Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Lasting visions of Ireland

 A bridge on the way to Kilrush, County Clare
 Lehinch Beach, County Clare at full tide
The rock walls bounding the fields on farms at the top of the Cliffs of Moher
When we surrendered our car back to the carhire people we had driven almost 3,000 kilometres and had seen a lot of this beautiful country.

Ennistymon Cascades after the rain!

 Remember the picture of the gentle cascading river at Ennistymon I posted earlier in the trip?
Well after a few days rain it is now a raging torrent that I for one would not wish to fall into!

Replica Bronze Age Project

 About 10km from Ennis in County Clare is this wonderful project.  A replica bronze age settlement.
 These round houses are so well constructed and
 these dwellings inside the ring fort are the same era as those lived in by
the people who wrote the Book of Kells.  Absolutely amazing!

Blarney Castle, County Cork

 Can you see just how wet this day was? Rain, rain and more rain!
 Very imposing view of this famous castle.  The projecting window is the Earl's bedroom and the chute in the middle is the toilet!
Manicured lawns surround the castle, but alas we couldn't enjoy them because of the rain.  And in case you are wondering - Yes we kissed the Blarney Stone in the steady rain.  Well at least it was washed first.

North of Ennistymon, County Clare

 A leisurely drive through the countryside of Clare County
Never far from history
 Or farmlands
We reach the coastal town of Kilkee

Youghall, County Cork

 The medieval walled city of Youghall, a short 40 min drive from Cork was certainly worth visiting.
 Views from the wall that is still preserved.  About 1 kilometre is still standing.
 This town was where Sir Walter Raliegh planted the first Irish potato!
Ate plenty of potatoes while here, but never saw any crops, of anything!

St Canices, Kilkenny

 Michael and Eddie climbed the round tower you see in the picture, and here they are just to prove it!

Black Abbey, Kilkenny

 Stunningly beautiful stained glass in the Black Abbey, Kilkenny
 Inside the great church
and of course the outside.  We walked for hours in Kilkenny, but were disappointed in this town.  Our guide books told us this was not to be missed, but none of us were greatly impressed with the town.  Maybe except for the castle and the grounds.

Shopfronts!

 This one is for Eddie and . . . .
This one is for me!  Ennis, capital of County Clare.
Shopping malls will never be the same for me now.  So lacking in character and personality.  These are so much better.