Posted in Travelling

Road Trip Ireland, part 4!

Today, we went to explore Valentia Island. It was a 1 day trip. This is one fantastic less touristic island! It is very beautiful out here! Drive around the island in a day! Excellent views & panoramas throughout the entire island! The big tourist buses can’t drive on these narrow & smaller roads with many bends in the roads!!! This means less tourists & that is what you want on your holiday! 🙂

First, we went to see The Valentia Lighthouse at Cromwell Point! It is located here, at the edge of the Northern part of the island!

This is one lovely active still working lighthouse. It has free parking & each ticket costed us 5 Euro. You are greeted by welcoming staff. The building & lighthouse are both well-kept & there is a nice cosy tea-room & there are free toilets.

A man who works there tells you stories on how it all works & there is a free mini museum in the house attached. Amazing views over the ocean! Waw! The only negative is, there are small steep roads towards & from the lighthouse: nerve wrecking & very dangerous! You are around the lighthouse in 30 minutes all! 🙂 The 1st transatlantic telegraph cables were tested out here & laid here!

You must see the lighthouse & bring your binoculars & take many photos!!

Beautiful!

Afterwards, we drove through the island & stopped at a car park, that wasn’t free but only 2 euro! It was located right at the Atlantic Ocean, with wide views! Take a long or shorter hike aka the Bray Head Loop Walk & walk with good walking shoes & don’t forget enough water, your camera & your binoculars for amazing wide views! Waw!

Wide views!

It was a 5 km long steep walk! You ascent for 239 meters! We walked for about 2 hours in total!

 

 

Then, we drove back to the mainland via the Portmagee Bridge. We dined at the Portmagee harbour @ The Moorings & Bridge Bar. We enjoyed some lovely fresh seafood & we sat on the front terrace in the evening overlooking the harbour near sunset! They have nice staff & it is a cool big pub too! 🙂

We drove home & the next day, we went biking! It was a day trip through Killarney National Park! We drove 26 km that day. This was our loop:

It was the first national park in Ireland, created when Muckross estate was donated to the Irish free state in 1932. The park has since been substantially expanded and encompasses over 102.89 km2 (25,425 acres) of diverse ecology, including the Lakes of Killarney, oak and yew woodlands of international importance and mountain peaks. It has the only red deer herd on mainland Ireland and the most extensive covering of native forest remaining in Ireland.

The park is of high ecological value because of the quality, diversity, and extensiveness of many of its habitats and the wide variety of species that they accommodate, some of which are rare. The park was designated a UNESCO biosphere reserve in 1981. The park forms part of a special area of conservation! Some highlights of our day trip:

 

 

 

The next day, we drove all the way from Beaufort, County Kerry to Dublin, to your next & last B&B. We stopped in the middle of Ireland to visit the Rock Of Cashel. 

This is a very cool & well-kept ancient cathedral with added chapel. It is worth a visit but it starts from being very pricey at the paid car park & the entrance is very pricy too. You can walk around & take many photos! It is very well-preserved & you have amazing views from the landscape around it. You can also see many Irish crosses in the surrounded graveyard.

Then, we drove further to our B&B, called Oaklodge. It is located in Ballsbridge. It is a lovely amazing B&B. The owners are very kind, warm & charming. The room is big, with twin beds apart, with a big closet, dressing table, desk & an en suite shower room. The breakfasts are delicious & you can choose different one’s too. Dublin city centre is a 25-30 minute walk but you can get good buses in & from the city. It is a 45 minute ride to the airport. Some photos:

We were only staying in Dublin for 2 nights. It was a cultural shock we had after being in the full countryside for so many days & seeing so few people! We were not impressed in Dublin city at all. We did visit a museum, AN POST MUSEUM AT THE GPO (GENERAL POST OFFICE).  GPO Witness History is a brand new permanent visitor attraction in the iconic GPO building on O’Connell Street, Dublin. One of the newest Dublin Museums and top attractions to explore, this visitor centre is an Irish Tourism Industry Award winner for the best cultural experience over 100,000 people.

