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Ireland! part 4

September 18, 2009

Day 4

We headed out to Killarney National Forest because I wanted to go to the Kissane Sheep Farm.  When we got there, we discovered that the sheep farm was also closed due to the recent bad weather, so I had to settle for taking pictures of roadside sheep out of the car windows.

We snapped a few shots of the forest, and then headed to Cashel.

Jason was cheered by other tourists while taking the above photo!

The sun came out just in time for us to check out the magnificent Rock of Cashel.  We managed to grab some awesome shots (and a whole bunch of bad shots, not shown).

After touring the Rock of Cashel, we headed over to the nearby Hore Abbey ruins and took more pictures.

And then?  On to our castle B&B, which was a HUGE FAIL, despite looking cool from the outside.  The castle was located in Caher, which, you could completely skip as a tourist (in my humble opinion).  The decor was really granny-chic, and by that I mean, old dingy floral prints mismatched, cheesy 70s cupboards, and really old and bad mattresses (not granny-chic as in MY grannys’ chic style because my grannys have MUCH better style than this place).  The carpet was frayed and bunched in places.  There were a million rules: park exactly in this spot, do not remove the hand-held shower from its perch, etc, etc.  The owners son (who checked us in) seemed nice enough, but things got creepy over breakfast the following morning (foreshadowing).

This sign was the coolest thing about Caher.

Do not stay here.  Unless you like old springy hard mattresses and dislike privacy.

So we went back to Cashel for dinner and drinks, and ended up sitting in a cool pub, drinking guinness and writing postcards/journaling.

Day 5

We woke up early so that we could attend our 8:15am breakfast appointment on time.  Even if we hadn’t woken up early, we would have been okay, though, as the B&B owner’s son actually KNOCKED ON THE DOOR OF OUR ROOM TO MAKE SURE WE WERE AWAKE FOR BREAKFAST.  I write that in all caps because it is NUTS.  Do you really wake up your vacationing houseguests when they’re PAYING to stay with you?

Anyways, we got to breakfast promptly at 8:15 and were told to sit at a table with an older German/French couple (despite the SIX EMPTY TABLES in the room).  The German woman was lovely and chatty, and her and I had a fine conversation while our husbands sat silently across the table from us.  Here’s where I announce that Jason is NOT a morning person.  In fact, when we used to work together, he made a rule that I wasn’t allowed to talk to him until we were walking to work (because I generally wake up much more chipper than him).

The owner came out to greet us, and by greet us, I mean inquire as to where we were the previous evening and why we were so late.  This was confusing to us for 3 reasons: 1) we were given a key to the front door, so we could come and go as we please and 2) all of the lights in the castle were off when we returned at 11pm – if she knew we were out, why did she turn off the lights? and 3) upon discovering that the castle was dark, we whispered – even in our room – so we weren’t making noise – what’s the big deal?

We felt spied on.  It was creepy.  So we got out of there ASAP.

We drove to Kilkenny and grabbed some coffee mid-morning.  We were surprised to learn that Obama’s great great great great grand-uncle’s tomb was found in a church in Kilkenny, so we sought out the church and took a few pictures before hitting the road again.

We made a second stop at Glendalough in the Wicklow Mountains.  The setting was absolutely beautiful and it was good to get out of the car and stretch a bit.  Unfortunately, it started pouring the second we stepped out of the car.  We got soaked, but went to the monastic ruins anyways.  The sun came out just as we were leaving (but after my jeans were wet and uncomfortable).

The graphics on this sign made us giggle – love that blue man!

From Glendalough, we drove to Belfast, and experienced our second B&B FAIL of the day.  The wonderful B&B that I had booked LOST OUR RESERVATION.  We were not impressed, but they managed to score us a room at the Hotel Europa for the same amount that we would have paid at their B&B (half the price of a typical Hotel Europa stay).  It was lovely and luxurious and within walking distance of everything that we wanted to see/do!  We were REALLY REALLY happy about this situation, and went out to celebrate with a good dinner at The Grill and drinks at the Crown Bar.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. September 18, 2009 11:38 am

    Your trip seems to be the WHERE NOT to stay!

    Looking forward to your review of Belfast and that blogger you met up with 🙂

  2. September 18, 2009 12:03 pm

    Things like that always make for funny memories. But how strange! Sounds like he needed a life!

  3. September 18, 2009 12:28 pm

    I am absolutely loving this recap and getting all sorts of antsy for our own trip in November.

    Funnily enough, I don’t know the name of the castle B&B you stayed at but I remember reading about the freaking owner/proprietor and her son on TripAdvisor, Fodors AND Frommers. Apparently she is NUTS.

    • September 18, 2009 2:01 pm

      Oh my gosh! I saw a few reviews on TripAdvisor that were sketchy for this place (Carrigeen Castle), but there were a bunch that were sweet as well, so I was all “why not?” I didn’t realize there were bad reviews on Fodors and Frommers, too! Yikes!

  4. Debbie permalink
    September 18, 2009 1:47 pm

    I am longing to go back and your entries make me even more so!
    We also took a picture at the Leprechaun crossing sign(although I’m sure there are others somewhere in Ireland).
    There was another bar & funeral home that we took a picture of; apparently there is some real truth to the Irish wake concept. You don’t even have to leave the building!
    Loving all the memories you have! Can’t wait for the next.

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