A Travellerspoint blog

Bonjour Saint Emilion

Why would I forget my iPad?

sunny 32 °C

Up and off to Dublin airport, after we have already accepted we will pay excess luggage. It didn't matter how many ti es we weighed it, and changed the packing, we were overwhelmingly over our limit! We accepted our fate, and duly paid a rediculous amount of money to leave Ireland. We didn't really want to leave, we had barely touched the country, but hadn't stopped at all in over a week! Ireland is such a beautiful country so full of history, lovely people, many, many pubs, and a fond penchant for lively music, and dancing! We have loved every minute, laughed more than we should have, and have struggled to really accept something was built, and inhabited, 1300 years ago. Seriously, we can't build a house that will withstand 100 years!!

Off we go, aboard Aer Lingus one last time, and depart the stunning greenery of Ireland.
In the blink of an eyelid ( it was a really slow blink!) we have landed in Bordeaux, and the reality of driving on the wrong side of the road, sitting on the wrong side of the car, and getting acquainted with a new GPS dawned on us. We collected the car, and thankfully she changed the GPS language to English. That will help! I got in, we decided to name our GPS voice, Margaux, in honour of the Chateau. Off we went, straight into peak hour traffic.
Judy was excited to find her seat had a leg rest that rose up, just so she was comfortable.she wanted music. I was struggling with road signs, traffic, and a new car. We sat in that car for around one and a half hours to finally arrive at the quintessentially cute village of Saint Emilion, our home for the next three nights! Geez, so picture perfect, so French, so stunningly gorgeous. For these reasons, the only other country I could happily live in, is France. I love everything about her. There is nothing not to love!

We find our accommodation after I have spent a good 15 minutes trying to fit a big Citroen in a small parking spot. Ther rubbish bins are to the side of the car park. You can tell a lot about places by the Ki d of rubbish there is. We quickly realise we have come home. We are going to fit right in here. Without question, we will fit in!
We find our apartment, or gite. There are stairs. We are over dragging cases up stairs. It is now a two person job, per case. I shit you not. It is embarrassing. We drag them up, realise that the loft bed is cute, but not even Judy can stand up without hitting her head, and off to find dinner we go. A beautiful restaurant, where I finally get to Use my French I have been diligently studying for over a year now! The gentleman at the restaurant barely spoke English, so I had to use my best French! I was excited that he understood me. Not so when he thought I was fluent, and started to speak about much more, that I didn't understand. I got this. Je ne comprends pas!
Dinner acquired, their special duck burger, followed by cheese. Seriously, of course we were going to order cheese. The only disappointment, was that they only give you a sliver of 4 cheeses. I mean a sliver. Back we go, and marvel at our surroundings.

It was just hours later that I realise that I'd left my iPad on the plane, never to be seen ( or heard from again!)

Tomorrow we meet Dewey Markham III, our man who will escort us to the Chateux for tours and tastings over the next two days.
This next part we are going to love.

Posted by Jochester71 19:09 Archived in France Comments (0)

Kilkenny to Wicklow

Bodies are easy to bury.........

sunny 15 °C

Up and at em! We head to Kilkenny Castle for a tour, and marvel, yet again st the history, and the many, many original items housed inside this nice house! Seriously, who built these places, and thought they'd be cosy? A gorgeous garden and we savour the experience.
Next we walk to St Canice's Church.......yet another church! This has a tower we can climb! So up, and up the tiny ladders we go until we hit the top. Me of course, cannot get too close to the edge so I just aim my camera over and hope for the best! This one, built in the 6th century!
Off back to grab our bags and we go to head to Wicklow, via a few woollen mills!
Our undies haven't dried in the hangers hanging all over our room so we decide to display them in the back window of the car in the hope they dry! No one will steal our nanny knickers today!
Today was rather uneventful, we really just need to get closer to Dublin, ready to fly to Bordeaux tomorrow! We are sad to be leaving Ireland, but excited for our next adventures!
We try to drive to Wicklow, through the Wicklow Mountains, but over the last few days the Police have been finding body bits.......from a murder or two, so we get diverted around little towns, and hills, until finally we make it to Wicklow, and find our accommodation for the night.

