What is near Duncannon?

2I have been really happy to spend again some time in Duncannon, a nice small village at the seaside where the sea lies just behind your garden fence and where it’s possible to watch the secret life of the sea. This time, it was mostly stormy, even when it wasn’t raining and when going on the beach, it was possible to feel how the wind is fighting with you and holding you back when you want to walk. But anyway, there were a lot of brave people walking their dogs or just wandering around despite the heavy wind. I tried to be among them and spent some time taking photos and listening to the song of the wind and struggling with the flying sand.

1There are lots of marvellous places around Duncannon and this time I had a chance to visit quite a lot of them. The village itself is also very nice with picturesque views, some pubs, locals and summer visitors, small shops and sandy beach. But if you drive a bit you can visit easily the Hook peninsula, and the nearby towns Waterford and Wexford, the last one has given the county its name too.

3I had been to Waterford before, but that time my stay was limited at the bus station, waiting for the bus that took us to Duncannon. This time, I was lucky to see the town twice, and try again this quite common way of travelling from one side of the river to the other. So it means that we just drove on the ferry, and after 5 minutes off again, and very soon we were in the centre of Waterford, where the Street Performers’ Festival took place. The first time when I saw this way of travelling, was when going to Cobh. This is something that we don’t have, but here it seems to be very common.

Spanish entertainers

The Street Performer’s Festival, which is called SPRAOI Festival (pronounces /sprii/) means FUN in Irish. Reading the name doesn’t make any sense how to pronounce it, so it’s better to write it down to remind it. It seems that in the Irish language they are very generous with writing different letters into one words and it seems that just in case, they have written them always more than they are ever going to pronounce. That makes Estonian so easy-peasy, in spite of all its 14 cases, but at least we pronounce how we write.

5The centre of Waterford was very nice and the people who had come to see the performers didn’t mind the rainy weather. Fortunately, it wasn’t raining all the time and children could enjoy the performances. Especially cool was the drum band from Ireland which consisted of children in different ages and of their really enthusiastic teacher who encouraged them to play and act, what they did really good.

6As the big clouds arrived we didn’t stay for the fireworks and we were smart because it started to pour rain and I don’t know if they could carry out any fireworks with such a weather. I would definitely want to come back to Waterford and spend some more time there.

We visited also Wexford, but that was a short visit, just got a glimpse of the main shopping street, so I must come back there too, and probably I will.

The most haunted house in Ireland

1-IMG_7701With a rainy day, we visited the most haunted house in Ireland – the Loftushall. It is said that the Devil himself had visited that place and put a hex on a daughter so that her ghost hasn’t found peace till now and haunts in the house. In the 90-s one boldfaced man started to run a hotel in the house but on one night all the guests and staff ran away without any explanations and left all their belongings into the house and never came back to take away a thing. After that, the house has been abandoned and no one had wanted to come to live there. Nowadays it’s a tourist place, where they make guided tours with ghosts jumping from around the corners and spooking the poor tourists who have willingly paid for getting scared. But it is said that the house decides on its own who can stay there and for how long time. It seemed that our stay was quite accepted because we didn’t meet any real ghosts but of course, we did our tour and went quickly away. Maybe the ghost has got used to the crowds and stays still in some hidden place 🙂

After the spooky afternoon, we stopped at Templer’s Pub and had an early dinner. I ordered fish and chips because the fish that they offered was monkfish and that has become my favourite here. And sometimes you just feel like fish and chips, especially when you have been visiting some spooky house with ghosts on a rainy day.

For desert I got a jar of jam, ok they had also sprinkled a bit of crushed gingerbread  on it and a glass of sticky cream to eat with it. By the way, it was called Fruit Crumble 🙂


Visiting Tintern Abbey


The weather has been quite rough this summer, windy rainy and cold, but for this day the sun has come out and it’s even warm outside. Anyway, I am not used to taking my coat off probably till my holidays in Crete in August and the only thing that cheers me up is knowing that they have the same kind of weather in Estonia 🙂 So our trip around Duncannon takes us to Tintern Abbey today.

