A Travellerspoint blog

FRANCE - The Battlefields of WW1

Paris and the Battlefields Tour of Flanders and the Somme

10 °C

Thursday, 7 November we flew from Dublin to Paris. After leaving most of our luggage at our Paris hotel we took the fast train to Amiens for a two night stay for a private tour of the battlefields.
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The Western Front in Flanders around Ypres
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The Western Front on the Somme in Northern France
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Casualties of the Great War - Australia had 62 000 killed with many more wounded and missing out of a total number of 331 000 in uniform. Australia's total population was 4.86 million.

Amiens and the First World War

At the start of the war, in August 1914, Amiens had been the Advance Base for the British Expeditionary Force. It was captured by the German Army on 31 August 1914, but recaptured by the French on 28 September. The proximity of Amiens to the Western Front and its importance as a rail hub, made it a vital British logistic centre, especially during the Battle of the Somme in 1916.

Amiens was one of the key objectives of the German Spring Offensive which was launched on 27 March 1918. The German 2nd Army pushed back the British 5th Army, who fought a series of defensive actions. Eventually, on 4 April, the Germans succeeded in capturing Villers-Bretonneux which overlooked Amiens, only for it to be retaken by an Australian counterattack that night. During the fighting, Amiens was bombarded by German artillery and aircraft; more than 2,000 buildings were destroyed. On 8 August 1918, a successful Allied counter strike,, the Battle of Amiens, was the opening phase of the Hundred Days Offensive, which led directly to the Armistice with Germany that ended the war.

On Friday 7 November, we met our guide Brian who picked us up from our hotel at 9.30 am. We headed north into Belgium to tour the Western Front battlefields around Ypres and then to stay for dinner in Ypres so we could attend the daily event of the Last Post at Mennen Gate. This ceremony is held every night of the year except Christmas night. We went on a quiet night with only about 1500 people present. We were advised to get there early (an hour and a half before the event) so we could get a good vantage point. The Mennen Gate has the names of 55 000 soldiers from the Commonwealth who are missing and therefore have no known grave.

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The Notre Dame D'Amiens is the largest cathedral in France and was built between 1226 to 1232. The Cathedral is so big that the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris would fit twice inside this cathedral.
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Notice to commemorate the Australian Imperial Forces is mounted inside the cathedral.
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The War Memorial at Fromelles was opened in 2010.
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Signage at the Fromelles Memorial
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The land was a gift from the French people. The remains of some Australian soldiers were found in mass graves across the road from the Memorial.
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Colleen and our guide Brian, standing near some of the graves. Some of the graves have the inscription - An Australian Soldier with the words 'Known Unto God' at the bottom of the headstone.
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Headstone of one of the many soldiers who have been identified in recent times.

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One of the displays in the Messines Museum
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The New Zealand Memorial in Messines
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The Town Hall with Clock Tower at Ypres
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Note the destruction of the Town Hall and Cathedral in Ypres and then how it looked at 1919 at the end of the Great War
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The five Australians Divisons served along the Western Front. The Museum at Paschendale provides a comprehensive collection of items and photos from that time.
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The Cemetery called Tyne Cot is beside the Museum.
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The glass wall of the Museum looks out over what was once the battlefield
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German Pillbox fortifications in the Smelters at Tyne Cot have been left
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The Monument at Tyne Cot has been built over the top of one of the German Pill Boxes at the suggestion of the King of England
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The glass window shows part of the German Pillbox under the Monument.
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Some of the many graves at Tyne Cot
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This is the grave of a 23 year old Captain C S Jeffries, Victoria Cross who died here on 12 October 1917. There are 11 954 burials in this cemetery.
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There are four German soldiers buried with 11 950 Commonwealth soldiers.
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The Memorial at Polygon Wood
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These five soldiers were found in 2007 and three have been identified through DNA.
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The Memorial at Polygon Wood was designed by Major General Sir John Joseph Talbot Hobbs, Divisional Commander of the Fifth Division who was an Architect in his previous life.
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Signage at Hill 60
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The Crater at Hill 60. This site was immortalised in the movie of the same name. The Hill 60 was tunnelled under by Sustralian tunnellers who set off a massive explosion that killed 650 German soldiers and wounded many more.
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A German Pill Box that survived the explosion.
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Mennen Gate in Ypres has 11 000 names of soldiers missing with no known grave.
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The Last Post ceremony is held 364 days of the year. We came on a quiet night with only about 1500 people present. The man standing next to Colleen said he came the night before and was back again that night as he had only found out 7 months ago that his grandfather died exactly 100 years ago to that night. He said his mother was only two years old at the time and she never knew about it as her mother had never told her.
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Five buglers sounded the Last Post. Remarkably there was more than five minutes silence as varied people laid wreaths amid dead silence.

