Monday, 15 May 2017

The Crypts Travelgram: Wild Atlantic Way Day Tours


A Wonderfully Witty, Intellectual and Picturesque Tour of Ireland's Stunning Wild Atlantic Way





The Wild Atlantic Day Tours is just a few short years in operation and they have already established themselves as one of Ireland's premiere tour operators providing personalised day tours to all areas along the worlds longest defined coastal touring routes. I opted for their tour of the smallest of the Aran Islands Inisheer and the spectacular Cliffs of Moher.

The tour departs at 9am from Kinlay Hostel which is just off Eyre Square in Galway. I stayed at the hostel for two nights. This was my first experience staying in a hostel dorm and I was very impressed with it. The hostel was so clean and has a real family enviroment, fantastic fascilities and very helpful friendly staff. A perfect place to lay your head while experiencing all the West has to offer. 

Our tour guide was Phil Davenport who has years of experience in the business. Phil is a mind of information and throughout the route fascinated his audience with historical, economical and local information. His witty sense of humour had the whole bus laughing and before we knew it we had reached our first destination, the fishing town of Doolin where we set sail on the ferry to Inisheer.





The ferry ride only takes half an hour and if you are lucky enough you will get to meet Dusty the Dolphin who often follows the ferry. Unfortunately I did not get to see Dusty but I did get to sit in the captains chair and steer the boat which was a Brucey Bonus for me.

As I mentioned, Inisheer is the smallest of the Aran Isands which are 3 rocky islands guarding the mouth of Galway and are renowned for their ancient sites. The largest of the islands is Inishmore and the second is Inishmaan. 

As we approached the island I was struck by its beauty and I could not wait to explore it. Phil had informed us on the bus that there were numerous ways we could explore the island; by foot, bike or pony and trap. The cost of this is very reasonable. It is only 10euro for either the bike or pony ride. I chose the pony and trap which was extremely enjoyable. Our guide Eanadh told us all about the history of the island and we learned things only a local would know. 











We stopped at the iconic Plassey which is a shipwreck that went down in 1960 and is an integral part of the community. This shipwreck is also featured in the opening credits to Father Ted so of course I am not one to miss a good photo opportunity.





After the pony and trap ride I still had time to explore some of the island by foot and I was really taken by the peace and tranquility that surrounded me and it was also wonderful to hear all the locals speaking in our native tongue. 


I sat by the rocks looking out at the torquoise ocean and promised myself to return and stay a weekend on this gem of an island. It was then time to head back to the ferry for the next leg of the journey. 





The ferry sail back is a real treat for passengers because the boat passes right under the Cliffs of Moher. As Irish music played over the speakers I was truly taken by the beauty that surrounded me and as I looked at O'Briens Tower at the top of Cliffs I could not wait to see the view from the top.







Ireland's most spectacular natural wonder - The Cliffs of Moher stand at 702ft at their highest point just north of O'Briens Tower. The visitor centre has a wonderful gift shop and coffee shop to stop off and get some refreshments before heading out onto the Cliffs. As the sun beamed down and the wild Atlantic crashed against the rocks I started off on my exploration across the cliffs. I climbed to the top of O'Briens Tower which is a great spot to take a picture from not to mention breathtakingly beautiful. 

Being quite scared of heights I took my time walking along the cliffs because when you look down the reality of how high these cliffs are really hits you. To stand at the highest point of the Cliffs of Moher was one of my bucket list items and it certainly did not disappoint.





When we all returned to the bus Phil had one last stop for us on the way home - The Baby Cliffs of Ballyreen. Another stunning location for some more great photo opportunities.





My trip with the Wild Atlantic Way Day Tours is one I will never forget. I had the most amazing day. We all spend so much time exploring other countries and we forget the beauty that is on our own door doorstep. This tour is spectacular and I cannot speak highly enough of our tour guide Phil (Twitter @thetourcreator) who brought so much fun to the trip.

If you wish to book a trip with the Wild Atlantic Way Day Tours and find out what other tours they have available please click on the link below.


Top Marks 5/5












Sunday, 19 March 2017

Is There Actual Footage of a Ghost in this Video?

When Frame Productions went along to film the demolition of the Convent in Claremorris County Mayo they weren't quite expecting the reaction they got to the video when they uploaded it to You Tube. People began to report seeing a Ghost in the window at 19 seconds in. Have a look and see what you think!!




