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It is so good to be back home but oh boy did we have a great time.


For Christmas my OH and I were given a surprise holiday. A hired camper van and ferry boat sailings over to Ireland plus 5 nights in a holiday cottage and a tour around the Welsh coastline. We toured the southern area of Ireland for about a week, stationed in the middle part of our trip at Bandon, County Cork, in a lovely little cottage, where we celebrated our 35th wedding anniversary. We made the most of our trip driving to somewhere different each day and eating out, so never ever cooked a meal for a fortnight. What a shock to come back to reality. lol.

Here are some of the photos from our adventure:-

This is our first port of call the site was lovely at the back of a working farm, so clean, neat and tidy and as you can see our mobile home for two weeks.

Sun was shining on our first day and we were hoping it would continue for the rest of our holiday, we did have some sunshine but grey clouds also and rain during the evenings, we were so lucky with the weather.

The next morning we set of out to the first of our pre-planned visits (by our daughters) to Bodnant Garden, too many pictures to put into a blog but it was spectacular. Camelias, Rhoddies and spring bulbs everywhere. What a fantastic place this was. We didn’t walk all the walks just the main garden. The red Rhoddie in the picture was absolutely stunning, no idea which one it was but have never seen a rhoddie as red as this one. It will remain in my memory banks for years. Stunning garden visit

The next place on the itinerary was Devils Bridge Falls, another amazing place, again we only did the Bridge walk the Falls were too steep for both of us to walk down.

The three bridges at Devils Bridge:

From here we set off to Fishguard and the view was beautiful looking across the bay. We caught the Ferry here – I was not looking forward to the ride on the boat but it was not too choppy, thank goodness we were not travelling on it the next day as the wind was howling all night long.

Fishguard Bay:

We landed at Rosslare in Ireland three and a half hours later, without even seeing another boat or bird. I found the journey so monotonous and was pleased when we were back on terra firma. lol. We then had to find our next campsite and it was beginning to get dark. the Site was in Ballaghkeen, County Wexford. We got lost, and a lovely lovely lady, who was sat outside a village hall waiting for her children to finish boxing classes, took us back to our campsite. So friendly and so kind. We had driven straight past it in the dark. Whoever she was we were very grateful and very tired and ready for our nights sleep.

The famous Wexford Thatched cottages:-

Sorry it is a little blurred but we were travelling along when I spied it. Amazing so tiny but so perfect.

Off again on our travels, this time to Dunmore East Bay, this is the view from the top of the cliffs where the lovely campsite is:-

We decided to do the planned visit to Waterford Glass on this day as the weather was none too bright. So pleased we went, the tour was very interesting. We saw the men blowing large blobs of glass into beautiful vases. We were shown lots of beautiful pieces of crystal glassware, so much expertese and clever clever art work going into each piece. So expensive but when you see how much work goes into the pieces you get to understand why.

We just could not go to Ireland without doing the Jameson Whiskey Factory Tour well it was a good day to do this one as it was quite blustery and showery so we thought it would be a great day to do the tour. OH didn’t taste the whiskey because he was chief in charge of the very large camper van driving. He didn’t trust me with the wheel. lol. I did treat him to a small bottle for trying later though. lol.

Our cottage was a lovely base to have to visit various places from in and around Bandon, so we did quite a lot of sightseeing and visiting whilst staying in the cottage and having the luxury of central heating. We went to Fota Wildlife Park on one of the days, it was beautiful weather, lovely and sunny and just right for ambling around looking at the animals and watching their antics. Lovely place to visit and a little van drawn train drives around so walking can be kept to a minimum. Such a lovely day spent here.

Sunbathing Merekats, simples!!

On one wet and windy morning we drove to Kinsale as we had been told that there was a very nice Cafe in the harbour town. We were not disappointed we called in to Fishy Fishy Cafe – run by Martin Shanahan and had a lovely fish and chip (rather expensive) but very different to our English Fish and Chips. I bought a recipe book and Martin signed it for me. Spoiled or what. lol. It was lovely in the cafe and we felt quite posh sitting there. lol This is the harbour as you can tell it did stop raining but was a very grey day on this day.

We are heading back now, getting closer to our departure from Ireland. Heading down the hill towards Dungarven Bay on the Gold Coast of Ireland.

The bay, the tide was going out and the geese, sandpipers and oyster catchers were very busy picking over the titbits left by the outgoing waters.

