Saturday, 20 August 2016

A week on the Emerald Isle

After a lovely week in Ireland, we're back home at Number 38.

This was our home for the week and very comfortable it was too. Although the lack of wifi meant no blogging, I typed up our daily activities and just slotted in the photos back home.
There were 3 bedrooms each with a balcony and this was the view from ours. 
The deer on the island were very obliging and would wander along the grass by the lodge regularly so we could see them.
To get to the island we had to cross the river on the Mary Fitzgerald ferry.
And we were lucky enough to see 2 weddings at the castle while we were there. 
 Most of the land is given over to the 18 hole golf course but behind the scenes where nobody ventures very much there are several dilapidated buildings which we were drawn to.
There's no information about these to be found which is a shame as I find this sort of thing fascinating; wondering who lived here and what the buildings were used for.
We always try to do something every day while we're away and on Sunday Amy and Thomas had a falconry experience. 

John brought 2 birds along with him. Roger the Hawk is 2 years old and he was a little bit naughty as he caught a mouse in the woods which meant he lost a little bit of interest in the bits of chicken John placed on Thomas' arm.  But he did fly in several times so Thomas was more than happy.

This was the first flight. Absolutely love the Irish accent!


And we also met Maggie who is only 9 weeks old and still very much in training. She won't grow any bigger than this and she was a real cutie pie - even I stroked her.




                             
Monday's trip was a visit to a nearby cove where we all had a paddle.
Tuesday was a visit to Waterford Crystal. It was fascinating to watch the craftsmen at work. One glass blower we spoke to has worked there since 1969.
This is called the apprentice bowl. An apprenticeship lasts 5 years and if at the end of his time the apprentice can't cut a bowl using all the skills required then he's out of a job.
On Wednesday we had a trip out to New Ross to visit the SS Dunbrody, better known as the famine emigration ship that sailed to America. 
The history behind the emigration was fascinating and very sad. It all stemmed from the potato famine in 1845-52 when an estimated 2 million people starved to death and another 1 million emigrated. It took them 6 weeks to sail to America in wretched conditions and if half of the 300 passengers made it they were lucky. At the time of the potato famine Ireland had a population of around 8 million people, but after so many deaths and people emigrating the population never recovered to anywhere near this number and today stands at only 4.6 million.
Thursday we had another trip out to a local beach and then went into Waterford which is very much Viking orientated.
In between our outings we went for walks around the island, stopping off for some of the black stuff at the golf club house. The only downside was we never did spot Eliza the fairy no matter how much Guinness was consumed!
And Mark and I may even have had the odd evening at the Castle with a G&T although we never did venture into the rather exquisite dining room.

Thursday evening we were informed it was doubtful our ferry for returning home on Saturday would be sailing because of the predicted gale force winds, and we were advised to change sailing times if we could. There wasn't a lot of choice so we went for a sailing Friday morning, returning home last night. When we went to settle our bill at the castle we told them we were leaving due to the ferry, (I didn't want them to think we weren't happy), and they just knocked the cost of the last night off the bill which was really good of them.

All in all we had a really relaxing break. Ireland is a beautiful country, the pace of life is slower than what we're used to, the people are really friendly and once again the weather was kind to us.  

It's always good to be home but I'm sure one day we'll return to The Emerald Isle. 

xxx







14 comments:

  1. That looks like a fabulous holiday and I loved seeing video of Amy and Thomas with the birds.....they looked like naturals.
    I would have loved the tour of Waterford Crystal as both hubby and I used to work in a glass factory. He was a night furnaceman and I worked in various departments including marking up the blank glass for the cutters. Those cutters are extremely talented and dedicated-x-

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    1. We saw the marking up on some of the pieces that were waiting to be cut! How interesting that you used to do that. The tour was really good and as well as seeing the craftsmen at work we were told little snippets of fascinating info like when the furnace needed a replacement part it took a full week to cool down and another full week to re-heat.

      They certainly are dedicated. 5 years for an apprenticeship is a long time. I didn't dare ask if anybody hadn't made it! xx

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  2. Sounds like you had a wonderful holiday - great photos and clips x

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    1. We had a lovely week. Ireland is beautiful and I'm not even sure we saw the best parts either. Waking up to that view every morning was fantastic especially if the deer were out there. xx

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  3. It sounds fabulous. I'm so pleased you all had a wonderful time. X

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    1. Thanks Jules. It was lovely. Lots of chilling out time in between our daily activity. Takes a bit of getting used to having nothing to do, but I soon got into the swing of it :) xx

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  4. Welcome home! Sounds like you had a lovely holiday. Loved the videos of Amy and Thomas with the birds. Too bad you had to leave a day early due to the change in the weather, but glad you were given a break on the bill.

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    1. Hi Bless, hope you've been keeping well. The videos are great aren't they. I thought the one of the hawk flying over their heads was brilliant, especially as they didn't move! It was really good of the castle to knock the cost of the last night off for us, it just went towards paying for the kennels though! xx

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  5. what a gorgeous holiday. Sorry you had to come back a smidge early. Will be back in the a.m to see the videos. xxx

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    1. The day early didn't bother me too much really. Not being able to get back or crossing in rough weather would have been worse. Me and Amy don't do sea travel very well and are on the Kwells everytime we go somewhere.

      The falconry expereince was great. Really informative and Maggie the Owl was just the cutest bird ever. xx

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  6. What a beautiful place-the whole area sounds perfect for exploring. I love all kinds of glass and have visited Dartford Crystal to see it being made. Hope to hear more about your crafting exploits soon. Catriona

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    1. It was a lovely place and the little cove in particular was beautiful. I used to work in a PR company in Cirencester and one of our clients was Dartington Crystal but I never got to see behind the scenes so the glass blowing was a first for me.

      I'm crocheting a twiddle muff at the moment. Sounds quite rude really doesn't it, but it's for Alzheimer sufferers to play with. Hoping to get a parcel off to the charity this week. xx

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  7. Okay, fess up, did you buy any crystal? Looks like you had a great time. Shame about the early departure but at least you had some warning.

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    1. Haha no I didn't purchase anything Janice, mainly because it was well out of my price range. Over £150 for 4 wine glasses and that was at the lower end of the market - I don't think so! They had some lovely pieces on display though and some very unusual ones, a piano, a bear and a baseball spring to mind. The factory tour was really interesting though. I'd definitely recommend it. xx

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