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— Editor’s Note: Howard and Cathleen Spears and their friends Norm and VaLinn Covey recently enjoyed a tour in Ireland. The following is a report of their itinerary and the highlights of their trip.

On Tuesday, November 10, we, Howard and Cathleen Spears and our friends Norm and VaLinn Covey, flew from XNA Airport to Chicago, then on to Dublin, Ireland, and to Shannon, arriving on November 11.

We picked up our rental car and drove to the village of Adare. After checking in at our villa in the Adare Manor Golf Resort we drove to the clubhouse for a wonderful dinner of fish and chips, then back to our villa where we rested from jet lag.

The next day, Thursday, after a much needed rest, we drove into the village of Adare where we had a big Irish breakfast consisting of eggs, Irish bacon, sausage, potatoes, broiled tomatoes, black pudding, toast and coffee or tea. After breakfast we toured the Adare Heritage Center, visiting shops and a beautiful oldchurch. We then drove to Bunratty Castle & Folk Park where we booked a tour for the next day and visited Durty Nelly’s Pub, the oldest pub in Ireland.

On Friday we arrived at Bunratty Castle early for a tour of the Folk Park and Castle, then went on to the Cliffs on the Moher (Europe’s most spectacular sea cliffs). It was a breathtaking sight. Then on to the Burren where we learned some of the history of the Irish Potato Famine. The tour guide told of the bad treatment the Irish poor received from the British such as having to build a rock wall that served no purpose just to pay for their bowl of soup to prevent starvation. The reasoning was that no one should receive something for nothing.

On Saturday we left early and drove through the countryside, stopping and taking photos and touring old castles, churches and cemeteries.

Sunday morning we again left early and drove to Blarney where we walked up 100 steps in the Castle Tower to kiss the Blarney Stone. We then toured Blarney Castle and the beautiful gardens around it. Westopped at the Blarney Woolen Mills where we did more shopping and had lunch at The Lemon Tree Restaurant.

On Monday morning, our last day, we went into the town Adare shopping. In the grocery store we saw turnips that weighed at least 10-12 pounds each. Going through the Adare Heritage Center one last time, we stopped back by the Adare Manor Golf Resort, taking some last photos of the castle and beautiful grounds surrounding it.

The photos with Howard and Cathleen and Norman and VaLinn are in front of a “Cedar of Lebanon” which is 465 years old. They were made on the grounds of the Adare Manor House which sits beside a beautiful river flowing through the golf resort.

Monday concluded with packing for the return trip home. Tuesday morning bright and early we headed back to Shannon to the airport where we began the long flight home. It was a wonderful trip. Ireland is just as beautiful as the postcards show.

Howard’s comment: The cattle are bigger and the grass is greener!

News, Pages 6 on 12/23/2009

Print Headline: Area Couples Enjoy Tour In Ireland; Share Their Experiences

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