Schlepp and Willie Go to Ireland
For as long as I've known Karl and Caro, they've wanted to go to Ireland.
Once they even had tickets but Caro's mother got sick. This time
round, Karl's mom needed surgery. As luck would have it, the surgery
was scheduled just after they got back. (Karl's mom is doing fine,
by the way.)
Here we are at the fabled Cliffs of Moher (pronounced like "more") looking
north. Its probably 800 feet to the water but people still went right
up to the cliff's edge. It was our first day in Ireland and since the
sun was shining, we just had to get out. Even with jet-lag, it was
great. Karl did better than in England with driving on the "proper"
(that is, left) side of the road. You never know when you'll get a sunny
day so its best to take advantage of every minute. After all, this
is September and not high season. There's another picture looking to
the south in the 2005 calendar.
True to form, the next day was cloudy, windy, cold, and damp. But
we headed out for the Burren anyway. Its a strange glacier-swept tableland
of unusual rock formations, with few trees, little soil, and ancient ruins.
Here Karl photographs us near Black Head--the wind has us plastered
to the side of the rock--we didn't even need a ledge to sit on. Below
is the picture Karl took. There are small dolmens, stacks of rocks, piled
up everywhere. I'm sure it is a place of powerful magic.
The next day our hostess at the Berry Lodge (great food!) suggested we
take a look at Loop Head, a very out-of-the-way spit of land that juts out
into the Atlantic. As you can see, once again we had steep cliffs and
thundering seas. We also had a beautiful day with light wind and plenty
of sunshine, although clouds did come by a time or two. You can see
another picture of Willie and I at the Loop Head Lighthouse in the 2005
After we left the wonderful Berry Lodge, we headed south to the famous
Ring of Kerry. We had to cross the very wide River Shannon and that
meant taking a ferry. Willie was soooo excited because he hadn't taken
a ferry since last year in Victoria. They always remind him of home
in the Isle of Wright. As usual, we had to go explore and soon we found
the engine room door.
We stayed at Glanleam House on Valentia Island. Here Willie and
I raise the interest of an Irish sheep. Not that you can tell from
this photo, we were on a scenic cliff overlooking the harbor where the first
trans-Atlantic telegraph cable came ashore.
Valentia Island had craggy coasts that caught the Atlantic waves, which
in many ways is much like my home in Oregon. If you turned around
you could see a lighthouse just a bit away.
But there were also quite coves--this is just a little way around the
corner from that rocky coast and you can see the lighthouse I mentioned.
Children play on the beach and the old dog Johnnie from Glanleam House
barks and runs with them even though he's deaf now. For a moment you
would almost think this is a Greek Island.
Well, if you've gotten this far, your modem has been hard at work downloading
a bunch of pictures. Follow this link to
see the amazing subtropical gardens of Glanleam Gardens, wonderous castles,
mysterious leprochaun lairs, and magical faerie rings.