Hear about travel to Ireland as Chris, the Amateur Traveler himself talks about a recent trip to the Emerald Isle. Chris did a driving tour with 7 family members and friends from Dublin to the west point of Ireland and of Europe.
Chris recommends the city of Kilkenny which retains many of its medieval buildings and has a great walking tour that leaves from the visitor center. The Visitor Center itself is in an old almshouse. Kilkenny was the site of the first of Europe’s witch trials… not that they are particularly proud of that.
The second stop that they made was the Rock of Cashel (also known as the Rock of St Patrick). This very defensible limestone outcropping was a center for one of the Irish kings until it was given to the church in the early 1100s. It now is the ruins of a cathedral. In the area, they also visited the ruins of a Cistercian monastery.
The furthest west that they reached was the Dingle Peninsula which is the western-most point in Europe (at least as far as the Irish calculate it). The peninsula has a driving tour similar to the Ring of Kerry but shorter. It is filled with historic sites like stone churches, ruined monasteries, and “fairy forts” as well as wonderful landscapes.
Speaking of landscapes, the Cliffs of Moher provide some breathtaking views and some sheer drops that are not going to be popular for people with a fear of heights.
The Burren “is a country where there is not enough water to drown a man, wood enough to hang one, nor earth enough to bury him.” In the Burren, you can find more ring forts, a few ruined castles, and a portal tomb that dates back at least to 2900 B.C.
Dawn to Dusk Photo Tours
Chris’s Ireland Photos
Rock of Cashel
O’Conner’s Pub – Doolin
Odeon Pub – Dublin
The Old Library and the Book of Kells Exhibition
Free Dublin Walking Tour
Great work by you and Dan. Perfect balance between a well-trodden destination (Japan) and a new frontier for travelers (Shikoku). Keep it up!
Barry on Travel to Vienna, Austria – Episode 384:
Hi Chris and Gerhard,
Episode 384 brought back wonderful memories of a trip my daughter and I made to Vienna a few years ago. We stopped in Vienna for three days while we were traveling by rail from a conference in Slovakia to Venice. We greatly enjoyed the many of the major palaces and museums Gerhard mentioned in the podcast. We also had a few other experiences that we thought your listeners might find worthwhile.
We loved the classical art in the Kunsthistorisches Museum (Fine Arts Museum), but we also found the works of Gustav Klimt to be very exciting. Two museums featuring the works of Klimt we enjoyed greatly were the Secession Building which features Klimt’s famous Beethoven Frieze and the Österreichische Galerie Belvedere which is home to his famous work “The Kiss.”
Vienna is the home of the artist and architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser. His style is very reminiscent of Antoni Gaudi, and his works can be found throughout the city. The KunstHausWien is a museum dedicated to his work that we greatly enjoyed and was within walking distance of his famous municipal apartment complex Hunderwasserhaus.
We found the late afternoon cruise we took on the Danube River to be a relaxing break from the city. Other travelers have had mixed reactions to these boat trips, but we definitely enjoyed the Danube Canal and the ride through a canal lock.
Of course, a highlight of our visit to Vienna was riding the Wiener Riesenrad Ferris Wheel, featured in the movie The Thin Man, in the Prater Amusement Park. In fact, we found the Prater Park itself to be a fun contrast to the historic and cultural sites of the city.
Lastly, no visitor to Vienna should leave until you have eaten a piece of the famous desert Sachertorte. It is advertised at different places throughout the city, but the place to enjoy “The Original Sacher Torte” is at Cafe Sacher Wien near the Hotel Sacher. The rich, dark chocolate cake is expensive, but has a taste that you will never forget.
Thank you for bring back such great memories of Vienna,