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‘Journey to the British Isles,’ Part 3 PDF Print E-mail
Monday, April 08, 2013 9:06 AM


Louise Miller and her husband Robert (“Cookie”), of Ottoville took a trip to Scotland, Ireland and Wales in the fall of 1998 with Bob and Arlene Bendele, their close friends and neighbors. The following is the third excerpt from the journal Louise kept throughout their journey, accompanied by photos.

Onto Limerick. The sign at the entrance says “Welcome to Clinton.” President Clinton spent some time here. The book Angela’s Ashes was written about this area also. Limericks are five-lined nonsensical rhymes. We were challenged to write some of our own. I loved this!


Of all the rivers, I remember three. Tweed, Liffy and Dee. They make me want to go and add to the flow, of the Great Irish Sea.

Rams, lambs and ewes, which is which I muse. The backs and fronts look ‘bout alike, perhaps I must check their toes. Not so good!


A young lad was looking for grub, he went to a local pub. He ate the stew and drank the brew and came out a bit of a chub.


Never knew I had a weakness, until I tried that Guinness. Now I’m alarmed, my liver is harmed, it will give my doctor some business. This is just too much fun!

We came to the city of Tralee, population 17,000. It reminded me of the song Rose of Tralee. We started down a narrow road called the Ring of Kerry. A ring is a fort. There are stone fences very close alongside the road. The buses have strict orders to only go one way. Well, one fellow ignored the rules and we had to pass him. It was so close that they each had to take off their mirrors and the people on the buses guided them past one another.

There are lots of strolling sheep in these gently rolling hills. They each have a colored X on their back to distinguish one farmer’s sheep from another farmer’s flock. Some had a green X, some a red one and so on.

We ate at a small restaurant in the Ring. I took a picture of a multitude of signs each pointing in a different direction to another town. However, the road only went one way.

We started out at 8 this morning and came to a Franciscan Abbey. The altar was much like ours at home. The houses around here are pastel colors. We took a 20 minute ferry down the Shannon River.

We are at Ennis, population 15,000. This evening we went to the Knappogue Castle for a medieval dinner. Cookie and I, Jackie and Al and another couple sat on the dais. We had bibs to wear and they took pictures. The servers put on a play for several hundred people. These castles are all stone, with some dark wooden interiors.

Today we visited the Cliffs of Moher. These are very high cliffs bordering the Atlantic Ocean. The waves strike the cliffs violently, which causes a heavy mist. Our next stop is at Our Lady of Knoch. A housewife had apparitions of Mary in the countryside near here. We visited a church that marked the spot. This area was overworked in the 1800s and they experienced the potato famine.

We are heading to Galway, Ireland. On the way we came across the Burren, a great rock area of 100 square miles.

I’ll never forget Galway. We stopped at a mall to eat. There were a half dozen of us who ate together. We had potato soup, which was excellent. Cookie asked the waiter “where are the restrooms?” The waiter gave him some very extensive directions. Cookie just said, “follow me.” We followed him down a long hallway, through some double doors and up some narrow stairs. Cookie was so intent on leading us the right way that he didn’t see the WET PAINT sign on the bright green wall. He led us up the stairs, opened the door for us and in doing so, he leaned against the wet painted wall. The bright green really stood out on the back of his light tan jacket. We tried desperately to get it off with whatever we could find, to no avail. When we got back to the bus, the other travelers said, “We can see which farmer you belong to.”

We stopped at the Belleek Parian China factory. The china is white with green shamrocks all over. We bought some small vases for remembrances. The Bendeles bought some picture frames.

Londonderry is a city of 105,000. It is very much a city in strife. There is a 500 foot wall separating the bogside and the old city. One side is on the mountain, the other side is the valley. Between the two is a sidewalk with a high iron fence. There were large murals on the sides of buildings urging people to get along. We walked the sidewalk on the mountain side. We walked into the city building and saw a statue which was full of bullet holes. Driving through the city, I saw a statue of Molly Malone pushing a wheelbarrow full of cockles and mussels. It too had bullet holes. I was thrilled because of the song about Molly Malone. It was peaceful when we were in the city.


Pictured: A Medieval Dinner at Knappogue Castle in Ennis. Louise and Robert Miller, right, sat on the dais with two couples they met on the trip. (Submitted photos)


Last Updated on Monday, April 08, 2013 10:14 AM

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