This highly immersive and engaging exhibition puts you right inside the GPO during Easter Week in 1916. History will come to life as you experience events from both sides of the conflict and through the eyes of bystanders caught in the crossfire through electronic touch screens, video, audio-visual booths, sound and authentic artefacts – many previously unseen.

You’ll be immersed in the action as you compose newspaper reports, check the original copy of the Proclamation and send Morse code to declare the Irish Republic by radio. It is so worth a visit & we also hired headphones. You need to see this best in the beginning of your trip to Ireland, so you know even more of its history & why many people still speak Gaelic instead of English!

The next day, we booked a ticket to visit Trinity College, the University of Dublin. A must see with a guided tour from a student who studies there. So worth it! Our student guide was very informative & funny! You get a side ticket to see the book of Kells & the old library! We went the next day, early in the morning, to avoid the long waiting lines!

The real book of Kells was great to see, sorry no photos here & the old library was very beautiful to see, so big & they range the books from large on the top to small books below! It is more impressive then the library of Oxford university! Some photos:

The inside courtyard!

And the rest:

Cool!

This was the last part of our Road Trip through Ireland! I hope you all enjoyed it! 🙂

You might like:

  1. Road Trip Ireland, part 1!
  2. Road Trip Ireland, part 2!
  3. Road Trip Ireland, part 3!
Posted in Travelling

Road Trip Ireland, part 3!

So, I will start about saying & spreading the love of our b&b were we stayed 5 nights in. It is called Beaufort Lodge & is located in the heart of Beaufort, a quite small village. We chose this B&B because it was located right in the centre of our activities. The house aka cottage is tucked away on a smaller road in Beaufort village, with a lovely garden with flowers, trees & shrubs surrounding the house. The B&B is central located to visit the area like the Dingle-peninsula, ring of Kerry, The Gap of Dunloe & the Dunloe Ogham stones are nearby. It is 8 km west of Killarney!

You have a steep short driveway & a big car parking. The entrance is located at the side. It looks like this:

Cosy & lovely!

Ulrike, the owner, is a very lovely & charming host with tons of humour & gives you great advice & guide maps of the area to lend. Excellent spacious & cool modern big rooms with a spacious ensuite shower room. Our room had a view on their lovely back garden with chickens! You can choose from different breakfast options. She makes all of her jams herself & the fruits come from her own garden! She is also a bake enthusiast! She often bakes her own bread & cakes! She makes you feel at home! And not expensive at all. We paid 98 Euro for 2 persons per night & breakfasts! And that is in high season! That is right! Cheap!

Our room:

Every day, we got new towels if we needed them! Every morning, we sat elsewhere. You could choose from different breakfasts each morning. A few photos:

Bread slices with different cheddar slices! Also soy yoghurt & soy milk, for me! Yummy!

 

A small portion of oat porridge for me made with unsweetened almond milk & topped with a sliced banana! Yummy too! 🙂

The 1st day, we headed to the Dingle Peninsula. It was a day trip for the 2 of us! And we fell in love with the peninsula! What was not to love? It was one of the highlights of our whole Ireland trip!!!!!

Some facts:

It stretches 30 miles (48 kilometres) into the Atlantic Ocean from Ireland’s south-west coast.

The peninsula is dominated by the range of mountains that form its spine, running from the Slieve Mish range to Mount Brandon, Ireland’s second highest peak.

The coastline consists of steep sea-cliffs, broken by sandy beaches, with two large sand spits at Inch in the south and the Maharees to the north. The Blasket Islands lie to the west of the peninsula.

The peninsula has something to offer to everyone. Among other things: sandy beaches safe for swimming, walking routes for all abilities, a thriving Irish language community, a rich musical tradition, fine dining, sea angling, arts and film festivals, talented craftspersons and some of the best surfing in Ireland.

We drove in 1 hour + 30 minutes from our B&B to the city of Dingle! See map here:

We drove 3/4 of the island that day. First stop, Dingle town centre. We parked near the harbour. Dingle is a smaller town with many colourful houses & many tourist shops. A few cool photos from our trip:

What a view!

We walked around the town & spent around 2 hours over here. We enjoyed some lovely coffees in a real coffee bar (like the one’s we know in Belgium, moderns one’s!) This one was called: Bean in Dingle: cool name, right?

