Maam Valley

It’s good to be back on the blog! Margaret and I took our Irish honeymoon the first two weeks of September. It was the trip of a lifetime.

We flew to Dublin and immediately took a train to Galway on the opposite coast. There we rented a car and drove north to Ireland’s northern tip. We spent a day in Northern Ireland along the Atlantic coast (where we got to meet fellow photoblogger Michael McNeill) and then over the next several days slowly made our way back to Galway.

We spent several days in Galway, as this is where Margaret’s family is from. We met cousins and saw the remote western island where her grandfather was born and grew up.

From there we took the train back to Dublin, where we spent a couple days. Then we flew home.

In between all the stops we explored the countryside, seeing cliffs and ruins, mansions and everyday homes, and endless sheep. We ate in pubs and, gluten-free diets be damned, drank Guinness. (It didn’t kill us!)

And we soaked in each others’ company, enjoying how we both just liked hiking through nature and touring historic sites with our cameras in our hands. I shot 999 photos with my digital Canon S95, and five rolls of T-Max 400 with my Nikon N2000.

I’m only about halfway through processing the digital photos, and the b/w film shots should be back from the processor early this week. So as photos become ready, I’ll share the best of them here and tell the stories behind them.

This is the 1,500th post on Down the Road!

Photography, Road trips

Two weeks in Ireland

Image

28 thoughts on “Two weeks in Ireland

  1. Welcome back. Jim! Nice to see you seem to have had a great trip to Ireland, and I hope to hear and see a bit more from it.
    I got a plan and a hope to be able to get over there as well some time in the foreseeable future.
    And also nice to see you actually met Michael when you were around that parts of the island anyway :)
    And that Guiness really sets into the stomach for a while… me thinks. It’s nice enough, though, as long as you don’t “eat” too much of it :)

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  2. jonathon Campo says:

    Glad you are back Jim. That sounds like a very nice time, and a great start to a new chapter for both of you. I am looking forward to seeing your pictures. I really enjoy your work. Best wishes to you both.

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  3. hmunro says:

    It sounds like you and Margaret had a great time. How wonderful, Jim! So happy for you both. I look forward to hearing more stories and photos as you find time to share them. Welcome home!

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  4. DougD says:

    Great, looking forward to some photos and stories now that you’re back.
    Never been to Ireland but Mrs DougD and I did a trip to the Lake District in England when we were new-ishly married in 2000. We found it very civilized to go for a nice scenic hike then arrive at a 200 year old pub for beer and sandwiches with too much butter. Good times!

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  5. Christopher Smith says:

    Welcome Back Jim glad you both had a wonderful Holiday/Honeymoon look forward to your stories and photos. I went to Ireland once when I was a wee lad, did a weeks trip in a horse drawn Gypsy type caravan in Southern Ireland around Cork and Kinsale.

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  6. Hi Jim – it was great to meet both you and Margaret. Actually it was a little surreal, since our paths only crossed via our blogs – but it was great to be able to spend a couple of hours with you guys for real, so to speak. Thanks for taking time out to stop by my little neck of the woods. Portrush, a dander around the West Strand and Ramore Head, The Habour Bar and Guinness! And the sun shone! Well, of course the sun always shines in Ireland, as we all know :) Glad you made it home safely and look forward to seeing some of your shots of your trip. Best, Michael

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    • Michael, we both enjoyed meeting you as well! This isn’t the first time I’ve met someone I only knew online first and the experience is always a little surreal. Both of us keep talking about the wonderful afternoon you showed us. Thank you so much!

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  7. Reinhold Graf says:

    Just preparing a 2-weeks trip to Southwest- and Western-Ireland. We will start the coming week. Besides some lightweight digital stuff, I invited an analog cam to join. Currently, I’m still undecided between a Pentax ME Super 2000 and a Yashica FX-D. Both fitted with a 28mm lens and … both seem to fit to my lightweight digital approach very well. Let’s see, what finally will be the companion.

    As we have summertime and we expect at least some rays of sunlight to see, I intend picking up either some rolls of Ektar 100 or some rolls of Agfa Vista Plus 200. Not sure if 400 will be necessary too.

    I’m really curious about this country, the land and the people, living on the edge of the European Continent.

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    • My bias is toward the ME Super but I think you’ll be happy with either camera! I shot ISO 400 all over Ireland and I’d do it again. It’s not too fast for daylight shooting and it is fast enough for some indoor available-light work. It let me take just one film type with me, and shoot whatever I found at any moment.

      I hope you have a great experience in Ireland! We did. I don’t say this lightly, as I’m a pretty realistic/pessimistic person by nature, but it was a magical place.

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  8. Reinhold Graf says:

    Decision taken … the Yashica will join me on the trip.
    Just put in some fresh batteries in the Pentax and had the lens cap on when firing a shot in Auto mode. The mirror does not come down and the curtain seems to be stuck halfway. Tried “125”- and “B”-setting and nothing worked.

    Followed some repair hints on the web and now the curtain is open, the mirror is up and the beauty is dead :(

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  9. Reinhold Graf says:

    Indeed … I’m the lucky one :) … even if I’m not happy about the ME’s sudden death, as I respect this old, analog equipement.

    Besides that, it gives room for thoughts about the reliability of that old stuff.
    It happened the second time now … last week a Nikon F301 broke down and the shutter did not work anymore … and this makes me thinking, that it might be worth investing in some more enduring … pro like … gear, like the Pentax LX or an Olympus OM-4ti … or even some of the Contax bodies.

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    • I dunno, I think even modest gear can last a long time if you send it out for a solid overhaul. I just got a Pentax Spotmatic F back from being overhauled and I expect it to last for 20-30 years. I just sent my Pentax ME off for the same treatment!

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  10. Reinhold Graf says:

    Hm, think you are right … caretaking is one important thing to do. If you love something, you also need to (better will) take care of it.

    After my trip I’ll see, what service stations for that type of gear are still alive here in Germany. I think there are a couple of cams who deserve to be serviced.

    Thanks for remembering me on that ;)

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