Athlone, a first taste of the Irish Midlands

Athlone owes its existence to its location once as the principal crossing point on the River Shannon. Here the east of Ireland was linked to the west, and the river was an artery for communication and commerce. Originally named An Sean Ath Mor, “The Great Ford of Antiquity,” it later became “Atha Luain,” the . . . → Read More: Athlone, a first taste of the Irish Midlands

Market Day in Galway

The second day of my stay in Galway was “Market Day,” and I had read about the “don’t miss this” opportunity with the colorful stands of the once-a-week Saturday morning market. I summoned a cab for a ride to the market—and was dropped off a block from Shop Street, the very same place where . . . → Read More: Market Day in Galway

Getting to know Galway on “Shop Street”

I arrived in Galway to my hotel, on the outskirts, and decided that cabs were my best bet getting into the city. My skills as a left-side driver were improving, but I wasn’t ready to test them in a crowded city, and without a GPS to help direct me. My first stop was “Shop Street,” . . . → Read More: Getting to know Galway on “Shop Street”

Kylemore Abbey and the Connemara

After 3 days in “the wrong Newport,” it was time for me to move on to Galway, my next destination. I had passed around Galway on my way north to Newport, and found a secondary road through the Connemara region to return with different scenery. Slowly, my confidence in driving on the left side . . . → Read More: Kylemore Abbey and the Connemara

Westport, and a visit to Westport House

I had passed through Westport as a junction to the final highway to Newport, on my way, and saved an afternoon to return and explore. It has a street named “Shop Street,” full of restaurants, pubs, clothing and shoe shops, and shops of many other small merchants. Coming into a place so busy and . . . → Read More: Westport, and a visit to Westport House

The Ruins of Burrishoole Abbey

On the carriageway to Achill Island I had passed another place of interest, and went back the next evening to find the sign directing me to Burrishoole Abbey, on another narrow lane heading toward the sea, and not far from Newport.

The roadside sign pointing out the lane to the abbey

It was about 3 . . . → Read More: The Ruins of Burrishoole Abbey

Kileen Cemetery by the sea

On my way to Achill Island, north of Newport, I passed the Kileen cemetery, the name of one of my good friends (Killeen–but signage at the cemetery was spelled both ways). It was only a kilometer off the “carriageway,” and I decided to follow my curiosity. First, I stopped to consider my first jaunt . . . → Read More: Kileen Cemetery by the sea

Newport, County Mayo–the WRONG Newport

I left Limerick with my heart in my throat—it had been an easy drive from Shannon Airport to my hotel in Limerick, about 15 miles along a “motorway” (freeway), and my hotel was on the near side of town, easy to spot—third exit from the third roundabout. (God bless Google maps!) So far, no . . . → Read More: Newport, County Mayo–the WRONG Newport

The “Titanic” blog—not “enormous,” just a disaster (for me)

I’m back from Ireland, back in my home in Spello, and I’ve been trying to figure out how to tell this story, write this blog. The day after I met my Irish cousins in Limerick, I was picked up by Martin (one of my cousins) for a day of visits to family heritage sites near . . . → Read More: The “Titanic” blog—not “enormous,” just a disaster (for me)

Family Ties in “The Old Country,” Ireland

April 30, 2017

This current trip began on April 20, when I arrived to open my home in Spello and clean for guests arriving from Sacramento and staying for 2 weeks, while I had to go elsewhere and leave my home to them. After considering many options, including visiting Sardinia’s beaches, going back to . . . → Read More: Family Ties in “The Old Country,” Ireland