Cosy setting!

 

Looking on what to do next! 🙂

Then we walked further & finally went for the famous Murphy’s ice-cream. It is an Irish chain of excellent ice-cream makers. They have several stores across the whole of Ireland, also, in Dublin! 😉

They sell lovely creamy delicious ice-cream. We were met by a charming woman who let us taste ice-cream samples for free, like fennel ice-cream. Who wants that flavour? We took each 2 scoops with their famous Dingle sea salt ice-cream & another one in a big cone. My husband’s ice-cream & my own were superb in flavour & texture. It was a bit more pricey but the same price of good quality ice-cream in Belgium.

Then we went to the local supermarket & bought Dingle whiskey for my husband & some Irish sea salt for me & my mom. Then, we drove off.

From Dingle town, we drove this way:

Peter & I fell in love with the peninsula. Everywhere you drove, we were surprised by the amazing wide beautiful countryside & views! We don’t get that in Belgium! We stopped 2 times before going onto a walk for 1 hour. We stopped at the side of the road to see a fairy ring fort. It only costed us 2 euro p.p. with a small fresh car park at the other side fo the busy road. You get an information map with info on it. Some photos:

We also stopped at the beehive huts made out of stone, dated back to 2,000 years before Christ! Ooh yes! These stone buildings aka constructions were all very impressive building & no cement! This was not free of charge. It was 3 euro p.p.

It as all very impressive. It was also located at the middle of a hill with fab views across the bay, all the way to Dingle, the surrounding mountains & the Atlantic Ocean!

Some photos:

 

 

Big!

After Slea head drive, we stopped the car & went for a steep walk up a hill. We stopped at Coomenoole beach. That day, there was a lot of sun & it was very warm. There was a smaller free car park with a beautiful enclosed bay, fine strand & a beautiful blue-green ocean! Waw! There was no life guard though & the ocean looked rough with big waves.

At the top & sides of the hill we had some beautiful wide views over the Blasket islands & far, far away, the Skellig islands. Here are some photos:

 

Walking down from the hill!

We drove further along the coast & then, more inside the peninsula to visit the Gallarus oratory, you see?

 

Impressive building!

The Gallarus Oratory (Irish: Séipéilín Ghallarais, Gallarus being interpreted as either “rocky headland” (Gall-iorrus) or “house or shelter for foreigner(s)” (Gall Aras), is a chapel located on the Dingle peninsula, County Kerry in Ireland. It has been presented variously as an early Christian stone church by its discoverer, Charles Smith, in 1756, a 12th-century Romanesque church by archaeologist Peter Harbison in 1970; a shelter for pilgrims by the same in 1994. The local tradition prevalent at the time of the oratory’s discovery attributed it to one Griffith More, being a funerary chapel built by him or his family at their burial place.

The oratory overlooks the harbour at Ard na Caithne (formerly also called Smerwick) on the Dingle Peninsula.

The oratory is built of large cut stones from the Dingle Beds of the Upper Silurian Old Red Sandstone. Charles Smith, who discovered the edifice in 1756, described the stone as “a brown free-stone, brought from the cliffs of the sea shore, which cuts readily and is very durable.”

The stones are cut on every side and end so as to fit perfectly together. They exhibit smoothly finished outside facings that follow the slant of the wall.

The inside!

The edifice is usually thought to have been built without mortar, but there is evidence that even if mortar “was never visible in the wall facings it was used as a structural medium for the interior of the wall at least.” A thin layer of lime mortar is used to bond the stones together and to fill in small hollows in the inner faces.

You can park at a free car park & go on foot to the place. It costed us 4 euro p.p. It is a very impressive building, inside & out! Then, it was already evening, we drove back to our B&B. This was the way we went, we did it in 2 hours time! 🙂

We went for dinner at Kate Kearny’s Cottage without reservation. It is located at the foot of the Gap of Dunloe. Here are some lovely photos:

The beginning of the Gap of Dunloe. 

The outside of the cottage. There is also a small visitor & souvenir shop inside, besides the bar/restaurant.

The lovely inside with a lot of wooden furniture & very friendly staff!

