My OE - Ireland                                           
OCTOBER 2003
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includes...
Father Ted's House!
Doolin
South Mayo

Sat 04-Oct 03	Dublin - "Band of Friends", A Rory Gallagher Tribute Concert

Tonight Jason went to see "Band of Friends" - A Celebration Of Rory Gallagher's Music.  This wasn't so much a Tribute Band per se, but members of Rory's band over the years.  Rory unfortunately died in June 1995, so this is about as close as you're likely to get to hearing his music live in concert - and it was incredible!  A great mixture of heavy rock and blues-rock with an amazing group of musicians and singers.  The main guitarist Gwyn Ashton (from Australia!) is VERY good (and even sounds like Rory when he sings) - as were Gerry McAvoy (Bass and Vocals - including a great bass solo!), Lou Martin (great Blues pianist), Brendon O'Neill (Drums), Mark Feltham (Harmonica and Vocals), and Dennis Greaves (Guitar and Vocals).

A great concert and a great tribute!  They relayed some good stories of time spent on tour or in the recording studio with Rory also.

Fri 10-Oct 03	Dublin - Doolin (Co. Clare)

Another long weekend away - 3 days this time to Doolin, with the plan on visiting Inishmor again (unfortunately this didn't pan out) and to do the Cliffs of Moher Cruise, as well of course to just enjoy Doolin and Co. Clare again

Headed from Dublin towards Doolin in a slightly roundabout way - as is reasonably usual for us!  As the 'Blues Brothers' would say, we were "on a mission from God!" - we were looking for the parochial house from the TV Comedy Father Ted near Kilnaboy, Co. Clare.  And we found it too - with great directions from www.feck.net. Father's Ted Crilly, Dougal McGuire and Jack Hackett had some great views of the Burren!  Later in the day we saw a B&B near Doolin that is called 'Craggy Island B&B' - no doubt has a view of Inisheer Island.

The 'Father Ted' Parochial House, Craggy Island
(Okay, maybe it's actually near Kilnaboy, Co. Clare)

Rang ahead to see if the Cliffs of Moher Cruise was running today - unfortunately it wasn't due to bad sea conditions.  So instead we now meandered our way towards Doolin, first visiting The Burren Centre in Kilfenora.  This was OK, but a little old and cheesy.  Did some gift and souvenir shopping at The Rock Shop in Liscannor before finally checking into our accommodation in Doolin.  Had some very tasty dinners at The Stonecutters Kitchen - so much so that we returned tomorrow night!

Sat 11-Oct 03	Doolin

We had been hoping to have a day trip to Inishmor (the largest of the Aran Islands) today for a bike around, but the sea still wasn't cooperating!  Not really knowing what to do now, we started on another random drive around/through the Burren region again (because it is so interesting, picturesque and strange - so why not?), and ended up in Ballyvaughan.  Visited the other Burren tourist centre Burren Exposure - better than the first one (i.e. not as cheesy); consisting of three separate video presentations.

The Burren, Co. Clare

Black Head Bay, Ballyvaughan

Ballyvaughan

Did some more shopping and then rung to found out that the Cliffs of Moher Cruise was running this afternoon!  So we had some lunch, then continued on a bit more of a drive before catching the cruise - to Kinvara and then back via Carron towards Doolin Pier.  The cruise was VERY good - this is definitely the way to see the Cliffs of Moher!  Get a much better idea of the scale of the cliffs as they fill your entire field of vision.  Unfortunately the photos don't really do it justice.  Afterwards we returned to the The Stonecutters Kitchen for dinner.

   

The Cliffs of Moher, Co. Clare

Later in the evening Jason went out in search of some traditional Irish music in the local Doolin pubs - something Doolin is renowned for - and of course he did find some!  Good, but a little too touristy as well!

Sun 12-Oct 03	Doolin - Dublin

Once again we were hoping to go to Inishmor for the day today (although we would have been late getting back to Dublin tonight!) - but again it wasn't running due to bad tides :-(  The weather wasn't the best (overcast and hazy, with rain threatening) but we decided to go for a scenic drive somewhere anyway - so we headed north to southern Mayo.  Passed Galway and then popped into Ashford Castle along the way at Cong - a large imposing castle (now a hotel) on the shore of Lough Corrib.  A very scenic drive (despite hazy weather) between Cong and Leenane above the edge of Lough Corrib, with lots of small islands.

Dunguaire Castle, Co. Galway

Ashford Castle, Cong, Co. Mayo

Lough Corrib, at Ashford Castle, Cong

Lough Corrib, Co. Mayo

Lough Corrib

After Leenane we took the Doolough Valley/Coast Road.  This was also a very picturesque valley with high mountains, a lough/lake and bog-land.  Followed the coast up towards Westport.  Unfortunately we couldn't see the mountain of Croagh Patrick - could hardly even tell it was there!  It started to rain and so we decided to call it a day and start the drive back to Dublin, via Westport.
(We returned to the Doolough Valley on 23rd October).

National Famine Memorial (a 'coffin ship'), Murrisk
(opposite Croagh Patrick)

Had a slight detour off to visit Knock - saw the signs and just couldn't resist having a look (supposedly various Christian 'miracles' have occurred here over the years, if you believe in that sort of thing).  Besides, we were in the market for some holy water to by a cousin back in New Zealand as a joke - a long story!  What an absolutely over-the-top tourist oriented, tacky place!  Almost every shop on the main street was selling cheap and nasty plastic Christian souvenirs and water bottles for the local 'Holy Water'.  So tacky it was funny - wouldn't have believed it if hadn't seen it myself!  Father Ted should have had an episode here - I'm sure Dougal would have made some hilarious comments!

Classy stalls at Knock, Co. Mayo

Anyway - with that out of the way, we continued on our way to Dublin!
Thu 16-Oct 03	Dublin

This evening we attended the (free!) official launch of Pigsback Connect (a new internet provider), mainly to see Barry Murphy (a local comedian) who was there for entertainment.  Masquerading as a German Internet research expert he was VERY funny!

Sun 19-Oct 03	Dublin

Today we visited the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin (actually only a few hundred metres from our apartment) - a combination art museum and library with an amazing collection of Oriental art and Islamic manuscripts.  The tour we went on was "a whirlwind tour", or so the guide keep saying.  It would have been more accurate to describe it as a sprinting tour it was so fast!  Anyway, it was very interesting and we plan to go back again sometime to have a more leisurely look on our own!

Dublin Castle Stables, Dublin
beside the Chester Beatty Library & 'the' black pool (Dubh Linn) that gives Dublin it's name

The Olde Dock Apartments, Dublin
where we lived from Aug '03 - Mar/May '04


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