Kinlay Hostel and Galway, Republic of Ireland

Finally after a long day of travel from Londonderry we arrive in Galway and get dropped off at our Hostel for the evening… a perfect fit for a day of almost zero exertions… you like stairs right? The reward was one of the nicer hostels on this trip, and as we were staying two nights a chance to do laundry!

Welcome to Hostel Living… sometimes it not pretty…

So after we got our luggage up to our rooms some of us took to the town to look for food and take in the sunset golden hour.

Spanish Arc

Shamrocker Adventures (and Busabout) offer several tours in Ireland, and there is a combination that is very specifically setup so that the main four Rocker tours (North, South, Western, and All Irish) all meet up in Galway and here we join into one large group for Galway and the Aran Isles portion of the trip. Now while the logistics of this feat is notable, it is also why all the tours have funky travel days. So if you were ever wondering why 7/3/3/3 day trips were offered, its because of that 10 day rotation (with downtime for staff before the next rotation).

One of the bars we visited during the night

However, and I hate to be critical of what was already quite an enjoyable trip, but the “ice breaker” event that Shamrocker has set-up for everyone is an optional pub crawl through Galway with a contest to steal potatoes from eachother… what sounded like a fun game quickly got ugly competitive as soon as alcohol was thrown into the mix, with each bus group vying to win it for their “team”. After having my potatoe stolen, and stealing back another and a pinpong ball (?) the thrid bar we went to had a band playing in the other section and I left the pub crawl and enjoyed the rest of my evening…

Local Irish Band Playing at the Third Bar
I found out there was more than three flavors of the Cider I liked back in Ballitoy

Remic Rapids – Drummers and Fire Dancers



Remic Rapids, Ottawa

After spending the day photographing Fall colours at Luskville Falls in Quebec and driving around in my mother’s new Volvo C70 convertible with the roof down in beautiful Fall weather, I joined a few friends at Remic Rapids on the Ottawa River in Ottawa. It’s the location where there are stone statues that are set-up each summer by a local artist who works all week arranging the stones in various ways and patterns. An interesting tourist site not on most bus tours.

Tonight there was a special presentation by a local group of bongo drummers. They started to attract quite a crowd as they played on and, as the sun set, the group got larger and larger as more players arrived to join in and add to the rhythmic music.

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Osgoode Medieval Festival 2010

Osgoode Medieval Fair 2010

Leave the 20th century behind and head back into simpler times where chivalry and swords. This year, much like last year the main crowd drawing event at the Osgoode Medieval Fair was the Knights of Valour. A troop of individuals who ride horses and actual joust for a living. But first off the pre-joust warm-up activities!

The goal of the pre-games is to get the horses and crowd warmed up for the joust. Often with game of accuracy such as lancing a hay-bail (above) or putting the lance through consecutive rings being held up by the serfs (below). As I had my infrared Camera with me (D70s-IR @ 650nm cut) I took a lot of IR photos.

Introducing the Jousters on this day…

Each knight must choose a fair maiden from the crowd…

Then the Helmets Adorned are Battle Begins!

The joust is pretty simple, they rush at each other on horseback and try to break lances against each-other or knock the other to the ground.

This guy has the best job, he is the Jousting Official and Master of Ceremony. He basically rides his horse, makes jokes at the knights and the crowd and laughs all day because he isn’t in the heavy armor on a hot summer’s day.

A lot more pictures from the event are on my Flickr Set

UPDATE: Another two years have passed by and now we have posted our shots from Kingdom of Osgoode 2012.

Mediæval Fair at Osgoode, Ontario – 2009

July 12th, 2009 – My son, Graeme, called me to tell me about the Mediæval Fair at Osgoode, Ontario. Weather was great so out I went. A really good experience. One group were shooting at targets with their long bows and some long pointy things :-).


To learn more about the archery group, check out the website of the Society for Creative Anachronism in Eastern Ontario.

Then there was the location where I met some very interesting people, especially a few who like to get on horses and charge at each other with actual jousting poles called lances :-). Nothing to lose your heads over but definitely a lot less safe than my normal sports.

The spectators were assembled and looking for a bit of action.

Well, there are exceptions to every rule so this young maiden was catching a bit of shut eye and plotting a bit of a murder instead of worrying about a knight or two.

Meanwhile, all of the assistants were gathering around to help out with the mounting while others were planning a rather rough dismounting or two.

Of course, every good jousting event requires an equally talented young maiden to show what she can do and this event was no exception.

And every event needs a bit of banter and this knight was quite capable of announcing the rules, ensuring that the spectators had picked a favourite, and contributing to the overall enjoyment of the day.

The spectators have chosen sides so let the jousting begin. Jousting = two knights with long lances riding at each other mounted upon well trained horses and hoping to be able to dismount their opponent. At this point in the performance the activities became much more serious as these knights were serious about dismounting their opponent.

OUCH!

To the winner the spoils and the applause of the crowd.

Meanwhile, the king and his entourage were out plotting something. They were acting peaceful but one look in their eyes 🙂 and you knew that they were up to no good.
More info about the King and his entourage here: www.ractenor.com

I won’t give away the end result of all of this Osgoode activity but did enjoy the music of the Celtic Sea.
More info about the group Celtic Sea here: www.celticsea.bravehost.com/

UPDATE: Years have now passed by and now we have posted our shots from Kingdom of Osgoode 2012.