After getting back to our hotel around 11.30 pm we set off early the next day, Saturday, 8 November, to visit the Somme battlefields.

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Our first stop was at the Victoria School at Villers Bretonneaux where the school was built in the 1920's from funds raised by school children in Victoria, Australia.
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Plaque on the front wall of the school
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The covered area in the school has Aboriginal Australian murals
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This is a photograph taken at the time of the capture of the German tank named Mephisto by the 18th Batallion of the 2nd Division AIF. Colonel John Robinson, Batallion Commader of the 18th, is shown in the photograph. He brought Mephisto back to Queenslandand for many years, it was on display at the Queensland Museum. Colonel Robinson was the first Principal of Rockhampton State High School when the school was opened in 1919. My father, Frank Curran, attended Rockhampton State High School in 1927 as student number 720 and I became Principal there in 1989.

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A model of Mephisto. The tank had a crew of eighteen.

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The Memorial at Villers Bretonneaux
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The cemetery at Villers Brettoneaux
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I keep finding relatives in many of these places
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This lone bag piper turned up and walked up to the Memorial playing Australian songs.
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This notice is near Lachnagar, one of the largest of the bombs set under the German Lines.
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The crater at Lochnagar is approximately 90 metres across and 30 metres deep.
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The cemetery and Memorial at Thiephal is the largest of the memorial ceremonies.
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This Memorial was designed by Sir Edwin Lutjens and built in 1938.
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Looking from the back of the a memorial
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Thiephal Memorial
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The Irish Memorial was the very first memorial built and was completed in 1922.
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The Newfoundland Memorial has the Moose as the Monument. Newfoundland contributed two Battalions during the Great War.
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The front lines are preserved in this area built on a part of the battlefield where the Newfoundlanders served.
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Wise words at the Newfoundland Memorial

Posted by Kangatraveller 11:08 Archived in France Comments (0)

IRELAND PART D - DONEGAL to DUBLIN

The Northern Jewels of Ireland Tour - the northern coast to Belfast and down the east coast to Dublin

The last part of our journey around Ireland.

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On Monday 3 November, we said goodbye to Donegal and travelled north into Northern Ireland to Derry (Londonderry). We took a walking tour with a local guide to see Derry’s medieval walls, the Diamond and St. Columb’s Cathedral.

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Peace Monument
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The City Walls
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Plaque on the wall -King James 11 put the city under siege in 1689 and did not breach the walls.
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The gate built in 1789 to commemorate King James failure to take the city.
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Bloody Sunday in 1972 when 13 people died when fired on by soldiers
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Monument to those who died
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Mural showing a school girl who was shot to death on this spot
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The wall built during "The Troubles" to separate Catholic and Protestant communities.
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St Columb's Cathedral built 1633
After lunch we visited the Giant’s Causeway, enormous hexagonal columns formed by volcanic activity over 60 million years ago. The day was rather cold at 4 degrees Celsius and some light rain.
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The scenery on the way to the Giant's Causeway
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The Little, Middle and Grand Causeways
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The Little Causeway
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The Middle Causeway
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The Giant's Causeway
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Rather inclement weather
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The Giant's Organ Pipes
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Giant's Gate
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The Centre is built to integrate with the environment
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The Irish Sea with the Mull of Kintyre in Scotland in the background some 24 miles distant

Next was an overnight stay in Belfast. We had a drive around the city centre and other areas such as Falls Road and Shankill Rd. There is still a high wall separating these areas which saw much conflict during "the troubles".

