Mizen Head, Ireland, April 2009
For Easter this year we decided to go to the very southwest of Ireland - Mizen Head in County Cork. At 2800 square miles, Cork is the largest of all counties in Ireland. Since we were travelling by car, not air plane, there were more seats available, so we were joined by Ernest the White Valentine bear, Kevin the Irish tourist bear and Sniffy Lovelysmell, a retired air freshner from the car. McBear had hoped to sneak in more TA's, however, it might have caused a riot between our owners! So only 5 bears and a dog...
Click each photo to enlarge
Mizen Head is located at the end of a long stretching peninsula and at the
very tip is on old weather station with a light house. Due to strong winds
we couldn't have our photo taken at the weather station itself, but at least
we had our photo taken at the car park. In the background we could hear people
giggling and talking about us.
"Fame comes at a price...," Roger said.
Drombeg Stone Circle, Ireland, April 2009
We stayed at a Bed & Breakfast in a small town, Clonakilty, on the south coast. Clonakilty was the home town of the famous national hero, Michael Collins, who fought for Irish independence in 1921. Not far from Clonkilty was the famous stone circle, Drombeg. This stone circle dates back around 2,000 years.
Roger was fascinated by the circle and its symbolism. He leaned against one of the stones in an attempt to sense what may have happened thousands of years ago...
Timoleague, Ireland, April 2009
We went to visit the old abbey in Timoleague and had our photo taken on the graveyard. This oldest parts of the abbey dates back to the 12th century.
On our way back from Clonakilty we took the opportunity to visit another of many old castles and fortresses in Ireland: Kanturk. Its history dates back to the 1500s, but it is believed never to have been completed, thus it's a ruin today.
The first weekend of May we went to Achill Island, an island off the coast of County Mayo. The last time we had been here was in 2002. At 688 meters Croaghaun is among the tallest sea cliffs in Europe. From our window we could see the east side of Croaghaun. We were joined by Tutty the pharaoh bear, Goldie the Tivoli bear and Kayna the Marks & Spencer seal. We also had the company of Goye, a poor pet parrot, who Brownie, our monster of a cat, used to play with years ago. Now Goye had retired and McBear insisted on respecting Goye's rights to be enrolled as a member of the Travelling Bears and of TARF with equal rights.
Dooagh, Achill Island, May 2009
We were staying at the Westcoast House, a bed and breakfast
in Dooagh on Achill Island. In the lounge Roger discovered the
most amazing bear sized sail boat one could imagine.
"Wonder how much it would cost..." Roger mumbled, half to himself.
"We wouldn't be allowed to bring it with us", McBear said. "Too much bear stuff in this house!" McBear continued citing one of our humans...
Next morning we went to the famous Keem Bay at the foot of Croaghaun. It was a lovely morning, and we enjoyed walking in the sand.
Achill Island, May 2009
With the rest of the group we went uphill to enjoy the splendid views. Tom was concerned about the small amount of tourists we met on the way as it could affect his business: Tom Teddy Tours. Roger on the other hand didn't believe recession had such an impact. He pointed out that there was a lot of new movies being made. Roger was willing to stand for the elections this year as he believed he could sort out the economy.
Then McBear and Roger went off. They were hoping to reach the west side of the island as it is only from west it is possible to have a view of the sea side of Croaghaun. Phew, it was tough walking through the tall grass and we constantly got wet paws from invisible streams...
Achill Island, May 2009
We reached the west side, however, due to strong winds and gales,
we couldn't go any further. But at least we could see parts of the
sea side of Croaghaun. To document the event, we insisted on having
our photo taken with Croaghaun in the background. Our human had a tight
grip on us to make sure we weren't blown away...
"Is my hair a complete mess?" she asked.
The bears politely kept silent...
That night McBear and Roger went to bed before the rest of us and immediately fell asleep.
Belmullet, May 2009
Next day we went to Belmullet which is an island or peninsula north of Achill Island. From the beach at the southern tip of Belmullet we could see the sea side of Croaghaun. It was an amazing view.
After a couple of days with lovely weather we woke up to a dull day Monday morning. It was bucketing down and clouds covered Croaghaun in mist. Oh, well, we felt we were back in Ireland and it was time to head home...
Check out the map of Mizen Head
Check out the map of Achill Island