Ireland – Giant’s Causeway Long Exposures

Shooting Giant's Causeway

One of the things I wanted to do on this trip was experiment with long, daytime exposures using ND filters. These photos of The Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland were taken during the day and each exposure is approximately 30 seconds. The NDX 400 filter allows for this without overexposing the shot. The long exposure causes the crashing waves to appear as fog or smoke while the rock formations remain clear and detailed. I would have preferred a more sunny day, but the overcast skies actually aided in the final look and feel of these images.

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Ireland – The Conor Pass

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The Conor Pass is said to be the highest mountain pass in Ireland. The road is quite narrow in places and passing oncoming traffic can be harrowing. I wanted to drive over the pass on the way to Dingle rather than taking the easier route down the main highway from Tralee. Cynthia was nervous, but agreed to cross if the weather was good. As it turned out, the weather was good and so we crossed. It should also be noted that we crossed on Friday the 13th. Cynthia is a little superstitious, so this was significant.

We were fortunate that there was not a lot of traffic on this road on the day we went over.

Here is a video I shot of our crossing using a GoPro Hero 3 Black mounted to the outside of the rental car. You can see the truly narrow point about midway through the video.

This drive offers one of the most dramatic and scenic ways of entering or leaving Dingle.

View from the top of Conor Pass

Conor Pass Waterfall

View from the top of Conor Pass

Ireland – Day 13

Today is our last day in Ireland before flying home tomorrow. We’re tired and we’re pretty much out of clean clothes.

The sun was out again today and we enjoyed walking in the good weather.

Our first visit was to the Trinity College Library to see the Book OF Kells. There’s no photography of the actual book, but you can take photos of the magnificent Trinity College Library.

Trinity University Library

Trinity College also has one of the Sphere Within Sphere (Sfera con sfera) sculptures like the one we saw at The Vatican Museums when we visited there last year.

Sphere Within Sphere (Sfera con sfera) Trinity College

Sphere Within Sphere (Sfera con sfera) Trinity College

From there we walked over to tour the Chester Beatty Library which has an amazing collection of books, documents and other artifacts. No photos in there, but the sun was shining brightly on the Dublin Castle and the view from the Dubh Linn Gardens was quite nice.

Dublin Castle

This little courtyard contained the Garda Memorial Garden which pays tribute to police officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

Dubhlinn Gardens Garda Memorial Garden

We’re going to take it easy the rest of the day. Packing and relaxing before our early, early flight tomorrow morning.

This trip has been amazing. Cynthia and I both agree that the rural part was much better than the city parts, though both were great in their own ways.

Ireland – Day 12

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Today was a good day. The sun was out and we took the opportunity to wander the city in search of things to see. We made our way to the river and then walked over to see the Molly Malone statue. It was good to see, but not so great to photograph as there was a lot of construction going on all around her.

We decided to walk over the the Jameson’s Distillery and take the tour. As it turned out, the distillery is not actively producing whiskey, it’s just a museum now.

Aging Process - Jameson's Distillery

We took the tour and at the end the guide informed us that 8 members of the group would be selected for a whiskey taste test that compared Jameson to a scotch and an American bourbon. First he asked for women to volunteer. Only 3 raised their hands. Cynthia, who hates whiskey decided to step up and be the 4th. After the ladies were chosen the guide asked for 4 male volunteers. Of course all of our hands went up. I was chosen as one of the four so Cynthia and I got to both participate.

Cynthia drinks whiskey for the first time

Cynthia ended up actually enjoying the experience, and learned a bit about whiskey. We both received certificates as souvenirs to take home with us.

After the distillery we walked over to St. Patrick’s Cathedral and enjoyed the gardens

The tired travellers at St. Patrick's Cathedral

From here we caught a cab to the Guinness Storehouse which is also just a museum, but an interesting tour nonetheless. After walking around and learning of the history of Guinness and seeing how it’s made you go up to what is called the Gravity Bar where you get a free Guinness and 360 degree view of the city.

Cynthia and her Guiness

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After these tours we were pretty beat and we went back to the hotel. This evening Cynthia took it easy while I met up with a friend to attend the Roger Waters concert at Aviva Stadium.

Fountain @ Guinness Storehouse

Ireland – Day 11

First full day in Dublin and it has been raining all day. This has dampened our spirits a wee bit. It doesn’t help that we are also getting very tired. The whole trip has been so fantastic, but also very exhausting at times. We busied ourselves visiting the National Museum, the National Library and National Gallery. Admission was free to all of them, so that was a bonus.

I did get some interesting photos inside some of the spaces so I am happy for that. I was particularly mesmerised by the elevator/staircase in the back of the National Gallery

National Gallery - Dublin

National Gallery - Dublin

Cynthia enjoyed the reading room in the National Library

National Library - Dublin

National Library - Dublin

Tomorrow’s weather forecast is looking very good with sunshine predicted for the day. That means we get to see St. Patrick’s Cathedral, ChristChurch and many other sites in the glorious sun (fingers crossed)

The

Ireland – Day 10

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Today we left the charming and wonderful town of Dingle and drive to Dublin for the final part of our trip. Things were going well but the GPS kept wanting to take us down the N7 when the M7 was clearly the better route. Apparently the Garmin from the car rental place had some rather outdated software.

At one point I decided to leave the M7 for the route the GPS was suggesting and that is where things went horribly wrong. While the drive was more scenic, it was not the direct route of the M7 and was going to take much longer. We were probably 50 or so miles from Dublin when we hit a pothole. A few mikes down the road the car indicated we had low pressure in the left front tire.

I pulled over and sure enough, the tire was flat. Fortunately the rental had special tires that let you drive, even when the tire has lost all pressure.

We pulled into a service station and they gave us directions to a tire shop. Sadly, this shop didn’t have the right kind of tire and they directed us to another shop about 15 kilometers away. The directions were complete crap and after stopping at another service station and a car dealership we finally located the Healy’s in Naas, Co. Kildare. This shop had the tire and we were back on our way in about 45 minutes.

We were delayed by several hours, but we had no real plans for this day so we were simply inconvenienced. Lesson learned, though. I will always rent a car with this kind of tire if I plan to drive in remote locations.

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Ireland – Day 9

Cynthia on Slea Head

For our last day in Dingle we opted to drive around the loop again just to take it all in. The weather in the morning kept us in the B&B, but around noon it started clearing up so we took to the car to have a look around. It was not as beautiful as it was yesterday, but it was still very nice.

Danger!

Slea Head

Slea Head

Slea Head

We wrapped up the day by going to the O’Sullivan’S Courthouse Pub which is owned by a couple by the name of ommy & Saundra O’Sullivan. Tommy is a singer songwriter from Dingle and his wife Saudra is from Houston. It’s a great pub and the music is very traditional.

Courthouse Pub - Dingle

Tomorrow we make our way to Dublin.