Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Meeting Sioban

On our third day in the country we met up with our representative from Dan Dooley and went over everything on our car (which we decided to name Sioban), and then we were off.  Our first stop out of Galway was at Dunguaire Castle; although not very big it has a nice view.
 We were driving right past and decided we might as well stop before continuing on our way to the Cliffs of Mohr.  We were incredibly lucky, it was an amazing day for a visit to the cliffs: bright & clear.  We had lunch at the Puffin's Nest Cafe and then headed out to see the cliffs.  They have 2 "paths" you can choose, one has a rock wall protecting you from falling over the edge, and then you can also walk on the other side with nothing keeping you from the edge.  Heather definitely did not like the unfettered path, but it didn't bother me - the view was intoxicating.
I can definitely understand why they nick-named them the "Cliffs of Insanity" in "The Princess Bride" movie.  And to our credit, we did not use the term "inconceivable" at all during our visit.

From there we headed south-east for a visit to Bunratty Castle & Folk Park.  This was definitely my favorite castle, so far.  The Folk Park was similar to a replica village, they even had actors pretending they lived there and you could ask them questions and interact with them, so in a way it was a bit like visiting Williamsburg, PA.  According to their brochure, "Bunratty Folk Park is a living reconstruction of the homes and environment of Ireland over a century ago.  Rural farmhouses, a village street complete with shops, and Bunratty House with its formal regency gardens are recreated and furnished as they would have appeared at the time."
The present castle, the last of a series on the same site, was built around 1425.  It was furnished with mainly 15th & 16th century furnishings in the style of the period of the Great Earl (not entirely sure who he is though).  The village street was adorable, and the little church was extremely picturesque -

After we finished up at Bunratty, we got back in the car and headed to Limerick.  Our plan was to tour St. John's Castle (which is quite large and sits right on the water), but we couldn't find anywhere to park (their parking lot closed at 5:30pm, even thought the Castle didn't close until 7pm).  We decided we'd just check into our hotel (our only hotel stay of the trip) and relax.  Overall, it was a really great day.  I found the driving to be quite easy actually.  We did go on a couple really narrow roads (if we'd have come across another car, one of us would have simply had to back up to the end of the road) which would have been tricky regardless of the side of the car you were driving on at the time.

Read about Day 4 here.

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