Hard Times in Cashel, County Tipperary

It’s a sign of the times, or rather, lots of signs of the times when you see “50% off” sale signs in the windows of stores at the very beginning of what should be this town’s busiest season. Inquiring at a souvenir store selling high-quality items from around Ireland, we were told today that “we […]

Cashel in County Tipperary

The Rock of Cashel was our first destination after leaving Bunratty where we’d had a light lunch of seafood chowder at the excellent Gallagher’s next to the B&B where I’d spent the night previous. Cashel is best known for this huge cathedral, church, tower and castle complex built in the early years of the 12th […]

Courtyard Inn Bunratty Great Place to Stay

My first night in Ireland is spent at The Courtyard B&B in the hamlet of Bunratty, an easy 15-minute drive from the Shannon Airport where I’ll greet new guests Margaret, Elisabeth and Jennifer on Sunday. The Courtyard has become like a second home since I first stayed here in 2000 while on a scouting mission […]

Through the Rain from Dublin to Shannon

There’s a common misconception about Global Warming. People think it’s going to get much hotter. Actually, in Ireland and most of Europe, it’s going to get a lot colder, and with more and more rain. That’s because the jet stream, which keeps Ireland, England and Northern Europe “warm” will shift far to the south as […]

Dinner with Friends

A pre-Ireland party with Guinness with old friends Mike and Brigitte in our favorite pizza joint in the village of Eberstadt, near Darmstadt the other night. I’ve known Mike since 1989 when I had first joined the staff at the “European Stars & Stripes” newspaper, published at that time in the town of Griesheim. The […]

Weidenhausen 700 Birthday Celebration

It’s a remarkable experience to be a part of the birthday celebrations of a hamlet marking seven centuries of history. The townspeople of Weidenhausen, in the Siegen-Wittgenstein area of Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany (all 495 of them) turned out during a lovely weekend to mark the birthday with a series of events. Marie and I were fortunate […]

Rinthe is a picturebook hamlet in the Siegen-Wittgenstein area

One of Marie’s ancestral villages is right out of a storybook which could be entitled, “Most Perfectly-Preserved German Farm Hamlets.” Rinthe consists of a dozen farms and absolutely nothing else. The scene is right out of the 1700s and most of the farm houses and barns were built in this period and still retain their […]