Bob started traveling abroad in 1998 ( for business), but I made my first trip in 2001 when I accompanied him to Vienna. Somewhere I have some pictures of that trip, but they are not digital and are probably not very good. Aside from the pastry, which was Heaven on Earth, I wasn't terribly impressed with Vienna. I am the kind of traveler who has very little interest in museums or the "landmarks". I like to walk around neighborhoods and observe architecture and gardens. Vienna is just too big and grandiose to do that, although the cardboard cutouts of Mozart all over the city are rather amusing!
So imagine how much I loved Ireland. Bob described Youghal as "a small fishing village" and since this was before I started researching on the web, I grabbed a couple of travel guides which mentioned Youghal in passing and off I went. Little did I know it was called the Irish Riviera ( without the topless beaches, thank you very much).
Here is an excerpt from the County Cork website:
Youghal - East Cork Ireland Travel Guide
Youghal situated in the South East of Cork has been a popular holiday destination for centuries. It is an ideal family destination with its 2 Blue Flag Beaches and numerous entertainments for the children. Bed & Breakfasts, Hotels Pubs & Restaurants are in abundance
Youghal has been designated as a Heritage Town by Bord F�ilte. Developments include an interpretative centre and other attractions such as Tynte's Castle an urban tower house located on the eastern side of North Main St.
Youghal used to be a busy textile centre and one of Cork's most popular seaside resorts, it is one of the most historic and interesting towns in Ireland being situated at the mouth of the Blackwater one of Ireland's best known salmon fishing rivers, there is a promenade leading to a magnificent 8 kilometre beach. It is well worth a visit.
Here we have an ancient walled seaport town: it was occupied in turn by the Danes and the Normans, and received a charter from King John. It was part of the great tract of lands granted to Sir Walter Raleigh. His home, Myrtle Grove still stands there (open to the public). Tradition has it that here he smoked the first cigarette and planted the first potatoes: but tradition and historians don't always agree.
The main street is spanned by an old clock tower. St. Mary's Parish Church has recently been restored to good effect, along with the adjacent town wall. Here you will find the tomb of Margaret, Countess of Desmond, who died at the age of 147 from a fall from a cherry tree. There are several other old abbeys, towers and buildings in the town - follow the signposted Town Trail. The film Moby Dick was shot on location here.
The name Youghal derives from the Irish "Yew Wood". Yew was once extensive throughout Ireland. In Youghal, yew wood was used to feed the ironworks of Richard Boyle during the 17th century.
See, it is more than a fishing village. I took a walking tour of historical sites that was really fun.
The second time I went the Ahernes was full, so we stayed at the Old Imperial Hotel. Decor-wise it couldn't have been more different, much more "moderne" with cheaper furniture and not much charm, but once again the proprietors, Jim and Mary Browne were delightful. And while we couldn't afford to eat at the Ahernes restaurant, we could eat at the Old Imperial because the restaurant is not as famous and certainly not as upscale. Without further ado here are the rest of the pictures from web sources an Bob's camera. Enjoy (with a green beer, if you must)!
Edited to add: Obviously this is a one way street in 2004 when this picture was taken, but I swear to you that this was a two way street in 2002 the first time I was there. At least that is the way I remember it:).
The source of the world's best butter!!
Bedroom at The Old Imperial Hotel, see the difference?