 

Then, fortunately, it was only a 10 minute drive back home! 😉 What a fab day we had!

The next day, would be a resting day for us. In the morning, after breakfast, we went for a smaller nice morning walk from our B&B till the Killarney Lake, not too far from were we stayed. We thought we would have walked 4 km but we did 7! 😉 Lovely views, small paths & roads. The weather was bit fickle but we were happy that it didn’t rain & it wasn’t that hot!  We also passed by the Ogham stones, free of charge! Here some photos from our walk:

We rested a bit & in the afternoon, we headed to the city of Killarney, 8 km west from our B&B! We rented an E-Bike for me & for Peter a city bike for Sunday morning, 11 am. Some photos:

 

We drove further to Ross Castle but didn’t visit the actual castle but its grounds. This is free of charge, also the car park. We went there to rest a few hours & to write cool cards to the home front! 🙂 Some photos:

 

 

Then, we went home & ate in the Beaufort bar & restaurant once again!

So, this was part 3, I hope you enjoyed it all! 🙂

You might like:

  1. Road Trip Ireland, part 1!
  2. Road Trip Ireland, part 2!
Posted in Travelling

Road trip Ireland, part 2!

I am back for part 2, road tripping through West & South-west Ireland! 🙂

After a lovely breakfast, we packed our stuff & went to the top of a hill, with excellent views of the surrounding area & also Galway Bay!

What a view!

This day we had to drive this map to the next B&B!

We went to visit the Aillwee Cave. This is one of the oldest caves in the whole of Ireland!!! It is located in the heart of the Burren in County Clare. A 10 minute drive by car from Ballyvaughan. Perched high on its Burren terraced mountainside. It costs 12 euros per adult person. You have to pay, directly at the below entrance of the gate. Then, you drive up a big hill to park your car.

An expert guides and informs you during your 30 minute tour. The tour consists of a walk through the beautiful caverns – over bridged chasms, under weird formations and alongside the thunderous waterfall which sometimes gently sprays the unsuspecting visitor! Marvel at the frozen waterfall and explore the now extinct brown bears’ bones (ursos arctos). It is worth a visit! You go down 90 meters below ground & the temperature will drop. 😉 You could also ask questions.

Stalagtites!

And an inside waterfall too,…

Then we drove off to visit the Poulnabrone Dolmen, in the heart of the Burren, further along the road from the Aillwee cave. The Poulnabrone Dolmen is a (Poll na mBrón in Irish, meaning “hole of the quern stones” (bró in Irish)) is a portal tomb, one of approximately 172 in Ireland. It dates back to the Neolithic period, probably between 4200 BC and 2900 BC. The dolmen itself is well kept! The surrounding area is just so beautiful with The Burren stones & the mountains.

Here, you can park your car for free & you can visit the dolmen on foot, it is also free of charge. Information boards explain everything well in English & in Gaelic! Come early in then morning, so you can take photos without people in it! It is well worth a visit!

It looks like this:

The stone below is typical for the Burren.

Then, we drove off to visit Lisdoonvarna, an old Spa town. There is not so much to see. There are many spa hotels dated back from the early seventies. You can really say that the centre is 1 street long. Nowadays, it is famous for its festivals & music. We ate here & drove further to our next destination: Doolin. We first stopped at Doolin harbour to go onto a mini cruise ship to see the Cliffs of mother by the ocean & to see seabirds & puffins!

We just saw one puffin! Sigh! We also saw caves where some scenes of the Harry Potter films were shot. I was a bit seasick at the middle & end. I didn’t enjoy that very much! Here some photos:

Then, we were very tired & headed to our new B&B for 2 nights: Lane Lodge, just off the head street aka Fisher street in Doolin.

We did book a few months in advance & had a very very small room. The landlady wasn’t at all friendly & helpful. We didn’t feel welcome at all! Her breakfasts were tasty though & her packed lunches were great too. That night we went to eat in the famous Gus O’Connors pub. It was a big pub & very cosy! We ate lovely food, the staff was super friendly & helpful. I had bangers & mash with a lovely sauce & my hubby had the filled pork roast with veggies, fries & a salad! There was live music that evening. We had a lovely time! 🙂

This was me at breakfast:

Bagel, cream cheese & smoked salmon! Yummy!

