Category Archives: Our Travel Journal

— Day 28 —

Today was our last day in Ireland and we needed to wrap up all the things we experienced during our tour to Iceland and the Irish country. I will always remember the memories, the adventures, the laughs, the great food and drinks, the knowledge we acquired. These things will be graved inside my memory for the rest of my life. So we woke up that morning with the sadness of leaving such a beautiful place very soon. We decided to do something cozy to relax for our last day, so we registered in a bus tour around Dublin city and his surroundings. We left early to be able to pack our bags and luggages in the bus, because right after the ride, we would direct ourselves to the airport to return home. The bus traveled slowly around some great touristic environments and buildings like the Trinity College, the National Art Gallery, the Chirst Church Cathedral, the Phoenix Park (the zoo of Dublin), the Guinness storehouse and many more.
guinness storehouse
When we passed by The Guinness storehouse, the shame of yesterday reappeared inside and I became fragile, watching Ines and Emily sniggering about what happened last night. So at the end of the tour, we ended up in the middle of nowhere with our luggages. We realized that, by looking at the map, we couldn’t walk all the way to airport and the our only transportation left few minutes ago. That was a problem. We called afterwards a taxi that picked us up d brought us to the airport. In the plane, I looked through the window and said a last goodbye to such a wonderful experience.

 

 

information:

http://www.viatorcom.fr/fr/7379/tours/Dublin/Circuit-touristique-en-bus-a-arrets-multiples-a-Dublin/d503-2916DUB

 

photos:

http://flyawaybride.com/guinness-storehouse-dublin-unique-wedding-venue-in-dublin/

https://www.expedia.com/things-to-do/hop-on-hop-off-dublin-bus-tour.a181611.activity-details

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— Day 27 —

As soon as we arrived to Dublin, we wanted to move a bit so we got into a trip on paddle boards in Dublin Bay. You’re kind of on a surf board but equipped with one paddle to direct yourself. It was filled with laughs and hesitations when arrived the moments we were loosing either the control of the board or the balance and hoped not to fall. We also had the chance to watch the big city of Dublin from the water which was pretty cool because we could clearly see the immensity of the colourful buildings near the bay. Each of us fell a couple of times and at the end of the loop, we were all wet but the warm sun was drying ourselves slowly and now was the time to find something to eat.
paddle board.jpg
We asked the guide for advices for interesting and not that expensive restaurants and he told us that we would be pleased by searching on the Talbot Street. So we remembered the directions of the guide and arrived to the populous street. We walked on the sidewalk across the restaurants

and stopped in front of The Celt, a traditional Irish Pub. Our curiosity pushed us in the bistro and we each took a seat. It consisted of Irish meals and drinks, so I instantly thought either the dinner would bThe Celt Bare entertaining and delicious or the opposite. The Celt even taught me something I should have known, but anyway. Guinness is a renowned beer all over the world, but I didn’t know it was from Ireland! This new knowing was stronger than me and I decided to order one to

honour the country and their, I

can confirm, extraordinary great looking and tasty beer. We all satisfied our appetite and got ready for the next day, our last day. 😦
information:
photos:

