Ireland 2009 - Places and Towns (cont.)
 
Above Left;  An Inn called Blair's Inn that captured the imagination of Gail. It was located on Great Island and the approaches to the Port of Cobh. 
Above Right;  view of Cobh Harbour.  Cobh was the point of exit for approximately 2.5 million Irish emigrants from the period 1848 to 1950. It was also the last port at which the Titanic stopped prior to heading out on its disastrous voyage. The Lusitania was torpedoed during WW1 by a German U-Boat just off Cobh. That event is credited with triggering the entry of the US into the War.
Above Left;  The Clarion Hotel in Sligo. We stayed 2 nights here to explore the northern part of Ireland. The hotel was originally built in 1848 in the Gothic style. Sligo is considered Yeats country, in respect of the famous Irish poet W.B. Yeats. 
Above Right;  We stumbled on this delightful little town named Port Ballintrae, just west of Giants Causeway on the north coast of Northern Ireland. It appears to be a vacation style town now, with much new construction including apartments and condos.
Above Left;  Forever in the search for the "traditional" Irish pub, Tracy and Paul head for the entry to this neat place in the town of Swatragh in Northern Island. It turned out to be just what we were seeking, so we did our duty and enjoyed a beer. 
Centre above;  Not too many thatched roofs left in Ireland, but there are some, and we even saw a few new homes having one installed. 
Above right;  A street scene in Cork City on a sunny day. In Ireland, be aware that all pubs do not sell food and that lunch after 2 pm can be difficult.
We celebrated Tracy's birthday our last night in Galway at the Druid Restaurant. We enjoyed a great meal, a few bottles of wine and then a gentleman at the bar, name of Ewan, sent over a bottle of champagne in honour of Tracy. This evolved into a great ending to our stay in Galway. 
Ewan, seen top left talking to Paul, was a fisherman who roamed the oceans of the world. His better half was Oona is seated seen with Gail and Tracy in the centre photo. Ewan was full of tales, the exact image of a wild fun loving Irishman. 
Right above;  The lady who owned the restaurant also joined in the festivities. That is she listening to me extoll the excellence of her fine food. At least,
 I think that is what I was extolling!
Stuff we Did
Above Left;  Tracy and I standing on the Burren, a wild desolate high country in County Clare, south and west of Galway City. 
Above Right;  Paul, Tracy and I in Connemara National Park,  located in Galway County and is a combination of bogland, lakes and mountains.
Gail standing on the "pavement" of basalt columns at Giant's Causeway, County Antrim in Northern Ireland. 
Myself and Gail standing in the breeze at the coastal part of the Burren. Believe it or not, there were sheep grazing in that harsh looking land above us.
Above Left;  We did manage to find many places to have a beer! Tracy and Gail enjoying a brew in Swatragh, Northern Ireland. 
Above Centre;  Tracy at Giant's Causeway. 
Above Right;  We had a lot of our lunches on the road out of a picnic basket. Aside from the ease and flexibility of lunching this way, it was difficult to find places open to have lunch in the smaller towns of the country
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Left;  The inner harbour in Galway City. 
We were enthralled with Galway and enjoyed the three days we stayed here. Galway has a street of restaurants blocked to cars and allowing pedestrian traffic only. 
A very exciting and cosmopolitan place to spend an evening, with most restaurants having both patio and inside dining. People from around the world and  speaking many languages jostle for a table. 
We managed 2 evening dinners here and loved both of them.
Galway is a city I would love to return to some time. It has dozens of sites to visit within a few hours drive