Monday, February 21, 2005

Two Spargo's in Ireland!

We've just returned to London after a quick weekend visit to Ireland, to visit my brother Michael and his girlfried Rebecca where they are living and working in the beautiful city of Cork.

We arrived in on Friday night direct from Heathrow on an AerLingus flight, and were collected at the airport arrivals gate by Rebecca, while Michael circled the airport carpark in his 'banger' - the much anticipated Opel Corsa that we'd heard so much about over the previous few weeks as they have been setting themselves up since arriving in Europe for a year of working and travelling.

After a night of catching up with a few pints of fresh Irish Guinness down at the local pub and at their fantastic 2-bedroom apartment, we spent the following morning looking around Cork city, seeing where they worked (Bec's school seemed nice, in contrast Mike's pharmacy was in a nightmare area of Cork!), looking around the newly developed main street area, and having a shop through the farmers markets full of fresh produce from the surrounding Cork county.

Shane out front of the Ireland Apple headquarters!!; Bec & Carly looking over Cork city

For lunch and the afternoon we headed towards the coast to see the beautiful fishing village of Kinsale, where we had fish and chips in one of the many restuarants in the town. Despite the winter weather, the scenery was spectacular around the inlet, and on our drive we came across the Bulman pub, where we stayed for a few drinks amongst the cosy funiture, locals, and the patrons dogs which seemed to be running the place. Once again, we noticed how great it was to be sitting in a pub, having an Ale, with absolutely no cigarette smoke wafting in the air - Smoking is banned in pubs and clubs in Ireland! You don't know how good it is until you experience it..

Shane & Michael at Kinsale; and the Bulman pub

That night we headed out for a pub crawl around Cork, and came across some fantastic bars and pubs, including one that was allegedly the oldest pub in Ireland! We also went into another bar which had a three-piece traditional Irish folk band, full of locals, and a barman who took great pleasure in taking the piss out of our Aussie accents, and giving us his best Home & Away quotes.. funny Irish bugger!!

The following day we headed out to take a drive in the banger along part of the Ring of Kerry, which is a scenic tourist drive along some beautiful country in Kerry county. Despite being on the end of the winter season and most of the plants and flowers in hibernation, it was still amazing countryside to see. We stopped at a few of the lookout spots along the road, donned out coats and hats, and got some fantastic photos of the lakes and river that cuts through this area of the drive. Simply beautiful countryside which we plan to see again when the weather's better.

Me & Carly; and Mike's car at the top of a long climb where we went through a very narrow cutting allowing the road through the ridgetop, where we joined the Ring of Kerry road

Fantastic scenery at the top of the pass

Carly; Carly & Mike, and Mike's banger!

Mike trying to keep warm; and Carly, Bec, & Mike

Mike, Bec, and Carly

Before we stopped into Killarney for lunch, we came across Ross Castle, where we took a few photos to send back to Carly's dad Ross Smith - hopefully it might give him some inspiration for when he builds down at his property at Canungra south of Brisbane.

Carly in front of Ross Castle

We returned back to Cork late in the afternoon, gathered our belongings, and headed to the airport for our flight back to the big smoke - after saying goodbye to brother Mike and Bec we checked in, and while waiting for the plane managed to get our photos from the trip uploaded so that everyone at home could see our photos of our time with Mike almost immediately.. Mum was pretty impressed, but not as much as Jay was!



At Mon Mar 21, 11:48:00 am GMT+10 , Blogger Mr Ports said...

Just happened by your Web Log because of you saying you live in Barnes. Just wanted to say what an interesting site you have - your travels sound great.


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