In Connemara, Ireland, peat is still a fairly common fuel source. These bricks have been cut from the ground and left to dry out. Sometimes we saw them in neat little pyramids or piles, but I rather liked the chaos of this cluster.
The ruins of Ballycarbery castle in Cahersiveen, Ireland show how nature and time can turn even neat stacks of stones in wilderness.
When you think of Ireland, you might immediately think of the color green, but actually it is a country of many colors.
Dublin especially is very colorful in its architecture, plus there are flowers everywhere. I have never seen more window baskets! Someone had even added fresh flowers to the haunting statues at the Famine Memorial.
Red pops up everywhere, especially on doors.
I was also surprised by the food! It’s not just pub food (though that was good, too). We had a lot of fresh meat and fish, fresh vegetables, even curry and tapas in Dublin. And everything had such beautiful presentation! I don’t normally take pictures of my food, but I did it all the time in Ireland!
During our 8 day trip through Ireland with the Vagabond crew, my mom and I got to stay at a few truly unique places, including…a castle! We spent a night at the beautiful Ballynahinch Castle in Connemara, and it was one of the nicest hotels I’ve ever stayed in.
There is so much character to Ballynahinch. The rooms all have names; we were in “Caislean Lough,” which I think means Loch Castle. Here’s the view from our window.
The original house was built in 1756 as an inn. The current hotel manages to blend old and new perfectly, with lovely modern conveniences as well as historical charm. We were so charmed we didn’t even mind carrying our luggage up the stairs!
The grounds are absolutely beautiful and I wish we had had more time to explore them. If you love the outdoors, this is the place for you.
The Guinness Storehouse in Dublin is a fun way to learn about the famous beer company and maybe sample a bit of their product. But what drew my eye in the souvenir shop?
And yet as pretty as they were, I didn’t end up buying anything because I rarely drink and I don’t particularly like Guinness! (I admit, it is true that it tastes better in Dublin.) I guess I am too practical.
Another cool display in Ireland was found at the Gougane Barra hotel: dolls from all over the world.