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Street view in central Belfast
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University
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Student accommodation near the university

Falls Rd and Shankill area is now a quiet neighbourhood but has many memorials, murals, the wall separating communities itself and an air of how terrible things must have been for the inhabitants for a thirty year period.
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Memorial Garden
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Mural
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Bobby Sands MP died through a hunger strike when he was elected MP but not allowed to take his seat.
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Bombay Rd was a long street that was cut off by the wall.
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Checkpoints which were manned by British soldiers over the thirty years of "the troubles".

Later we visited the Titanic Centre and the shipyards where RMS Titanic was built in 1912. Titanic Belfast was a wonderful display showing us this famous liner through state-of-the-art displays.
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Titanic Belfast centre
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The statue - Titanic outside the centre
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Inside the centre
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The White Star Line crockery
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Displays
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Display
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Display

In the afternoon we learnt about Ireland’s patron saint in the St. Patrick Centre before driving to Kingscourt to Cabra Castle hotel, built in 1760.
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The Cathedral of Down
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Display inside the cathedral
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St Patrick's grave also has two other saints- St Brigid and St Columb
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Marker for St Patrick's grave
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Beautiful scenery between Belfast and Down
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Scenery between Down and Kingscourt
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Cabra Castle at Kingscourt built in 1670 was our accommodation for the night.
Our Tour Director Joe with Oscar the castle mascot. Oscar is an Irish Wolfhound
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Inside the castle
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Inside the castle
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On Wednesday 5 November, we left the Cabra Castle and travelled the short distance to the Battle of the Boyne Centre to learn about the 1690 conflict between King William III and King James II. It is also called the battle of the 3 kings as William 111 and James 11 were present on the battlefield while Louis XIV of France provided troops.
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Map of the Battle of the Boyne
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Mansion built by a supporter of William 111 who was granted these lands. It now houses the Battle of the Boyne Centre and was built 30 years after the battle.
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Our small group (17 people) gazing over the battlefield
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the Three Kings
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One of many displays
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Cannon from the era
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President of Ireland Bernie Ahern receives a flintlock musket from Former First Minister of Northern Ireland, Reverend Ian Paisley
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Aussies on tour

In the afternoon we had a city walking tour around the historic town of Drogheda.
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Former Franciscan Monastery is now an art gallery
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This is the Barbican or Foreworks built in early Norman times to defend the inner city gates
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Catholic Cathedral in Drogheda
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Beautiful stained glass window and pipe organ

For our final night in Ireland we enjoyed dinner in the Wm Cairnes Gastropub with live musical entertainment.
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Irish entertainment on our last night

Tomorrow we leave our hotel at 5.45am for our flight to Paris then a fast train to Amiens for our battlefield tour.

Posted by Kangatraveller 09:16 Comments (0)

IRELAND - PART C - GALWAY to DONEGAL

Northern Jewels of Ireland

Here we are on the West Coast of Ireland going Clockwise around all of Ireland.
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On Thursday 30 October, we travelled through the rounded limestone hills of the Burren to Caherconnell and watched skilled dogs work with a farmer to round up sheep.

