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Travelog for: Henrietta Hippo

Attendorn, Germany - 29th April 2011

By: Kalliope

We're back in Attendorn. Today I spent a day with Kalliope in the office. I enjoyed the nice view out of the large windows at the overwhelmingly green trees and browsed through the Internet World Business magazines. On the wall you can see Kalliope's postcard decoration, i.e. a few very nice exemplars.

There's a beautiful warm and sunny weekend ahead of us - my last weekend in Attendorn before I'll go to the Netherlands. My next "stop" will be Rotterdam.


* Posted Apr 29, 2011, 1:27 pm Last edited Apr 29, 2011, 1:48 pm by Kalliope [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Attendorn Biggesee, Germany - 30th April 2011

By: Kalliope

A sunny afternoon at the lake - with a great view of the surrounding hills. Everything is so nice and green now.


* Posted May 1, 2011, 8:27 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Rotterdam, the Netherlands - 12th May 2011

By: Toolakha

Today I finally arrived in Rotterdam. I didn't expect this trip to take so long. It seems once again I have had some major delays. But being on the road with my fellow travellers never makes me feel bored. I am always excited to see new places and meet new people. B)

I arrived at Toolakha and Munen's house late this afternoon. They have been anxiously waiting for me for tomorrow morning we will travel on to Ireland. Yippieyee...it will be the first time Munen and I will see Ireland. Toolakha has been there about 13 years ago, yet she's very happy to go there again. :D

But first things first....I first had to give Toolakha the special presents that Kalliope's has asked me to hand over to her. They are birthday gifts for Toolakha was celebrating her 4x11th birthday just last weekend. She loved the presents very much. The bread basket will come in very handy and the book of Karen Kingston "Clear your clutter with Feng Shui" will surely come in handy. Toolakha seems to have a way with collections  ;)


* Posted May 25, 2011, 5:40 pm Last edited Aug 25, 2011, 6:22 pm by Toolakha [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Rotterdam, The Netherlands - 13th May 2011

By: Toolakha

This morning we had to wake up early to get the second tram out to get the train at the Central Station which would take us to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. So we had to get our suitcases, which were parked in the hallway. The hallway of Munen and Toolakha makes you feel like you're on holiday in Santorini, Greece....but we're still in Rotterdam. B)

We walked to the tram stop and there we were waiting for the tram to arrive. See me waiting and see me inside a Dutch tram for the first time...woooheee!  At the back of the tram there was plenty of space for our suitcases and it gave me a good view of the streets we passed. :D

When we arrived at the train station we had to walk to the platform and there we hopped on a train to Schiphol. I loved looking outside at the scenery.  :stare: Can you see the other train passing us by? The trip to the airport was pretty pleasant, even though it was early. We had to be there 2,5 hours before we'd actually would fly off. So we first checked in our suitcases. Then we had to show our passports at the custom authorities. Toolakha and Munen had to take off their shoes and belts, like most of the other travellers. Since everything checked out to be okay we then could go shopping. I did see some nice Dutch souvenirs at the airport, but also shops with perfumes and alcoholic drinks. It helped us to pass the time in a very nice way. And there were also places where you could have a drink or a bite but I must say I found it very expensive there  :( Still since we had not eaten any breakfast at home we decided to grab a bite and have some juice and a sandwich, which tasted good.

And then finally we were ready to get on board of Air Lingus..the Irish airline company. I was happy that I could also sit next to the window here. It was pretty clear to look outside. Funny is that from Rotterdam we had to travel up North to Schiphol Airport and then we flew nearly over Rotterdam. We passed Munen's sisters house so we could wave at his little nieces...you could almost make out their new home from here. At least it was a good view on Hoek van Holland...which is the entrance gate for the Rotterdam harbour. All boats going to Rotterdam will have to pass here.


* Posted May 25, 2011, 6:08 pm Last edited May 25, 2011, 9:40 pm by Toolakha [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Cork, Ireland - 13th May 2011

By: Toolakha

It took us about 1 hour and 45 minutes to arrive at Cork Airport in Ireland.  It seemed even less, time flies when you're having fun!  After we picked up our suitcases we had to pass the custom authorities again and then we could go to the counter to pick up the car we had rented. We were given the keys of a beautiful Opel Meriva with only a little more than 6.000 km on it's teller.
Toolakha was going to drive first but she had to get used to the fact that this car did not have normal handbrake but a button called P. Then she had to get used to use the gear-shift with her left hand. In Ireland cars drive on the left side of the road (like they do in the UK) while in the rest of Europe everyone else drives on the right side.  :rolleyes:

IMG_2905 Europoort.jpg
IMG_2910 at the airport.jpg

* Posted May 25, 2011, 6:51 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Kinsale, Ireland - 13th May 2011

By: Toolakha

So then we drove off to look at the beautiful Irish scenery. We first headed for Blarney Castle where we climbed up the castle and then Munen and I kissed the Blarney stone, the stone of eloquence. Toolakha has done this on a previous visit.
After this we took a stroll in the lovely surrounding park, enjoying the fine weather and having a good time. Then we sat down for a "latte and a brownie".