This morning, we planned that we would walk to the Cliffs of Moher. We would make a day trip out of it! We would walk 7 km to the visitor centre on top of the Cliff & come back by Bus. That was a great neat idea. We booked our B&B here because the path to the cliffs would start just across the bridge, a 2 minute walk from our B&B. That morning, it was raining a bit & it was only 16 °C. The path was sometimes steep, curved & at some point & sometimes very dangerous because the earthen road wasn’t there anymore & it was fallen into the ocean below! We walked into a farmer’s pasture. The views up to the cliffs are just amazing, beautiful & fantastic! You should do the walk, but wear your good walking shoes, you need them!!  Do not just visit the visitor centre. The views are not that great there! It will cost you money & if you walk to there, it doesn’t cost you a thing!

Some cool photos from our walk:

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In total we walked 9 km! It was such a lovely day. During the walk, there were not many people! When you reach the top & the visitor centre, it gets really crowded because the busses are offloaded with many tourists! In front of the visitor centre, we took the smaller Paddywagon bus back to Doolin. We had a very friendly driver. We showered & rested for a few hours & went to eat in The Ivy Cottage, at the end of the street.

A lovely restaurant!

The cottage is very cosy. This is a lovely restaurant with a beautiful cosy bigger garden with many lovely sitting areas. The staff is very friendly & kind. The food menu is great & versatile. We chose 2 craft beers. They were super tasty. My husband took the tasty juicy lamb burger with fries & I ate the beef burger with also fries. Everything was home-made & our dinners were superb in quality! There was even room for dessert! I chose the lemon meringue tartlet. Peter choose the banoffee cake! The desserts were just stunning & so big too! There is also a lot of space inside.

Cosy!

And now for the delicious desserts:

Banoffee cake!
Lemon meringue tart!
Afterwards, we went home to sleep,… & dream of tomorrow!
The next day, we set sail to Limerick! We should arrive at 8 Pm at our new B&B Beaufort Lodge in Beaufort, 8 km west of Killarney! Yes, that is a reasonable drive of 186 km! We followed the blue line! This is how we drove:
our route that day!

Our 1st stop of the day was the city of Limerick! It is a bigger city. We walked around & through the city & saw for the 1st time, a few modern warehouses & some cool coffee bars. We visited King John’s Castle, near the river Shannon! This is a lovely castle that you must visit because it is certainly worth a visit! There are information boards & modern 3-D designs so that you get also a good visual & life real idea what it must have been in the castle & in that time. The exhibition is made with tons of humour too! We even got a detailed map in our own language, Dutch! Ha!

The staff at the entrance was also very helpful & kind. You can even get to see the ground base of the castle, some of the interior & the inside courtyard & top! The exhibition has costed a lot of money to make it so attractively & interactively to children & adults, like us! We spent about 2-3 hours here. It costed us each 13 euro. So 26 euro in total. Here are many photos from our castle visit:

The inside ruins

And some more:

Waw!

 

Then, we drove through Adare to Beaufort, 8 km west ofd Killarney! This took us a whole while because there are no more motorways here & only N-roads or smaller so you can’t get very fast to your destination. Happily, we would only arrive at 8 pm & that was the time we arrived. We checked in at our new room in our new B&B & our landlady made a dinner reservation at the local Beaufort bar & restaurant, only a 3 minute walk from our B&B. That was a great idea. We came back to eat here 3 times during our 5 day stay! It is a wonderful fine dining restaurant & they also have a big pub downstairs. They have an extended lovely menu with fine dining plates of excellent quality of foods! The staff is very kind & helpful. The drinks, plates of fine foods & desserts are all superb, they also have a big variety of whiskeys!

Lovely setting!

Our dinners:

For me: Marinated pork loin with red cabbage, apple sauce, side veggies & mash!

A sirloin steak, medium, with melted herb butter, lovely sides salad & fries!

Both our dinners were superb! This was the only time in 12 days that I ate meat! 😉

We went to bed & I will see you on the next recap! I hope you enjoyed it!

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Roadtrip Ireland, part 1!

