When we took this photo...there was noone standing there. This woman showed up in the snapshot and in a movie film. If you look closely... she has no legs. The image ends at her coat. Don't ask. I don't know. I only tell the story cause Mattcrazy1 of VT was bugging me about ghosts. does this qualify? You really need to enlarge the pic to see how strange this is.
JUST IN: A VT MEMBER HAS INFORMED ME THAT THIS SPOT THAT I PHOTOGRAPHED IS KNOWN AS "LADIES VIEW"....SO NOW I'M CURIOUS TO KNOW THE LEGEND OF THAT NAME. PERHAPS THE WOMAN WHO 'APPEARED' IN THE PHOTOGRAPH IS THE LADY OF THE LEGEND!
Shane McGowan (ex The Poques)
What would Ireland be without my favourite Irish Singer: Shane McGowan. Almost always drunk, but man, he can sing, and I just love his lyrics!
Fondest memory: A Pair of Brown Eyes
One summer evening drunk to hell
I sat there nearly lifeless
An old man in the corner sang
Where the water lilies grow
And on the jukebox Johnny sang
About a thing called love
And it's how are you kid and what's your name
And how would you bloody know?
In blood and death 'neath a screaming sky
I lay down on the ground
And the arms and legs of other men
Were scattered all around
Some cursed, some prayed, some prayed then cursed
Then prayed and bled some more
And the only thing that I could see
Was a pair of brown eyes that was looking at me
But when we got back, labeled parts one to three
There was no pair of brown eyes waiting for me
And a rovin' a rovin' a rovin' I'll go
For a pair of brown eyes
I looked at him he looked at me
All I could do was hate him
While Ray and Philomena sang
Of my elusive dream
I saw the streams, the rolling hills
Where his brown eyes were waiting
And I thought about a pair of brown eyes
That waited once for me
So drunk to hell I left the place
Sometimes crawling sometimes walking
A hungry sound came across the breeze
So I gave the walls a talking
And I heard the sounds of long ago
From the old canal
And the birds were whistling in the trees
Where the wind was gently laughing
And a rovin' a rovin' a rovin' I'll go
For a pair of brown eyes
The National Stud is on the site of an old Abbey, Black Abbey, where the monks bred horses for the Crusades, huge, muscled beasts. Horse breeding in this area of the country, thus, is an old tradition and Irish thoroughbred stallions command some of the highest stud fees in the world. The Irish National Stud is run by the Irish government though there are lots of private farms around as well. There are an enormous amount of regulations to the breeding of horses. Artificial insemination is banned and they even test the foals for DNA to prove their parentage to potential buyers.
They have tours around the barns and grounds to see the horses while a knowledgeable staff member explained the history, traditions, and technical aspects of horse breeding. It really was interesting. When we were there, we saw a couple of foals just born 6 or 7 hours before. One mare allowed the door to be open and us to watch as her baby nursed. Another mare, even though the door was closed, stood on guard over the sleeping foal with a glint in her eye when we peeked through the caged window. Nobody was getting close to that baby! We saw the stallion stables and paddocks and as large as the mares were, the stallions were massive! The neck on the top priced one, Indian Ridge, was so large and solid that I doubt very much I could get my arms around it, and I don't have short arms.
There is a Japanese garden and another one dedicated to a monk, St. Fiachra and we had time to have a walk around and a coffee or a browse in the gift shop.
Fondest memory: There's an 8.50 euro entry fee for adults. To get there:
BUS: On Weekdays leaves Central Bus Station - BUSARAS at 9.30 a.m.
RETURN JOURNEY FROM JAPANESE GARDENS - BUS leaves at 3.45. p.m.
TRAINS: The ARROW runs from HEUSTON STATION (Kingsbridge) to KILDARE TOWN approximately every 35 minutes.
ROADS: From DUBLIN you take the N7 SOUTH for LIMERICK/CORK. KILDARE is about 40 minutes from Dublin. See location map.