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Limestone Hills of Caherconnel
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The sheep dogs working the sheep through voice and whistle commands by the handler
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The dogs working with cattle

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A dolmen, also known as a portal tomb, portal grave or quoit, is a type of single-chamber megalithic tomb, usually consisting of two or more upright stones supporting a large flat horizontal capstone (table), although there are also more complex variants. Most date from the early Neolithic period (4000 to 3000 BC). Dolmens were typically covered with earth or smaller stones to form a barrow. In many instances, that covering has weathered away, leaving only the stone skeleton of the burial mound intact.
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Rounded limestone hills of the Burren
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Galway Bay
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Eyre Square in Galway. As Galway is an ancient Norman city originally, the streets are very narrow.
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The walking street in Galway
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The remains of the Lynch Mansion. James Lynch Fitzstephen had been one of the most successful of the citizens in promoting commerce with Spain, which he had himself personally visited, having been received with every mark of hospitality. To make some return for all this kindness, he proposed and obtained permission from his Spanish host to take his only son back with him to Ireland. The mayor had also an only son, unfortunately addicted to evil company, but who, he hoped, was likely to reform, from the circumstance of his being attached to a Galway lady of good family. And so it might have proved had he not jealously fancied that the lady looked too graciously upon the Spaniard. Roused to madness, he watched the latter out of the house, stabbed him, and then, stung with remorse, gave himself up to justice, to his father's unutterable dismay. Notwithstanding the entreaties of the town folk, with whom the youth was a favorite, the stern parent passed sentence of death, and actually hanged him from the window with his own hand. Thus we have gained the sayings, "to lynch someone" and "lynching".

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In Market Street, at the back of St. Nicholas's Church, is the "Lynch Stone," bearing the following inscription:
"This memorial of the stern and unbending justice of the chief magistrate of this city, James Lynch Fitzstephen, elected mayor A.D. 1493, who condemned and executed his own guilty son, Walter, on this spot, has been restored to its ancient site."
Below this is a stone with a skull and cross-bones, and this inscription:

"1524
Remember Deathe Vaniti of Vaniti and al is but vaniti.

Friday 31 October, we drove through Connemara to Leenane for a short catamaran cruise of Killary Harbour to view great scenery and traces of pre-Famine potato fields.
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These small holdings were used to grow potatoes by shareholders before the potato blight struck....the potato famine
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Killary Harbour
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Mussell farming on Killary Fjord
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Hills go right down to the water's edge

We toured Kylemore Abbey, a splendid mansion set on a peaceful lake with a lovely chapel. We enjoyed lunch and strolled through the Victorian gardens before returning to Galway. Kylemore Castle was built as a private home for the family of Mitchell Henry, a wealthy doctor from London whose family was involved in textile manufacturing in Manchester, England. He moved to Ireland when he and his wife Margaret purchased the land around the Abbey. He became a politician, becoming an MP for County Galway from 1871 to 1885. The castle was designed by James Franklin Fuller, aided by Usher Roberts. Construction first began in 1867, and took one hundred men four years to complete.

Kylemore Abbey is a Benedictine monastery founded in 1920 on the grounds of Kylemore Castle, in Connemara, County Galway. The abbey was founded for Benedictine Nuns who fled Belgium in World War I after their abbey near Ypres was destroyed.

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Plan of the imposing Abbey and gardens
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The Abbey is built on its own private fresh water lake
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The lake
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The walled Victorian gardens are built on an Irish bog and enclose 2.5 hectares
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The gardens are planted only with plants from the Victorian period
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The vegetable gardens

Later in the afternoon we drove across Connemara, a region where Irish Gaelic is spoken fluently and quite exclusively. Of course, we stopped for retail therapy and Irish coffees at Standun of Spiddal where people bought Aran Island knit ware.
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Aran Island knitware

On Saturday 1 November we drove north into County Mayo to visit the pilgrimage town of Knock and in County Sligo to view W. B. Yeats’ Grave.

