torrie's travels


Happy New Year! December 31, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Torrie Schneider @ 9:51 pm

Happy New Year all!  I can’t believe it was one year ago that I decided to make 2012 the Year of the Leprechaun.  And I did!!  Wow.  Unbelievable!  And this year holds a lot of opportunity, unanswered questions, and possibilities.  But I think I’m ready for it.  Are you?

If my plans go the way I hope, this year will see me traveling to London in September.  Will I also make a side trip to Dublin?  Probably.  If I’m that close, why not?!?!  I hope to start the process of thinking about that trip in the next month or two and will keep you posted!

Happy New Year!  May 2013 bring you many blessings and happiness!


The Last of the Ireland Photos! December 8, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Torrie Schneider @ 3:25 pm

Ok, here are the last of the sample Ireland photos.  These are from Galway, the Aran Islands (we went to Inis Mor), Belfast, and the Antrim Coast.  Some of the most beautiful scenery and a powerful tour of the violent, sectarian past in Belfast.  (I am saddened as I write this that there is more violence breaking out in Belfast over the flying of the loyalist flag at City Hall.)

spanish arch

The Spanish Arch.  This is where the Spanish Armada landed in Galway.  The mixing of the Spaniards and the Irish led to the term “Galway Girl”…a girl with black hair and blue eyes!

eyre square

Eyre Square.  I had expected it to be bigger…but I think I expected a lot of things to be bigger in Ireland than they were.  This is a great green spot in the middle of the city, though!


This was along the river, close to the sea.  It just looked very picturesque!  Like a postcard.  But hey, anyone want to go for a boat ride?!?!

me and oscar wilde

Me and Oscar Wilde…chillin’.


This was a rainbow over Galway as seen from our hotel room.  We had a mini-balcony (not one we could stand on, but we could open the window and see parts of the quaint town).  It was beautiful!

aran islands

On day 2 in Galway, we took a trip out to the Aran Islands.  We biked the island…the wrong way…but saw a lot of beautiful ruins.  This is just one example

dun aengus

This was the view as we were walking up to Dun Aengus, the prehistoric fort built as a sentry.  This is the westernmost part of Ireland, and hence, Europe.

dun aengus
This is Dun Aengus getting closer!

cliffs dun aengus

Me looking over the cliffs at Dun Aengus!  The cliffs are over 300 feet tall (100 meters).  I loved it!

us dun aengus

Loren and I at the entrance to Dun Aengus!

belfast city hall

Belfast City Hall.  It encompasses an entire city block and is beautiful!  The ornate architecture is wonderful.  There is a Titanic Memorial Garden and a Rememberance Garden.  Also, a statue of Queen Victoria.  It’s sad to think that protesters are becoming violent here right now.

peace wall

Here is the Peace Wall in Belfast.  We are on the Protestant side looking to the right.

peace wall

And looking to the left.  It is longer than the Berlin Wall.  On the other side, the Catholic side, the homes that back up to the wall are covered in metal casing to avoid having their homes burned to the ground, should more sectarian violence erupt.  Such a sad way to live.  I can’t fathom it.


This is one of the gates that separates the Catholic and Protestant neighborhoods.  This gate has cameras and will close if there is any suspicious activity around it.  Otherwise it closes at 8pm nightly.  The only way to get from one neighborhood to the other is to go back to City Center and then out to the other side.

giants causeway

Up on the Antrim Coast is the Giant’s Causeway.  Either created by Finn McCool or volcanoes.  Take your pic!  There are tens of thousands of basalt columns.  It was quite fascinating.

giants causeway

More columns…


This is a few miles east of the Giant’s Causeway.  We were hiking in to the Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge.  The views were spectacular!!  It almost looks tropical.  Hard to believe it’s the North Atlantic!

antrim coast

The water was just stunning.  Both Loren and I took many, many photos of this area.  I just can’t convey how beautiful it was!

rope bridge

Here’s the rope bridge.  It was originally put up by fishermen to get across to the island for fishing.  It was a little windy, but a great experience!  I believe the bridge is 80 feet in the air.  Even Loren crossed it!


This is on the island after we crossed the bridge.  It was just so gorgeous.  We understood why Ireland’s colors are blue and green.  Thanks to the wonderful weather we had, everywhere we went, everything was blue and green.  I fell in love!

antrim coast

Another scenery shot of the Antrim Coast.  Just lovely!