Favorite thing: The Rock of Cashel was originally a fortress built in the 4th C. on a 200 foot limestone mound that juts up out of a low flat valley. It was originally a seat of Irish Kings and was continually a military establishment but St. Patrick preached from there and created Cashel a bishopric in the 5th C. Cashel has had strong connections to the Catholic church as well as a result. You can walk up to the ruins and poke around. The town of Cashel is pretty, with stone buildings and a few pubs and restaurants for a bite to eat.
It was founded in 1783 by brothers George and William Penrose. The factory has been at the present location, on the edge of town near a community college since 1971 and employs 1600. The craftsmen have a minimum 5 years apprenticeship and normally 3 more for the masters in the various fields of glass blowing or cutting and engravers do 3 years at a local cottage before training for 10 more. Crystal is made from silica sand, potash and litharge and is heated to a molten state in gas ovens to 1400 degrees. The first room was where the ovens are. Most of the blowers and cutters seem to be men, and the guide said it wasn’t a reflection on women, it’s just that women rarely seem to choose this field. There are women that work in other support roles in the factory, quality control etc.
The molten crystal is pulled out of the oven in a blob, the size depending on what will be the end result. The blowers all know exactly how much to pull out of the fire for what they are making. It's on the end of a 5 foot long or so metal rod. It’s shaped using wooden tools soaked in cold water to gently give it a starting point. It is then lowered into a wooden mold below the feet of the men and they blow through the long tube and the molten crystal expands to the shape of the mold. When it comes out of the mold it now looks like glass and it’s smoothed and sanded lightly. It's broken off the tube and laid on a conveyer belt. The crystal is cooled for up to two days and then checked for flaws. If there is the slightest mark, it’s smashed and melted down again.
Fondest memory: The crystal shells are marked with a grid pattern and then the people who are the cutters grind the classic Waterford patterns into bowls and glasses on a diamond tipped wheel using the grids as a guideline. The actual pattern details are not marked on the glass unless it’s a special one of a kind or limited edition design. These are all master craftsmen that have had to memorize all the 60 or 70 standard patterns during their training. In another room the carvers work on solid pieces like figurines. They create a clay model for these as a guideline. The wheels used to carve the solid pieces are stone with small diamond tipped ones for the finer detail work.
Engraving is the most time consuming and difficult of all the jobs. The artisans make their own copper tipped tools, softer than diamond tipped. One tool we saw was made from a copper coin! This kind of engraving comes out looking like frosted inset sections etched into the crystal. The room wasn’t brightly lit overhead though each work station had good spot lights.
There is of course a showroom and a gallery with the most elaborate pieces, a café as well.
The island of Ireland is divided into two countries; the southern and northwestern regions constitute the Republic of Ireland, an independent, democratic country. The northeast is Northern Ireland and presently is a part of the United Kingdom. Historically, Ireland is divided into four ancient provinces, LEINSTER, MUNSTER, CONNACHT and ULSTER. There are thirty-two counties within those provinces.
Ireland has a population of almost 4 million, of which Dublin, the capital, has a population of 953 000.
The country's total area is 84 412 km2 with a total coastline distance of 3 172km.
Ireland's highest mountain is Carrantouhill in Co. Kerry at 1,041m. The longest river, Shannon is 340 km long and the largest lake, Lough Neagh, is 396 km2.
Favorite thing: Ireland is full of beautiful places. When you stay in Ireland, make sure to find a nice mountain to climb. When i was in Ireland, I climbed the nearest mountain (knocknarea), and once i got to the top, the sight was beyond belief. Its gonna be a sight i'll NEVER forget. Most of Ireland is all scenic and tranquil, In my opinion, i find that the most senic places are those towns on the coast, especially on the west.
My trip to Ireland was via a coach tour for 5 days. How can you see this beautiful country in such short a time? That's why I'm going back.
