A Good Reason to Travel

A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.

– Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. –

Bantry Bay, Ireland

Bantry Bay, Ireland

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Bantry House and Garden in West Cork, Ireland

The Bantry House and Garden is located in Co. Cork along the Wild Atlantic Way.

The second Earl of Bantry and Mary, his wife, traveled to the continent with notebooks and sketchbooks to bring home ideas for recreating their own palazzo by the water.

Standing there and overlooking the Bantry Bay (a deep-water gulf extending for 30 km to the west), it really had a Mediterranean feel to it. Add the sunshine, and the breeze from the water, and your mind might easily get transported to a more southern location.

Bantry House Park

This is the back door of the manor. Behind these big windows is a beautiful library.

Bantry House back

The dining room at the Bantry House.

Bantry House dining room

The photo was taken behind the gate to the staples. No matter where, the southern feeling was always there.

Bantry House gate

The Bantry Manor Garden is splendid and well cared for.

Bantry House hedges

We climbed the famous Hundred Steps (there are 103 steps) to the top of the seven terraces. The house itself sits on the third terrace.

Bantry House steps

The euro 11  adult entrance ticket was really worth it.

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Maria’s Beer Balcony in Germany

Right after we took the previous Beer Balcony photo yesterday evening, we had our next visitors coming up the stairs.

Lisa (on the left) also attended the same international school with son Thomas and friend Gareth. So it was a small 10-year reunion. This all happened by chance.

Beer Balcony with Rita & Lisa

Lisa, originally from Bad Homburg, is currently enrolled at university in Aberdeen. I’ve got her mom on the other side.

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Maria’s Beer Balcony in Germany

Earlier this past week, we had visitors here from Paris for four days. This must have been the first time we failed to have our Beer Balcony picture taken! But I know they will be back, so there will be a next time.

This weekend, we welcomed Gareth from PA/USA into our home and onto the balcony. Son Thomas and he used to be schoolmates at Frankfurt International School (FIS) in Oberursel until Gareth left in 2005. Another thing they have in common – they were both born in Japan, within three months of each other. Well, you know, expat kids.

Beer Balcony with Gareth W.

Thomas with Gareth from PA/USA, who is currently in Düsseldorf for German language studies and visiting Oberursel for German culture studies. :-)

 

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Maria’s Beer Balcony in Germany

My Welsh friend went to Bali and got me a new beer balcony sign – made from recycled boats, then painted with customized lettering.

Beer Balcony sign from Bali

My friends are definitely ahead of me… I’m running behind. Not only with posting, but also with taking photos.

Until yesterday, we had French beer balcony friends here, but we did not even get to take a photo. We sat on the balcony only once, and had such a good time, we completely forgot about the camera.

Our balcony was due for major renovation this summer, so this took seven weeks to complete. We are still waiting for minor follow-up jobs to be done. After that, we can move all our planters back outside. The majority of the plants died, while sitting in the apartment and stairway.  They need to be outdoors… as much as I do.

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