https://www.b2match.eu/eu-us-ehealth-marketplace-dublin/

http://www.criticalcactus.com/benefits-of-stand-up-paddle-boarding/

http://londonparisandireland.blogspot.ca/p/dublin-pubs.html

— Day 26 —

At Kilkenny, there wasn’t that much we discovered of the city, but soon we would because we were registered at the Walking Ghost Tour of Kilkenny. With this tour, we walked through the streets of the city and even stepped back in time to learn about the history of Kilkenny. We visited the Kilkenny Castle, one of the biggest castle of Ireland built in the beginning of the 13th century. In the building, there were many national art collections preserved and showed to the tourism devouring these precious objects with their eyes. I was left with no words when we entered the picture gallery, a long and palatial room filled with portraits of marquesses and Dukes along the walls.
kilkenny castle
After this shot blast, we were guided to Saint Kieran’s College, which was a few minutes walk from our latest location. Saint Kieran’s College is a Roman Catholic boys’ secondary school founded at the end of the 18th century. We were welcomed with snacks and drinks so we already started to appreciate the place, I only think it’s because we were starving. So we learned about their numerous team of hurling (a native sport from Ireland), soccer, football, handball. This was, according to my opinion, the more remarkable activity I did in Ireland, just because we learned so much about their lifestyles and education that at the end of the tour, I envied the boys from Saint Kieran’s College to have the opportunity of a lifetime. I also think I was the only one from the group that developed this emotion inside, because Ines and Emily are girls and they couldn’t realize the chance the students had. If they actually did, that’s awesome! There was now one more destination to explore before heading back home, but I wasn’t worried for any lack of new knowledge and experiences.St-Kierans-College.jpg
information:
photos:

— Day 25 —

The sun brought heat and light to the room and we woke up by ourselves at approximately the same moment. It was planned that today, we would go kayaking in the Dingle Bay. So we left our room in the lodge and arrived at the marina, where a group a people with kayaks and swimsuits were at the beach, listening to a guide giving directives. We were a bit late, but we could still participate to the adventure of today. The guide was a storehouse of information about Ireland and it made us want to explore even more of the country, but we had a tight agenda. So kayakwe smoothly sailed around the Bay for several hours and each of us fell off the kayak a couple of times and everybody  laughed. It was a great group to spend time and enjoy the fresh air from the coast. We finally came back from our journey and I can tell you that my arms were beginning to become tired, I’m sure Ines and Emily were experiencing the same thing. We decided that we wanted to rest more the next morning so instead of sleeping again at the lodge, we would sleep in Kilkenny the same day. So we launched our ride with our friend the moon and some good music from Ines’ CDs.

information:

http://www.irishadventures.net/kayaking/activitiesseakayakingdinglecanoekerryireland.html

photos:

http://marinas.com/view/inlet/1152_Dingle_Bay_Inlet_near_Dingle_South_West-county_Kerry_Ireland

http://www.exmooradventures.co.uk/

— Day 24 —

We woke up late that morning, with the singings of the birds and the streaming of the water near us. We unassembled the tents and packed up our things, we were now ready to continue our journey. In the car, we decided to go to Dingle, a town not far fdingle colourrom where we were that was formely a western train terminus, The Tralee and Dingle Light Railway. When we arrived we made a link between the colours of the architecture of the houses and buildings of Dingle and the first city we discovered, Reykjavik. Each one was followed by a different colour and it made it look like a beautiful rainbow. We found out pretty fast that Dingle was concentrated on the tourism. We passed by The Oceanworld Aquarium of Dingle and couldn’t resist. We rushed out of the car and bought three students tickets. Actually, from the cashier’s view, our excitements made us look like eight year old kids, but anyway. We entered the building and we were amazed by the rarity of the animals and the immensity of the habitats made for them. There was all kind of fishes, turtles, sharks, dolphins and even penguins. I took a picture of one of them who was playing with a feeding device, i found it pretty funny. We made the tour of the aquarium and we left, with a big smile on our faces. We walked through the town and found a good-looking restaurant, Doyle’s Seafood Restaurant. It was quite expensive so we chose our meal with that in consideration, but my lord it was delicious. We left the restaurant and walked to our place to sleep, the Marina Lodge, next to the Dingle Marina. We could see the lights of the boats from our window, it was amazing.peiginformation:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dingle

http://www.dingle-oceanworld.ie/

http://www.doylesofdingle.ie/

http://www.booking.com/hotel/ie/dingle-marina-lodge

photos:

http://susanshain.com/photo-colorful-street-dingle-ireland/

http://www.dingle-oceanworld.ie/

— Day 23 —

Our next day was more filled then the one before. Our guide shook the tent really early that morning and my eyes suffered when the sun appeared when we unzipped the door. He prepared three mountain bikes for us, but we needed to eat before. The people from Mill Little Farm gave us some food just before we left so we ate it to give us energy to ride these wheels by the mountains and animals in the park. We past by many majestic birds of prey, moose provided with enormous antlers and also beautiful and colourful butterflies flying besides our bikes. The ride was physically rough because of the tortuous tracks, but the presence of all the animals around us appeased our shapes. We were all eager to reach the end, tired of the steady effort we were doing for many hours now.
mountain-biking.png
And when we saw our tent getting bigger and bigger as we were approaching, we took a final sprint and collapsed in front of the entry of the tent. That night was pretty special because we were quiet, leaning on the ground, looking at the dark sky and analyzing the stars when suddenly we all saw a shouting star at the same time. We looked at each other and closed our eyes to make a wish. That was the first time in my life I caught a shouting star in the sky.
information:
photos:

— Day 22 —

— Day 21 —

It was our last day at the farm, but we decided that we still wanted to help with the tasks. Although sometimes it was hard and we were tired, we wanted to always remember our journey in Mill Little Farm. We were also very grateful to Christine, who welcomed us with open arms, so we decided to help her out until the very end. We picked some vegetables and fruits, watered the flowers and fed the animals. After our last breakfast at the farm, which was a special goodbye breakfast (pancakes and fruits), we went in the workshop.

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https://www.facebook.com/MillLittleFarm
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https://www.facebook.com/MillLittleFarm

Since it was our last day, we made little paintings and mosaics to thank Christine for her kindness and generosity. We also made them to commemorate our wonderful time in Cork. We will always cherish these beautiful moments. After packing everything in our bags, we took the bikes and went back to Bantry, where we walked around, remembering our fun adventures here. We passed by the Bantry Market to get some souvenirs and we went back to the Bantry Museum to soak in the little town’s history.

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When came time for supper, Christine, as wonderful as always, treated us to our last supper in a local pub called Ma Murphy’s. There, we ate a soup and some pastas, had some very special craft beers and listened to some great musicians play their instruments. The atmosphere in the pub was really lighthearted. However, it was time to go. We sadly said goodbye to our new friends, to an awesome host and to the wonderful little town called Bantry. We had our backpacks with us, so we took a taxi that brought us to the Killarney National Park, where our new journey was to begin.

Information:

https://www.tripadvisor.ca/Restaurant_Review-g211922-d1783477-Reviews-Ma_Murphy_s-Bantry_County_Cork.html

http://livingthesheepsheadway.com/ma-murphys-bar/

http://www.mill-little.com/7.html

http://www.mill-little.com/4.html

http://www.transportforireland.ie/taxi/taxi-fare-estimator/

— Day 20 —

Day 20 was a sunny and bright day. It was the perfect day to go on a big expedition with the group for one last time. However, we had to work first. Like always, we helped in the gardens, fed the goats, the chickens, the geese and the ducks. We also milked the goats for the last time, which was very sad because doing it was a great experience. We later ate a delicious breakfast, which consisted of all the fruits we had gathered a while before, some eggs and bread. When everyone was ready, we all went to the Sheep’s Head Peninsula. Since it was pretty far away by walk or bicycle, we had to take Christine’s little van.

Once we got to the coast, we walked and talked to the students. We shared a lot of stories with a lady named Tania from Switzerland (the woman on the right in the photo above). She had decided to learn English with Christine, because as a young woman, she loved to travel and learn new languages. She went everywhere from New Zealand, Spain, Argentina and many other countries. As she traveled around the world, she never really got to fully learn English. In her hometown, almost everyone spoke German, French or Italian. Mill Little Farm was an opportunity for her to travel and learn, her two passions. We really admired her; she was fearless and so passionate about traveling. While we talked to her, we also enjoyed the nice breeze. We all suddenly stopped and admired the view. We were on a hill overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. The waves were hitting the hill’s rocks, making a peaceful sound.It was beautiful. The sun was warming our skin and the grass, refreshing us. After a while of looking at the breathtaking landscape, we decided to sit and have a little picnic.