Posted in Travelling

Road Trip Ireland, part 1!

Hello, my dear friends!

You haven’t heard from me in a long while & there is a good reason for,… I was on holiday road ripping through Ireland! Ooh yes!

Peter & I were mostly travelling on the West-Coast & the South-West Coast of Ireland. Then we went to Dublin for 2 nights! We were away for 12 days & 11 nights! What a memorable trip it was!

On a midday in July, we arrived at Dublin airport. We grabbed our suitcases & went to Europ car to fetch our pre booked rental car. It was this beauty:

A real beauty: Volvo V40 D2!

We took off near 1 pm. We set sail to the lovely tiny village of Ballyvaughan, situated at Galway bay in the West-Coast. This was our route:

(distance between Dublin airport & Ballyvaughan, county Clare = 237 km!)

That day, we had to drive 237 km. We must arrive at 7PM at our B&B. At 8 PM we would dine! Yes, that is right, from the East-Coast to the West-Coast in 1 day! We stopped in the middle of this beautiful country in the lovely smaller town of Athlone, situated at the River Shannon. We stopped in the old part of town, near the castle. There is a visitor centre, the castle, a lovely church & the bridge over the river Shannon. We walked around the city for a bit & took off again, heading to the West-Coast. Here are a few photos of Athlone.

Athlone Castle, dating from the 12th century

Then, we drove further to Ballyvaughan, in county Clare. Entering the Burren region, everywhere, we drove, we were in awe for the beautiful big wide landscape! You don’t see such landscapes in tiny Belgium, were we come from! We stayed for 2 nights & We stayed here at the only B&B with Galway Bay views. This tiny village of 3 streets big has 220 inhabitants & a lot of B&B’s & a few hotels. Our B&B is called Oceanville & is situated at the pier. We could hear the waves in our room. This lovely famous region is called The Burren. (Irish: Boireann, meaning “great rock”)This is an area typical for the stone like-grey moon landscape. This is the bottom of a subtropical sea. The mountains surrounding us are made out of layers of stone & big rocks in the middle of fields,… who date back from before the ice-age. The Burren is a region of environmental interest primarily located in northwestern County Clare, dominated by glaciated karst (or sometimes glaciokarst) landscape. It measures, depending on the definition, between 250 square kilometres (97 sq mi) and 560 square kilometres (220 sq mi). The name is most often applied to the area within the circle made by the villages of Tubber, Corofin,Kilfenora, Lisdoonvarna, Ballyvaughan  and Kinvara, in extreme south-eastern Galway, including the adjacent coastline.

The Burren!

Whit a view from our bedroom, you see?

What a view!

Our B&B was lovely. We had a big room on the 2nd floor with en suite shower room & a room with a view! Waw! Here, it was very calm! The owner, Sean & his son are so charming & welcoming! Breakfast is served in the dining room with sunny views across the bay! Each morning, you could choose from different breakfast options! Some nice B&B photos:

A lovely bed that slept really well!

                                                                                What a view every morning!

Lovely scrambled eggs & tomato!

The 1st evening, we dined at Monks! We made a reservation  by email 2 months ago! 😉 Clever, right?

Monks is a lovely pub & fish restaurant that serves lovely fresh seafood & fish dishes. It is situated right besides our B&B! The prices for fresh seafood & fish are lower than in Belgium! Friendly staff. The plates are more rustic & the portions are okay. The food & drinks are delicious. Lovely views on the terrace at Galway bay! We sat at the side terrace! This is what we ate:

The next day, we went to Fanore Beach. We parked our car there for free & walked into the mountains & did a walk of 6 km, straight up a hill in the hot sun. You could walk to Black head & back but that would be 26 km, a bit too much for us! What a lovely walk but is was very hot that day & nearly no shadow anywhere on the walk! Fanore (Irish: Fánóir, Fán Óir, meaning “the golden slope”) is a small village in county Clare. The area was officially classified as part of the West Clare Gaeltacht; an Irish-speaking community; until 1956.Lying on the road between Ballyvaughan and Doolin, Fanore has an extensive sandy beach and sand dunes (known as the “Rabbit Warren”) around the mouth of the Caher River.