When we felt we had seen it all we went back to the car and drove over to our first "bed and breakfast" at The Blue Horizon in Kinsale. We had a great night over here and the hosts "Jimmy and Mary" were very kind to us.

IMG_2918 Blarney Castle.jpg
IMG_2925a Blarney Castle.jpg
IMG_2935 a Latte and a Muffin.jpg
IMG_2953 view from our first address.jpg

* Posted May 25, 2011, 6:57 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Clonakilty and Skibberdeen, Ireland - 14th May 2011

By: Toolakha

This morning we woke up to the sound of the birds and the sea. We had a good sleep (unlike the noisy sounds you hear in Rotterdam). Mary had prepared a full "Irish" breakfast and when we finished it, we had to pack up and be on our way. Jimmy advised us to take the West Coastal route, which we did. We first stopped at a small place called Clonakilty. Here we walked through the village...unfortunately the museum wasn't open. And after we looked around we continued our trip.

Then we arrived at Skibbereen where we visited The Skibbereen Herritage centre . There they had "The Great Famine Commemoration Exhibition" which commemorates the tragic period in the 1840s that is known in Irish History as the Great Hunger.

It was a beautiful trip from Skibbereen (where we forgot to take pictures) to Killarney. So we stopped at the side of the road and took some beautiful pictures with spectacular views.

IMG_2964 shop in Clonakilty.jpg
IMG_2982 great view on the way from Skibbereen to Killarney.jpg
IMG_2983 great views.jpg
IMG_2984 thunder clouds.jpg

* Posted May 25, 2011, 7:20 pm Last edited May 25, 2011, 9:41 pm by Toolakha [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Killarney, Ireland - 15th May 2011

By: Toolakha

Yesterday we arrived at Killarney where we stayed at Murphys. We then went to have dinner in The Danny Mann Pub where we had a good meal and great Irish entertainment. We had a fun night. We slept good too but it was a lot more noisy than at Garrettstown, Kinsale.
In the morning we enjoyed our "Irish" breakfast.

Today we decided to do do \"The Ring of Kerry\". This was a nice drive with great views. We went to Valentia Island because we wanted to visit The Skellig Experience Centre. Unfortunatly the weather wasn't good enough so there were no boats out to the Skellig islands. It would have been very interesting to visit Skellig Michael. This is where, on the steep sides of this rocky and very remote island, a monastery was built in the 7th century.  From Valentia Island you could look back at Portmagee as the picture shows.

IMG_3073 Henrietta at Murphys.jpg
IMG_3075 having an Irish breakfast.jpg
IMG_3070 Henrietta with award of Murphys.jpg
IMG_2992 Portmagee.jpg

* Posted May 25, 2011, 8:15 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Muckross House, Killarney, Ireland - 15th May 2011

By: Toolakha

After we did the Ring of Kerry we found that there was still plenty of time left to visit Muckross House. Queen Victoria paid a visit here, to the Herbert family, in 1861. We loved visiting the house and hearing all the stories. We also enjoyed the garden very much. The weather was a lot better than in the morning. The sun was shining and we enjoyed walking in the beautiful garden, overlooking the Dundag Bay.

IMG_3049 at Muckross house.jpg
IMG_3054 Muckross house without.jpg
IMG_3051 the Muckross garden.jpg
IMG_3058 Muckross garden without Henrietta.jpg

* Posted May 25, 2011, 8:32 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Ross Castle, Killarney, Ireland - 16th May 2011

By: Toolakha

We spend another day at Killarney. So today we decided to visit Ross Castle. Ross Castle was built in the late 15th century by local ruling clan the O'Donoghues Mor. The castle is typical of strongholds of Irish chieftains built during the Middle Ages. The tower house had square bartizans on diagonally opposite corners and a thick end wall. The tower was originally surrounded by a square bawn defended by round corner towers on each end.

