Ireland Day 4 - Cliffs and Castles

Saturday, April 25, 2009

We had a busy day today. Not too much from yesterday so I didn't post but here's a brief summary. Picked up the rental car late morning and got some experience driving on the other side of the road! We drove from Dublin Airport to Limerick, stopping for some really good soup and bread at Josie Maloney's which makes the bold claim "the best food in Ireland". I'm not sure about that but the soup was really good. By the time we arrived in Limerick and checked into our hotel, it was almost 3 PM. We hustled over to the Hunt Museum where we viewed John Hunt's magnificent collection of antiquities, including a silver coin which could possibly have been one of the 30 paid to Judas for the betrayal. We ended the night at Dolan's Pub with some good food, but I was too tired to stay for music so I came home early and went to bed (lame!).

This morning we were up early and on our way to Bunratty Castle by 8:30 AM. The castle and folk park, which is about 15 minutes from Limerick, dates from the 12th century. It has been restored to its 16th century state. The folk park includes a 16th century village complete with people in costumes, sort of like an Irish Sturbridge Village. You get to explore the castle and grounds on your own, although we stuck to the castle only since it was rainy and cold. There are multiple steep winding staircases making it feel like a maze with all kinds of restorations tucked here and there - very cool. Before leaving we bought tickets to the medieval banquet later that night.

We continued on to the spectacular Cliffs of Moher (because where else would you go on a cold, windy, rainy day but visit 214m high cliffs over the North Atlantic). Apparently there's now a rock wall at the edge because several visitors have actually been blown off. We were amused by some of the very descriptive signs along the rock wall. See if you can guess what they mean.

Not really rocket science when the other side of the wall looks like this:

On the way back we stopped briefly at Ennis village before returning to Bunratty Castle for our banquet. It was fun, however I'm not sure it was quite worth the 57 euros each (and that's with a 10% discount). I was driving so Mom drank my share of the wine and - tomorrow night I better limit her to 3 glasses! (Just kidding Mom!)

Back at the hotel now. Tomorrow it's off to the Rock of Cashel, and then Kilkenny.

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Amber said...

Sigh. Ireland. Your pictures are marvelous and green. So glad I can live vicariously through you!