, I do apologise and have been onto the Blogger forum to see if I can find out what's wrong. I've tried changing a couple of settings but have no idea if it's worked. Please email me if it's still playing up.

Be back soon with a little bit of spinning xxx


Trash said...

Maybe you are right. Next time our Ireland dates overlap we should just do it without family encumbrances. Oh and also by letting each other know we are there ;-)

quinn said...

I visited Ireland in 1995, doing research for my Master's thesis. How 17 years could slip away without a return visit I cannot understand. It seems, it really does, like yesterday. Thank you for sharing your lovely photos!

Locket Pocket said...

Gorgeous photos Lesley! It looks and sounds like such a good family holiday - especially the food and black stuff! Locket xx

Gina said...

It looks glorious

veronica said...

super photos and the places you visited look so nice.

Thimbleanna said...

Oh, you lucky girl! I haven't been to Ireland yet -- maybe someday. If I could quit going back to Scotland LOL!

wonderwoman said...

fantastic photos Mrs Moog, have never been to ireland but those pics certainly make me want to go! xxxx

dragonfly said...

Wow, that view. I'd never want to leave it!

Sew Create It - Jane said...

Fabulous photos! I love the rainbow ones...looks magical!

French Knots said...

Oh it looks so beautiful,wonderful photos! x

Julie said...

I missed this post somehow but I'm glad to have caught up now. Your post has brought back lots of memories of our visits to Ireland. What a fabulous holiday you had. I didn't know about the fossils at Hook lighthouse. I would love to see them.

Somerset Spa Girl said...

Ireland looks like magic, those rainbow photos are absolutely wonderful.