From South to North and back – I


First of all, Happy Thanksgiving to all the thankful out there, wherever you may be! Have a wonderful and happy weekend!


map of ireland

To those who haven’t read my blog before – it is the fifth post in the series about my trip to the North of Ireland to take part in Elena Shumilova Workshop.

I got this lovely map from, and drew my route with a green marker. My plan was to use smaller roads instead of motorways so that I could stop for a photograph. Most of the route was familiar to me, but I still got lost somewhere between Counties Cavan and Monaghan, twice – on my way to and from.

I left early in the morning from Waterford, drove through Kilkenny  and Durrow, and didn’t stop until I got to Abbeyleix. These photographs were taken in different years, but I think they are good enough for illustrating my journey.


These photographs are taken in Kilkenny Castle park, in early  November 2010. The day was chilly and foggy, and very quiet.




The National Monument to missing people was unveiled by President Mary Mc Aleese in the grounds of Kilkenny Castle in 2002. The sculpture is designed by Ann Mulrooney. Each hand was cast from the actual hand of a family member of a missing person. There is also a stone with inscription: “This sculpture and area of reflection is dedicated to all missing persons. May all relatives and friends who visit find continuing strength and hope”.

inese22 047resiz

Another old photograph – the River Nore in Kilkenny.

river Nore

After leaving Kilkenny I headed to Durrow, Co Laois. I think that it will help if I give you a link to a page where you can learn how to pronounce Irish names for places:

For today it is Laois [leash] and Abbeyleix [abbey- lees]

I already wrote about Durrow twice. Every year they are hosting a Scarecrow Festival, and it is a huge fun event. In my Scarecrow blog Part I I reflected on the life of Scarecrow of Oz and his predecessors; in the Part II I gave an account of the festival activities and attractions. I wont’s repeat myself and hope you visit these blog posts if you haven’t read them yet. There is also a video from which you will learn a thing or two about the nature of scarecrows 🙂

Today I am sharing two picture that I took after the festival in 2014. The day was fabulous, but then we noticed the darkest cloud menacingly approaching the town. We escaped, but all the merry gathering was drenched with rain in a matter of minutes. We drove up the rolling hills until this magnificent view opened to us. I had just a minute for a couple of snaps. The skies opened and the rain poured on us all the way home.


2014 durrow pano

Now back to my Grand cross-country trip.

As  I said, my first stop was in Abbeyleix.  Lonely Planet offers you six things to do in Abbeyleix, including a visit to the former Yvo de Vesci Carpet factory where a number of hand tufted carpets were made for Titanic’s staterooms. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to stay in Abbeyleix longer than 10 minutes, it is why I will just share with you this old picture from Cobh (former Queenstown), the final port of call for Titanic. I will write about Cobh another time. 


I think you already understand why I am getting lost while travel…

So, I didn’t have time to do six things in Abbeyleix, neither was it my plan, but there is something in this little town that  I love and want to share with you. I love their street lights.

It was early in the morning, and I stood  in the middle of N77 without  getting in trouble. The fog was thick, the colors and sounds muted, like in a dream.


I took some more photographs,  one of them I used in my previous post – the iron gate and the rising sun. After saying good bye to this lovely little town I resumed my journey.

IneseMjPhotographyHave a great Thanksgiving weekend!


  1. I love the old river photo. 🙂 Sounds like you had a great trip!
    Thank you so much for the follow. I’m really sorry it’s taken me so long to get here. Hope you have a good Christmas 🙂

  2. What a wonderful, journey, Inese. Your photos are amazing, as always. Are they flowers in the middle of the River Nore? it’s an odd place to have them if it is, but I suppose they make a good talking point as well as being lovely and colourful. I hope you do post about Cobh. We visited the Titanic display there when we were in Ireland and found it fascinating, There were a lot of Americans there at the time, researching their ancestry.
    The Monument to Missing People is sad but also beautiful in that those missing people will not be forgotten.

    1. Thank you Millie! This flower display is a floating advertisement for a festival. I had no time to stop in Kilkenny, so I used my old photographs.
      I have some photographs of Cobh and want to write a post next year. Isn’t it a beautiful little town?
      When I visit the Monument to Missing People, I always think of those to whom it might be the only place to come and mourn their loss. I don’t know how many pairs of hands created the monument, and how many of those people received any news about their missing loved ones since.

  3. Hello. It has been a dream of mine to travel to Ireland and after reading your post and seeing your fantastic pictures, Ireland is definitely staying at the top of my ‘Bucket List’. Gorgeous!

