Thursday, October 27, 2011

My Irish History

Just recently, 12most.com published my post covering the 12 Most Historically Significant Places in Ireland. I loved writing it, it brought back so many memories of my visits to the island. So I decided to take a trip down memory lane and post photos and notes here on my personal blog.

1995 - Our first trip to Ireland together. I remember being very surprised by the narrow roads and speeding cars. Now the roads are wider but the cars still speed. The astonishing thing about this photo is that we are at Blarney Castle and it's empty. Visit it today & you'll find it unbelievably crowded. You'd never get a photo like this, with an empty courtyard.
View from Blarney Castle, 1995
Ed leaping off the Cliffs of Moher
1997 - I visited Ireland without Ed (shocking!) on a bus tour with my university. We also explored Wales and England. The trip was so wonderful, but not nearly as much fun without my favorite traveling companion.
A pile of peat. So aromatic

1999 - We headed to Ireland for Ed to compete in the trials for the Irish Olympic team. It was a tough race.  Of course we also toured around, checking into B&Bs as an unmarried couple in Catholic Ireland, and visited a lot of prehistoric sites. I remember having an amazing pavlova on this trip. Yes, there is great food to be found in Ireland!
Sonia O'Sullivan in the women's 5K
Prehistoric tomb
Yes, I was a blonde then




View from Blarney Castle, 1999

2001 - This trip was our first visit to Ireland as a married couple and we also traveled with two friends. The main goal was to see U2 play at Slane Castle (unforgettable) but it was also our first big foray into Northern Ireland. The murals of Belfast told their tragic story. On this trip, I reluctantly climbed into a prehistoric tomb (not far enough to find Tir na nOg). In the north, the night sky was more brilliant and crystal clear than anything I'd ever seen. 
A tomb in Carrowkeel
Photo taken from inside a tomb

Giant's Causeway




Inishowen





2004 - You can see the two of us here in West Cork, but there's a third little traveler  - I'm actually pregnant. This was the trip where I ate my way through Ireland.
Eating on the Aran Islands
2005 - Our oldest's first "official" visit to Ireland, at least his first one requiring a passport. Here he is in Killarney National Forest.  We also brought my parents and were able to find and spend time with my dad's dad's family, just where we hoped they might be (Near Westport, County Mayo).
His first Guinness. I didn't really let him try it.
The Hogans at the Cliffs of Moher again. No leaping this time.


2011 - Back to Ireland with all three boys after a lengthy time away. Blarney has changed a lot! The lines were phenomenal, we didn't even go into the castle. Traveling with three young children presented some challenges and forced us to change our routine. No more B&B-hopping, this time we booked 2 hotels and used them as our home bases. Castles were high on the list of excursions and the buskers on Grafton St. both stunned & delighted our boys!




Our boys met their cousins, whom we met
when the cousins were babies!
At Blarney, again.



They fit right in and keep asking for the next visit