Posts Tagged ‘crosses’

“Memorable, fun and beautiful Irish day…….and I have the photos to prove it!”

My friend booked us with Celtic Compass tours and I’m really glad she did. This turned out to be such a fun, memorable day with a buffet of everything that Ireland could deliver. Stunning scenery, gorgeous animals, Irish roads, castles, ruins, crosses, the sea and more. Walter is a great guide and driver. He will also work around your interests as well so if you require anything not listed, just ask. I definitely recommend Celtic Compass Tours.

Here is their website:  http://www.celticcompasstours.com/

our photos:

 

 

 

 

 

Maybe it was my cool room which I loved with all the Spanish touches that shot me with such a Spanish feeling.    This place evoked what I had always imagined.  It’s crazy but I felt Spanish.  In my own mind, I could start speaking it fluently at any moment.  Now to be fair, that is in my own mind.   In reality, I know maybe five things.

Seville oozes a charm.  It has the most orange trees I have ever seen in my life.   Thousands.  It’s a bittersweet thing because from what the locals told me you can’t eat them because they are very bitter.  Luckily someone told me that or I would tried to make my own juice in the morning.   They are beautiful and decorate the city in a magnificent way.

Not to take anything away from the other places I have visited in Spain but somewhere in my heart where I was feeling Spanish I have decided I am Andalusian Spanish.  It must be the case.   It has everything I want to see and feel….small tiny lanes, adorned balconies, siesta, yes God grant me siesta, I could do that in life.   There are bells, the tapas, animated conversations and a vibe I can’t almost describe but it’s there.  My friends felt it too!

Strangely enough I didn’t have a whole lot planned for Seville.  I usually have big ol list but for here I did not, I did have a few things but really left it to let’s see where the Spanish winds take me.  The winds first brought us to the Cathedral with the lane full of outside cafes which is extremely up my alley.   I am a huge fan of cafe life and people watching.  I found out that old saying from my mom “your eyes are bigger than your stomach” is true since I always ordered too many tapas.   I like the smiles in Seville.   I like the history as well.  One of my papers, I did bring along was on a free walking tour with Pancho.  It was a kind of spur of the moment thing.  We met the others at the fountain by the Cathedral and were off for a walk and a bit of history.  We learned of girl who snitched on her father in the Jewish quarter.  She had a boyfriend she wasn’t supposed to have and with that a great many tragedies were endured and deaths.  Roads of sorrow. See it’s not ALL beautiful oranges thru the lanes of Seville.   We learned of father and sons battles and King Alphonso’s gratitude for Seville’s loyalty.  The eternally grateful symbol is stamped all over Seville.     Look for it!  We know why several crosses were placed in areas to keep down the partying at residential squares.   We know what the local word  is for tourist girls and romance.  We saw a beautiful balcony that’s in a movie and up to that point I was thinking that needs to be my Juliette balcony but alas someone else already stole the idea for Don Juan.  We saw where the Romans have been and what they left as in columns.   Our guide was a lively bright girl from Poland.  I think her name was Anna.  I’m not going to tell you everything about the walk so you can experience this on your own.  One thing I do not recommend with Pancho Tours is the meetup later to go see the Flamenco.  I didn’t care for it or the location but I highly recommend the walking tour and DO TIP!!!

I recommend the following:

Do climb the Giraldo tower.  I had the bad knee from a spill in Barcelona and just took my time going up and made sure to stop at all the windows for views.  I spent so much time here I missed the entry for the Alcazar.  I thought I would be able to fit it in later in the trip but could not, big regret but something for next time right?  My friends did see it and absolutely loved it!

Do visit the Cathedral and the tomb of Christopher Columbus.  Will any of us especially in America ever forget the year 1492?   It’s been tattooed in my brain since I was a child.

I did not get to lots of things in Seville.  There just wasn’t the time on this trip but I am extremely happy and grateful with all that I did get to see and do along with cafe life.    I sacrificed a night to go to Granada for the Alhambra palace.  That was no mistake but I surely wish I would could have had more time for my  Andalusian Sevillian Spanish life I was leading.   It was incredible and that was just Seville!  Imagine visiting all the others?  I will!

