Arrived Padstow ..Ian drove through the night

Arrived Padstow ..Ian drove through the night

Day 17 1st April  2008

After a good crossing on the ferry we headed for Padstow at 1am in the morning.

We arrived in Padstow at 8am after a couple of stops along the way for a doze and coffee. It was a good road and although it rained most of the way the drive was not too bad.

We thought we would stay in Padstow but accommodation was scare so we decided to have the day there and head back along the road towards South Hampton. At 2pm we decided to book in somewhere for the to have the afternoon off and an early night to make up for missing the previous night.

While in Padstow we had the opportunity for a good look around and we all thought it was a great place. It was humming with activity and there were a lot of holiday makers wandering through the streets and along the waterfront.

I purchased some really lovely things in a small little store in one of the side streets. After brunch in a small café we set off back down the road towards South Hampton. All asleep by 3pm .

Not a bad effort from 7am Dublin to 3pm following day
(a couple hours sleep on Ferry and some roadside naps)
We certainly covered some country since leaving Dublin the night before last.

Dublin to Waterford…Ferry from Rosslare to Fishguard

Dublin to Waterford…Ferry from Rosslare to Fishguard

Day 16 31st March 2008

Up early to call home via skype managed to speak with Charlie, Sarah and Mark.

Unable to get Chris but sent him a text and will try him again tomorrow. Though he was the one that called me in the middle of the night (our time) for a chat . When I said it was 1 am he said ‘Oh that’s right forgot you were away” good to know I am missed at home.  I bet Maxie misses me.

Though even he is probably quite content with Charlie cooking enough food for both of them, so
much for the rations I left.

We set off for Waterford after a very comfortable night (Clarion outside Dublin I highly recommend it) and did I mention they have the best seafood chowder I have ever eaten.

The drive to Waterford was good and the roads were not too busy.

We arrived at Waterford in time for lunch and a look around the town centre before heading to the Waterford Crystal factory. The tour was interesting and we saw some lovely crystal.

I was surprised to learn that all sporting trophies they make ie Wimbledon they actually make three of the same for each event. One is catalogued and added to the Waterford Collection as a record and the other two are sent to the event for presentation.

One for the eventual winner and the other in case disaster strikes.  

The unused trophy is returned to Waterford for display. An engraver from the factory fly’s first class to the event and is ready to finalise the trophy as soon as the event is won. A different engraver is selected to attend each time. The craft takes a long time to master whether it be a glass blower (8 yrs), a cutter (8 Yrs)or an engraver (10 Yrs).

After the tour we had a coffee before setting off to Rosslare to board the ferry. We decided to catch the ferry across at night as it takes 4 hours.

We boarded at 8.15 pm for a 9.15pm departure. The lounge is very comfortable and I have ordered beef pie for dinner .

We should disembark at 1am in Fishguard if all goes to plan we will drive through to Padstow by morning.

The irony is that we will have been to Wales and not seen any of it.

This all we have seen of Wales
despite driving across it

Kildare (Irish National Stud) on to Dublin

Kildare (Irish National Stud) on to Dublin

Day 15 30th March 2008

After another enormous breakfast with the lot and a couple of hours in the car we arrived at the Irish National Stud and Japanese Gardens as it opened for business. T

his was fantastic the Japanese Garden were awesome ( a week or two later and all the flowers would have been out)

The gardens were very tranquil and well laid out. We left the gardens and headed the horse museum not all that much on display but interesting just the same. Couldn’t work out for awhile why they would have 1993 Melbourne cup race book on display but the remembered who won the cup that year – Vintage Crop (Irish Horse).

We then took a walk pass the stallions 9 in all and with one of them worth over 70 million euros, there certainly was some money tied up in that little complex.

We then walked through another garden which was very pleasant with all the daffodils out and the swans swimming along in the creek. Up at the top of the stud were the mares and foals paddocks. All the babies were enjoying a frolic in the sunshine and all were very well handled and quiet.

Most came over for a pat and have their ears rubbed. After some shopping in the gift shop (yes I actually bought something first purchase for the trip) and a coffee in the restaurant we head towards Dublin for the night.

