Summer 2011 - London/Glasgow/Southern Ireland travel blog


Clonmacnoise was a monastary first used in the 500s. A beautiful and strategic location on the Shannon River.

The round tower was apparently built in about 1100. There are a number of these throughout Ireland - they all have their door around 10 feet off the ground and were accessed by ladder and then ladder and scaffolding inside. The windows are located at different levels and sides for views throughout the region.

The church and cemetery were particularly interesting, constructed around 900 AD.

This was the last site we visited on our drive from Galway to Dublin. We noted that there were a number of turf farms along the route. There are few trees in Ireland and I'm sure thye must treasure the ones they have. They farm turf (I beleive it is peat) for burning in the winter. Some of the turf farms are tiny - probably for one family - while others are quite a good size. We heard that Ireland imports 90% of its fuel and over 70% of its food.

Here are some final notes:

Katharine drove over 1800km in 7 days - we had to replace one tire on the car, not sure when the wall got damaged. I sat back and tried not to use my break feet too often. I'm afraid I'm a nervous passenger; no matter who is driving.

We had a diesel Skoda Octavia - a very nice car.

Although most of the side roads have speed limits of 100km (they really must be kidding!), Katharine's average speed was around 41 km per hour (and I thought she was going too fast!). The motorway is listed at 120km.

Katharine had to back up once for around 100 metres to let another car go through - very narrow roads in some of the canyons.

We had to stop for both sheep and cattle on the road. Bikers and hikers are always a challenge as in many locations you come up to them very quickly and there is no shoulder for either them or you. Cars have to have good brakes.

We visited churches, cemeteries, universities and streets related to where the Sippis or Buchans may have been. Some success, but not as much as I'd hoped.

We went for one cart ride in the mountains.

We were on one bus tour through the Wicklow Mountains.

We took pictures of the food presentation at dinner numerous times.

Our high temperature was around 21 in London and the low during the day around 13 along the west coast of Ireland.

We experienced rain of some kind in Ireland pretty well every day.

We left Ireland when the temperature was 16 Celsius and arrived back in Toronto to 34 Celsius.

We are still talking, but we need a rest from each other.

We had a wonderful trip!

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