Judy finds a little place, Tinakilly House......so we first drive past it as the GPS says " you've reached your destination" but we can't see the destination! We then see a massive sign......we didn't see this on our first drive by, and turn into a glorious drive way. You know, manicured gardens down each side and a long, long drive, with a huge mansion at the end! Yep, this place looks classy. We, however, have damp undies on our back window!
We park, hurriedly remove said undies, and hide them. Judy jams hers down the gap where her suitcase handle comes out! ( I said we were classy!) we check in, realise we might be the youngest guests here by around 20 years, and head to our room. It is beautiful. It even has amazingly beautiful teacups and saucers. I forgot this when I made coffee and exclaimed there weren't any coffee cups!

We decide to head to the bar room, where they tell us they serve bar snacks. What they meant, in this gorgeous establishment, was that we could choose our Three course meal here! It was lovely, with the soft violin playing in the background, and classy drinks, served in classy glasses. We were again surrounded by antiquities and artworks.

Sitting there, trying almost to whisper, because although the room was busy with people, no one really spoke above a whisper.....and I decided to look at a glass vase beside us, and put on an accent, and do a scene from Antiques Roadshow. As you can guess, before long Judy and I were laughing so much, we had tears streaming down our faces. The more we tried to stop, the more we snorted, and giggled. I removed myself out side to dry my face, in the hope Judy was also trying to calm the hell down. I walked back in and she was ok, as was I. I then said I hoped that they didn't start playing Celine Dion, Titanic song, with the punchline, "my hotdog goes on....."

And off she goes again..........this one was slightly harder to recover from! We looked terrible, noses running, coughing, snorting, giggling, and all the while not a pin could be heard dropping! I've got to say, it is awesome to be able to travel with a friend, who you feel ever so comfortable with, who loves the same things as you, who shares the same terribly terrible sense of humour, and who you can giggle unreservedly with! That is why I love travelling with Judy!

Anyhow, off we finally go to bed, with cases packed and ready to head to France tomorrow!

Posted by Jochester71 18:41 Archived in Ireland Comments (0)

Kinsale to Kilkenny

Lila, where art though Lila? And an off license......

overcast 18 °C

Off to explore Kinsale, a gorgeous little seaside village on the southern coast. Brightly coloured buildings adorn the place! And before long our cameras are overheating! We see so many quaint little stores. It is lucky most are still closed......we have no more space at the inn ( or in our cases!)

We see a gorgeous art studio, and before you say I can't fit anything else in my case, we've each bought a print of the colourful shops in Kinsale as a momento. I buy the small, Judy buys the large. This will be become her famous 'stupid purchase' for all of eternity, as it is impossible to pack! She has mentioned this stupid purchase at least daily since it's purchase!! I of course dissolve into giggles as she talks to herself whilst packing......." buy a picture Judy. great idea Judy. How the f.....k are you going to pack this Judy. What were you bloody thinking Judy? Why the f...k did I buy this stupid print. Why did I buy the large one" and so it goes........

We then proceed back to the shops to take a pic of the exact scene of our print. Why? Who knows!!
Next the off license......we buy our Dingle Gin! Yay for us!! I also buy a bottle of Irish Whisky. I hate whisky. I'll give it to my brother! Yay Jo! More shit for the suitcase! We find a yarn store......Lola's cause, you know, we seriously need more shit to stuff in our cases! Like seriously. Anyhow, it appears Lila has no set hours, and by 10.30 we need to hit the road! Sorry Lila!

Ok, packed and ready to go to Tipperary, and the Rock of Cashel, at Cashel.


The drive up is peppered by us singing the song "it's a long way to Tipperary, it's a Long way to go......"...... yes, that is the sum total of the words we know, so we just sang it over and over and over. Then we stopped. Then we saw a sign to Tipperary, and started again. Simple things. Simple things amuse us no end! This was an example of one of them!

We arrive at the Rock of Cashel, and it doesn't disappoint. God I hate tourists! I hate trying to get good shots, and there are too many tourists around. I want exclusive use. No other people around. I hate tourists.

The history of this place, like most others, is astounding. The Rock of Cashel (also known as Cashel of the Kings) in County Tipperary is home to the ruins of a great Celtic centre.

