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Posts Tagged ‘travel to ireland’

Last month a few of us converged on Dublin, Ireland for my sister’s 50th birthday. She and her hubby flew over from South Africa and my daughter, son-in-law, grandson and I flew over from the UK.

Ireland selfie 😊😊

I love Ireland and enjoy visiting as often as possible…this was my 9th visit.

We had supper the first night at Eddie Rockets; the same place where I made the momentous decision to NOT return to South Africa, but to stay in Ireland for another 2 months till my visa expired, then fly across to the UK to obtain the necessary information to apply for my ancestral visa. (And here I am, 20 years later – my 20 year anniversary coincided with my sister’s birthday, so a meal at Eddie Rockets was a must!)

The food as always, was delicious 😋

We had a few days of exploring and reminiscing and visited a couple of lovely places; Glendalough being one

Lower Lake, Glendalough
In the distance you can see the Round Tower in the Monastic City complex.

The lakes, formed by glaciers, in the Glendalough Valley are located in the Wicklow Mountains National Park. Besides the lakes and wonderful walks, including The Wicklow Way, there’s the world famous Monastic Site with Round Tower and chapel where St Kevin reputedly spent some time.

Glendalough is home to one of the most important monastic sites in Ireland. This early Christian monastic settlement was founded by St. Kevin in the 6th century and from this developed the “Monastic City”. Most of the buildings that survive today date from the 10th through 12th centuries. Despite attacks by Vikings over the years, Glendalough thrived as one of Ireland’s great ecclesiastical foundations and schools of learning until the Normans destroyed the monastery in 1214 A.D. and the dioceses of Glendalough and Dublin were united. For more information here’s the link https://visitwicklow.ie/listing/glendalough-monastic-city/

A screen shot of the complex off Google maps
Round Tower
Glendalough Cathedral
St Kevin’s Church

Being back at Glendalogh has inspired me to walk around the lakes, and then head over to walk the Ring of Kerry. I’ve already walked the virtual route via the Conqueror challenges and now I’d love to walk it in real time.

On our way back to Dublin we drove over to the east Coast and stopped off at Bray for a stroll along the Promenade and beach, then dinner.

Love a long promenade
Family time on the beach at Bray

We visited St Stephen’s Green where my grandson did a fairly good imitation of a sculpture 😁😁 Just in the opposite direction!

We visited Christ Church Cathedral where my grandson wanted to try out all the chairs, and he and I stood on medieval tiles

Still tiny little feet 🥰💙

Christ Church Cathedral, originally a Viking Church, is almost 1,000 years old. It was founded circa 1028, is Dublin’s oldest working structure, and is the spiritual heart of Dublin. It is also one of Ireland’s top visitor attractions and a place of pilgrimage through the centuries.

Then Marsh’s Library where they had a fantastic exhibition about elephants

Such an interesting history

Marsh’s Library was founded in the early 18th century by Archbishop Narcissus Marsh (1638-1713). Designed by Sir William Robinson (d. 1712) the Surveyor General of Ireland, it is one of the very few 18th century buildings left in Dublin that is still being used for its original purpose.

On my sister’s birthday we enjoyed a walk along the Grand Canal near Phoenix Park while visiting with their friends.

As with UK canals, you can see some beautiful canalboats either moored or in transit.

It’s a lovely way to travel and I invariably have canalboat lifestyle envy…

The Grand Canal stretches for 131km, with 43 locks, five of which are double locks, from Dublin to the River Shannon in County Offaly…would definitely be worth a walk. The Grand Canal (Irish: An Chanáil Mhór) is the southernmost of a pair of canals that connect Dublin, in the east of Ireland, with the River Shannon in the west, via Tullamore and a number of other villages and towns, the two canals nearly encircling Dublin’s inner city. Its sister canal on the Northside of Dublin is the Royal Canal. The last working cargo barge passed through the Grand Canal in 1960. Ref Wikipedia

Loved this sculpture
One of the many bridges along the canal

We also visited Howth, and a brief visit to the castle ruins, then a walk along the coast. A stunning day, the route took us through magical forests and up some precipitous paths, the sun added a welcome warmth.

Remnants of Howth Castle

Since 1180 the St Lawrence family were the feudal lords of Howth. The original family castle, a timber structure, was sited on the edge of Howth village, on Tower Hill, overlooking Balscadden Bay. In some form, Howth Castle has stood on its present site for over 750 years. The great English architect Sir Edwin Lutyens in 1911 restyled a 14th-century castle built here, overlooking Ireland’s Eye and the north Dublin coastline.