Saturday, 11 March 2017

The Crypts Travelgram: Ripleys Believe it or Not Amsterdam



Robert Ripley was a cartoonist, amateur anthropologist and entrepreneur who is known for creating Ripleys Believe it or Not. Through the mediums of newspapers, radio and television he shared strange facts from around the world. During his many years of travel he picked up many strange artifacts and put them on display for people to view and learn about the diverse cultures throughout the world. His aim was to celebrate the weird, not mock it and for this months Travelgram I was very excited to visit the Ripleys Believe it or Not Odditorium in Amsterdam. A fantastic place to visit and if you have an interest in the weird and wonderful facts our world has to offer then you will thoroughly enjoy this unique attraction. In the link below I speak to the marketing manager of Ripleys Believe it or Not Amsterdam, Alejandra Ramos.


video







Saturday, 11 February 2017

Havenhurst Review



Starring: Julie Benz, Belle Shouse, Josh Stamberg & Doug Tait
Special appearance by Danielle Harris
Director: Andrew C. Erin

'Saw meets The People Under the Stairs' - The Crypt


I first heard about Havenhurst during an interview with Douglas Tait back in 2014 so it has been on my radar for a while. The movie is based on H.H. Holmes, one of the worlds first documented serial killers and his murder castle. 


So what is the movie about? Jackie (Julie Benz) a recovering alcoholic takes up residence in an old gothic apartment building which from the get go seems a little off. Her friend Danielle who also stayed in the same building has gone missing and her search for Danielle leads Jackie to learning the truth of the buildings history and the dark force that dwells within it's walls.


I really enjoyed Havenhurst. The opening scenes starred everyone's favourite Scream Queen Danielle Harris who gave an awesome performance and super opening to the movie. The cast gave great performances all round and there was plenty of jump scares to keep the tension throughout. The kills were gruesome and creative and this was a very enjoyable horror but my critique would most definitley be that the climax to the story could have been more explosive. I was quite excited to see a horror based on H.H. Holmes but I felt they did not develop this part of the story enough.


Doug Tait played the villian well and certainly gave Julie Benz a man handling she won't forget lol


I give Havenhurst 3.5/5




Monday, 5 December 2016

The Crypts Travelgram Westport House Winter Wonderland Review



On Saturday for The Crypts Travelgram I went along to review Westport Houses Winter Wonderland and what a magical experience it was. Firstly I have to mention it is very important that you book your time on their website to avoid disappointment because they are extremely busy .




So what can you expect from this wonderful festive experience. Well when you arrive at Westport House they have a fabulous Christmas Carnival with a massive big wheel for all the family to enjoy before entering the house.  With a variety of rides and games the children absolutely loved it. 

You will have a specific time for your tour in Winter Wonderland so when you present your tickets you are treated to a free juice for the children and tea coffee or mulled wine for the adults. You will be called when your tour time arrives and a truly holly jolly Christmas treat is in store.

While we were waiting for our time slot we visited the Christmas Wishing Tree where children can make a wish and hang it on the tree and for every wish hung Westport House are donating 1euro to the Mayo Roscommon Hospice which I think is a wonderful gesture.



At the start of the tour you enter a room with Mrs Clause. The atmosphere in this room is so warm and relaxed. Mrs Clause is sat beside a lovely open fire and all the kids sit on the floor on cushions in front of her. She tells them stories and sings songs with help from Squeaky the Elf. She was fantastic with the kids and they all had the chance to have their photo taken with her.




We moved on then to the next room where the children got to decorate gingerbread men, colour pictures and have their face painted. Once again they were assisted by elves who were great fun. 









Following on from here we went to the room with Santa Clause who was fast asleep so we all had to wake him up and the kids got such a kick out of this. He knew special secrets about each child and called their names off the nice list to bring them up for a present and again there was a photo op this time taken professionally and these pictures were available to purchase afterwards. Santa was brilliant and gave very good presents to the kids. It was all just so magical.






The final stop on the tour was my favourite, We all got to make our own Yule Logs, elves are there again to assist the children and not only are they great fun to make but they are also a fantastic keep sake from the day.








I have reviewed a few places on my website to visit this Christmas but I have to say Westport Houses Winter Wonderland was my favourite. It is extremely well organised and if this experience doesn’t get you in the festive spirit I don’t know what will……full marks here of 5/5 and don’t forget to pre-book your visit on their website




 

Sunday, 27 November 2016

The Crypts Travelgram Galway Skates and Elf Town 2016

The holiday season is upon us and Galway City is full of festive cheer and numerous family events to get everyone in the Christmas spirit. For this months travelgram I visited Galway Skates and Elf Town and truly had the most magical day.









Galway Skates opened on November 19th at Leisureland in Salthill. The 600sq.m. ice-rink is enclosed in a marquee so you can skate whatever the weather and the rink will remain open  until January 8th. 


Upon arrival we collected our skates at the skate dock and I was quite nervous because I had never been skating before so I was delighted to see they had little penguin buddies on the ice that you could hold onto to keep your balance. This was a God send and even though I looked like an old lady with a zimmerframe I wouldn't have made it around the ice without it lol. You can imagine my face when my 10 year old daughter who has only been skating once before took off with the penguin across the ice with zero fear. So if you have not been skating before don't worry there are aids there to help you.