Legend associates the Rock of Cashel with St. Patrick, but the name comes from Caiseal, meaning "stone fort," and the hill was originally the residence of the kings of Munster. In 1101, Muirchertach O Briain, king of Munster, gave the Rock of Cashel to the church. A round tower, which still stands today, was erected shortly after this.
Cormac's Chapel, a magnificent little Romanesque church that still survives today, was consecrated in 1134, probably for Benedictine monks. I think I remember this happening......... ;)
The frescoes in Cormac's Chapel, which are the oldest Romanesque wall paintings in Ireland, were covered with whitewash at the Reformation (16th century) and remained hidden until the 1980s.The earliest and most lofty of the Cashel edifices is the round tower next to the cathedral's north transept. It originally faced the west end of the 12th-century cathedral. Rising 28 m (90 feet) high and dating from shortly after 1100, it is a well-preserved example with six floors.The Chapel of King Cormac or Cormac's Chapel was consecrated in 1134 !The chapel's interior contains the oldest and most important Romanesque wall paintings in Ireland. The oldest, dating from about 1134- I mean seriously have you tried computing that in your head? 883 years ago some dude was rocking a paint brush? It is beautiful! Love the history, the feelings it evokes. I often ground myself, plant my feet and try to imagine all those who stood in this exact spot all through the ages......staggering!
Photos taken ( heaps!) and off to Kilkenny we go......via Cashel Blue Cheesemakers! Oh my! They serve us up a platter to try the cheeses! There was so much I thought maybe we were meant to leave some for others. Apparently not! It was lovely, a family business that is making marks in the cheese world all over! Cheese acquired ( practice for France!) and we eat it whilst driving......really the more correct picture would be us stuffing our faces while I'm trying to negotiate corners!

We finally make it to Kilkenny, and decide that we will pretend, like most other travellers, we are travelling with appropriate luggage. We take in our cabin bag each....check in. Sweet- we look totally normal. Then after dinner, we go get the mother bags from the boot, and all extra bags of shit that don't fit in either our carry on, or mother bags........off we go to wander the Medieval Mile.....a gorgeous road full of cute stores! We stop at a shop......clearly Judy is no help with senseless purchases, nor do I help her, we both buy silver cheese picks in a silver cheese block, and for unknown reasons, a milk jug in the shape of a cow. Why? Because. How will we pack them? No idea!

Off for dinner, and we decide to wander home, and Lo and behold, a newly opened Murphy's Ice cream! Judy is so excited ( a little too excited!) and we finally get our ice cream! ( remember how devastated she was in Dingle?)

Off home, and I finally make that decision. I'm going to post 7kgs home.......it is time. To be honest I should post 20kgs, but we will see how we go!

Posted by Jochester71 16:12 Archived in Ireland Comments (1)

Dingle to Kinsale.......

I already possess the gift of eloquence.......just saying!!

semi-overcast 16 °C

We decided last night to go drive the Dingle peninsula, and explore, then drive bs k for breakfast at 8am. Off we go, armed with puffer jackets, mac, beanies and a scarf and our umbrellas and cameras. I kid you not, it's freezing!

We do the loop and see some beautiful countryside, cliffs, a small beach! Back to Dingle for a few pics before breakfast. We are excited, as here they make Dingle Gin. It is definitely one of the best. We see they open at 9am, so with our ever growing ability to plan and execute the strictest of plans, we head off to refuel, and be there for bang on 9!
We arrive. We knock, ring the bell, wander around. We find a steam jet that is blowing out Gin smelling smoke. We consider standing there for some time, but one up of us needs to drive- and today it's me! We ring. No answer. Slowly, reality sets in, and our dream comes crashing down. It's closed. We NEED that Gin. Not want. Need. Totally forlorn, we get into the car and drive off. Slowly. I really thought someone would run out yelling " just kidding, we are open!". They didn't. Seriously, why would a Gin distillery not be open at 9am Sunday morning? Oh well, we decided to cheer ourselves up with a world famous Murphy's Icecream. Judy already knew what flavour she was ordering! Off we went. It looked dark inside. It was. It didn't open until 11am. We were doomed. Defeated. Devastated.

