UK Adventure...Part 3...

This is a stock shot because it was foggy that day and my photos suck

Day 10 found us crossing the border into North Wales,and driving through the incomparable landscapes of Snowdonia National Park on our way to Holyhead for the ferry crossing to Dublin, Ireland. The ferry ride is fuss-free and very relaxing.  The entire bus is driven onto the ferry, and once parked, passengers are allowed to go up to the higher decks to have a snack and chill.  I took the opportunity to hide and write.  You can do a lot good writing in 3 hours.  My fellow travelers dreaded the ferry ride but I looked forward to the free time.  

Oscar Wilde
When we arrived in Dublin, the first thing I saw was this great sculpture of Oscar Wilde.  We then toured Trinity College and I had a chance to see the 1,200 year-old book of Kells and the great old library.  Some of our fellow traveler went to the Guinness Storehouse that evening but roomie and I opted out.  The next morning we traveled across the Curragh to the Irish National Stud at Kildare.  Since I'm immersed in a series about horses, I really enjoyed this tour and came away with a plot bunny for book 3 in the Polo Series.  When I die and come back an animal, I'd like to be one of the stallions at this place.  They are spoiled rotten and do nothing all day but eat, sleep, and yeah....that....repeatedly.  There were 3 stallions and each one had its own meadow.  God forbid, they should share.  No way, no how.  The little darlings have the most beautiful stalls, fully enclosed, with skylights and about 2 feet of hay so they don't hurt their bums when they lie down at night.  Yeah, when I die, I want to be an Irish stallion....

The stables

One of the mares ...

Outside the individual stalls...notice the flowers.  They even have skylights!  
These little guys are Falabellas.  The Falabella is a rare Argentinian breed of miniature horse with only a few thousand existing worldwide.  They are adorable.  

Day 13-Cliffs of Moher.  Breathtaking,  despite the mist...

 Next stop, Rathbaun Farm. We made scones from scratch and while they were cooking, learned about sheep farming and watched the border collie being trained to heard the flock.  I had no idea these dogs were so tiny but they are super fast!  They move those babies like a regular drill Sargent. 
The black faced sheep above is a Scottish breed.  It turns out that wool is a dying business and hardly commands any money.  Woolen sweaters are no longer popular because acrylics are easier to care for.  It's sad but most of the sheep are slaughtered for food.  The biggest market is France.   

The last Irish stop was the city of Waterford.  We stayed at the lovely Granville Hotel where they served porridge with a healthy amount of Irish whiskey.  For breakfast!  A lot of us were nicely buzzed when we got on the bus to catch the ferry back to England. 

The Granville is tiny but very comfortable.  Breakfast is a must! 

Some samples of Waterford crystal.  The special orders were kept at the factory that we toured.  Regular items are made elsewhere.  Did you know a glass blower has an 8 year training period before they let him loose on the floor.  It's a really difficult craft and I wonder how many of these men are left in the world.  We were given the opportunity to watch a few of them blowing and cutting the crystal. 

To be continued...


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