Archive For The “Ireland” Category

Dublin Arrival

Dublin Arrival

We returned to the Republic of Ireland at Dublin after four months in the UK. Conditions on the overnight run from Liverpool were rougher than predicted, with winds blowing 30-40 kts on the bow and a maximum pitch of 21.9°. But the winds eventually settled down and we had calm weather for the last part…

Read more »

Belfast Harbour Marina

Belfast Harbour Marina

Belfast Harbour Marina opened in 2009 in the city’s rejuvinated Titanic Quarter and provides an excellent base for accessing the city. The marina is the first we’ve been to that is completely self-serve: moorage can’t be reserved in advance and is paid daily through a ticket machine similar to that in a car park. We…

Read more »

West Belfast

West Belfast

In several days of touring around Belfast we’d seen no signs of the violence, known as “The Troubles”, that once made it among the world’s most dangerous cities. Of the 1,541 killings there, most ocurred north and west of the city and it is in West Belfast that evidence of the conflict is still prominent….

Read more »

Titanic Quarter

Titanic Quarter

Belfast’s Titanic Quarter stands on part of the shipyard where the ill-fated vessel was built and is one of the world’s largest urban-waterfront regeneration projects. The 185-acre (75 hectare) site includes Titanic Studios, Belfast Harbour Marina, and hotel, office, education, retail and apartment complexes. The district also is home to a number of excellent nautical…

Read more »

Beautiful Belfast

Beautiful Belfast

One of the reasons we’d come to Belfast was to see one of our favourite bands, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, at the renowned Limelight. We admittedly were a little nervous about the idea. Belfast was once considered one of the world’s most dangerous cities and it’s impossible not to reflect on years of violence covered…

Read more »

Belfast Arrival

Belfast Arrival

The Harland and Wolff twin shipbuilding gantry cranes dominate the Belfast skyline and are a notable landmarks on entering Belfast Harbour. Harland and Wolff are a shipbuilding and offshore construction company founded in Belfast in 1861 who built most of the ships for the White Star Line, including the Titanic and its sister ships Olympic…

Read more »

Rathlin Island

Rathlin Island

Rathlin Island is Northern Ireland’s only inhabited island and also is home to one of the largest seabird colonies in the UK. The West Light Seabird Centre is perched on a clifftop above the lighthouse at the western end of the island where visitors can take in the spectacular scenery, watch the thousands of seabirds…

Read more »

Causeway Coast

Causeway Coast

Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland consists of over 40,000 hexagonal basalt stones that lead from a cliff foot into the sea. The dramatic site inspired legends of giants building the causeway to reach Scotland across the sea. Led Zeppelin fans might recognize the above scene from the Houses of the Holy cover. We had sorely…

Read more »

Arranmore Island

Arranmore Island

Our stop at Arranmore Island was as much to avoid an upcoming weather system as it was to tour the island. But it ended up being an incredible stop. We really enjoyed our bike tour of the island and a dinghy trip to Burtonport on the mainland, met many of the locals, and really had…

Read more »

Donegal Bay

Donegal Bay

The area around Donegal Bay has some of the most spectacular seascapes in Ireland, including the dramatic Doonbristy sea stack off Downpatrick Head and the soaring cliffs of Slieve League. Many people feel the Slieve League cliffs are more dramatic than the better-known Cliffs of Moher. They certainly are higher at 1,952ft (595m) compared to…

Read more »

Rounding Erris Head

Rounding Erris Head

The two-day run from the Aran Islands around Erris Head had an unusual diversity of sightings. Natural features included waterfalls, dolphins, plenty of dramatic seascape, and Ireland’s highest sea cliffs, the 2,168ft (661m) the Cliffs of Croaghaun. On the man-made side, we saw a ruined Cromwellian fort, an abandoned village and whaling station, three major…

Read more »

Inishmore Island

Inishmore Island

Inishmore Island, in the Aran Islands near Galway, Ireland, has several attractions. By far the most visited is Dun Aonghasa, a dramatic semi-circular fort built right to the edge of 300-foot cliffs with sweeping coastal views. And a popular way to tour the island is by bicycle. We saw literally hundreds of bicycles for rent…

Read more »

Cliffs of Moher

Cliffs of Moher

The spectacular Cliffs of Moher are one of Ireland’s most well-known features and popular tourist destinations. The cliffs extend for five miles, rising over 600ft from the water surface at their highest point. More than a million people visit the cliffs each year, but relatively few have an opportunity to view them from the water….

Read more »

Valentia Island

Valentia Island

In 1866, the first transatlantic telegraph cable was completed between Newfoundland and Valentia Island. Prior to the cable, messages between Europe and North America were sent by sea and took two weeks, or more, to reach their destination. Valentia Island also is known for it’s slate quarry that produced slate for the Paris Opera House,…

Read more »

Cahersiveen

Cahersiveen

16th-century Ballycarbery Castle is a modern structure compared to two other fortifications near Cahersiveen: the ring forts of Leacanabuile and Cahergal. Ring forts are difficult to date, but archeologists believe these were built in the 9th and 10th centuries. We visited all three on a bicycle tour of the area, and also took in the…

Read more »

Skellig Michael

Skellig Michael

Skellig Michael is one of the most remarkable places we’ve ever visited. Sometime in the 6th-8th centuries, Christian monks landed on this rugged and remote island off the southwest coast of Ireland. Over the centuries they built a monastery with beehive huts and a chapel high atop the island’s peaks, and extensive steps to reach…

Read more »