Wednesday, October 17, 2012

An Irish Road

What do you get when you mix the following ingredients:
  • The band Switchback
  • 40 great Switchback fans
  • A crazy bus driver named Mick 
  • The incredible beauty of Ireland 
  • The wonderful Irish people
  • Irish whiskey and beer
  • Fantastic Switchback concerts
You get an amazingly wonderful vacation!

Mike at Kyteler's in Kilkenny

Switchback organized this tour of Ireland which they have been doing annually for many years.  We heard them perform about 5 years ago at an Irish Fest in Peoria, and we loved their music.  During that concert they mentioned their upcoming tour of Ireland, and I remember telling Mike how touring with a band would be a fantastic way to see Ireland.  Amazing how some things come to pass...

They performed 3 concerts during our trip including the Sirius Arts Center in Cobh,  DeBarra's Pub in Clonakilty and at the Cabra Castle in Kingscourt.  We thoroughly enjoyed a mix of Irish tunes and other familiar songs from their albums.  We also heard several songs from their new album which will be released early next year.

Marty and Brian at Sirius Arts Center in Cobh

I doubt I can find words to describe the lush  beauty of Ireland.  The countryside was a quilt in shades of green stitched together by hedge rows and stone fences.  I didn't really know the color green until Ireland.

Bridge near Kinsale

Beara Peninsula

Kinsale boat

We spent most of our time in Kinsale, Ireland which was a lovely harbor town with narrow winding streets, wonderful old buildings and fantastic seafood.

Kinsale harbor

Stone Mad in Kinsale

Last night at Cabra Castle
We thoroughly enjoyed the camaraderie of the folks on this tour. Together we spent quality time sampling Irish beer and whiskey, listening to great Switchback music and learning the history of Ireland through our wonderful bus driver Mick.

And somehow folks found out I was trying the various Irish whiskies.  Next thing you know Switchback was performing at DeBarra's Pub, and they dedicated to me a new song  called "Pour Me". What can I say...

Who knew beer was good for you?

And yes, we enjoyed our Murphy's...

We visited ruins of abbeys and castles and actually spent two nights at Cabra Castle in Kingscourt.

Bigger than Cabra Castle?

I thoroughly enjoyed taking pictures of wonderful old buildings and architectural details.


Row houses in Dublin

Enjoying dinner at Cabra Castle

We totally fell in love with Ireland.  The beauty of this country and it's people is hard to get out of your head.  In fact, we're both still having dreams about  Ireland, and Switchback songs echo in our minds. I totally agree with our friend Chuck who says "Ireland stays in your heart"!


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