Flying Boats and Rainy Cliffs

Trip Start Oct 12, 2010
Trip End Mar 24, 2011

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Where I stayed
Westwood Hotel, Galway, Ireland

Flag of Ireland  , Connaught,
Friday, October 22, 2010

A grey start to the morning today but I didn't mind - into each tour a little rain must fall, right?  We first went throughTralee in County Kerry this morning.  This town may sound familiar if you know the traditional Irish ballad, The Rose of Tralee which tells the tragic and lovely story of an aristocratic young Protestant Irishman who fell in love with the family's beautiful but Catholic maid and the sad tale of separation, heartbreak and everlasting love.  Although young maid Mary killed herself out of longing for her beau, her suitor never got over his loss and is buried beside her in the Tralee cemetery.  Ah, so satisfyingly sad and Irish. 

Off we went, wiping tears away, through the city of Limerick in County Limerick where limericks were not invented but were popularized (how many times can I put the word 'limerick' in one sentence)?  Let me try my hand:

There once was a girl from Spud Isle
Who traveled the world for awhile
She went here and there
Through Ireland most fair
Enjoying each and every green mile!

Leaving Limerick, we cruised on over to the fine village and port of Foynes where they had, of all things, a Flying Boat museum!  Can you imagine such a thing??  OK - believe it or not (and this isn't blarney folks), early commercial aviators created and proceeded to fly basically boats with wings across the Atlantic Ocean just before World War II.  These aircraft were roomy and well appointed inside with dining lounges, comfy seating areas, sleeping berths and a honeymoon suite at the back!  Just when they had fairly successfully figured out how to safely transport commercial passengers on these flying boats, the war broke out and it was no longer safe or feasible to continue this venture.  They'll be trying to send a man to the moon next - sheesh!

Oh - but the best thing about the Foynes Flying Boat museum is that it was in that very spot where Irish Coffee was invented!  We were given a demonstration of the correct way to make a true Irish Coffee and then, sigh, we were compelled to taste and enjoy - such a rough gig!

With a bit of Irish Coffee fortification for the road, we continued on our merry way to Bunratty in County Clare for some sustenance - a spot of lunch at the Creamery Bar Pub near the lovely Bunratty Castle.

Now on to the highlight of the day - the wet and wild Cliffs of Moher - a spectacular spot where the cliffs rise hundreds of feet above the crashing waves of the Atlantic Ocean.  Just our luck, as we were approaching the area, the heavens opened and the renowned 'soft Irish rain' gave way to torrential buckets of rain to add to the Moher experience!  Intrepid trekkers that we are, a fellow traveler, Darlene, and I braved the elements to climb to the top of the cliffs and take in the dramatic (and climactic) views.  We managed not to blow away or drown hundreds of feet above the water, but WOW was it WET!!

Never mind - we squelched back onto the coach and immediately the sun came out as we drove away - I think we must have upset the fairy folk here :)  

Onto Galway for the night - a university port city that featured bumper to bumper traffic at rush hour on the Friday of a long bank holiday weekend.  We were glad to check in at the beautiful Westwood Hotel for a drying out period (and no, it's not a detox centre)... although with a few more Irish coffees, who knows?

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Lisa Sutherland on

Well did I miss all these entries???? Bet you're gonnacarry an extra set of clothes with you on your daily tours now eh? Beautiful pics!

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