Monday, September 25, 2017

Western Ireland

We left Northern Ireland and found our next AirBnB at Dunmore Gardens estate.  When we pulled in the driveway, the house exuded a presence that it had been a part of history and had great stories to tell.  The gardens were beautiful and the grounds were perfect for Kala to run.  We had a wing of the house for less than the cost of a room of a hotel - so nice.  We decided to head to Derry, back in Northern Ireland for dinner.

Derry, Northern Ireland is an interesting story.  It has been the center of the “Troubles” for decades.  The British named it Londonderry in 1613 as it was selected for plantation projects by the London liveries.  During the Troubles, the locals dropped the “London” and the town is known as Derry.  In fact, when we were on the Dingle Peninsula (in Republic of Ireland) a few weeks earlier, I was ordering a pint in a pub and there was a man next to me who asked our story (our accents are difficult to hide and they intrigue locals as to how we got here and what we’re doing).  I asked where he was from and he said Derry.  I told him I recalled seeing Londonderry on the map and he said “Yea, we don’t mention the “London” and for us it’s just “Derry”.  

So, we were off to Derry for dinner at the Walled City Brewery.  Derry is the only city in Ireland that still has a wall around it.  The walls were built between 1613-1618  and they vary in thickness from 12 feet to 35 feet.  Needless to say, it is still known as the Walled City.  The brewery had a “modern-historical” feel to it and very neat to experience.  

After dinner, we headed back to Dunmore Gardens and continued driving south towards the Cliffs of Moher.  I selected an AirBnB that was closer to the cliffs so we could beat the busloads of people soon to arrive.  We followed the signs wondering where this place could possibly be since all we could see were sandy beaches and sheep.  The city was not even on the map.  We followed the directions and ended up beachside at what seemed to be converted stables.  It was a great location for the drive the next day.  We ran Kala to the beach, had a pint at the local pub (in Ireland, where there are houses, there are pubs) and planned our route for the following day.
Dunmore Gardens Estate
The garden gate
Scenic selfie
Look at these amazing colors
Pretty in pink
A sundial, maybe in need of repair, but still a sundial

Amazing Fuscia!
Layers of flowers...the perfect garden
Gladiolas - is that right, Mom?
See more on their social media sites
Directional sign for Londonderry (on the right where the 'A 40' is), with the London scratched out
Derry at night
A sampling of each
Five down - one to go
From the sign forward is covered in water at high tide
Beaches everywhere...

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