Off to Killarney and to Muckross House, an old home that is open to the public, and still contains many original items. It is truly breathtaking, and the stories and history are again, intriguing.
Off to the Blarney Castle. Legend has it, that if you climb to the top and kiss the Blarney Stone, you will receive the gift of eloquence. You remember my love of all things higher than my own head? Sure you do. Well, the castle is around 8-9 stories high. The way to kiss the stone, is that you lay bsckwsrds, grab the wall rails over your head ( so they are behind you) pull your body out and down, and kiss the stone. Now, between where your laying, and the stone itself is about a 50cm gap. Below that is........a long view to the ground. There are steel bars about a metre below where you bob to kiss it. Like two. Like, if you were really skinny, and awkward, you could slip down between them. Im not skinny. Im definitely awkward sometimes. We spend an hour in line. Then it's my turn. Did I tell you how high it is here? Do I really need more eloquence, I mean, I can be rather eloquent at times, as required. I've come all this way to kiss the Blarney Stone. ALL THIS WAY. Did I do it? See the picture below of Judy and I kissing the stone......by the way my jacket is black........ ;)
Off we go, and onto Cork, and a few pics and Black Rock Castle and then we drive into Kinsale.

Kinsale is picture perfect, yet again ( as is almost every village in Ireland!) and there starts the difficult task of finding accommodation. It is thin on the ground. Eventually we book at Kinsale Pier B and B, Ann our hostess gives us the speel and recommends Fishy Fishy for dinner. It is Sunday, so we expect it to be quiet. Wrong. We wait for a table st the bar, all the while sampling the local gins. Yum!! Off again to bed, before the trek to Kilkenny tomorrow.

Posted by Jochester71 02:10 Archived in Ireland Comments (0)

Ennis to Dingle 9 June 2017........ the awful aftermath

I think I might possibly die in Ireland today..........

rain 17 °C

So, the day started with me waking, and wiggling my toes. I hadn't yet opened my eyes, but the fact that I could feel my toes, confirmed I was, despite my head saying otherwise, alive. I was alive. Only just. It was nothing to celebrate......my head pounded, and I hadn't yet mustered the courage to lift it, nor open my eyes. I braced myself. I did it. I sat up. Short lived euphoria.......I had to lay down again. And so it went, for a few minutes. All this exercise was making me thirsty. You know, when you wake with a hangover and you feel like your face is all suckered in, as if you've got no teeth? Yes, that's how I felt, and quite possibly looked. I gathered the courage to walk downstairs, but had to hold the balustrade so close, it was like we were old friends.

It was going to be a terrible day.

Ciaran eventually awoke, then Deirdre. Ciaran cooked breakfast, and went to collect Anne. No one was looking particularly fresh, despite the weather. We packed and headed off to explore Ennis and then onto Dingle, our next port of call. The scenery, once again, doesn't disappoint. Judy is driving today. We've been alternating driving days, so I'm in charge of refreshments and salt and vinegar chips ( we are averaging 2 packs a day!) and navigation. We drive up through Connors Pass, up and mountains we go on a road so narrow, with a mighty drop over the edge, and speed is slow. Very slow. We stopped at the top, but due to visibility issues, we can't truly take in the scene.
We arrive in Dingle and attempt to find accommodation. It appears there is a marathon on tomorrow, and the guy at the first B and B tells us it is unlikely we will find something. Great. Anyhow, we cross the road to Murphy's Pub, and alas, they have a room! Really nice room in fact! We lug our cases up ( we've taken to packing Two days of living into the small cases, and leave the big cases in the car. We've done enough exercise this trip! We walk around a little bit and see Murphy's Icecream,supposedly the best! Judy desperately wants one, but we decide to go after dinner. We take a nap ( we are still mightily hungover and tired) and wake to get ready to head downstairs for dinner, and an early night. The problem here is it doesn't get dark until after 10pm. And it's light again by around 4am. We have an awesome dinner, with a couple of pints of cider, and listen to the live band for a bit. We have missed the Icecream shop. Judy is devastated. We take our iPads to dinner now and map and plan our next days adventures. Off to bed we go! Finally, in bed by around midnight. ( we now consider this normal bedtime!)


Posted by Jochester71 00:54 Archived in Ireland Comments (1)

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