After the walk, we dipped our feet into the cooling Atlantic Ocean! It was very refreshing & there were some big waves too! Woehoe! What a lovely sandy beach it was & there was a lifeguard present!

We drove back to our B&B to rest & have a relaxing shower! That night, we went to dine in Linnaean’s Lobster Bar in Newquay! 

It was a 20 minute drive from our place. This is a lovely fine dining fish restaurant with super friendly staff. There also have a terrace in the back of the restaurant. This fish dinner was superb in flavour & textures! We also ordered a lovely dessert each!

Our desserts:

Here are the addresses.

  1. Oceanville B&B, situated at the pier in Ballyvaughan, county Clare. Here is their website with all of the info!
  2. Monks, Pub & fish restaurant, situated at the pier in Ballyvaughan, county Clare, right besides the B&B. Here is their website too!
  3. Linnane’s Lobster bar in Newquay, county Clare. Here is their website too!

This is the end of part 1, Travelling Sophie through Ireland! This was a caption of the first 2 days! In the days to come, there will be a part 2, 3 & 4!

If you enjoyed this travel post, you might like these other travel posts too:

Zür Post, a 1 Michelin starred restaurant in Sankt Vith, Belgium

The Netherlands: Amsterdam-Oost: Rum Baba

The Netherlands: Amsterdam-Oost: Tropenmuseum & bar Basquiat

The Netherlands: Amsterdam-Oost: East 57

Travelling Sophie, Berlin, part 1

Travelling Sophie, Berlin, part 2

Travelling Sophie, Berlin, part 3

Travelling Sophie, Berlin, part 4

Posted in Travelling

Travelling Sophie: Bokes & Co!

Hello everyone,

Long time no see, right? 😉

Thanks for the many lovely emails I got from you all asking what had happened to me. I loved reading them all,… so thanks! 🙂

Lately, my husband Peter & I have worked hard in our allotment garden. So, that is where we were for the last weeks. The garden isn’t totally ready yet, but we are getting there! Photos will be posted shortly.

Now for something completely different! I want to introduce you to a super lovely cosy breakfast & lunch restaurant in our beloved town of Mechelen. It is called: Bokes & co & that means in my language: Sandwiches etcetera! It is about a 10 minute walk from where we live. I love coming here, so does my hubby & my dad. It is run by passionate people with their heart in the right place. It looks like this from the outside:


And now from the inside:

A fun blackboard with lovely things to drink & eat! 🙂

There are older colourful chairs & tables with a mix of different styles but overall it is very cosy & fun! The owners & staff are very friendly & helpful. I come here a lot. You can have breakfast here or lunch. You can just enjoy a pot of yummy tea with a cake or not. I love reading a book here, sip some lovely tea & watch the world go by,…

Cosy & fun!

When we go to have a sandwich here, every time, I take something else & everything (food & drinks) that are served here is all of a good quality & quantity too! 😉 A look at the bokes & co card menu:

You can choose between lovely filled sandwiches with a side salad, burgers, Panini with salad, different big salads to choose from, croquet, etc! It is up to you! The prices are good for what you get on your plate!

Today, I was alone, I took the sandwich with smoked salmon, apple, red onion slices & fresh dill with side salad! Super tasty!  I drank a lovely café latte with honey & soy milk! MMM! Most of the time, especially during lunchtime, it is super busy until 1.30 pm.

Latte with honey & soy milk!

Open?

On Sunday & Monday closed.

They are open from 9 am till 5 pm.

Adresse?

Korenmarkt 53, 2800 Mechelen

Website

You might like:

Travelling Sophie, Mechelen, part 1!

Travelling Sophie, Mechelen, part 2!

Travelling Sophie, Bruges, Kok au vin!

Travelling Sophie, Bruges, Sanseveria Bagelsalon & photo trip through Bruges!

Travelling Sophie, Bruges, Brewery De Halve Maan!

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Posted in Travelling

Travelling Sophie: Brewery De Halve Maan, Bruges!

