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Being in Ireland: Day 6

Overview

  • Got up, got ready, and had breakfast
  • Went back to room, and actually listened to the news for the first time this trip
  • Went down to the bus, departed for Killary Harbor in Connemara
  • Slowed and occasionally stopped for pics on the scenic drive there
  • Arrived at Killary Harbor for the cruise, departed on said cruise
  • Returned back from cruise, went to Peacock Restaurant for lunch
  • Departed from lunch for a tour of Connemara Marble Factory
  • Had the tour, departed for a tour of Celtic Crystal Factory
  • Went back to the hotel for a bit of rest
  • Headed down for dinner
  • Ate dinner
  • Met with relatives from Ireland. Sat and rank with them for a couple hours
  • Mainly talked with a relative named Mick.
  • Went back upstairs for rest and bed.

Detail

I got up and got ready, then went down for breakfast. Breakfast was more of the same as yesterday, with the addition of fresh fish but without the soft boiled eggs.  Pity, I liked having soft boiled eggs available on a buffet.

We had heard that the volcano had erupted again, so for the first time since a week or so ago I actually had to pay attention to the news. It kinda sucked because even worse I had to pay attention to the TV news, since the hotel doesn’t have free wi-fi. I got kind of worried at this point, but there wasn’t much I could really do.

We boarded the bus and headed out for Killary Harbor for a cruise. Along the way we slowed and stopped a few times to snap pictures. The weather wasn’t bad or anything, but I think the problems I had sleeping last night caused me a bit of a problem. I just couldn’t get the energy up to be excited. It also could have easily been the news of the volcano. As much as I had been joking about how it could go off and keep me here and that would be fine, I think I’d rather just get home on time.

Anywho, there were some interesting pictures to be taken along the way, and then we got to the harbor. Once we were on the boat, I could only stand to be on deck for a little bit of time. It was cold out there. I’d go out to snap a picture or two and then have to rush back inside. The sun just refused to come out today the way it did yesterday. It wasn’t all bad, though, since visibility was still awesome. Pat mentioned that even though it was cold we were still lucky, because all some groups got to see was a wall of fog. Overall the cruise was just kinda fine, with no real high point for me. Perhaps some of the pictures will come out nicely. I think the nice weather over the last couple of days spoiled me.

We left the harbor and headed for lunch at the Peacock Hotel. This time there was no deciding where to go for lunch; there was only one restaurant around for miles and miles. The food was decent, but the service was slow. Several people were late this time, but it wasn’t their fault. When I was done eating and had paid, there were people still without food and they only had about 17 minutes left. There was a nice thatched roof cottage there that I hope I got a couple good pictures of.

After that we visited the Connemara Marble Factory. Awesome. A short tour, but it was clear at the beginning that they really love what they do, and this was something that is really from Ireland. The stone originates here, and it is now worked only here. I finally had found something that really was Irish to the core.

I shopped a bit and then we had to leave for Connemara Celtic Crystal. We took the tour, and it turns out that this is another true Irish institution. The only remaining crystal factory in Ireland, they work specifically in Celtic/Irish designs (generally derived from the Book of Kells). We got to watch one of the masters in action, and it was amazing. Their crystal is expensive, but you can instantly see the value, and you can tell they truly love what they do. They only take extremely qualified people in to train, and it takes seven years for them to become a master. And once they are a master, the works they do are simply stunning. The lady giving the tour boasted that while the other crystal places started doing other “basic” and “extra” works, they stayed true to the old ways. Now they are the only ones left. After the tour and a demonstration by one of the masters, we stayed on a while to shop in the gift store and then headed back to the hotel.

We were given a option: We could stay at the hotel, or Pat could drop us off downtown. Pat would drop you off, but he wasn’t going to pick you up. I chose to stay back at the hotel and had a shower and a bit of a rest, while mom and a couple others went into town. I’m pretty sure they just walked the 25 minutes back. Personally I wanted to get on the Internet (even though it was expensive) and take a shower and rest, which was what I did.

Later on I went down to dinner. Overall dinner was better than last night. Late in the course of dinner, the Galway relatives showed up. We all hung out in the bar, chatting. Well, I mainly chatted with Mick while my mom and some of the others talked and figured the genealogy out. It turns out they are either my 3rd or 4th cousins. It was nice talking to Mick, though I ended up drinking more than I normally would by an extra pint. I should be fine, but thank god I stopped him from buying me another pint. He’s a really nice guy, though. I turned on the accent talking to him and we seemed to understand each other quite well. Dewayne was there, too, and he had a terrible time following along with the conversation while Mick and I conversed back and forth.

After mom insisted on some photos I went on upstairs. I think I’ll read just a wee bit and then to bed. :)