The staff at Galway Skates were super friendly and made us feel so welcome and a special mention to the staff on the rink itself who are there to help if you run into any difficulty. This also gives peace of mind to parents but saying that any child that I seen fall on the ice just laughed it off and got straight back up. Including my little elf!





There is plenty of seating for those of you who just wish to watch and a first aid corner should anyone need assistance. I must mention also the great music being played as you skate, the disco lights and the awesome atmosphere. I highly recommend visiting Galway Skates, the ample parking makes it highly accessible and you will create some great memories with the family. 

5/5 Snowballs




Adults: €15
Children (under 12): €13
Students (with proof): €13
Unwaged (with proof): €10
Groups (10 or more skaters): €10
Family (any four family members): €48
Family Plus (any five family members): €60
For Group Bookings and Private Hire prices please e-mail info@galwayskates.com.
To purchase tickets please call to the ticket desk in the Ice Marquee at Leisureland during opening times.
For more see www.galwayskates.com


After the super fun we had at Galway Skates we visited Elf Town which is situated in the old Connacht Tribune Print Works on Market Street. This was just so magical from start to finish. 


The experience is delivered through theatrical storytelling with various characters including cheeky Elves, a Snow Princess, Mrs Claus and of course Santa himself. The journey through Elf Town takes just over an hour.









Each child is given an Elf Hat and Passport and they must collect four stamps for the passport as they travel through the town thus becoming part of the story themselves. The actors were fantastic and so good with the children. Various activities throughout included a visit to the Elves toy workshop, postal station and mission control, decorating ginger bread men with Mrs Clause, throwing snow balls, colouring and there are some brilliant photo ops.











At the end of the journey through Elf Town the children get to meet Santa. This part of the experience was so well organised. Instead of standing in a que for ages you enter a room where you can get tea/coffee and snacks and there are games for the children. An Elf takes your ticket number and you get called when its your turn so both children and adults are entertained during the wait. Santa was fantastic and all the children felt this was the real Santa because he knew secrets about them that no one else could know. Your child receives a present and you can either take a photo yourself or have it done professionally.






Elf Town is a must see in Galway in the build up to Christmas. They truly captured the magic of the season in their event. Pre-booking is essential as many time slots are sold out.


Child (Under 2 Years) - €4.95




Child (Under 12 Years) - €19.95




Adult / Carer (Over 12 Years) - €9.95




Family (2 Adults & 2 Children) - €54.80




Family (2 Adults & 3 Children) - €74.50




Family (2 Adults & 4 Children) - €89.40



5/5 Elves

Click this Link to Book






And of course we could not leave Galway without having a spin on the big wheel which is part of the Christmas Market on Eyre Square. I recommend doing this when it gets dark because the lights of the market and the city are spectacular.




Have a Holly Jolly Christmas!!!!
































Saturday, 29 October 2016

Haunted Spooktacular Review 2016



Last weekend Mayo Horror Society, myself and competition winners from the show headed off to Haunted Spooktacular Horror Farm in Kells County Meath for a good oul fright night at Ireland's most talked about scare attraction and we were not disappointed!!

This was my second year attending the farm and the fact that we all travelled a round trip from Mayo in one night to HS should tell you how much we loved it. It is worth every second of the trip. 

Firstly the layout was different from last year so even if you have been before its a new experience and you don't know whats lurking around each bend or what scene is through each door, so I jumped just as much as I did last year. The whole set up of HS is so impressive and you can clearly see all the work that goes into it. The actors were brilliant and the deeper into the attraction you get the more immersed in the story you become. You will scream in fear and laugh your head off all at the same time lol.

The Corn Fields were a new addition to the farm this year and one of my favourite parts. I did not feel at ease for one second walking through here and when the little girl ghost and her feicn twin showed up the screams echoed across Kells. Dark, Eerie and your mind plays many tricks on you.





Also added to the mix this year were magicians Andy James and The Conn Artist to entertain the crowd. These guys just blew us all away. Absolutely amazing tricks that left us wanting to see more.
 




Alone, the over 18 segment of the attraction which must be endured 'Alone' is back again this year. Before you enter Alone you have to sign a waiver. This is a full on intense horror experience so you must remember that before entering. I won't go into details as it would ruin it for people but you are basically the victim in a nightmare scene. While I did enjoy Alone and laughed a lot I thought last years scenario was better and more intense.

So if you want a good scare this Halloween make sure you make the trip to Haunted Spooktacular Horror Farm. It is the best craic you will have over the holiday period.
5/5