We then took a boat out to Innisfallen Island. Innisfallen Abbey, one of the most impressive archaeological remains dating from the early Christian period found in the Killarney National Park. We had a nice walk around the island before we had to take the boat back to the mainland.

Munen and I had not seen the famous Gap of Dunloe which is a narrow mountain pass between Macgillycuddy's Reeks (west) and Purple Mountain (east) in County Kerry, Ireland. It is about 11 km (7 miles) from north to south. Within it are five lakes: Coosaun Lough, Black Lake, Cushnavally Lake, Auger Lake, and Black Lough (north to south). These lakes are connected by the River Loe. Between the first two lakes is an old arch bridge called the 'Wishing Bridge' so named because it is said that wishes made while upon it are destined to come true.
We walked just a little bit up the Gap but never as far as the Whishing Bridge....

IMG_3089 at Ross castle.jpg
IMG_3104 Inisfallen ruins.jpg
IMG_3142 Gap of Dunloe.jpg
IMG_3145 at the Gap of Dunloe.jpg
IMG_3165 Kate Kearneys Cottage.jpg

* Posted May 25, 2011, 9:07 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Dingle, Ireland - 17th May 2011

By: Toolakha

This morning we are leaving Killarney and we're heading out to Dingle. Unfortunately today it's a mopish day. In the previous days we have had some great weather and a lot of sunshine, even if it doesn't show on all the pictures. We didn't have that much rain. When we pass the beach at Inch we decide to stop and talk a walk. Behind us there is a heavy cloud and in front of us too. But at the beach it's sunny...and we kept it dry.

We arrive at our new bed & breakfast Barr na Sraide Inn. We will stay here for only one night. So after a walk through Dingle, we visit the Diseart Institute of Education and Celtic Culture which is situated in the former Presentation Sisters' convent. In this former convent we find The Chapel of the Sacred Heart, which is a neo-gothic gem, in which architect J.J. McCarthy (181782), son of a Kerry family that settled in Dublin, drew on the nineteenth-century revival of medieval architectural styles and infused them with Irish overtones. More than that, it is a sacred space, illuminated in the artistry of its stained-glass windows. The chapel was refurbished in the 1920s under the direction of Mother Ita Macken, and completed with the installation of Harry Clarke's windows, which Mother Ita commissioned at a cost of 1,000 in 1922. These beautifully crafted windows illustrate the life of Christ from his birth to his resurrection. The windows are really beautiful.

Then we stroll into town but it seems the clouds over Dingle become heavier. So we decide to take the car and drive up to the Celtic and Prehistoric Museum which turns out to be very interesting too.

IMG_3168 beach in Inch with sun.jpg
IMG_3177 beach in Inch.jpg
IMG_3178 beach in Inch.jpg
IMG_3181 Dingle in clouds.jpg
IMG_3191 Dingle in clouds.jpg

* Posted May 25, 2011, 9:36 pm Last edited May 25, 2011, 9:44 pm by Toolakha [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Lisdoonvarna, Ireland - 18th May 2011

By: Toolakha

Today we're leaving Dingle behind us and we're heading for the Conor Pass, which is the highest mountain pass in Ireland. We have spectacular views up here.

Then we move on to Talbert where we will take the ferry to go to Kilimer. It is fun to be on the ferry. We are parked in the first row and we're happy we're safe and dry in the car. The waves splash over the front of the ferry and soak our car as well as the biker who is standing next to us.  :D
After we reach the main land we continue on the coastal route. When we pass Quilty the weather is great and the sea is rough. We decide to park our car and get out for a walk along the beach.

We then continue our route and plan to visit the Cliffs of Moher. We love being out there. It's very windy but sunny. So we struggle against the wind to get to the top of the cliffs where we find O'Brien's Tower, which was built in 1835 by local landlord Cornelius O'Brien as a viewing point for the tourists that even then were flocking to the Cliffs. The wind was so strong today that we could not access the tower. We then walked over to the other side of the cliffs for a view from a different angle. We loved the fact that the waves were smashing against the rocks.

