We are still trying to assimilate the journey, the ports, the people and the memories that will last forever. I gathered a few more images to share.
This charming little city of 2,000 evokes Ireland. We had to take a tender to arrive at the dock and were greeted by the town tourism board with maps and a shuttle to the center of town. The big draw is Banty House, the ancestral home of the Earls of Bantry which overlooks Bantry Bay. The house has exceptional gardens. The streets were bright and cheerful and Ma Murphys was the pub for Don as he parked there enjoying a local beer, while I shopped.
With a ship in port at Cobh we docked at Ringaskiddy across the bay. We took the ship shuttle to Cork. My Great Grandmother, Elizabeth Maher had Cork roots so we found the name and the motto on a key chain for a souvenir for Kristin. Since it was a bank holiday we couldn’t do any real research on G’ma’s father Michael. Cork is on the river Lee. We walked about and found churches, the international butter museum for Kerry Gold http://thebuttermuseum.com/ and typical architecture.
The capital of Ireland on the river Liffey and was a viking settlement in the 9th century. We did not stand in line to see the Book of Kells at Trinity college as we had been fortunate to see the illuminated manuscript on a previous visit. We did happen on a labyrinth at Christ Church Cathedral with the original building built in 11th century. Wandered the cobbled stets and shopped in major department stores.
With this our second visit to Ireland we opted for a walk around day. The Ship shuttle dropped us at City Hall and we oriented our map and set out. We always enjoy the architecture in old cities with a blend of old and new. We soon discovered the advent of a Mayday parade comprised of a multitude of trade unions, community groups and bands.
With a perfect day on the Isle of Skye, five of us set out in a rented car to explore with Don as our driver. First stop was Dunvegan Castle, dating back to the thirteenth century and still occupied by the MacLeod clan. Rugged coast, inland lakes and highlands dotted with sheep and furry highland cattle enthralled us as we circled by on an A road, like a narrow two lane in the U S. We stopped for lunch at a typical pub and a down the road was the distillery tour at Talisker. Schedule your tour ahead as they sell out. Scotch whisky is distilled twice, and Irish whiskey three times. Circled back to Portree and we did a bit of shopping in the Harris Tweed store and the church monthly market. Not enough time here to see the other castles, fairy pools and the west side of wild Scotland.
Two hours up Sognefjord, carved by the glacial flow, with spectacular scenes of brightly colored villages, water falls and mountain tops and we come to Flam, While only a population 500 , the world comes to take the Flansbama to Myrdal, at 2600 Feet elevation through tunnels and up the mountain. We stopped at Kjosfossen waterfall, continued to Myrdal and returned to Flam. We hiked in the area, saw another small town and purchased no souvenirs in the many shops, in this small hamlet. The booming economy makes a magnet $7.
With a deep sea port we docked near the city and adjacent to Akershus Fortress the 13th century castle and prison. With this being our second visit we sipped the famous Vigeland Sculpture park and took the ferry to Bygody to visit the Open Air Folk Museum with 150 buildings from different regions, including a stave church, farm buildings and the early building of Oslo built after the fire destroyed the original city. In the same area you can find the Kon Tiki museum. Oslo is booming in their economy and population growth. A beer is $11.
Having visited before we were wandering, deciding on a train to Kronberg Castle or maybe back to Droger, a yellow hued fishing village. We did neither as we came upon the castle, and saw the changing of the guard beginning. We walked with them and eventually found Nyhavn, trendy cafes and a flea market. Susan caught up with us so we went back toward the ship and happened on the Japanese festival and stopped for a beer. Anther lovely port to explore.