Obrien World Tour

Ireland

Conemara National Park

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What is one of our favorite things to do? Climb mountains of course. When we read about Diamond Hill at Conemara National Park, we knew we had to conquer it. I am scared of heights so this one was a little rough. You are climbing up a rock path just 3 feet wide on the side of the mountain. From the pictures you can see the trail leading behind us. I vowed to get to the top! And we did. The views were amazing and we had a picnic near the top. A perfect day!

Now we are off To Belgium! Looking forward to something new. We have been in the United Kingdom for a month. Ready to see more of Europe

Clifden

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Clifden is the closet town to where we are staying that has any thing to check out. We went there in search of a library so we could print out our boarding passes for our next flight. The library didn't have wifi but we found a business center that you could pay to use the printer.  We walked around checking out the town for a bit. It consists of 2 streets of shops and restaurants.  We have been sending ourselves postcards as keepsakes from all the places we have been. So we stopped at the post office and mailed a few things.

Another thing Clifden has is a castle! I think it is the coolest looking castle we have scene so far. The front is almost all in one piece but the back is in ruins. It also has a medieval feel that I loved too. The kids loved running around and around and around.


On our way home, I spotted this amazing little lake. The colors were so vibrant! so we stopped the kids jumped from rock to rock and everyone was happy!

Next stop Kilkerian

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After our lovely week in Sneem ended, We headed up about 4 hours to the Galway area. In the summer months this area is great for hitting the beach and windsurfing, But in the beginning of June it was to cold! The town we stayed in consisted one gas station/store/bar. The next towns over weren't any better. The  closest town that had stores was an hour. So for the week we mostly read books, played card games, and watched a few movies. We did venture out a few times but mostly just chilled at the house.

The second day we were here, the kids really wanted to go to the beach. The sun might have been showing but it wasn't really warm. The didn't seem to care, they ran around climbing rocks and splashing around. Sean and I stayed on the sand in jeans and coats. It was cold. brr.


Bog walk

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Before we left Sneem, we decided to take a hike down the long road in! The kids also loved making dishes from all the plants in the yard.

Goodbye Cottage with the blue door!

Rossbeigh Shipwreck

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 Last fall a huge storm ripped through Ireland and displaced a 1903 boat onto the beach. The owner of cottage in Sneem had told us about when we arrived. I couldn't wait to go check it out! but we had to wait for the weather to cooperate. Finally on our last day there, the sun came out the weather warmed up and we were off to see the ship.  On the way to Rossbeigh we stopped in Killarney National Park for a picnic on the lake. We sat on the rocks in the water and ate our sandwiches. Can't ask for a better venue.

Rossbeigh was so fabulous. It is surrounded by mountains on both sides and sand dunes at the back. There were only a few people there, so we felt like the whole beach was there for us. The kids loved jumping in the waves and running along the shore.

After walking for awhile, we finally came upon the ship nestled next to the dunes. It was so cool to be able to see and touch the wood and the nails of an 100 year old ship.


Ballycarberry Castle and some more farts.

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We finally made it Ballycarberry Castle. It was well worth the wait. There was so much to explore! Ella and Miles loved checking out/running around all the dark corners. 

After over an hour of running around the castle, the kids weren't ready to get in the car. I checked online and there were 2 forts just 5 minutes from the castle so off we went.  After reading that these forts were once houses, the kids started playing house running from room to room. They even started to scavenger food from around the fort. It was really great seeing them learning and enjoying the forts.


Stone Circle

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Today we are going to see the mystical stone circles on the ring of Beara and maybe bring a little magic into our lives. Once we got to the parking lot, we had knew we were in for a great day. As you walked into the woods, you immediately feel like you are walking into prehistoric times. The trees are covered in moss and the stillness is incredible. Once you make it through the forest you come into a clearing of farm land in the mountains. The stone circles where just a short walk up. The circles were amazing at the center was a stone with offering made by others that had made the trek. The kids and I decided to see if we had the magic touch and hoped the circles would transport us to warmer weather. We must not have the magic touch since we remained in Ireland. After making our wishes, we headed over to to climb up a near by ridge. We could see the ring of Kerry on the other side of the bay.


 

Staigue Fart?

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The owners of the cottage told us about a few of their favorites places in the area. One of which was the Staigue fort but in their thick Irish accents it sounding like "visit the old fart". Ella was convinced we were visiting a old man until about 10 minutes before we got there.  Visiting old farts became our running joke in Ireland.

The fort was super cool built in around 400 AD.  The kids love getting a chance to climb in, on, and around it. It's pretty impressive that somethings so large was built so long ago, without mortar or machinery.

After the fort we head out to see a castle about an hour away. The kids started getting antsy in the car so we made a few stops. One at an over look to a beach. We got out of the car and climbed down to the ocean. Loved the colors of the ocean mixed with the stone.

After playing around by the ocean, we decided to make one more stop at an overlook before heading to the castle. As we got out of the car, we were hit with hair raising winds! The weather had turned and gotten really cold and windy. So we decided to just climb the mountain fora bit and save the castle for another day.


Sneem, Ireland on the ring of Kerry

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After driving for 2 hours from Cork to Sneem. We finally arrived at the street of our cottage, a winding road through breathtaking views of bogs and mountains. And yes another cow stand-off., this time in the car. We later learned the land we passed through was owned by OBriens!

After driving down this winding road for 10 minutes, we came to a fork. We stared, double checked the directions and still at  loss.  Luckily the owner was coming home and lead us to the cottage with the blue door! What a beautiful property.  We all instantly fell in love. As we unpacked the car, the owner's wife put the kids to work feeding the animals. They both had a blast and went back everyday to help. The farm had 3 turkeys(Colin and his ladies), 2 goats(Bernard and Bessy), 2 geese, and a bunch of chickens and ducks.

Here is a snippet of our drive into the cottage. Miles favorite part of arriving everyday was opening the gate.

 

Kells Abbey and tons and tons of Sheep Poo!

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I had read about the Kelly Abbey and how amazing it was. We had all wanted to check it out. Only problem is that it is raining every which way and  the wind is whipping by. so we asked the kids what they wanted to do skip it or bundle up and head out into the elements. Ella and Miles scream "Let's go!" Sean and I both look at each other, are going to do this?  but the kid win and we head out!

It was truly amazing! well besides the mine fields of sheep poo! Every 2 feet there was some. We learned as we entered the abbey where it all came from, as turned the corner, 100s of sheep turn and stare at us. We got lots of video but used the underwater camera since it was raining.