We eventually booked into the Clarion after missing it a couple of times on the freeway. We could see it just couldn’t get to it. Well worth the effort.

Best seafood chowder I have ever eaten.

Ring of Kerry and headed towards Kildare

Ring of Kerry and headed towards Kildare

Day 14 29th March 2008

Today we set out to drive around the ring of Kerry which was a spectacular drive and would have been better if the sun was shining all day.

The 112 miles was very slow driving and took most of the day with a couple of stops for photo ops.

We stopped of to see ruined fort which meant a 6 mile drive along a one lane road and yes it was a pile of stones stacked on one another to form a circle and sheep grazing around the outside (highlight of Ian’s trip so far).

Yep that’s the fort

We rejoined the main road to continue our journey. “The seas were angry that day my friends“. Seriously the it was amazing to see the sea crash into the cliffs so hard and the spray was going for miles.

Mum and Ian looking
as cold as it was

Back on the road to cork we set off for a far as we could towards Kildare via the Blarney Castle.

The didn’t seem to mind the cold wind

Blarney Castle 

We spent ages here just walking around the gardens and through the castle.

No one interested in kissing the the blarney stone.

This was a good stopover, unfortunately Blarney house and garden only opens in the summer. We ended up staying in a very nice Inn called the Corbett Court just past Fermoy.

Excellent room (big enough for a whole family to live in) great meals once again but it is hard to keep up with the eating I am down to soup and roll for dinner and only breakfast in the mornings, nothing else during the day.

Limerick to Killarney via Cliffs of Mohor

Limerick to Killarney via Cliffs of Mohor

Day 15 28th March 2008

We set off in the pouring rain to find the Cliffs of Mohor. After about an hour and half drive on very windy narrow roads, we arrived.

The rain stopped but the wind was blowing very hard. After to parking we braved the weather to walk to the top and it was worth the walk.
The views were spectacular and we managed to escape back to the restaurant just before the rain came down again and the Americans arrived on the buses.

After coffee and a sandwich we set off in search of the ferry across the Shannon. After more narrow roads we found the crossing and paid our €17 and had a very pleasant ride across the mighty Shannon (about 20mins on board) stayed in the car too cold and wet.

We head back to Adare where there were thatched cottages, very busy little place didn’t stop just took pictures and headed south to Killarney. This was a much better road which the driver appreciated. Arrived in Killarney at 4pm booked into Foleys Lodge in the centre of town after a few minor electrical problems in first room, we were settled into a very comfortable room and set out for a walk before dinner.

Shops were open until 9pm but we didn’t stay out long, caught in a small hail shower that appeared from nowhere. We decided to head back for an early dinner.

Enskillian Northern Ireland to Limerick

Set off for as far south as we could get today and we were aiming for Limerick with a stopover for lunch in Galway. Rained on and off today but the scenery was still very interesting. The rain let up long enough for us to have a look around Galway city centre and coffee in a shopping centre. Mum did some shopping and we were on our way again. Arrived in Limerick at about four pm and booked into the Two Mile Inn just outside the main town area. It was very comfortable and reasonably priced. No WiFi. I am having withdrawals. Tomorrow we are planning to get to Killarney but via the Cliffs of Mohor which will mean a back tracking a bit.
Din;t visit any major sights today just driving to get as far south as possible or we will run out of time

Trip Outline Europe 2008

Leave Sydney at approx 6pm Saturday 15th March flying Qantas. Hour and half break at Changi Airport Singapore(Refuel)…Arrive London 6.30am 16th March….5 days exploring London staying at Comfort Inn Kensington(see left photo) …

Pick up car and set off to explore England and Ireland, hopefully Scotland as well.

Hire car for two weeks(see map) before flying from London to Rome. Four days in Rome staying at Windrose Hotel(photo right) near Termini. Leave Rome by train to Pisa, Florence, Venice, Milan, Lyon, and Dijon then on to Paris for four days. Fly Paris to London. Last night in London staying at St Giles Hotel Heathrow. Fly home on the 19th April arriving Sydney 7pm 2)th April