Tag Archives: Ireland

Another Look: Travel

Welcome to a new installment of Another Look!  This post is designed to share some goodies from my blog’s archive while I’m recovering from my surgeries.  I hope you enjoy these links, whether you’re seeing them for the first time or have seen them once before.  Today’s category is travel!  Just click on the name of the post to link over…*

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A Photographic Tour: Peru

 

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A Photographic Tour: Ireland

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A Photographic Tour: New York City
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A Photographic Tour: Kansas
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A Photographic Tour: New Orleans, Louisiana

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My wish list of places to go includes Italy, India, Thailand, Scotland, China, New England in the fall, New Zealand, and many, many more – just about any place that isn’t ridiculously dangerous.  Which travel destinations are your favorites, dear readers?  I’d love to hear about them – maybe I’ll add them to my travel wish list!

Warm regards,
Melody

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A Photographic Tour: Ireland

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In December of 2004 I traveled to Ireland for a guided tour.  I was so excited!  It was my first time overseas, and was my first real international trip.  (I’d been across the border into Mexico a few years prior, but when you live in Southern California that doesn’t count as international.  At least not in my book!)

I toured with CIE Tours International, and I had a wonderful time!  I was only in Ireland for five full days, which was much too short a time to get my fill, but it was plenty long enough for me to fall in love with the country.  The scenery was utterly gorgeous, and the people were charming.  I was particularly lucky to meet up with some of my Irish family when I was in both Dublin and Galway, and appreciate the effort they made to see me.

I hope to return to Ireland in the not-too-distant future – there’s still so much to see and do!  In the meantime, here is a semi-brief photo tour of my time in Ireland.  There’s more to the trip, but this will give you an overview.

My Tour of Ireland

The tour began in Dublin, and we started with a driving tour of the city, which included stops at Trinity College and St. Patrick’s Cathedral.  I saw pages from the Book of Kells at Trinity College and nearly swooned.  Such amazing artistry and mind-bogglingly detailed illuminated pages!

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Top: A busy Dublin weekday
Bottom: Landscaping detail at Trinity College

The next day we left Dublin behind and drove southwest, and I got my first glimpse of the Irish countryside.  Gorgeous!  Our first stop was at the Rock of Cashel, and I was literally giddy with excitement as we approached the stone ruins.  Off the tour bus, feet on the ground, breathing the crisp air, I felt so alive and invigorated!  Knowing the site had been there braving the elements for centuries was amazing, and I took dozens of pictures.

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From top to bottom:
The Rock of Cashel
Gravestones at the Rock of Cashel
Looking down at the village of Cashel
The Irish countryside

Continuing southwest, our next stop was at Blarney Castle.  What an experience!  The staircase to the top level consisted of dozens of narrow stone steps spiraling up – up – up.  The view was worth it though – the gorgeous scenery illustrated why Ireland is called the Emerald Isle, said to have forty shades of green.

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Top: The view from atop Blarney Castle
Bottom: The grounds at Blarney Castle

My third full day in Ireland included the Ring of Kerry.  The Ring of Kerry is a scenic drive in the southwest, well known the world over.  It didn’t disappoint!  Some noteworthy stops included Dingle Bay, lunch at the Scaraff Inn,  and the village of Sneem, which was darling.

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From top to bottom:

Boats near Valencia Island
At our lunch stop at the Scaraff Inn
Wild flowers near the Inn
Gorgeous scenery in the village of Sneem

On day four we traveled north to Galway. Our journey included a ferry ride across the River Shannon estuary and a stop at the Cliffs of Moher.  It was very windy at the Cliffs of Moher, which made for an unforgettable experience.  I had to brace myself against the stone fence to keep from getting blown around while taking photos!

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Top: The dramatic and beautiful Cliffs of Moher
Middle: A delicious lunch of vegetable soup and a wheat scone
Bottom: Approaching Galway Bay

Our group visited Kylemore Abbey on the last full day of the tour, and it was a beautiful site.  Once a private castle, it’s now an abbey for Benedictine nuns and a private school for girls.  The main building, nearby lake, and the church tucked into the woods were lovely.

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From top to bottom:
The main building
The little church was nestled into the woods
Architectural details inside
Window details outside

I definitely wasn’t ready to leave when my departure day rolled around, but was incredibly thankful for the time I did have on the Emerald Isle.  I flew out of the Shannon airport on the west coast.

I’d  wholeheartedly recommend Ireland as a travel destination.  Just be prepared for the weather, which can change from sunny to rainy within minutes.  The Irish say there’s no bad weather, just inappropriate clothing, and since I was prepared with a slicker and an umbrella I was perfectly content.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this photographic tour of Ireland.  To see a feature about travel journals, which includes my Ireland travel journal, please click here.  Please post a comment if you have any questions or comments on either post.

Warm regards,
Melody

Posted in art journaling, life in general, photography, travel | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , 4 Comments

I Haiku. Do you?

From time to time I will share a haiku with you, dear readers.  I must say that I’m a fairly recent haiku convert, and didn’t fully embrace this Japanese form of poetry until a year or two ago.  However, after a writer friend shared the fun of haiku, and kindly reminded me that I need to accurately count my syllables (yes folks, I once goofed on a simple syllable count!), I’ve really enjoyed writing the occasional haiku.

Traditional haiku is quite different than the poems I have created thus far.  For example, a traditional haiku uses a season word and my haiku generally do not.  (For the history of haiku, please click this link)

However, being a bit non-traditional hasn’t stopped me from forging ahead and creating a slightly modified English/Melody version consisting of three lines.  There are five syllables in the first line, seven syllables in the second line, and five syllables in the last line.  Here is an example – a haiku about haiku!

A haiku is brief
Verbal minimalism
Choose words carefully

Get the idea?  Here is my first official haiku for my blog – complete with a related photograph.

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Beautiful Ireland
Love your forty shades of green
I long to return

It’s pretty fun once you get going!  Perhaps you’ll be inspired to write a few 5-7-5’s of your own.  Please feel free to post a haiku in the comments section of this blog post – I’d love to see what y’all come up with!

Warm regards,
Melody

p.s. This photo, of the Cliffs of Moher, was taken on the western coast of Ireland.

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