Thursday, September 26, 2013

Day 14 – Sept 25 - HOME

We were up by 4:30 AM and off to the airport by 5:30.  A couple of the teenagers were not quite ready to start the day.  Our plane took off at 9:05 and we arrived in Denver by 3:30 PM.  A long day of travel

Thanks to Joe and Bob for making this a fun trip

Day 13 – Sept 24 - RING OF KERRY

Today is a full day of driving the  Ring of Kerry.  When we got to Killarney we took a break and rode in a Jaunty Car.

It took us through a park and a visit to Ross Castle.

and lunch

We were afraid we wouldn't have time to do the whole Ring of Kerry, but thanks to our wonderful driver, we got to see it in 5 1/2 hours.

The scenery was awesome and provided some great photo ops.

  Tonight we attended the Bunratty Castle Medieval Banquet with dinner.  They picked Bob and Julie Stuenkel to be the Lord and Lady of the Banquet.  They were crowned and Bob condemned one of the attendees to the dungeon.

We arrived back at the hotel around 11:30 PM

Day 12 – Sept 23 - BLARNEY

This morning w traveled to to Waterford to see the Waterford Crystal Factory and Shop.

After lunch we went onto  Cork to visit Blarney Castle 

and a chance to kiss the Blarney Stone.

We had the whole afternoon to ourselves at Blarney Castle and had time to walk around the grounds.  

The 3 kids, Maddie, Tim & Will found a tree to climb.  

In the Poison Garden we found a very dangerous plant

Ooops - I guess not according to Colorado law

We again had the opportunity to shop at the Blarney Woolen Mills.  I think we must have driven our driver, Bob, to drink. 

 Hang in there, Bob, only 1 more day to put up with us!

Day 11 – Sept 22 - DUBLIN

When we got up this am it looked like we would have a beautiful day.  We left Belfast and headed south to Dublin.  Upon arrival we headed for Trinity College and the exhibit on the Book of Kells.  We also toured the "Long Room" or library where they have a lot of really old books.

After lunch we took off for a city tour and went to Phoenix Park where we stopped at the Wellington Memorial and a  memorial that was erected in commemoration of the Pop's visit. 
Wellington Memorial

Memorial to the Pope's visit

 We also saw the American Embassy 

We were at St Patrick's at 3:00 and in time for Evensong featuring the Men & Boys choirs of St Patrick's.  It was a wonderful service. 

After we checked into the Best Western Academy Hotel we took off for a walk to visit the memorial that has been erected in honor of those who lost their lives in the potato famine.   

Dinner will be at 7:30

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Day 10 – Sept 21 - IRELAND

This morning we are off to the coastal town of Cairnryan to  take a ferry across the Irish Sea to Lame.  We have to catch the ferry at 1:30 pm - they had us scheduled at 10:30 am but we would have had to leave Edinburgh at 6:30 am in order to make it in time.  Consequently, we will be cutting our time short in Belfast.  

We traveled to Belfast for an orientation driving tour of the city and visit to the Titanic Museum. Some of us walked the outline of the Titanic and then went onto the City Hall for some pics of the Memorial.



  On the way to the hotel we saw a lot of police activity and I think Joe was getting nervous and wanted to get us to the safety of our hotel.  He said they must know of some trouble that might be stirred up.  I guess there is still some fighting between the Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland.  Dinner w.ill be at 7:30

Friday, September 20, 2013

Day 9 – Sept 20 - EDINBURGH AREA

After breakfast K&K headed for the airport and the rest of us set out to travel to Stirling Castle to visit this magnificent site. We went via a drive through a park to a lookout over Edinburgh.

Stirling Castle has quite a history dating back to the time of Robert the Bruce and William Wallace.  It is where Mary Queen of Scots was born and James VI of Scotland aka James I of UK was christened.

Barb has finally found her Knight in Shining Armour

We then continued to Dunfermline Abby where Robert the Bruce is buried. 

We headed back to Edinburgh and had a photo op at Holyrood Palace.

and then we were dropped off at the Castle to look around and make our own way back to the Hotel.

At least it is down hill all the way,

At dinner we sang Happy Birthday to Tim - he was 35 again!

Some of us joined him and Lisa in their Suite and sampled some of Gene's scotch and played cards.  Happy Birthday Tim