The estate previously included much of coastal northern Dublin, including the lands of Kilbarrack, Raheny and parts of Clontarf, but these were gradually sold off from the mid-19th to the mid-20th century. Ref Wikipedia

A magical walk through a forest
We’re going this way…or is it that way?
Oh how I love steps 🚶‍♀️ 😁

In all a wonderful visit and much swapping of stories. Its quite hard being so far away from the people you love and life invariably gets in the way of communication.

And then it was the final day and a last walk around Dublin

My little sister…50! Wow 💖💖 – I used to change her nappies ☺☺
Happy Birthday 🎂 🥳 🎉

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Midway through my walk along Hadrian’s Wall I got a message from my brother-in-law to say that he was treating my sister to a trip to Ireland for her 50th birthday 🎂 🥳 Hoorah! And would I be able to join them? Would I just!!! ☺☺

This is a significant birthday and definitely needs to be celebrated in outstanding fashion.

25 x 2!!

It’s kind of a circle too; it will be 20 years since I flew to Ireland from South Africa to celebrate her 30th birthday …. a journey that changed the course of my life and ultimately my daughter’s life too.

Now they’re flying over from South Africa and I’m flying from the UK.

Isn’t it interesting, the many twists and turns of life, and how an action you take one day/month/year can have unexpected consequences.

I’m delighted and really excited to see them again – it’s been 5 years since I was last in SA, and with Covid-19 I had no plans to travel there for the foreseeable future…mostly because SA is still on the UK’s ‘red list’ and I would have had to quarantine for 2 weeks on my return at an extortionate cost in a hotel room.

But it seems that Ireland has less draconian and inwardlooking rules than the UK and you can visit as long as you’re vaccinated.

So it was with much excitement that I booked my flight to Ireland and on 7th October we will be meeting in Dublin, along with my daughter, son-in-law and grandson to celebrate my sister’s 50th and tag on the 20th anniversary 😀 of my new life in the northern hemisphere. Although 50 beats 20 any day 😁😁

It’s with much excitement that I’m counting the days. ☺ 🗓

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Since that day in July 2000 when I had cause to call on you in haste, we have been close companions, never far from each other’s side as you have opened doors and guided me across borders.

I recall that when we first met it was under dire circumstance; my daughter had just been knocked down and run over by a golf-cart in Philadelphia, US of A, and I needed your help as a matter of urgency.   Fortunately she recovered after a short stint in hospital and although many laughed at the thought of someone being run over by a golf-cart….you hurried over and did not leave, mindful of the fact it was no joke at all.

As it turned out she swiftly recovered and in due course returned home so we did not have to leave the country.

Keeping close, we did eventually venture across the seas and our first port of call was Zurich in Switzerland.  There we did not tarry long, keen to be off and on our way to Dublin in Ireland, stopping briefly in London.    You saw me safely through Border Control and no-one doubted your authenticity.

Since then we have kept each other company as we travelled far and wide across the world.

We’ve made numerous crossings across the Irish sea, sometimes by plane, once by bus (an experience hopefully never to be repeated), and whenever we returned home to South Africa you were always there, sturdy in your constancy.

I thank you now for all those trips, holidays far and wide; first New York where we were met by my daughter and treated to a limosine ride from the airport, then taken on a tour of New York City. From there we flew to Florida, and you were always at my side.

Next we ventured into Europe: travelling first to Venice in Italy, then Paris in France via the Eurostar – to celebrate my 50th, Amsterdam in The Netherlands (just for fun), then Gibraltar (a British stronghold) to celebrate the Bi-Centennary of the Battle of Trafalgar, where to my dismay we were unable to cross into Spain :(. In between we went to the Bahamas on a cruise, and visited family back in South Africa.

A few years later we returned to Paris in France again and then onto Bruges in Belgium for a holiday. Since then we have been back to visit with my sister and brother-in-law in Ireland and to Phoenix Arizona for my Date With Destiny.

And now, as the times draws near for when you expire, I have to hand you over to the Authorities, hopeful that they will treat you with care.

It is with a heavy heart that I have to replace you.

And although this means that we will never travel together again, you will always hold a special place in my heart, fondly remembered for all the joy and laughter that has been mine to enjoy as we travelled to places near and far.

So to you I say; thank you – dear Passport…..farewell.

On the plus side; I get to change the photograph 🙂

On the negative side; I’m ten years older 😦

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