Day 4, with “real” pics

Some more photos from this morning’s hike along the Cliffs of Moher. Here is the view from the left…

And from the right…

A very helpful French tourist offered to take our picture on the cliffs.

Mara says the cliffs are thiiiiis biiig! Mara is pointing towards home… Newfoundland is that way!

After we got back from the cliffs, I speed-walked with another “shadow parent” to try to get to King John’s Castle before it closed. Alas, we misread the times and missed going inside. We tried the big knocker on the door, but got no answer 🙂

So we enjoyed a more leisurely stroll back to our hotel in Limerick after taking some photos of the castle from the outside. This has now become “the castle we didn’t see”!

Going back to Day 3…

As I sit here uploading the photos from today (day 4), I realized that I did not share any photos of our adventures at Bunratty Castle from yesterday. I’ll blame my forgetfulness on the Guinness…

After our exciting morning at the St. Patrick’s Day parade, we headed out to visit Bunratty Castle and tour around the Folk Village there. The singers enjoyed exploring all of the towers, where we were able to appreciate some lovely views of the River Shannon (Siannion in Irish). The folk village was fascinating too, with thatch-roofed cottages that date back centuries.

We even found a “Molly” sheep, and Mara found a “Kermit” pond.

Day 4, from the Cliffs of Moher

This morning, we headed out to hike along the stunning Cliffs of Moher, along the west coast of Ireland. Just gorgeous-one of those places where it is impossible to take a bad photo. Here are some quick photos that I snapped with my phone. I’ll upload the “real” camera photos back at the hotel tonight. Again, we were treated to beautiful sunny weather. Who knew we would have to remember sunscreen in Ireland in March??

Day 3, St. Patty’s Day!

Our first stop today was Limerick, where the singers walked in the 2nd largest St. Patrick’s Day parade in Ireland. What a hoot! 

Mara is behind the last A of Canada, in the middle of the pack, wearing her new Irish toque. We thought they’d stand out in their red jackets, but there were a surprising number of other groups wearing red. There were some very interesting floats….St. Patrick himself made an appearance, on a motorcycle of all things.

It was quite an adventure! Having walked and watched many Santa Claus parades, without the arrival of Santa (or maybe St. Patrick.) as the last float, it was a bit muddled at the end.

My favourite t-shirt from this event was on a Dad walking amidst his daughter/s dance troupe:

Day 2, the first part

So, back to this morning. We loaded up the buses and headed out to drive the twisty, winding roads to the western coast of Ireland. We drove through the rugged lands of the Connemara region. The scenery was spectacular, even with the foggy conditions. The drive was a bit of a challenge for members of our group who suffer from motion sickness, but there were no accidents on the bus. Here is a shot of one view, taken through the window of a moving bus.

While in Connemara, we visited Connemara Marble, a family-run company that mines marble varieties from different quarries around Ireland, and manufactures beautiful jewellery, floor tiles, window panes, and such.

From Connemara, we headed on to Cong, where we stopped and had a lovely walk about.

After our stop in Cong, it was time to head back to our hotel in Galway and get ready for the concert tonight in Athenry.

Day 2, but backwards

I’ll start with the end of the day, because we are still glowing from watching the kids’ first performance. Wow! The singers performed with the Athenry Youth Orchestra, and they were outstanding!

The highlight of this evening was when the choir finished their performance, the kids from the orchestra, their peers from another country, led the standing ovation.

Then the orchestra performed, and the ovation was returned enthusiastically! The finale, a joint performance of “Let There Be Peace”…our conductor conducted, and their conductor played! What a wonderful way to begin the singers’ performances for this trip!