Thursday, April 21, 2016

British Isles Friday Ireland 1991 Part 2

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Hosted by Joy's Book Blog.

I've been doing some memory lane posts of trips before digital and before blogging.

I first traveled to England with my Mom in 1960
My parents took us back as a family in 1970.
John and I first went together in 1986 to London.
Continuing 1986 with Oxford and Stratford.
Ireland 1991 Part 1 Dublin
Ireland 1991 Part 2 Around Ireland scheduled
Ireland 1991 Part 3 Around Ireland scheduled
London 1987 - scheduled
Scotland 2001 - scheduled

May 1991 - Ireland

I'm crossing the Irish Sea to Ireland for the next few weeks in no particular order I will start with 1991. Oh how I wish I had kept a travel journal in those days!

After looking through the photos I am going to have to break this post into several parts. So I'll start in Wicklow where my parents lived after they married.

Glendalough is home to one of the most important monastic sites in Ireland. This early Christian monastic settlement was founded by St. Kevin in the 6th century and from this developed the “Monastic City”.

We stayed in County Clare at a delightful B and B. Aran View is still around and the nightly rate now is about $100 CDN.

As we drive towards the B and B.

Sitting outside the house with a cool refreshment.

Who could beat this view?

We certainly had better weather at the Cliffs of Moher than we did in 2015!!

The cliffs take their name from an old fort called Moher, which once stood on Hag's Head, the southernmost point of the cliffs. The writer Thomas Johnson Westropp referred to it in 1905 as Moher Uí Ruis or Moher Uí Ruidhin. The fort still stood in 1780 and is mentioned in an account from John Lloyd's A Short Tour Of Clare (1780). It was demolished in 1808 to provide material for a new telegraph tower. The present tower near the site of the old Moher Uí Ruidhin was built as a lookout tower during the Napoleonic wars

In music, the cliffs have appeared in music videos, including Maroon 5's "Runaway" video, Westlife's "My Love", and Rich Mullins' "The Color Green". Most of singer Dusty Springfield's ashes were scattered at the cliffs by her brother, Tom.

A common sight as you drive.

The town of Doolin.

On the beach at Doolin,

A stop at Monk's in Ballyvaughan. We would rent a house in Ballyvaughan in 2005 and found that Monk's was still there.

Monk's 1991

Monk's 2005

 John sitting outside Monk's in 1991.

Looking across the water to Monk's 2005.


The Burren (Irish: Boireann, meaning "great rock") is a karst landscape in County Clare. It measures approximately 250 square kilometres and is enclosed roughly within the circle made by the villages of Ballyvaughan, Kinvara, Tubber, Corofin, Kilfenora and Lisdoonvarna.

Thoor Ballylee is known as the home of W.B.Yeats and is now a museum to Yeats.

The poet W. B. Yeats was so enchanted with this sixteenth-century tower house beside the Cloon River that he purchased the property in 1916 and restored it. For twelve years Yeats made "Thoor Ballylee" his summer home, which he found "so full of history and romance" that he was inspired to write "The Winding Stair" and "The Tower Poems". He once said: "To leave here is to leave beauty behind", and in a letter to Olivia Shakespeare wrote: "We are in our Tower and I am writing poetry as I always do here, and, as always happens, no matter how I begin, it becomes love poetry before I am finished with it", and remarked "as you see I have no news, for nothing happens in this blessed place but a stray beggar or a heron".

Lest it be forgotten that this was once the poet's home, there is a tablet on the wall commemorating his sojourn here:

I, the poet William Yeats,
With old mill boards and sea-green slates,
And smithy work from the Gort forge,
Restored this tower for my wife George;
And may these characters remain
When all is ruin once again.

Coole Park

The park was formerly the estate of the Gregory family. Coole House was built in the late 18th century for Robert Gregory. In 1880, Robert's great-grandson, William Henry Gregory married Isabella Augusta Persse, who became Lady Gregory. The walled garden contains an autograph tree, a copper beech that is engraved with initials of many of the leading figures of the Irish Literary Revival who were personal friends of Lady Gregory including William Butler Yeats, Edward Martyn, George Bernard Shaw, John Millington Synge and Sean O'Casey. The Yeats poem The Wild Swans at Coole was inspired by the beauty of the swans in the turlough at Coole Park. Yeats's home at Thoor Ballylee was just 3 miles away; he also wrote "Coole Park, 1929", a poem that describes the park as a symbol for the revival of Irish literature:

"Here traveller, scholar, poet, take your stand, / When all these rooms and passages are gone / When nettles wave upon a shapeless mound / And saplings root among the broken stone."

Into Connemara and we stop to photograph Kylemore Abbey (Irish: Mainistir na Coille Móire) is a Benedictine monastery founded in 1920 on the grounds of Kylemore Castle, in Connemara, County Galway. The abbey was founded for Benedictine Nuns who fled Belgium in World War I.

Next time I am definitely visiting the Abbey and its Walled Garden.

Another traffic jam.

Peat, my favourite smell.

You don't see as many quaint cottages today.


  1. The Abbey is a real beauty, but it's the cliffs that capture my imagination.

    Among your sheep shots, rather unusual to see them grazing in a cemetery.

  2. Your pictures always fascinate me! Those cliffs are absolutely amazing and I also find the sheep popping up here and there amusing. What a glorious country!

    Here's my contribution to British Isles Friday

  3. These are terrific! The Burren was a big deal for our tour -- we went with the Missouri Botanical Garden (the director is from Ireland). We stopped at several locations on the Burren to search out and identify the plants.


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