There is a Basilica at Knock, site of a miracle. I didn't bother to take a photo of it. Instead here is a photo of the carpark with spaces for about 100 buses.
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Bus parking

Further north we came to Dumcliffe where WB Yeats (William Butler Yeats) is buried in the churchyard. William Butler Yeats (13 June 1865 – 28 January 1939) was an Irish poet and one of the foremost figures of 20th century literature. A pillar of both the Irish and British literary establishments, in his later years he served as an Irish Senator for two terms. Yeats was a driving force behind the Irish Literary Revival and, along with Lady Gregory, Edward Martyn, and others, founded the Abbey Theatre, where he served as its chief during its early years. In 1923 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature as the first Irishman so honoured for what the Nobel Committee described as "inspired poetry, which in a highly artistic form gives expression to the spirit of a whole nation." Yeats is generally considered one of the few writers who completed their greatest works after being awarded the Nobel Prize; such works include The Tower (1928) and The Winding Stair and Other Poems (1929).

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Dumcliffe Church
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William Butler Yeats
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The grave of William Butler Yeats and his wife George

We toured the Belleek Pottery Factory, founded in the mid-19th century, to see craftspeople create the renowned fine china.
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Belleek Pottery established 1857
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Belleek Pottery - great product and reasonable prices to ship home
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This building across this small river is in Ireland and the Belleek Pottery across the river is in Northern Ireland. Euros one side and £ on the other side.

On Sunday 2 November, we drove along the coast to view Slieve League sea cliffs, the highest in Europe. The cliffs drop straight down to the wild Atlantic waves. The cliffs at 601 metres are more than three times higher than the more well known Cliffs of Moher.

Slieve League is often photographed from a viewpoint known as Bunglass. It can be reached by means of a narrow road that departs from Teelin. The final few kilometers of this route is built along a precipice and includes several places where it turns at the crest of a rise.

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Donegal Bay
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The road up to the cliffs
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The Slieve League Cliffs
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Mountain sheep are grazed in this high country

We drove through some fairly empty country of bogs and sheep raising to visit Triona Design in Ardara for demonstrations of spinning and knitting. This was another opportunity for retail therapy with fine tweed clothing.
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Weaving loom. The purple is their signature design.
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The spinning wheel

We returned to Donegal town for a tour of Donegal Castle, built by the O’Donnell chieftain in the 15th century.

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Donegal Castle

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The ceiling of the castle uses wooden dowels in constructions therefore no nails.
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Annals of the Four Masters
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The square in Donegal is called The Diamond
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Parking rules and stop signs are purely advisory!!!

In the morning we move into Northern Ireland with our next night's stop being in Belfast.

Posted by Kangatraveller 08:26 Comments (0)

IRELAND PART B - DUBLIN to ENNIS

SOUTHERN GEMS TOUR - DUBLIN to Waterford, Kinsale, Dingle, Ennis

Sunday morning, 26 October we left for Waterford and then south to the ancient port of Waterford.
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Our first stop was at New Ross, birthplace of the Kennedy Family.
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Wording on the monument to President John Fitzgerald Kennedy on the 50th Anniversary of his official visit to New Ross, Ireland.
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The eternal flame
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Replica ship to memorialise Ross as an inland port of note in its early days

At the House of Waterford Crystal we watched skilled craftspeople blow and cut crystal to create special trophies. The work is very time consuming so it is little wonder that the pieces cost so much.
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The new Waterford Crystal Factory and Showroom
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Glass blower at work
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Shaping the crystal
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Colleen with a specialised one off trophy piece

By mid afternoon we reached Kinsale.

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We had a short stop at Charles Fort, a star shaped fort built as one of two to guard the harbour at Kinsale following the capture of Kinsale by the Fourth Spanish Armada of 26 ships in 1601.
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View from Charles Fort inland to the inner harbour and town of Kinsale.
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Map showing the old walled town of Kinsale

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A rainy afternoon walk through the narrow streets of Kinsale.
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The oldest pub opened in 1690.
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The shops are very colourful.

On Monday 27 October we visited Blarney Castle to kiss the famous stone and shop at the Blarney Woollen Mills for quality Irish goods.