This was the best road we had been on, it was a Toll Road and in very good condition, which after all the long, twisting, narrow roads we had been driving on was such a pleasant drive. lol. OH could not believe his luck although he did moan that he had to find some money to pay with. lol.

On our last day in Ireland we visited the Wexford Wildfowl Reserve, I have never seen so many geese in one field. Apparently the majority had gone back to Greenland for the Summer but there were hundreds and hundreds still in the fields.

The Mallard Ducks followed us as we left the reserve, but we were not allowed to feed them so they were wasting their energy. lol.

We had a very smooth journey back over the sea to Wales – the waters were much calmer and my tummy appreciated the much smoother ride. lol.

We paid a visit to a Farm Museum run by the National Trust at Ceredigion which was a lovely visit. Lambs and piglets so we felt quite at home on our visit. Lovely old house in the grounds and a river running through the wooded valley, which we walked along for a few hundred metres before our visit.

The Walled Gardens at the farm, which are still producing vegetables and herbs and fruit for the cafe. The fruit trees are very old varieties and so well looked after. Beautiful place and made me pine to get back to my garden.

The Grande Finale was a superb visit to the Redkite Feeding Station at Gigrin Farm in Powys. What a sight to see literally hundreds and hundreds of Redkites swooping down to feed alonside dozens and dozens of rooks and crows who were not going to be outdone. If you ever get near do not miss this spectacular show. Really is impressive.

Back down to earth and home to my lovely garden, which was looking amazing.

Sorry it is such a long blog but I didn’t want you to miss out on any of our special holiday, thank you for looking in. And thank you Wales and Ireland for making our special holiday so very very special. We met some lovely people and had a great time.

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Wow! What a beautifully composed blog Mum, with wonderful pictures. And your real enjoyment comes through so much, I can see your smiling face as you were writing it! :)) Lovely! I'm so glad you had such a good looks like exactly the kind of holiday I would love to have. :)

4 Apr, 2014


I agree with Karen what a lovely blog. You obviously had a lovely adventure. Love your pics.

4 Apr, 2014


Thank you Karen & Marjories, yes the adventure was amazing, especially when the sat nav. took us up a mountain side and we never saw another vehicle or building until we were nearly at the top, where we saw a man on a pushbike, riding on the wrong side of the road, his face was a picture when he turned around and saw us coming up behind him. lol. this huge mini bus size vehicle coming towards his rear end. that made him cross over pretty darned quickly. lol darned sat.navs. what a laugh.

4 Apr, 2014


WOW!! Such a great blog, beautiful pictures. I am amazed that you managed to see so many places in such a short time, just beautiful, perfect holiday. Glad you had a great time Barbara :))) thank you for sharing with us.

4 Apr, 2014


Thank you for looking in Michaella, it was a brilliant holiday - glad to be able to share it with you all. :O)

4 Apr, 2014


This was one of those one off holidays Olive that will stick in your memory for a good many years, a very care free please yourself time. We took the ferry over to Rosslare a couple of years ago and just stopped in little B&B`s finally ended up in Kilmore Quays and I must say like you had a fabulous time. Your photos bought it all flooding back so thanks for the tour.

4 Apr, 2014


Oh I am pleased it brought back memories for you Stroller. :O) I shall never forget it, living on memories already, keep smiling when I remember those narrow lanes which the sat.nav. sent us down and wondering if we were ever going to get out of them at the other end. lol. :O) Great holiday definitely a once in a lifetime. :O)

4 Apr, 2014


Hello Barbara, welcome home ! I hadn't realised you were away and in Ireland as well ! We loved N.Ireland when we stayed with Elizabeth ( Libet ) and Rick has often said about going to the South, but as its me that drives, I can't see that happening any time soon ! lol Did you have to drive on the right ? It looked like it was a holiday of a life time ! Your pictures are all lovely and I think I will have to look at them all again ! Thanks for sharing this with us and I'm glad you enjoyed it. xx

4 Apr, 2014


Hi Rose, thank you for your welcome home message. We drove on the left hand side, I did wonder before we went if that is how they drove but checked it out before we went over. Probably a good job as some of the roads were rather narrow to say the least. :O) I never drove once as Paul said I would not be able to manage the width and length of the camper van it was a lot bigger than I am used to driving. lol :O)

4 Apr, 2014


What a fabulous surprise! a wonderful blog and photos , and two beautiful countries to have visited glad you liked my home place Wales .

4 Apr, 2014


Great blog and a thoroughly enjoyable read. What a lovely gift and you'll have the memories (and pictures) to look back on.
Thanks for taking the time to put this together, it's not so easy when you've so many photos!

