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O’Brien Ireland Tour; Day 2

Somewhere In Ireland Copyright  2014  Andy Richards

Somewhere In Ireland
Copyright 2014 Andy Richards

Really the first day of the official tour, it was our second day in country. We had spent Good Friday walking around Dublin’s City Center. Our only regret was that since most of the country (with the exception, of course, of Northern Ireland) is very “Catholic,” and thus, take Good Friday as perhaps their most important annual holiday. Many things were closed that day, including all of the pubs! We were able to have a nice meal in our Hotel restaurant, however, and to have our first taste of Ireland’s perhaps most famous, Guinness beer.

Temple Bar Area Dublin City Center Copyright  2014  Andy Richards

Temple Bar Area
Dublin City Center
Copyright 2014 Andy Richards

The next morning, I was up early and walked around the city center, a bit more, taking as much advantage as I could of the nice morning light. We had pretty nice weather (particularly considering what we expected) most of the week we were there.

Clonmacnoise Monastic Site Copyright  2014  Andy Richards

Clonmacnoise Monastic Site
Copyright 2014 Andy Richards

Our driver and some of the members of our group met us in the lobby of our hotel at 11:00. We got on the bus and headed for Galway, shortly thereafter, with a stop at the Clonmacnoise monasic site (one of the many ruins we would see dotted throughout the Irish landscape). The drive was mainly on one of the 2 or 3 limited access “highways” in Ireland. Most of the roads are “country roads,” that are narrow, 2-lane affairs, often without shoulders. It was very reminiscent of my days of living in New England and particularly Vermont and New Hampshire. Because of the “main highway” nature of the drive we didn’t see a lot of the “real” Irish countryside. The opening image is more representative of the views we often got from the bus during the week, however.

Clonmacnoise Monastic Site Copyright  2014  Andy Richards

Clonmacnoise Monastic Site
Copyright 2014 Andy Richards

There were so many places I would have stopped and scouted and set up for more creative photography and better composition. Instead, I often found myself shooting fleetingly from a moving vehicle. It was frustrating at times. I look forward to the day I can go back and travel on my own time schedule.

Clonmacnoise Monastic Site Copyright  2014  Andy Richards

Clonmacnoise Monastic Site
Copyright 2014 Andy Richards

The Clonmacnoise site offered some pretty nice views out onto the landscape, with the river behind and picturesque ruins in the foreground.

Clonmacnoise Monastic Site Copyright  2014  Andy Richards

Clonmacnoise Monastic Site
Copyright 2014 Andy Richards

Later that afternoon, we arrived at the Park House Hotel, in Galway, where we would spend the next 3 nights. Our first night was a group dinner served by the hotel/restaurant staff and it was there that I began my odyssey and education in the ways of Irish single pot distilled Irish Whiskey.

Park House Hotel Copyright  2014  Andy Richards

Park House Hotel
Copyright 2014 Andy Richards

 

During our stay at the Park House, we ended each evening at Garvey’s Pub, directly accross the street from our hotel, where we sampled the local beers and Irish whiskeys, and some local music.

Garvey's Pub Galway, Ireland Copyright  2014  Andy Richards

Garvey’s Pub
Galway, Ireland
Copyright 2014 Andy Richards

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