We started off in Rosslare where we disembarked from the ferry. From there we made our way to Tramore, Cork, Blarney, Killarney, Tralee, Adare, Limerick, Cashel and finally Dublin. Of course we stopped at numerous other villages along the way but never in one place long enough to enjoy properly.
Our tour guide was a special character called Henry. He was Irish and had the most wonderful lilting brogue. He gave us history lessons all day long. But we didn't mind. The sound of his voice was worth it. There wasn't a question he couldn't answer and he obviously loved his job. Nothing was too much bother for him and his presence made us all feel content and happy. I might add I did have some queries about some of his facts about Ireland which sent the Ireland forum into a bit of a tizz. Really I think he was having a go at us...more fool us for believing him.
Fondest memory: We spent five whole days in Ireland and would you believe it didn't rain once. A few showers at night maybe and a bit of mist on the Ring of Kerry but otherwise the weather was wonderful.
I have so many fond memories of Ireland. Starting with the people who seemed happy and relaxed. They have the same happy go lucky nature as Australians and I felt closer to them than my British and Scottish cousins. They drink beer in pubs like we do and know how to have a good time.
I loved all those colourful buildings and pubs which hugged the narrow streets.
I loved the music. Merry sing along music that really gets your feet thumping and hands clapping. How can you not be happy in Ireland with music like that. I think somehow the music portrays the people and the atmosphere. Just listen to 'Whiskey in the Jar' or 'Jug O Punch' and you get a real feel for Ireland and it's people.
The scenery was by far it's most outstanding feature. The kind of scenery seen no where else. And it was green just like they said.
Ireland is a magical, whimsical kind of place where you get the feeling anything could happen. I wouldn't have been surprised to see some fairy folk because Ireland has that 'fantasy' come 'storybook ' kind of feeling.
Everybody here says " Oh I'd love to see Ireland " And I am so proud and glad that I have done just that. I can't wait to return. This time in 2007 for a much longer stay.
Favorite thing: Guess the look out would be up in that little window at the top of the tower. Or...the young damsel who has been banished to the tower to keep her away from her lover whom the king doesn't approve of!! Ha ha!! great old stone work.
Favorite thing: This area around Galway is just so idylic! To me it was what Ireland is .....Green Meadows, Stone Walls and beautiful homes! I know Ireland is much more than that but for me as a traveller this is the kind of stuff that I wanted to see. I did alot of hiking in the area and I really enjoyed myself.
My first day, and suffering jet lag (6 time zones) I started off from Shannon and had my only rough climb, mainly because of the jet lag, up to the cliffs of Moher. What a start to a trip. They are fantastic!!! They expect the tourists and have a gift shop and food at the cliffs, so it is kind of touristy.
Fondest memory: I wanted to get this picture, and just as I was about to shoot, the kid turned and left!! I called him back and said I needed him for contrast, and he was kind enough to pose for this photo.
This stream was near the first hostel in the area of Ireland called the Burren. Take the time to explore the countryside, and you will find many areas of natural beauty.
Fondest memory: There is nothing better that taking off your shoes, and listening to the running water.
The city of Sligo is on a river. I was surprised that swans were swimming, and I was fascinated. I stood here and watched for quite a while, I think some moss started growing on my back.(haha)
Fondest memory: The constant surprise. There is always something interesting to see, and it is often unexpected.
When traveling, be flexible! If two girls from Switzerland ask if you want to go hiking, don't say, "no, I planned on going to blah blah blah". Say "YES".
Fondest memory: Hiking along the coast with two girls from Switzerland. ( I wonder if she is on VT?) We had a grand day, with stops at the beach, then up to the promitory where we had lunch.
A wonderful day!!
I met this postman on his bicycle with his mail satchel on the front delivering the post. I am a postman myself, so it was a pleasure to meet him.
Fondest memory: Hearing stories from the locals. I met a man who had never spent a night outside his own bed, a rare accomplishment. I met another man who when I asked how many children he had replied, "I am sorry to say that I only had fourteen."
More Regions in Ireland