1Tintern Abbey was founded in 1200 by Count William of Marshall and it got its name after the bigger namesake in Wales.

In 1541 in became a private property of Colclough family (pronounces as simple as /kookli/) and it was habited till 1959 when the last living old lady gave it back to the government. I guess it wasn’t a too cosy place to live because I could never imagine these thick stone walls to get really warm, rather I can picture this poor old lady with 3 pairs of woollen socks and a huge cup of tea staying in one small kitchen or somewhere near the fireplace.

3One of the vainest family members let to build such kind of a bridge, just only because its decorative and beautiful appearance. And especially decorative it looks seen through the upper window of the Abbey where our tour guide tells us stories about the Colclough family’s history. Yes, we are having a guided tour, so smart. The tour guide makes the place more alive, especially that she knows a lot about the characters and habits of every single person who has lived there.

4That’s how they built the walls during the old times  – the blend between the lattice was made from so many different ingredients that the restoration workers of nowadays were not able to catch up on it. But at least they tried! And it’s possible to see the wall building process in different stages. The guide says that this filling made the walls warm keeping and let the stone breathe. Probably it will make sense for our school’s  construction department 🙂5

This noble place was meant to be the seat of the superior head of the church. Actually, it doesn’t feel too comfortable, but maybe the needs of the medieval deacons were a bit more modest these days. But why not to try, if you have a chance, and the sun is shining really warm, unbelievable and nice.

10The little road that goes through the wood takes you to the Colclough Walled Gardens, which have been restored and trimmed recently and look quite nice. You need to buy a ticket again when entering the gardens, but I think they are collecting money for some more restoration work. The gardens are nice, full of flowers and there’s also an orchard part with vegetables and scarecrow which looks huge and decorative, probably not so decorative for the crows. In Estonia, we call these things not Scarecrows, but Scarepeas, instead, although they are meant to scare the crows, not the peas 🙂11

We take a long walk back and have a look at the Abbey from the other side and cross that decorative bridge.

As our guide pointed out to look up when leaving the Abbey, I remembered to do it. The outer walls were decorated with lots of small statues who were watching down on the ground with a mean look in their eyes. The guide told us that their task was to defend the Abbey against the evil spirits. And as we all know that the evil spirits are always coming from underground, that’s why they have to stare down 🙂


By hook or by crook

5-IMG_7585By hook or by crook” is an English phrase meaning “by any means necessary”, suggesting that any means possible should be taken to accomplishing the goal. The phrase is very old, first recorded in the Middle English text Controversial Tracts by John Wyclif in 1380. I learned that phrase when we visited the Hook peninsula and Hook Lighthouse. I think that the weather was perfect to get the right feeling of the peninsula, surrounded by cliffs and the sea, ok, it could be of course a bit warmer, but the wind gave the special taste to that day. Despite the wind, we took the Lighthouse tour as well and climbed the top, where it was really stormy.

2-IMG_1337The Hook Lighthouse is the oldest continuously working lighthouse in the world. Kõpu Lighthouse in Hiiumaa is the third, I looked it up afterwards because it looked so similar to ours. It is said that with better weather it could be possible to see the dolphins, but we were not so lucky and maybe it was too stormy even for the dolphins and they spent their time relaxing in some bay. It was a great experience to stand on the top of the lighthouse, almost unable to walk and totally unable to hear anything else but the sea and the wind. But that’s exactly what I came to see and hear here.


The Irish National Heritage Park

In the Irish National Heritage Park in County Wexford, you will get a true picture of the Irish history.



In 6000 thousand years ago the Irish used to live in such kind of houses. The houses were all made of reed and chimneys were not used yet. Here is our nice tour guide doing her summer job.



The reed roofs are a bit similar to Estonian reed roofs, but the shapes of the houses are totally different. No windows, no chimneys, just big roofs.



On such kind of a ground, the Druids worshipped their gods and made sacrifices to them. If you were lucky enough to be chosen, then in the middle of the stone circle your head was chopped off and the gods were supposed to fulfil the wishes of the people, or not 🙂


1500 years ago the people started to build Ringforts and all their life went on inside it. It was used for herding the animals, doing your everyday tasks and also for protecting you from the enemy.