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The gardens around Blarney Castle. I took this scene from this spot 5 years ago when we visited.
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Blarney Castle built in 1446 was the ancestral home of the MacCarthys, Lords of Muskerry.
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Sign at Blarney Castle. There are 128 stone steps that are circular, narrow and steep.
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View from half way up
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Colleen kissing the Blarney Stone with 70 foot drop to the ground.
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David at the top
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View from the top of Blarney Castle
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The Blarney Woollen Mills and store
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All of the roads around here are narrow as are the bridges. Many of them are canopied by trees like this road.

Later we travelled to Killarney to take a horse-drawn jaunting car ride through Killarney National Park to Ross Castle.
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The Jaunting Cars are these horse drawn vehicles that took us to Ross Castle in the national park.
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Ross Castle was built in 1410 and destroyed by Oliver Cromwell in 1651 and then restored shortly after.
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Colleen and I dressed for the cooler weather at Ross Castle.

Later that afternoon we drove along the Dingle Peninsula and stopped for an Irish coffee at the South Pole Inn before continuing to our hotel in Dingle which is a lively and attractive town. Luckily we had two nights there.
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The Ship Inn is in the village home of Tom Crean, Antarctic Explorer, who ran away from home at the age of fifteen to join the navy.
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Memorial to Tom Crean, Antarctic Explorer who had three expeditions to the South Pole. Firstly with Captain Robert Falconer Scott in the Discovery 1901-1904 and again with Scott in the ill fated Terra Nova 1910-1913. When Scott and his party failed to return from their journey across the ice, Tom Crean set out alone in a 36 mile trek and found them frozen in their tent. He returned with Ernest Schakleton in the Endurance 1914-1917.

Tuesday 28 October was a late start as we had two days in Dingle.

We drove up Mt Brandon to have a look over the Dingle Peninsula. We had to imagine the scene as the fog was too thick to see more than the road in front.
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Mostly sheep farming around Dingle

Our coach took us over the Dingle Peninsula to enjoy mountain and shoreline views and stopped at a jewellery store that specialised in Ogham, the ancient language of this area BC.
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The Ogham language
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Mountainous headlands with narrow twisting roads with sheer drops
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Stone bee hive huts from centuries ago are still in existence
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Dingle Peninsula

The Blasket Islands are rocky outcrops off the coast that were once inhabited but we're evacuated in 1953. They were leased by a family around 1290 from the Earl for a yearly rent of two Hawks a year. The islands provided a rich literary bounty with more than 30 books published over the last century.

We visited the Blasket Centre in Dunquin to learn about the offshore Blasket Islands, inhabited until 1953 by hardy farming and fishing families.

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The Blasket Centre
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A very apt sculpture outside the shelter - windy, squally and inhospitable weather.
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Very good displays of people and a talented group of writers in the Gaelic language.
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Boats used over the centuries were very much unchanged till recent times.
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Display in the Blasket Centre
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We stopped at the Boatyard Restaurant for the traditional fish and chips lunch

As we had a free afternoon, we walked back to our hotel and found there was a Curran's Bar just up the road. James Curran is the proprietor.
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Curran's Bar
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I kid you not, J Curran Bar is on Goat Street, Dingle, County Kerry.
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The bar - note the Bundaberg Rum bottle and the framed and signed photo of Robert Mitchum who was here forty years ago for the filming of Ryan's Daughter.
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James Curran and I in the bar on Tuesday night. The bar is largely unchanged from 1870 when James Curran, to his son John, then to his son Joe and now to the current owner, James Curran.

Day 6 of our CIE Tour of Ireland is Wednesday, 29 October where we said goodbye to Dingle and visited the Foynes Flying Boat Museum, which recalled air travel in the 1930’s and 1940’s.
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The very green countryside of Ireland around Limerick
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The Foynes Flying Boat Base is on the Shannon River. Flying boats flew from this base that was identified by Colonel Charles Lindburgh in the 1930s. The last flying boat was flown by Captain Blair, husband of Maureen O'Hara, the movie star. Miss O'Hara has a home in Ireland and is the patroness of the base. She has just turned 94 years of age.
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The flight deck of a replica Boeing 314 Flying Boat.
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The nose of the Boeing 314
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Inside the replica show some of the passenger comforts of the time -a dining room, honeymoon suite, sleeping quarters, galley and flushing toilets.
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Displays inside the centre. in the foreground is the wreckage of an engine from the only flying boat to crash after it hit Mount Brandon.
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Advice from Pan Am re the use of alcohol

After checking into our hotel in Ennis we had lunch and then departed for the Cliffs of Moher, a dramatic wall of rock that plunges to the Atlantic Ocean.

