Northern Ireland and the Real Westeros

A short trip through Northern Ireland from Belfast up to the Giant’s Causeway has many attractions along the way; many that were used as filming locations for the series Game of Thrones. Not having watched it, I was still just as thrilled as the next person to visit these beautiful landmarks. I know the series’…

Outtakes in Ireland

There are aspects of every trip that do not fit in with other blog entries and that lack the substance to fill out an entry of their own. Many of them are goofy and have nothing to do with the trip or the country I am in, they are just kind of a universally comical…

Onward Clarevoyage, to the Burren!

Ireland’s Galway Bay on the west coast forms a crescent around the Aran Islands. Today, after leaving Kylemore Abbey, we traveled south to Oughterard, Galway, the Dunguaire Castle in Kinvarra, Bell Harbour, Bealaclugga, Ballyvaughan, and into the heart of the Burren. Road Trip Essentials 101 For every road trip, you need a playlist, junk food,…

Doolin & the Cliffs of Moher

  Driving through the Burren along the Wild Atlantic Way filled me with genuine awe. I live in the United States and have traveled around the globe and back, but have never ventured west to the canyons or deserts in my own country. This type of landscape was completely alien to me. Today we made our…

Béal Feirste; On a Quiet Street Where Old Ghosts Meet

Belfast took its name after the Irish phrase Béal Feirste, loosely meaning the mouth of the river at the sandbanks, and has been the capital of Northern Ireland since the late 1800s. A leading city back in the Industrial Revolution and in textile manufacturing, as well as a great contributor to science and technology, Belfast graciously remains less…

Geology & Science, or Big-Mouth Giants?

  At the tip top of Northern Ireland, central to the coast of Antrim, is the Giant’s Causeway. You will find this geographic sorcery in the city of Bushmills, UK and it is about an hour’s drive from Belfast. My pick for this entry is Doomsword’s “The Youth of Finn MacCool”: Local lore spins the…

Lazy Day at Kylemore Abbey

Wealthy British doctor-turned-politician Mitchel Henry built the Kylemore Castle in the heart of Connemara in the late 1800s, and for that time it was mindbogglingly futuristic.   Henry had married the love of his life, Margaret, and they had several children. Shortly after the castle was finished, the family went on a vacation to Egypt where Margaret…

Surreal Connemara

Once Hurricane Ophelia had blown over, we packed up and left our refuge in Letterfrack for a visit to the Connemara National Park. I have never seen a landscape so surreal, in person, in all of my life.   Here, it looks like you are inside a virtual reality game. Every few miles the scene…

Colcannon, Bangers, and Guinness Stew

Having just returned from Ireland, I felt it imperative to revisit a previous blog and add my hand at Guinness stew. Colcannon In honour of Saint Patrick’s Day, I made Colcannon, an Irish dish of cabbage, potatoes, and a whiskey sauce. Simple, quick, and classic comfort food that can be served as a celebratory meal…

Ireland’s Only College Town, Maynooth

Just outside of Dublin, Maynooth feels more like a suburban neighbourhood than a town of its own.  It is artful and well-designed with no pretension. You can reach Maynooth by heading west on the M4/N4/N6 Motorway route that leads cross-country from Dublin to Galway. Our intention was to snap a few photos of the Maynooth Castle…