Granada’s  post is next and the best reflection photo I have ever taken in my LIFE!!!  I’m so proud of that photo!

ciao for now,

I can tell you it has outstanding scenery, a town that’s not too big, friendly folks, musical folks, very close to stunning countryside, pubs, a sense of humor, green green fields, coastlines that no movie will ever do justice and rainbows.  Than there is the animals a plenty a favorite of mine and well it’s got rain.  Not a worry though because in about an hour you’ll see the sun, once you have that awhile the rain must get lonely and decides to come back.  The sun gets lonely too and decides to push the rain right back out to sea.  This tug of war between the two pretty much sums up each day.    While they work that deal out you must go about your day and experience all the gifts Ireland is going to bestow on you.  You won’t be disappointed I promise.

I feel like the way we organized our trip worked out perfect for me.  We booked Connemare & Cong with Galway bus tours.  We booked Celtic Compass Tours with Walt and Faherty tour for the Aran Islands.  I still got time to wander thru Galway on foot and tried to walk the promenade to Salt Hill but the wind wasn’t seeing it that way for me.  It kept blowing me back to town.  My umbrella broke in more ways than I thought possible so I attempted it again by bus.  That worked.

The musical people of Ireland are one of a kind.  I hope they never lose this talent.  Their sense of humor has its own brand of excellence as well.  A life without laughter is not really a life and the Irish get this.  I for one got my taste of it in the book Angela’s ashes which remains my favorite book of all time to this day.  Frank McCourt I will always love you.

Okay so back to Ireland and the animals.  I love how you ride down the roads and the sheep are deciding to cross or maybe not cross at all?    They may just decide to camp out till the driver yells out “come on Nelly, you’ve got to move over love.”   Walt took us to places with the animals.  He just would stop the car, we’d hop out and over a stone fence and would visit them.  Now I am afraid of the animal teeth.  The driver for Galway said watch the teeth and that stayed in my mind for every animal visit.   The donkeys were a delight too until I saw one get happy which truthfully I never saw anything like that in my life and ran to the van.  LOL   Oh my gosh and that’s all I have to say about that!

When you read or see photos about the natural beauty of Ireland that’s not tourist lure.  It’s 100 times better than you could have imagined.  Seeings believing so you seriously have to go for yourself and experience this.

I didn’t get to kiss the blarney stone for luck and the gift of gab but I did get to smooch an Irish man a couple of times for luck so I hope it’s still with me.  If not, I’ll go back and smooch another to get more!  joking……

Another benefit we had was the oyster festival so we sampled oysters that were to die for, excellent!    I love the names of pubs and restaurants in Ireland.   I could honestly take a trip and just photograph the names.    I bought a ring which I still wear today and was very surprised while just in Spain smoking at a stinky airport lounge when a fellow asks me if I’m Irish.  No, why did you think that I asked?   He said because of your ring.

My advise to you is to wear waterproof clothes.  On my day at the Aran Islands while on our way up to the ancient fort Ireland threw everything it had at us.  Raindrops as big as me, hail, wind and a path that turned into a river but no worry it gave us a dog too!   This dog barked hello and led us all the way up to the top!  He was funny he’d run ahead, stop look back, bark at us come on girls, than run ahead again.  He and Sandra made me nervous at the cliff’s edge, apparently she and the dog are not scared of heights.

Like I told you regarding the weather battles by the time we got back to the van the sky was turning blue, the sun was out but I was soaked thru and thru.  I thought I had waterproof boots on which did not turn out to be the case.  I did dress in layers and I can tell you every single layer was soaked.  This happened early on so I stayed a prune for the rest of the journey but that’s my fault.   I had to peel myself  like an apple later back at the hotel and I jumped in the bed and rolled myself up in the covers like a cocoon and swore I would never leave them again.  Never.

Promises are made to be broken and I did leave for dinner and music later because sadly our trip was coming to an end.  It was a wonderful journey thru London, Chester, Liverpool, Dublin & Galway.   The next time it will be all Ireland not combined with another country.  I didn’t realize how much more there is to see and experience.    As you can imagine, there’s still a lot on my list.    They say Irish eyes are smiling but I can honestly say so are American ones when I think of the memories of our trip to Ireland.