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The Cliffs of Moher 700 feet high sea cliffs
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The weather was reasonably kind with some chilly winds but no rain.
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Viewing castle built in 1835 by Sir Cornelius O'Brien to allow viewing of the cliffs
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The Cliffs of Moher looking north
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The cliffs from the southern side of the viewing castle
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View near the Cliffs of Moher
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A monument to himself Cornelius O'Brien an infamous landholder of this area in the 18th century had this monument built to himself to offset many stories about him at the time.

Tonight we drove a few miles to 15th century Knappogue Castle for a medieval-style banquet with entertainment. The castle was built in the 15th Century by the McNamaras.

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The welcoming committee
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The entertainment and table servants
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King Brian and Queen Kristin

Tomorrow we leave for Galway.

Posted by Kangatraveller 15:32 Archived in Ireland Comments (0)

IRELAND - PART A -DUBLIN

14 day tour with CIE - Thursday 23 October to 26 October

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We landed in a Dublin on Thursday late afternoon, 23 October.

So on Friday 24 October, we went to the Guiness Brewery at St James' Gate. we are staying in a nice hotel near Trinity College so we walked past the college and over the River Liffey to O'Connell Street.

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Trinity College was established by Queen Elizabeth 1 in 1592.

Trinity College, formally known as the College of the Holy and Undivided Trinity of Queen Elizabeth near Dublin, is the sole constituent college of the University of Dublin in Ireland. The college was founded in 1592 as the "mother" of a new university, modelled after the collegiate universities of Oxford and of Cambridge, but, unlike these, only one college was ever established; as such, the designations "Trinity College" and "University of Dublin" are usually synonymous for practical purposes. It is one of the seven ancient universities of Britain and Ireland as well as Ireland's oldest university.
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Trinity College
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The River Liffey runs through Dublin and as it is tidal it rises 5 metres or so.
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Monument to O'Connell in the Main Street, O'Connell Street. The street was renamed in 1924 in honour of Daniel O'Connell, a nationalist leader of the early 19th century whose statue stands at the lower end of the street, facing O'Connell Bridge.
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Monument to William Smith O'Brien. William Smith O'Brien (17 October 1803 – 18 June 1864) was an Irish Nationalist and Member of Parliament (MP) and leader of the Young Ireland movement. He also encouraged the use of the Irish language. He was convicted of sedition for his part in the Young Irelander Rebellion of 1848, but his sentence of death was commuted to deportation to Van Diemen's Land. he is well known in Tasmania as he escaped from Maria Island and was held under house arrest at Port Arthur where we visited his house. In 1854, he was released on the condition of exile from Ireland, and he lived in Brussels for two years. In 1856 O'Brien was pardoned and returned to Ireland, but he was never active again in politics.
The Cape and eye colouring happened this week with the opening of a play, Dracula. The author of Dracula was Dublin born, Bram Stoker.

I think Colleen enjoyed the visit to the Guiness Brewery??? St. James's Gate Brewery is a brewery founded in 1759 in Dublin, Ireland, by Arthur Guinness. The company is now a part of Diageo, a company formed from the merger of Guinness and Grand Metropolitan in 1997. The main product of the brewery is Guinness Draught.

