bridge

Galway

Stop #18:
Galway lies on the River Corrib near the Galway Bay. It is Ireland’s fourth biggest city. This city seemed to me an arts center with great nightlife in pubs and clubs with live music almost anywhere we went. There are medieval town walls, shops hocking Claddagh rings, and busy streets and sidewalks with lots of energy. We went to one bar called Tribeton, which may be the nicest bars I’ve ever seen. The pictures of the Spanish Arch are not that great because there are sand bags in front of the Arch because of all of the heavy rains in Ireland this winter.

King John’s Castle

Stop #2:

King John’s Castle is a 13th-century castle located on King’s Island in Limerick, Ireland. The River Shannon runs in front of the castle, and with the heavy rains, much of the park surrounding the castle was flooded. The site dates back to 922, when the Vikings lived on the Island. The castle gets its name from King John, who ordered the construction of the castle in 1200. Well preserved, this Norman castle still maintains original walls, towers, and fortifications.

Bunratty Castle

Stop #1

Bunratty Castle is the most complete and authentic medieval castle in Ireland, located not far from Shannon. Built in 1425 it was restored in 1954. With an ambitious itinerary and a burning desire to get to the Ring of Kerry, we didn’t visit this castle for long. And the rain certainly made it hard to drag out camera equipment.

London – Off the Tourist Trail

At the end of our Carpathian Mountains of Eastern Europe Trip, we were lucky to visit with long-time friends Mark and Tom in London.  Apart from some fun times catching up, we visited the Tate Modern for views from the tower, had fish & chips in an old pub, slid down the gigantic new slide at the Olympic Park (one slide = GBP 22 or so!) , had dinner in Islington, spent the day walking around canals and Brick Lane, and reminisced about days in my 20s when working there.  There is a picture here of my old KPMG office (where I worked in 1997 and 1998) right next to Blackfriar’s Bridge (which is now a glass covered bridge but used to be open air).  The city is alive with construction everywhere and nearly as many cranes as double-decker buses!  Somehow, it always feels so good to visit that city.

Budapest, Hungary

Stop #25

This was my second visit to Budapest, with my first visit about 15 or so years ago.  The city is as beautiful as I remember it, but this time it felt like there were a lot more tourists.  I was probably too ambitious about seeing as much as possible in the day and a half that we spent there, clocking just about 22 miles on my iWatch in one day!  But I’ll have great photos to remember this city for the rest of my life, so it was a small price to pay!

There are three additional portfolios for Budapest and the links are below.  I wanted to capture more details of each because I remembered them being some of the most incredibly beautiful places from the last time I visited this city.

Highlights:

  • Hungarian Parliament – this was one of our first stops.  I got pictures just after sunset and during twilight and then returned the next morning for dawn pictures.
  • Buda Castle – now a museum, it is the building you see on the hill with the green dome in all the pictures of the Buda side of Budapest.
  • Fisherman’s Bastion – I visited early morning to beat tourists and then returned with Randy later in the afternoon.
  • Liberty Statue on Gellért Hill – we climbed this hill after I had already been walking around for miles that day, so I was a little pooped at the top.
  • Heroes’ Square in City Park – we caught this during the golden hour!
  • National Theatre
  • St. Stephen’s Basilica – we visited before leaving so I just realized that the photos are still on the memory card in my camera…oops.
  • Széchenyi Chain Bridge – the pretty bridge with the lions on each end.
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