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Ireland

Conwy & North Wales

Conwy & North Wales

Llyn Ogwen, Snowdonia National Park, Wales

Llyn Ogwen, Snowdonia National Park, Wales

Wales in November sounded iffy at best. But from all accounts, we lucked out with 6 days in a row of no rain/some sun/and comfortable temps in the 50's. 

We flew via Dublin then Manchester, and after a few train issues we were on the train to Wales stopping in Llandudno Junction. It was a one mile walk from the train station to the hotel, but what a walk! Crossing the bridge of the Conwy River and seeing the castle in front of you, and the hills and mountains appearing behind was spectacular. 

Conwy is a lovely base for a trip to Wales - great natural location on the water, with an impressive castle, cute village and among the most complete medieval town walls in Europe. Very friendly people, interesting cafes, bars and restaurants (including a pub in a former bank building called "Bank of Conwy") and the smallest house in Britain (the little red house in my photo, its in the Guinness Book of Records as the smallest, only 10 by 5.9 ft)

Conwy Castle was built by Edward I between 1283 and 1289 and still impresses today.

Llandudno Wales Great Orme

Llandudno is a Victorian resort town nearby to Conwy, We visited on Halloween and were amazed by how abuzz it was in activity. I walked the old fashioned pier with arcades, stalls and sweets (and I managed to play some skee ball). Then we took the slow drive around the Great Orme ( a limestone headland that means sea serpent). 

Pen-y-Pass, Snowdonia National Park

We explored all different kinds of routes in the north half of Snowdonia National Park - the A5, A4086, A4085, A498. Snowdonia National Park is beautiful, in short area it encompasses forests, mountains, lakes, rivers, and waterfalls. We visited Conwy Falls and Swallow Falls and the towns of Betws-y-Coed, Pen-y-Pass, and Llanberis.

The most bizarre tourist attraction visited was Portmeirion, an Italian village built on the Welsh coast by an eccentric rich guy. It is supposedly modeled after Portofino (which I visited last year in the Italian Riviera).

File Nov 12, 5 56 04 PM.jpeg

We finished the trip to Wales by taking a train to Holyhead, taking the ferry crossing to Dublin and spending a night in Ireland (check out my images from my last trip to Ireland). This view of an art installation on Grand Canal Square was pretty cool. 

Ireland

Ireland

with our little rental car we took to the roads of Ireland's sunny southeast visiting:


Dublin

Probably too brief a day wandering around the top sights of Dublin before claiming our rental car and hitting the road to the country. 

black and white line drawing Dublin, Ireland by Katie Jurkiewicz

Waterford

We home based in Waterford, yes seeing the crystal factory, but doing a lot of driving in the countryside along the Copper Coast.  Some of the most beautiful and scenic spots, it is where I captured the picture of cows up above. While attempting to capture this picture I nearly fell off a cliff. It was supposedly a footpath open to the public, only about three feet wide along the outside edge of the pasture fence.  I tripped and nearly fell off. Luckily I grabbed the fence, the electrified cow fence! Once again I was lucky that the shocks were infrequent. Besides, these cows seemed pretty well behaved.

image from the road of green grass and cliffs in county waterford, ireland

Kinsale and the Jameson Distillery

A day trip to County Cork took us to Kinsale, for a very memorable seafood meal in this fishing town, a visit to the military fort and a tour to the Jameson Distillery.

before I had a reliable panorama camera had to do this the old fashioned way, view in Kinsale

before I had a reliable panorama camera had to do this the old fashioned way, view in Kinsale


Rock of Cashel

Located in County Tipperary and known also as Cashel of the Kings and St. Patrick's Rock - it was a very impressive site!