  4. What a fabulous trip! I remember the scarecrow posts. Love all the photos although must confess to always loving trees. Looking forward to more!

  5. I notice from your photographs that Ireland is one of those places that still has a distinctive charm even when it’s raining. I was also very interested to see the map showing the route you actually took. It looked as though you may have a case of east-westophobia (or perhaps it’s north-southophilia). 🙂

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by! I haven’t visited your blog all the week, and was thinking of you today.
      Neither I nor my little car were qualified for such a trip, or so I thought. I went there to attend the Elena Shumilova workshop. Now, encouraged and bold, I am planning another cross-country journey 🙂

  6. I an envious that you can travel like that and take photos when you feel like stopping. That sounds like such a fun way to travel! Ireland seems so beautiful! Love the photos!

    1. Thank you so much! I wish I could stop everywhere. Next time I will travel in summer when the days are longer. I have two trips in mind – Mizen Head to Malin Head, or Rosslare to Portacloy Mayo, both cross-country routes. Hope it works out. Thank you again!

  7. Hi there dear Inese… I am loving this post… beautiful gallery… You have a good eye to take photographs, my friend… no surprises but pure delight…
    Sending much love. Aquileana ⭐

    1. Thank you dear Aquileana! Your comments are always so kind. I have read your latest blog about the concept of beauty. Well done, and thought provoking.
      Much love and best wishes
      Inese 🙂

    1. As rainy as Ireland is, to catch a good fog is not that easy. I got lucky in Abbeyleix with their beautiful street lanterns and the rising sun ( my previous post).
      Thank you for your visit!

  8. Beautiful photos as always, plus I have always wanted to go to Ireland so now I achieved my goal to see it, in distance but nothing is perfect.
    By the way, isn´t it strange to have to drive on the left lane?….

    1. Thank you! 🙂
      You know, it is strange to change from the right to the left driving, but focusing on your task helps, as it always does 🙂
      You never know, some day you might visit Ireland too. It is close from where you live I guess.

    1. Teagan, thank you so much for your kindest words! I am grateful for knowing you too, my friend, and for your talent in making up the most intriguing stories.
      I am certain that I got lost because the place was enchanted!

    1. Thank you Marje. Thousands of people are reported missing every day. Some of them come home soon, some never. And their families have to continue with living. Heartbreaking.

  9. I love misty, moss-covered forests – they are indeed magical. Sounds like a lovely drive! I vowed to never drive in the British Isles ever again so I really appreciate these back road adventures!

    1. Thank you so much for your comment! I am planning to do it again next summer, just with a few more stops.
      I wouldn’t drive on the right side of the road 🙂

    1. Thank you so much! To tell the truths, all Kilkenny photographs I posted are filled with sadness. I took the Park pictures right after the funeral – my dear friend died from cancer. It was so surreal. I think I haven’t been to the park since. The rest of my route doesn’t bear any sad memories, and I hope to end these series next week. It was a very inspiring and fun trip.

  10. How beautiful is this post special lady? My Moores were from Cavan before the famine you know. The National Monument to missing people is stunning. You have some beautiful pictures here . A wonderful post x

    1. Oh thank you! Sorry I have no pictures from Cavan to share… I believed I already had some, but when I started to look for them I remembered that they fell victims of my hard drive crash in 2013… I will write about County Cavan anyway. Thank you again! xx

    1. Thank you Derrick! 🙂 It wasn’t as close as it looks – I used a zoom 🙂 Made it safe back home, as you know, with a ton of photographs. I think it is the fifth post, and at least one to follow 🙂
      There is no central refuge, by the way. Can you believe that a decade ago this was a cross-country Dublin road! It was so packed that a trip took forever.

          1. I like thanksgiving but I am not a fan of turkey so I would literally kiss the ground that someone walked on just to have ham for Thanksgiving. It is the biggest sin one can commit but hey I was never one to follow tradition to a T.

          1. The easiest thing to cook. It is expensive now in Canada so it is a treat to have some. Most hams only need two to three hours of cooking time. I put pineapple juices in the bottom and keep the rings. With the rings of pineapple I place them all over the ham with a maraschino cherry in the middle of the pineapple rings with a tooth pick . You then pack the ham with brown sugar. Yum!!!

            1. That is unfortunate and ham is easy to cook and prep time is about 20 minutes. There is nothing like glazed yam. I won’t tell you what else I cook everyone on WordPress will be showing up at my door .lol.

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