Virtual Tour of Ireland: Part Three

When we planned out this series of blog posts a few weeks ago, we chose a “tour of Ireland”, merely keeping in line with a theme of St. Patrick’s Day. We had no idea that travel, or life, as we know it was to come to a complete halt.

It’s taken us a few days to grasp the reality of our current situation, and that our “daily routine” has been severely disrupted. We’re coming to grips with it little by little. Our first hope and prayer are for our family and yours to stay healthy. After that, we are simply trying to keep as much of a routine as possible. Also, it’s helpful to make sure we are staying positive. We hope these images of Ireland bring you happy thoughts and dreams about future times to come. So, let’s forge on with the virtual tour.

County Clare

In the last post, we focused on Doolin and the Cliffs of Moher. After seeing the Cliffs by boat and then spending a night in Doolin, Petunia and Tim were picked up by one of their (highly recommended) drivers, Peter Mooney. Earlier in their trip, Peter toured them around the Connemara Loop. His next assignment was to get them from Doolin to Dingle. He planned the drive so that they could visit some more sights in County Clare.

First, they headed for The Burren. The Burren is a 10 square mile limestone plateau full of prehistoric and early Christian sites. It also has a unique ecosystem. Mediterranean and Arctic wildflowers bloom next to each other. You can read more about this unique area here.

Notice the unique limestone surface where Tim and Peter Mooney are standing.

One of the most popular sites on the Burren is is Poulnabrone Dolmen, or the portal tomb.

After leaving the portal tomb, they made some other interesting stops. One such stop was in Lisdoonvarna, at the Lisdoonvarna Spa Wells. Now, this was not on Peter’s list of stops, and you’re not going to find it on a conventional tour of Ireland. But Petunia happens to be obsessed with mineral spring spas and was very curious about this place. Peter lives in Lisdoonvarna, so he was able to set up an impromptu tour with Pat Dowling, chairman of the Lisdoonvarna Historical Society.

Getting some exercise in the Spa Wells historical center.
Looking down on the Spa Wells

Finally, some art!

Road to Lisdoonvarna

The tour in Lisdoonvarna was very informative, and special because it was probably the most authentic, least “touristy” attraction visited during their ten days in Ireland.

Next Up….More Cliffs then on to Dingle.

A Note

Our hearts go out to all of the people that helped to make our various trips to Ireland special. We know that the current situation is making life difficult for people at home and abroad. We are looking forward to the day we can get back to Ireland and other beloved spaces!

A Virtual Tour of Ireland: Part Two

It’s time for Part 2 of our Virtual Tour of Ireland. If you missed the first post, focused on scenes of Galway and the Aran Islands, you can find it here. For this virtual tour, we pair my paintings with Petunia’s trip photos.

Part Two: Doolin

Petunia and Tim departed the Aran Islands by ferry and headed for Doolin. They took a chance to plan their trip this way because the Aran Islands to Doolin ferry cancels more frequently that the route between Galway, only because of the exposure to the Atlantic Ocean. Thankfully, they had great weather, and the trip went off without a hitch. One of the benefits of traveling to Doolin by ferry is that you get to experience the nearby Cliffs of Moher from the water.

Cliffs
Watercolor on Canvas

Doolin is famous for its traditional music scene. An Upper Village and Lower Village loosely divide the town. The dividing mark is the bridge at Fisher Street, pictured below.

Doolin Bridge
Petunia’s version.

Here are some more tips for a stay in Doolin.

For lodging, we had a great experience at Moloney House.

The town is another departure point for the Aran Islands, and you can make a day trip from Doolin, weather permitting. We had a great experience on the Happy Hooker run by Doolin Ferries. We would not recommend going out on rough seas but go for it if it’s a calm day.

Make sure you spend some time in one of the pubs. Our two favorites were Gus O’Connor’s and Fitzpatrick’s.

Even if you don’t make a trip to the Aran Islands, you can take a Cliff tour by boat through the Doolin Ferries as well. Check out the picture below from a close-up at the bottom of the Cliffs.

A Tour of Ireland

In the early 2000s, the Queen Bee and I took a couple of trips to Ireland. Both trips involved biking, music, and art. Petunia took a more recent trip last summer. Since I had created a series of art around my trips, she thought it was pretty cool to finally get to see some of the places that I painted for herself.

It’s March! What better time to take a virtual tour of Ireland?

We thought it would be fun to take you on a virtual tour of our collective trips using my paintings along with some of her photos.

Her trip started in Galway, so we’ll start there.

If you’ve never been to Galway, it is a lively university town. While it’s lighter on attractions compared to some other cities, its charm is its ambiance. Walking the medieval streets of Galway is an experience unto itself. There is music everywhere, the streets, the pubs, the churches, you name it. My impression of Galway is captured here with Galway Band.

Below are some photos from Petunia’s 2019 trip to Galway.

Don’t try this!
Spend the night and you’ll have the place almost to yourself.

Here are some more tips from Petunia…

In Galway, stay at Petra House. It’s close enough to walk to the Galway city center, but far enough away from the pubs to avoid the late-night noise. Frank and Joan are great hosts.

Take a walking tour with Liam Silke. You can sign up at the Galway Tourist Information Centre on Forster Street.

If you can walk, do as much of it as you can. This town is full of interesting sights.

Up Next…Doolin

Win Five Artist Greeting Cards

In case you missed it, I sent out an email newsletter last week. In it, there is a trivia question. The first person to send me an email at rhyonke@gmail.com with the accurate answer wins these cards.

I’m still waiting for a winner!

Here’s the link to the newsletter if you want to give it a shot.

There’s no catch. Be the first one to answer the question, and we send you these cards, hand signed by me, at no cost to you!