A few weeks ago, Peter & I travelled for 3 days to Bruges. One of the highlights of our stay was a guided visit to the brewery De Halve Maan in the city center of Bruges. It is situated at the Walplein. We booked this brewery trip at home at the computer. We chose our own language & tour time too. A great visit but the groups were a bit too large tough. This was the only downside. It is best to book in advance at home, to avoid long waiting times! A lovely local brewery with a lovely guide through the old part of the brewery & they tell you how the beer is produced. The tour guide is funny & tells anecdotes. It is very interesting too. You end up on the roof of the brewery so you have lovely views across the center of Bruges! The tour lasts 45 minutes & then you get an unfiltered brugse zot to drink afterwards in the brasserie. It is worth a visit! You only get the unfiltered version on a tour like this!

For centuries the Maes family has brewed beer on the Walplein in Bruges. The brewery exists since 1856!!! Ooh yes! De halve maan this means: the half of the moon, see photo below!

The history of the brewery is contained in a unique museum. Guided tours are organised every day. Tours are organised daily between 11 am and 4 pm, in Dutch, French and English. On Saturday an extra tour can be followed at 5 pm. A visit in German is possible on demand. The price for a visit is 9,00 euro per person and takes 45 minutes. After the tour you get a degustation of a Brugse Zot Blond, the unfiltered version, in the brasserie of the brewery. They are famous for 2 great beers:

Now, our photos of the visit:

And more photos from the top of the roof:

Beautiful look at the Minnewater!

And finally this:

Me, enjoying a Brugse Zot!

Brugse Zot is a delicious golden natural blonde beer, brewed according to a unique and traditional recipe. It has a rich foam collar and a fruity yet spicy bouquet. The beer is brewed with four different kinds of malt and two aromatic varieties of hop which give the beer its inimitable taste.The one and only townbeer of Bruges!!!! Today the Brugse Zot, together with the Straffe Hendrik, is the only beer brewed in the historical town center of Bruges. The palate is complex and tends towards a certain bitterness. Even hints of citrus can be discovered. Brugse Zot is a natural beer, born out of a selection of only the best ingredients. The refermentation in the bottle creates a longer natural preservability.When it comes to food pairing, the beer is at its best when combined with fish and crustaceans, beef or desserts with red fruits.  So, this brewery is worth a visit! Here is their address & website.

Brewery De Halve Maan, Walplein 26, 8000 Brugge, Belgium

http://www.halvemaan.be

If you liked this post, you might like other travel posts in Bruges:
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Posted in Reviews, Travelling

A photo trip through Bruges & Sanseveria Bagelsalon!

As you all know by now, Peter & I went on the 3 day tour in Bruges 2 weekends ago. I shall you give a lovely mini photo tour here & will review a lovely place called: Sanseveria Bagel Salon! As a lot of you now, it is not easy to find good cool fun places to hang out, drinking a latte or a nice cup of tea without it being a tourist trap. And you also need to book a table in advance. Normally, in Belgium, being a coffee bar or so, you don’t need to do that at all! That is the downside of being in Bruges. Helas!

Every day, we walked a lot & the last day, after visiting the Groeninge Museum, we booked a table 1 hour in advance at this lovely cosy Sanseveria Bagelsalon! Sanseveria is the type of plant, that you would see, many years ago & still now, at the front windows at houses of grand-parents. It is this plant: 
Nowadays, you see it more & more getting back into fashion. You also see it more in young people’s houses! 😉

We went there to grab a lovely filled bagel & some coffee too. It looked like this from the outside:

photo from their instagram!

Here are my photos:

My bagel was just so delicious & my vegan cafe latte with soy milk too. This is how the bagel menu looked like:

Only 1 vegan option!!!

There is only 1 vegan bagel option, not much, I say! They state there are 2 vegan options but goat’s cheese is not vegan at all! I took the Ron Bgel & my hubby Peter took the Edward Bagel. I chose a vegan cafe latte with soy milk & my Peter took a normal coffee. The quality of the coffee was superb. I never have eaten many bagels before in my life but this was the 1st bagel I really liked! It is very cosy there & prices are more cheap for eating in Bruges. 🙂 They also have another bagel salon in Ostend. Here is their adresse:

Sanseveria Bagelsalon

Predikherenstraat 11, 8000 Brugge

website!

You might like:

My review of Kok au vin, Bruges!

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