After this beautiful view and the feelling of having caught the breezes we head on to our last bed and breakfast the Wild Honey Inn in Lisdoonvarna.
Wild Honey is owned and run by the McGrath family. Chef proprietor Aidan McGrath has been accepted in the Michelin Guide 2009 and also the Georgina Campbell Ireland Guide 2009. His wife and daughter run the b&b as well as the restaurant. Wild Honey Inn has become the first pub in the country to be awarded a prestigious Michelin Bib Gourmand

IMG_3212 Connor Pass.jpg
IMG_3213 Connor Pass.jpg
IMG_3223 beach at Quilty.jpg
IMG_3243 sea at Quilty.jpg
IMG_3257 Cliffs of Moher.jpg
IMG_3272 O Briens toren.jpg
IMG_3280 Cliffs of Moher met kleine O Briens toren.jpg
IMG_3290 Cliffs of Moher experience.jpg

* Posted May 25, 2011, 10:35 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Lisdoonvarna, Ireland - 19th May 2011

By: Toolakha

We have spent the night at the Wild Honey Inn after we enjoyed a delicious meal, prepared by our host. This morning we will go to see more of The Burren. This is an area in North County Clare and parts of South County Galway which is covering an area of 160 square km. It is unique - it is like no other place in Ireland. There are huge pavements of limestone called 'clints' with vertical fissures in the called 'grikes'.

We follow the coastal route which once again gives us the most spectacular views. Then we search for the Poulnabrone dolmen. It is a little smaller in reality then we expected it to be but never the less it's beautiful to see.
We then continue on our route and go for The Burren Centre in Kilfenora. There is so much history in Ireland and it has so many interesting places to visit.

We end this day with a trip to Ennis where we go shopping. After this we head back to the Wild Honey Inn for another delicious meal and a good nights rest. Tomorrow we'll be driving out to Dublin where we will take a plane back to Rotterdam.

IMG_3315 beach.jpg
IMG_3339 Poulnabrone Dolmen.jpg
IMG_3351 Poulnabrone Dolmen.jpg

* Posted May 25, 2011, 10:55 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Dublin, Ireland - 20th May 2011

By: Toolakha

Today we will fly back to Rotterdam. But first we have a long drive ahead of us from Lisdoonvarna to Dublin. We don't have the chance to visit Dublin this time but we surely hope to be able to come back here another time.
Now we'll just board the plane, wave goodbye to Ireland, take a last look at it and hope to arrive safely in the Netherlands.

I was happy that Munen and Toolakha took turns in driving and both of them were telling me all about Ireland that they new. And I can tell you they have learned a lot more about it too.

We had a bit of a delay going back home....maybe because Queen Elizabeth has been visiting Dublin these past days too. We arrived at Schiphol around 21:30 and then we had to wait for a train to take us back to Rotterdam. In Rotterdam we just missed the tram so we had to wait about 15 minutes for the next one. We were happy we reached Toolakha and Munen's house so that we could all relax from this long day. But it was a fun holiday and I'm looking forward to my next trip with Toolakha and Munen. I would love to see more of The Netherlands and they have also promised to take me on their trip to the Belgian Ardennes. .....more to come........ :D

IMG_3359 Dublin.jpg
IMG_3365 dublin airport.jpg
IMG_3374 Ierland.jpg
IMG_3399 Schiphol.jpg
IMG_3405 Rotterdam CS.jpg
IMG_3407 Rotterdam CS.jpg

* Posted May 25, 2011, 11:11 pm Last edited May 25, 2011, 11:12 pm by Toolakha [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Scheveningen, The Hague, The Netherlands - 23rd May 2011

By: Toolakha

Today Toolakha and Munen had planned a trip to Scheveningen, The Hague. Since it was a great day we went for a stroll along the pier and the boulevard.

It was great to see the Kurhaus Hotel. The history of the Kurhaus Hotel dates back almost 200 years, to the year 1818, when Jacob Pronk opened a bathing establishment. The bathing resort was so successful, that in 1826 it was replaced by a stone building, this bathing house was owned by the local government. To transform Scheveningen into an upmarket sea side resort, the decision was made to breakdown the bathhouse in 1884.
Within a year, on the exact location, the Kurhaus was build by German architects Johann Friedrich Henkenhaf and Friedrich Ebert. The Kurhaus opened her doors on 11 July 1885.

After we had a delicious meal in a restaurant on the boulevard we went to the Circus Theater which has hosted performances for over 100 years. Toolakha and Munen had tickets for a show by a Dutch-Surinam Comedian called Jorgen Raymann. I found it difficult to understand for my Dutch isn't that good but I'm picking up a few words now. But I had a great day anyway and it gave me a chance to see a little bit more of the Netherlands.

IMG_3411 bungee pier.jpg
IMG_3412 kuhrhaus.jpg
IMG_3431 beach pier.jpg

* Posted May 29, 2011, 4:15 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

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