Stuif's Adventures

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Ireland, December 2012
Ireland is one of the European countries I had never visited yet. My friends Pat and Roger have a daughter living there with her family. They stayed with them when I came back to Amsterdam, and they invited me to come and visit them.
I gratefully accepted their invitation, and I had a wonderful time.

I did not expect much regarding the climate. According to Wikipedia: "The climate of Ireland can be summed up as being mild, moist and changeable with abundant rainfall" After my visit I can add: and with lots of fog...:-).

So, don't expect many "touristic" pictures in this report.

As Bailieborough, where Angela and John live, is really countryside and not easy to reach, I was happy that Pat and Rocer came to the airport to pick me up. On our way back, they told me that that evening we would go to the church ...:-). Ciara and Roan, their grandchildren, were taking part in a Christmas musical organised by the school.

First we had dinner with my first glass of Guinness.
The musical was called "Nativity Rocks" and was a pleasure to watch. It was clear that the players had been rehearsing for a long time.

The next day started promising with the sun rising through the mist. We had a full Irish breakfast and then started our trip. Soon it became clear that the sun was losing the battle, so it remained misty with drizzle.

My first Guinness!

Dinner with Pat and Roger

Nativity Rocks!

Mary and Joseph

Roan and friends

The bungalow of John and Angela

Bringing the kids to school

Morning frost

A real Irish breakfast

White wagtail. looking for crumbs
We decided to change our plans and went to the Cavan County Museum. Cavan is one of the counties of Ulster. I must confess that I didn't know much about the history of Ireland, had never heard about the Plantation of Ulster, the Great Famine or the Anglo_Irish treaty, so this museum visit was very informative!

After lunch we drove around the countryside, visited some villages and a lake, but the weather did not improve, so we went home, to enjoy a real Irish dinner, prepared by Angela.

Cavan County Museum

Inside the museum

Bird Residential Area

Scenic landscapes



Old cottages


Goujon for lunch

Modern "cottage"

Swan mother and child

Many decorated shops

Home of John and Angela

Angela preparing dinner

Cutting the bacon
The next day the weather had not improved, so we decided to visit some small towns and have lunch in the Cabra Castle hotel. My general impression of the country is that it is poor. We saw many derelict housing estates. But the landscape is fascinating, the rolling hills, the trees covered with ivy, many lakes. The mist and rain added to the feeling of magic.

Bacon and Cabbage

Shopping street

Derelict housing estate

One of the many lakes

Another swan family


But not easy walking

Another old cottage
The Cabra Castle was a pleasant surprise. After a complicated history it has now become a luxury hotel cum museum. The food was good and not really expensive

Irish landscape

One year ago still a pub!

Cabra Castle Hotel

In front of the entrance

An Irish wolfhound

The hotel bar

Nice interior

Hunting trophies

Lunch in the library

Our lunch

More Irish landscape

Strange tree trunk

Austere beauty
After lunch, we visited the small town of Carrickmacross (those Irish names!). The rain had stopped, so we had a walk in the town and visited a few places. Interesting was the Workhouse, dating back to the Famine years (1845-1852), where poor people without job and food had to go to stay alive.


A pub

Collecting Christmas charity

Signs in English and Gaelic

Funeral undertaker cum liquor shop!

The Poor Law Union Workhouse

From the side

Chlidren's dormitory

Derelict part of the workhouse

The Fever Hospital
That evening we had a nice family dinner in Virginia. Because of the heavy fog we cancelled a plan to go to a pub with live music, instead we went home and spent a pleasant evening with the family.

The next day it was already time to say goodbye and take the bus to the airport. It will be nice to come back another time, hopefully with better weather.


Another decorated shop

Dinner with the family

Black pudding with caramelised apples

Enjoying our food

The family in a mirror

Roan with his Titanic

Father and son with another Titanic

Granddad teaching Ciara a trick

Mother learning from daughter

Angela and John in front of their bungalow

Finally a view from the house without fog!
lightlingmk2 wrote on Dec 27, 2012:
Nice country Jan. Is this the Rep Ireland or British. The food is fantastic.

Kwai Loh wrote on Dec 27, 2012:
Hi KCLiew, My friends are living in the Republic of Ireland. They are planning to spend a few days in Belfast (Northern Ireland) but the situation there is at the moment not quiet (conflicts between Catholics and Protestants again).

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