We had prepared a noodle salad and some delicious sandwiches filled with ham and vegetables (these sandwiches were so much better than the ones we prepared ourselves). To digest the food, we walked all the way to the lighthouse. It was very small but the view from inside was still as mesmerizing. When we finished enjoying the view, we returned to the farm. Everyone was pretty tired, so we had a simple supper and all went to sleep. This day was one of the most memorable, because we talked and learned so much about others. They all had their little and fun stories to share. It was an unforgettable exchange between new friends.

Information:

http://www.thesheepsheadway.ie/index.cfm/page/location

https://www.tripadvisor.ca/Attraction_Review-g211922-d649687-Reviews-Sheep_s_Head_Peninsula-Bantry_County_Cork.html

http://livingthesheepsheadway.com/

http://www.mill-little.com/6.html

http://sunshineonourshoulders2014.blogspot.ca/2014_04_01_archive.html

https://www.facebook.com/MillLittleFarm

 

— Day 19 —

Day 19 was the day we went back to work in the farm. Well, it wasn’t actually work, since everything was so fun and exciting. We woke up early to start our work in the garden, where we did our regular work. We picked vegetables and fruits and we watered the gardens full of flowers.This time, we also got to work in the compost area. It wasn’t the greatest task, but we still enjoyed it. Working there was nice, because it wasn’t something we were used to. We had never done composting like this back in Montreal. It felt good to do something different, something that also made us feel useful, since it is a great way to recycle organic things. The task wasn’t boring since we weren’t doing this alone; we were with Matt, one of the first woofers we met at the farm.

After we cleaned up and ate breakfast with everyone, we took the bikes and went to the Bantry House and Garden. We read and learned that this house belonged to a man named Captain Richard White. He and his family had moved in Bantry from Limerick in 1690. They bought this house, that was once very small. We learned that the house had a “Queen Anne”-style. Also, we discovered that Richard White and his wife Mary O’Brien had the idea of the garden and the rest of the house when they were travelling in Europe and Russia to collect furniture, paintings, tapestries and artifacts. Finally, we learned that their family, to this day, owns the house. It is the eighth and ninth generation of the family that owns, manages, and lives there. Since we wanted to save up a little money for the rest of the trip, we decided to only visit the garden. Although we did not visit the house, we did see, from a certain distance, a very vintage and nicely decorated tearoom. The garden was just breathtaking. It was so colourful and full of life. It is so hard to describe how amazed we were by our surroundings. Everything was just so beautiful. The flowers, the trees, they all looked magnificent in the summer sun.

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After our little tour, we had to get back to the farm to continue our work. At the farm, while Christine, our host was teaching English to her students, we built a shed for wood storage, since her old one was all battered. We also mended and painted some damaged parts of her fences.

To make the most out of the rest of our day, we went back to Bantry to visit the Bantry Museum. This little museum displays collections of furniture, kitchen utensils and other little pieces like that. They also keep old newspaper records from Bantry’s past. We found it really nice that it was a free museum because this way, everyone going to Bantry gets to learn about the local history. We only spent one or two hours observing every little piece they had displayed. We then went back to the farm to eat our supper and it was the end of our simple day.

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Information:

https://www.tripadvisor.ca/ShowUserReviews-g211922-d8613789-r311900676-Bantry_Market-Bantry_County_Cork.html

http://www.westcorkmarkets.com/markets.html

http://www.visitbantry.ie/things-to-do/bantry-market.html

http://www.discoverireland.ie/Food-And-Drink/bantry-market/62874

http://www.bantryhouse.com/bantryhouse/

https://www.tripadvisor.ca/Attraction_Review-g211922-d216009-Reviews-Bantry_House_Garden-Bantry_County_Cork.html

http://www.discoverireland.ie/Arts-Culture-Heritage/bantry-house-and-garden/561

http://www.askaboutireland.ie/reading-room/culturenet/museums/cork/bantry-museum/https://www.tripadvisor.ca/Attraction_Review-g211922-d216010-Reviews-Bantry_Museum-Bantry_County_Cork.html

http://www.askaboutireland.ie/reading-room/culturenet/museums/cork/bantry-museum/

https://www.google.ca/maps/