By now we were a well-oiled traveling team. We could navigate the often confusing round-a-bouts and were doing far fewer u-turns.
Our food choices were still questionable (even considering the McDonald’s debacle). But gas station food in Ireland is worlds better than what the Circle K down the street serves.
Rock of Cashel
While one wall of the Rock of Cashel was under construction (you can see some of the structure in the photos) it was still one of the better sites we saw in the country. It is on a hill overlooking the town of Cashel and down in the valley was the home for the friars.
We were impressed in Dublin seeing sites that dated back to the 16th century. Then we come out to something like this that was 11th century and older.
King John’s Castle, Limerick
And another city we would have liked to had more time to explore. The Shannon River runs through the center of Limerick, and on a little island is King John’s Castle. Not only is it a castle, but it had one of the funnest, most interactive museums I’ve visited. It was the one spot where I truly regretted not bringing the kids.
Across the street was a small cathedral and cemetery.
We were lucky with the weather. Our day in Limerick was the only day it rained for long. It was cold.
If I remember right, Cahir Castle was the oldest castle we visited. Something like 4th century. Burgess probably remembers better.
There were no guard rails and the staircases were narrow. I’m curious how many people were hurt trying to maneuver a slippery staircase while carrying a bow and arrow.
Bunratty was marketed as a renaissance castle and town fair. I had nightmare visions of overpriced turkey legs and a drunk guy trying to train a falcon. Mercifully it was nothing like that. It was actually quite lovely. A little preserved town with animals. We must have just missed their Christmas celebrations as a few decorations remained.
Waterford Crystal Factory
I’m not a crystal connisoure, but I love watching people make stuff. It’s amazing such finely-crafted, expensive objects are made in such a workmanlike way. That’s not a slight. These guys crank out perfect pieces every day, or else it doesn’t go out the door.
Waterford was another spot where we wish we had more time. What we were able to see of it only made us want to stay longer.
Instagram Photos (click for more info)
One more to come…
Other posts from our trip to Ireland.