Thursday, July 30, 2009

Exploring Limerick (Day 3)

(Italics are from my journal) (red is other notes)

Today was our first full day in Ireland. After a hard night of trying to sleep, I didn't wake up until 11:40 am! (I really thought my watch must have broken, but it was the true time!) Alex & most of the others woke up at 1:30 pm.

This afternoon, Alex, Nana, Papa, my nephew & I went to downtown Limerick. We had "lunch" (at 3 pm) at McDonald's. (This was the only fast food we ate the entire trip.) We went walking around Limerick & I bought a fresh strawberry jam crepe from an outdoor vendor.

streets of downtown Limerick - you can drive down the main streets, but there are side streets for pedistrians only

a taste of HOME! (We never ate here, though)
a sign in a meat market window

We went to see the swans on the River Shannon. I couldn't believe how filthy it was! The swans were beautiful, though.
wild swans

shopping cart among the swans

Nana, Papa & nephew by River Shannon -notice the small cars & flowers which were everywhere
Alex by the River Shannon
We also visited the grounds of St. Mary's Cathedral. There were lots of tombstones around the cathedral that looked very old, but were from the 1960's & 1970's and even the 2000's! I guess it is the stones they use. The oldest we saw was from the mid 1800's.

St. Mary's Cathedral, a Church of Ireland cathedral
some tombstones & a Celtic Cross which were very common
We also took photos of King John's Cathedral, but it was closed. We'll have to go back. (We never did.)

King John's Castle with kayakers in the River Shannon- this is a very large castle compared with most of the castles we saw

I love this bridge and the view of Ireland's green fields in the background

The signs in Ireland are also written in Irish. One of our taxi cab drivers explained that when he was in school (he might have been in his 50's) they were required to take exit exams from school and would fail if they couldn't pass the Irish part of the test. The signs, he said, are written in Irish to encourage the people to not forget their language. However, most people cannot speak Irish.
These were found along the rivers both in Ireland and Scotland at regular intervals for safety.
We ate dinner at a pub. I thought the food was OK, but it wasn't great. I ordered a burger. It was thick and very meaty tasting. (I didn't have another burger the entire trip.) I also tried some roast which was just OK, too.

Alex enjoyed these vending machines. We didn't have the 2 euro coin to buy anything out of it. I meant to buy her something from one at some point, but we never did. Often, there were Pringles cans in these machines.
It is about 11:30 pm (so 5:30 pm at home) and we will try to go to bed soon. We'll be heading to Scotland tomorrow!


  1. Hi Dana! How wonderful to see Ireland and Scotland! Thanks for all the pictures, especially of the castle :-). We're going to start a medieval unit in a couple of weeks and I'll remember this particular one.
    Thanks for sharing :-)!
    Blessings, Julie
    Oldschoolmarm @

  2. Love the look of the castles and my boys would love those vending machines too.

  3. The cathedral and castle were just beautiful! I can't believe how dirty the river was, but you are right, the swans are beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing the photos. :0)

  4. What a shame that the language is mostly forgotten. Is it 'Irish' or 'Gaelic'? I can't remember. Did I ever tell you that my dad can speak Gaelic? He learned it from an Irishman who invited him to Ireland when the course was finished. My dad went and LOVED it.
    I'm loving your pictures. They really tell a nice story. And I love how old all the buildings look. You can just feel all the history by looking at your pictures.

  5. What scope for the imagination in those old buildings! I'm reliving history books just looking at them!