Originally leased in 1759 to Arthur Guinness at £45 per year for 9,000 years, St. James's Gate has been the home of Guinness ever since. It became the largest brewery in Ireland in 1838, and the largest in the world by 1886, with an annual output of 1.2 million barrels. Although no longer the largest brewery in the world, it is still the largest brewer of stout in the world. The company has since bought out the originally leased property, and during the 19th and early 20th centuries the brewery owned most of the buildings in the surrounding area, including many streets of housing for brewery employees, and offices associated with the brewery. The brewery also made all of its own power using its own power plant.

There is an attached exhibition on the 250-year-old history of Guinness, called the Guinness Storehouse. Here are some pictures we took during this visit.

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Guiness Brewery at St James' Gate, Dublin
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Copy of the original lease signed by Arthur Guiness for a term of 9 000 years. Colleen found it interesting that the woman behind Arthur Guiness provided funding for the original brewery as well as bore him 21 children of whom 11 kidded in childhood.
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The real brewery taken from the window of the Storehouse.
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Barrels were made here to transport the Guiness
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The bar on the 7th floor of the Storehouse is the highest point in Dublin.
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The view from the top of the Storehouse
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St Patrick's Cathedral viewed from the Storehouse
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View over Dublin from the Storehouse

At 2:00 pm drive around central Dublin and tour Dublin Castle, which was the seat of power and government for many centuries. On our way we travelled from the College Green down Dame Street which has a view of the Christ Church Cathedral down the street.
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Christ Church Cathedral in the background

Wedrove past many beautiful town houses from the 18th Century near St Stephen's Green
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Georgian Townhouses
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18th Century townhouse given to the city and now used as the residence of the Lord Mayor of Dublin.

Dublin Castle Dublin Castle, off Dame Street, Dublin, Ireland, was until 1922 the seat of British rule in Ireland, and is now a major Irish government complex. Most of it dates from the 18th century, though a castle has stood on the site since the days of King John, the first Lord of Ireland, in 1204. It also a Norman Fortification for the Norman Dublin.
The Castle served as the seat of English, then later British government of Ireland under the Lordship of Ireland (1171–1541), the Kingdom of Ireland (1541–1800), and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (1800–1922). After the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty in December 1921, the complex was ceremonially handed over to the newly formed Provisional Government led by Michael Collins.

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plan of the castle
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The Corke Hill Gates of Dublin Castle
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A copy of the Proclamation of Independence from the October, 1916 Uprising that failed but set the scene for the later independence
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the garden at Dublin Castle
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The Drawing Room
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The large throne was made for King George IV s visit in 1821
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St Patrick's Hall is the most important ceremonial room in Ireland. Queen Elizabeth 11 gave her speech in this room in 2011. It was the first visit by a British monarch to the area that is now the Republic of Ireland since the 1911 tour by Elizabeth's grandfather one hundred years before.

On Saturday 25 October we went to Kildare to visit the Irish National Stud to see many lovely horses and learn about breeding and racing. An added bonus were some very beautiful Japanese Gardens.
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The Irish National Stud at Kildare
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Colonel William Hall-Walker started the stud in 1900 and gave it to the British Crown in 1915
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Colleen with a friendly brood mare. These horses are kept to nurse foals who have lost their mothers.
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Invincible Spirit is one of ten stallions standing at the stud.
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Invincible Spirit has a stud fee of €80 000 per service. Last year he covered 160 mares. He is number 3 in Europe but only number 15 in the world. Galileo standing near Limerick is number 1 in the world with a service fee of €340 000.

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The Black Abbey ruins are on the lands of the National Stud. This was built after the Normans invaded in 1169 and was owned by the Knights Hospitallers of the Order of St John of Jerusalem. The Hospitallers who bred horses on this site adopted the order of St Augustine and wore black habits hence the name of the Black Abbey.
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Jameson's Distillery in 1780 in Bow Street Dublin
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Tasting time at Jameson's Distillery
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Molly Malone

Today, Sunday 26 Octobe it is Day 3 of our tour as we travel south to the ancient port of Waterford.

Posted by Kangatraveller 00:46 Archived in Ireland Comments (0)

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