Liverpool to Baile an Sceilg, County Kerry, Ireland - 30th July 2017

After discovering that two weeks' car hire for our two-week trip to Ireland was nearly as much again as the holiday itself, it was decided that Nosher would drive the car over to Kerry instead and pick up Isobel and the boys from Kerry Airport. This first required a 4.5 hour drive to Liverpool, which would have been fine apart from a torn back muscle which went off about four hours before leaving and which involved almost getting trapped in the bogs at Sandbach Services on the M6, thanks to some extreme pain. Hey ho. Anyway, The last visit to Liverpool had been on a school trip to the two cathedrals back in around 1977 and so it was good to have a couple of extra hours to go and visit "Paddy's Wigwam", otherwise known as the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King, for the second time. And in an almost-unique reversal of childhood memories - completely unlike, say, Wagon Wheels - it actually seemed a lot bigger now than it did at the time. Sadly, the cathedral itself was closed for a service, so it wasn't possible to check whether the inside still smelled like a densist's surgery - another memory from the first visit. The biggest revelation though was reserved for the journey from the cathedral to the Port of Liverpool near Bootle, where unexpectedly epic scenes of dereliction were beheld - mile after mile of abandoned warehouses and now-cleared wasteland hinted at both how staggeringly vast the docks of Liverpool once were and just how much they have disappeared since. The knackered back didn't allow much walking-based exploration , but it was absolutely amazing and was probably worth a whole day of poking around in its own right. Eventually, after checking on board the overnight freight ferry and crashing out in the cabin for eight hours, arrival in Dublin occurred at about 5.30am, so there was a bit of time to swing by Da Gorls' house, as they're always up at stupid o'clock anyway, and crash out for a couple of extra hours before the 3.5 hour drive down to Kerry Airport in Ireland's south west, and beyond to our first port of call - Baile an Sceilg, deep in the Gaeltacht.

next album: Baile an Sceilg to An tSnaidhme, Co. Kerry, Ireland - 31st July 2017
previous album: An Innovation Week, Paddington, London - 27th July 2017

On the way to Liverpool City Centre, the derelict Littlewood's building is spotted

The epic derelict Littlewood's Building

Chinese takeaway on Green Lane (there's no green of any kind)

Liverpool's Catholic cathedral

View of the Anglican cathedral from the top of the steps

The cathedral's central 'wigwam'

Modernist sculpture

The streets of Liverpool through some stained glass

Great Orford Street and some basic graffiti

Part of the re-vamped Liverpool Liverpool quays/docks behind the Liver Building

Massive derelict warehouse

Cleared docks

Derelict wet dock and clock tower

Some of the acres and acres of cleared wasteland

Some business cling on near Graving's Dock

An old swing-bridge control room

A bit further along, there's some massive derelict aircraft hanger-like warehouse

Nosher's room for the night

The Winkies in Dublin Bay at around 5am

The new power station

Looking up the Liffey

Nosher's car and an oddly-assorted stack of other vehicles

Nosher drives through Killarney to kill some time before Isobel's flight lands

Street and barbershop in Killarney

A view of Farranfore railway station in the rain, after an hour's kip in the car

Farranfore station, despite being active, manages to look derelict

Isobel and the boys pile out of Kerry airport, before we embark on the next 1.5 hour leg to Ballinskelligs

Ballinskelligs, in County Kerry, is clearly cashing in on the fact that Skellig Island appeared in the last 60 seconds of 'The Force Awakens'

We get fish and chips for tea, which maxes out our ill-prepared stash of €20

Cable O'Leary's bar

The Roving Swan, apparently the world's oldest Seine boat

Fred runs around

First view of the beach

There are palm trees on the beach and everything

There's a lively bit of trad-and-covers in Cable O'Leary's

Harry's not impressed by the noise

Guitar and fiddle

A drunk old man does some drunk-old-man dancing

The brewery's obviously not been to pick up barrels for a couple of days

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On the way to Liverpool City Centre, the derelict Littlewood's building is spotted