Day 2 in Ireland, we headed over to Kinsale to visit Charles Fort and view the cute little village. Charles Fort was well worth the drive – even after getting turned around in Cork – and we would recommend this site to anyone visiting the area.We left Kinsale and headed over to Cobh to the Queenstown Story, but we left the Heritage Island books in the car several blocks away, so we would have had to pay the full 7 Euro each to go in. Our traveling companion, Lisa, was the only one who actually went through the display, but she said it was very well done and informative. We then walked up many stairs to get to the more elevated portion of the town, where we wanted to see St. Colman’s Cathedral. We did get to see the cathedral, but we were too late arriving to get to go into the building. Sigh… We headed back down toward the waterfront and asked a shopkeeper where we might acquire fish & chips take-away, and she kindly referred us to Mimmo’s on the square where the Lusitania memorial is located. It was our first taste of Ireland’s fish & chips, and it was so good! We ate our dinner in Kennedy Park at the waterfront.
After we finished our dinner, we headed back to our accommodation near Helvic Head (just outside of Dungarvan).
Day 3 – We piled in the car early (about 8 a.m., which we thought was early enough, but we were wrong!) and headed up to the Wicklow Mountains to visit Powerscourt Gardens and Glendalough monestary. We wanted to walk to the Powerscourt waterfall as well, but we arrived at the estate around noon (two hours later than we had anticipated), so we had to decide if we wanted to leave out the waterfall or risk missing Glendalough. We decided we definitely wanted to make it to Glendalough, so we skipped the walk to the falls. We were bummed, but you have to make these kinds of adjustments sometimes when you’re traveling like this.
The gardens at Powerscourt are gorgeous and not to be missed if you are in the area! We’ve been to Ireland twice before, and this is the first time we have actually gotten to see the gardens. We’ll be back for certain, as it was well worth the 8 Euro we had to pay to get in. We, again, didn’t have access to our Heritage Island books (because they were in the boot of the car, and you pull up to person taking money from a booth – like a toll booth – right at the front gate, which we weren’t expecting), or we could have had reduced admission to the gardens. Ah, well…
We had been to Glendalough before, so we knew what to expect there. We knew we loved it there and would want to spend some time in the valley there just soaking up the atmosphere and listening to the stream trip over rocks on its way by. Glendalough is one of those places where you just stand in awe of creation. It just seems so perfect and peaceful and beautiful! Don’t miss this place when you come to Ireland!
By the time we got back to our accommodation, it was after 9 p.m., so we warmed up some leftover spaghetti, then headed for bed.
Day 4 – Everyone who is traveling for any length of time needs to have “decompression days.” These are the days when you plan to do nothing much and catch up on things like blogs, writing postcards, washing laundry, and writing in your journal.
Today was one of those days for us! We went over to Ardmore, which is only a few kilometers from where we are staying, to see the cathedral and round tower there. We got done there about 10 a.m., so we decided to take a quick drive over to Lismore, just to see the town and the castle. We didn’t actually go into the gardens there at the castle, but they do come highly recommended by several people (including residents of Ireland). From what we could see of the grounds, it would seem that the gardens are probably quite lovely and well-manicured, but we just didn’t have the two hours or so that we knew we would want to spend to truly appreciate the gardens. We came back to the Old Barn to relax and get ready to head on to our next accommodation in Killarney on Thursday.
Someday, we’ll have to tell you about our walk down to the beach near where we were staying near Helvic Head, but there’s no time for telling today!
We have been blessed with the most fantastic weather, and Travis is quite sunburned! That is very odd that he’s the only one with a sunburn, as the rest of us three are very fair skinned and generally burn fairly easily…
We will post more about our travels as Internet access permits. Ireland is not the most ‘wired’ country in the world. Stay tuned!