On our last day, we were up early, driving around the Ring of Kerry. We began in Killarney and took an accidental detour through Mall’s Gap. That was okay because we just met up with the path/road again in Sneem. We stopped in Waterville for lunch at the Bayview Hotel. We had hoped to eat at the Cable House, but it was closed. This is Charlie Chaplin’s town or at least he ate at the nearby Butler’s Inn. The town holds a Chaplin Festival here in September. Most notable thing [...]
On day 6, we woke up to a slight drizzle – which was really not all that surprising, given that we were in Ireland! We decided to hike around the Slieve Mish Mountains. The owner of the B & B recommended this to us, and it turned out to be amazing! We went to Glanteenassig for a walk around the breathtaking views and waterfalls. It was very windy and rainy, but we made the most of our rain jackets. This was precisely why bought them. The lake was pretty large, [...]
Day 5 On day 5, we had to talk ourselves into leaving the B&B and head out for the day. It was very windy on this particular morning. We finally decided not to let the weather dictate our fun time. We were so glad to have gotten in the car and drive to Crag Cave near Castleisland. It’s a small cave, but the kids loved it. Then we headed toward Killarney to visit the Muckross House. Apparently, Queen Victoria stayed here for two nights, after giving the owners a six-year [...]
Day 4 was boat tour day! We set out on a boat from the tiny town of Ventry. We were headed out towards Blasket Island and possibly spot some aquatic life. We saw some Gannets, a glimpse of a couple porpoises, and some friendly seals. We missed the humpback whales that were spotted earlier in the morning by our wildlife guide. She said that she had seen them earlier from her telescope on the tip of Dingle Peninsula. It was definitely a day to wear our caps to keep the [...]
On day 3, We left County Kerry for County Clare. Our mission: To kiss the Blarney Stone. We stopped just outside of Cork at the Blarney Castle, were tourists wait their turn to kiss the stone that is famous for it’s gift of gab. Gavin did not want to leave Ireland without doing this. Plus, we just had to see what all this Blarney was about. We snaked our way up through the castle. As we neared our turn, Gavin started to get a little anxious. He was a trooper [...]
On day 2, we headed back toward the town of Dingle where we walked around in the rain for quite a while. The rain stopped sometime during our walk around time. Dingle is such a picturesque village with no shortage of pubs. There is even a pub that doubles as a hardware store. This makes me wonder which came first: the pub or the hardware store? We ate lunch at a place called The Diner, which is supposed to be like an American Diner, but much more expensive. I ordered [...]
Living in Europe has given us the opportunity to visit many sites and experience many new things. This year we had the amazing privilege to travel to Ireland for a week. We thought it best to go prepared. We watched a Rick Steves’ video on Ireland and poured over many guidebooks from the library. We decided to spend our time in the southwestern area of the country. Thankfully, Matt is a details kind of guy and he made all the travel arrangements (thanks honey!). We also decided to ditch the [...]
I took last week off to spend with Ginger and the boys. It had been quite a while since I had taken time off and it was very much needed. We didn’t really go anywhere, instead just hung around our neck of the woods and relaxed and spent time together. I was very glad that I didn’t have to plan any major trips – which can sometimes be a logistical nightmare with 2 boys, a dog and a cat! On one of the days, we hopped the train down to Karlsruhe, where right across the street from the Hauptbahnhof (main train station) lies a very beautiful garden area and zoo. It was a gorgeous day – and I’m pretty sure all the animals were happy to see me (well… us!). Enjoy the pics!
Last night we finally made it to the Heidelberg Castle Illumination. Three times a year they reenact the burning of the castle; it is an amazing thing to see and draws quite a crowd. Although we have lived in the Heidelberg area for about 7 years in total, this is the first time that we made it out to see this awesome event. Thanks to our friends, Holger and Angelyn, who took our German conversation group (of which, I tend to provide the most entertainment) up the Philosophenweg to see the lighting from the opposite side of the Neckar River. It was a great evening!
Last week, our friends Melanie and Richard visited us from Crete. On Friday and Saturday, I drove them down to Bavaria to see the Neuschwanstein Castle. No matter how many times I’ve been there, this is one of my favorite places to go in Germany. Maybe not so much to the castle itself, but the area around Füssen is amazingly gorgeous. The colors, the people, the food – all of it comes together to make you feel welcome in one of the most beautiful areas on the planet.
One of the reasons I had really been looking forward to making the trip is that I wanted to have some time to walk around and photograph the Neuschwanstein Castle. Unfortunately, the weather didn’t have the same plans for me. After grabbing a few gray, cloudy pics, I went to one of the restaurants along the path and enjoyed some of my favorite German cuisine while Richard and Melanie toured the castle. Now, I might not have gotten the photos I wanted (another time, perhaps), but the food was good.