One Celtic Cross – beautiful with its colours.


From Viking’s Age, which started from 795 Anno Domino


Crannog – artificially created island, surrounded by a wooden fence, to keep away the enemies.


Inside Crannog – the houses still had roofs made of reed. Crannogs were still used 400 years ago.


Walking around on a cloudy day

Weather is the only thing I can complain in Dublin. I know that we have mostly the same, but our summers are still warmer and if we are lucky we can get the sunshine for weeks. Here you never know what you need when you go out. Definitely, you don’t need an umbrella because usually it also very windy and it is so easy to lose it if it’s not raining, but more likely you need a raincoat, that fits into your bag, warm jumper, good flat shoes which don’t get wet and don’t have open toes and underneath you need also some summer blouse because it might get warm for 15 minutes during the day, and if you’re lucky, then even for more. Unfortunately, you never need summer dresses without sleeves, minidresses, shorts or tops, ok, maybe some tops if you don’t forget to take your jumper and raincoat.

Here are some photos of a typical cloudy day by river Liffey, I was lucky, I didn’t need my raincoat.




You cannot avoid whiskey in Ireland

1-IMG_7461_1A trip to whiskey factory, that was meant to be a year before, was carried out now. I guess it was one of the rainiest weathers and so we had to pick something that will take us indoors. In that place, you again have to take a guided tour and at the end of the tour, when it’s possible to taste different whiskeys, you could get a Jameson Irish WhiskeyTasting Certificate, which I did of course 🙂

whiskeyCongratulations! You toured, you tasted, and now you can tell the world. Thanks for visiting the home of Jameson and toasting over 230 years of history. Enjoy your Jameson Irish WhiskeyTasting Certificate. And remember bragging is optional.

That’s what was the text that came with e-mail and the Certificate. I must say that the Whiskey Tour was much better than I expected and we enjoyed it a lot, despite the rain and the raincoats that we had to wear all through the tour because we had to walk around on the premises and move from house to house.




You never get too much of it

During summer 2015, I was lucky to travel around a bit. Some places I visited had been on my way before, some places had just been on my list, which is still really long and I hope that it will never get short.


I still haven’t been in Cork, but I have been in lots of places around Cork. This time, I spent a day at marvellous Blarney Castle with all these beautiful gardens and walked all these mysterious paths and hidden grounds around it. It was a bit like a fairy world and I am pretty sure that if somewhere is the place where they live, then one of those has to be the Blarney Castle.




Of course, I couldn’t miss kissing the famous Blarney stone, but I still cannot say if it has made me talk more or not. Maybe you have to be Irish for that. Or maybe I just don’t want to admit that I have started to talk more than usual.




But even if you don’t want to kiss the stone or the procedure makes you a bit dizzy, I will definitely suggest you climb up there and have that gorgeous view of the green Emerald Island that is spread beneath and could be enjoyed as far as your eye reaches.


And here are some places which don’t exist in this world 🙂

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Walking in Temple Bar

Temple Bar is not just a bar, but the whole area full of different bars and pubs, hustle and bustle, mostly meant for attracting the tourists, but at the same time something you cannot leave out if you are visiting Dublin the first time. I was taken there on my first day in Dublin and straight into the Temple Bar – now I am talking about a bar, named Temple Bar and located in the Temple Bar area, the one with the Unknown Whiskey Drinker and a request to return him back to the pub when found. To make it more confusing, there is also a Temple street, which is not even near to the Temple Bar, but actually on the other side of the river.

This time, I was just wandering around in the temple Bar area, watched the street musicians, the hordes of tourists who were going to leave their money into the bars, the Leprechaun who was doing his best making the tourists stepping into the pub, took some photos of the gorgeous bar fronts and headed back home to have my dinner.

In Merrion park

Unfortunately this year the Street Performer’s Festival didn’t have the music festival included, but anyway, the Dublin band Keywest gave a short concert in Merrion park and a group of touring French musicians performed just for fun. They were the best part of the day because they were so much enjoying themselves and with their colourful and weird clothes they looked very funny.