4 Apr, 2014


really enjoyed this blog. glad you ahd a brill time. isn't Waterford crystal lovely.

4 Apr, 2014


What a lovely holiday, with great scenery and lots of variety. I wish I'd known you were going to be in Fishguard - not far from us, but never mind. Bodnant is lovely isn't it. Last time we were there the pool was empty because otters had come up from the valley and eaten all the fish!
Great5 blog, thank you.

4 Apr, 2014


I have looked at it twice already,before much to look at,and so interesting.. What a wonderful blog,and photo's,Barbara..I've only been to Northern Ireland,and a day trip over to Dublin from Anglesey,when staying in Wales..As you say,a holiday of a lifetime,for your special Anniversary..a fantastic gift from your daughters too..that must have taken some planning..!
Bodnant Gardens are on my wish list,and all the times we have been to Wales,we still never made it there..I remember Devil's Bridge though..we didn't do the walk either ! Lol..Thank you for sharing this ..just lovely :o)

5 Apr, 2014


Oh wow oh WoW absolutly wonderful xxx

I don't know where to start!
will come back when I have more time.....

must just say I went to Bodnant a couple of years ago when the roses were out, the sight of them and the perfume was incredible, I thought it would be wonderful when the rhodies are out......
They seem early this year?
so maybe you were lucky.....
as to the rest of your tour , well I will be back!

5 Apr, 2014


What lovely replies I am so pleased you enjoyed the holiday tour. :O) I keep looking back on the pictures myself, just to remind me (not that I need reminding just yet) but they are lovely to be able to look back on, there are of course hundreds more but I would not (dare not) lol put any more up, you would have been bored. I thought I had lost some yesterday you would not believe the panic I had looking for them, they were still on my memory card so I downloaded them all again. No wonder my computer is slowing down. lol. Thank you everyone for your replies, so pleased you enjoyed the blog. :O)

5 Apr, 2014


Sounds like you had a great time. Such a lovely looking place to visit.

Glad you found your photos.

5 Apr, 2014


yes it certainly was Sam thank you for looking in :O)

5 Apr, 2014


What a lovely blog, Barbara, and what a fabulous Christmas present! Thanks for a lovely tour :-)

(I love distilleries!)

5 Apr, 2014


Hi Melchi is that for the tasting then lol yes it certainly was a very big surprise and a lovely holiday. Thank you :O)

6 Apr, 2014


What a wonderful holiday, how lovely for you, really interesting blog. Thanks for sharing.

9 Apr, 2014


Thank you for looking in DD :O)

10 Apr, 2014


You had a wonderful time on your holiday! You will have many memories for many years treasured up after visiting Ireland & Wales & spending 2 weeks in a camper van.

Thanks for sharing some of your memories with us that were not so lucky as to go away on such a fabulous holiday. :-))

10 Apr, 2014


You are very welcome Balcony, glad you enjoyed the blog. It was a very memorable holiday and will stay with us for a long time. We had such a great time. We haven't been away for as long as this all the time we have been married. The girls and I used to go camping when they were small, with a tent etc. but oh was never able to come as it was his busy time at work. I would never take the girls out of school either so it had to be when they had the long summer break. We had champagne to celebrate our 35 years married and I got very tipsy. lol. yet another memory lol.

10 Apr, 2014


Congratulations on your 35th anniversary! Last year I gave my wife a Ruby anniversary card - only it turned out I was a year early! LOL!

10 Apr, 2014


LOL Balcony at least you tried and that is the main thing. have you remembered this year. lol.

11 Apr, 2014


Not for another 6 months yet!

13 Apr, 2014


should I keep reminding you Balcony or will the little grey cells remember. lol Happy Anniversary when it does arrive. :O)

13 Apr, 2014


LOL & thanks for the offer! :-)) I think I can manage to remember but I've got a notification set up on my phone to advise me a day or two before so I don't forget!

13 Apr, 2014


lol I love it :O) at least you are not technically challenged like my OH he is hopeless with anything technical and that includes his brick of a phone. He will not swap it either, because 'why would I want to do that' lol. One of my daughters sent him an e.mail to his i.pad, she then texted me to tell me she had done so, saying wonder how long he will be before he spots it in his in tray. lol. We do give him some stick. bless him, he is such a country bumpkin, although he does know now how to retrieve a message on his phone. lol. doesn't answer them though YET!!! LOL

13 Apr, 2014

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