Part 9 – Ireland C

After leaving Kinsale, we had a couple of hour drive, some of it winding along the coastline. Or did we purposely choose the coastline? Probably both. It’s really here nor there but it was a lovely drive. I think we stopped in Cobh to see if the famine ship was there as it had been the when Carolyn was in Ireland before. No, it wasn’t there but at its home in New Ross. We hoped it would still be close enough to see. More on that later. 🙂 Cobh (pronounced Cove) and previously being named Queenstown, was the final port of call for the Titanic. At the visitor’s center there is a Titanic museum of sorts.

Coastal beauty of Ireland

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“Oreo” cows

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We drove on into the area where the Mennonites live, along the southern coast of Ireland. We arrived at the Yoder residence and their daughter showed us our lodgings in their guest quarters. They wanted to show us the cliff walk that they enjoy and boy howdy, was it pretty! It had been another sunny day and the evening light was beautiful!!

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There were so many things I didn’t get pictures of … our homey lodgings, Hannah’s pottery, lunch with the single ladies in their beautiful home, the gas station/bakery with a Choice Books room that made The Best scones!!

Another highlight was a visit to the site of the wilderness camp. It is patterned after wilderness camp schools in the US. When were there, no one was staying there yet but they were doing day trips. Carolyn had worked with Wes in Pennsylvania at a camp. Wes took us back to visit the site.

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We got details for the Dunbrody replica ship, one of the many which transported people to the US & Canada during the potato famine in the mid-1800s. This was very interesting, especially as we have an ancestor who came over on such a ship. Like many families,  our great++++grandmother lost her family on the way over due to sickness in the barely livable conditions on the boats. These boats were also called coffin ships because so many people died en route.

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According to the sign below, potatoes were the staple of the farmer’s diet. A working man ate between 10 and 14 lbs. of potatoes every day. Can you imagine?

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These ladies represent the “first class” passenger and I use that term loosely when it comes to their lodgings, and a farmer’s wife.

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See if you can understand their rich Irish accents.



If you ever have a chance to tour it, we highly recommend it!

After a long weekend there, we headed toward Dublin. On the way we toured Cahir Castle, one of the best preserved castles.

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Cannonball lodged in thick walls:

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We also drove past the Rock of Cashel, where St. Patrick lived and ministered. We had thought this would be a priority to tour, but by this point we had seen so many castles and experienced so much history, that we just stopped for pictures and then kept moving.

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An Abbey a short distance away:

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On to Dublin ….

Part 8 – Ireland B

The next day we had  a big day trip ahead of us! Lots of exciting things to see and do and experience.

Our first big thing was the Cliffs of Moher. We had a several hour drive, including a short ride on a ferry. A few things we saw on the way to the Cliffs:

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In this area they were cutting peat for burning.

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It dries in the sun before it’s ready to burn.

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Examples of  newer Irish Architecture

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Can you guess what this is?

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It is a golf course, or at least part of one.

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Not the immaculately manicured ones that we see here, eh? It is probably closer to the golf courses at the birthplace of golf in Scotland than what we’re used to seeing.

The Cliffs of Moher

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It is very hard to capture the height and magnificence of these cliffs!

I’m not sure how tall the tower at top of the cliff is but from the top of the tower to the surface of  the water is around 700 feet.

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Puffins live and nest in the cliffs but we were not able to see any.

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The Cliffs have recently been fenced off as there have been deaths from people getting to close to the edge. The people on the cliff below are beyond the point allowed. It was rather odd. There were Do Not Walk Beyond This Point signs posted but many people walked around them and the employees didn’t seem to respond to it.

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There were gazillions of tourists out this day, as it was a beautiful, sunny day! There were a few musicians here and there, giving us a taste of Irish music.

We went to a beach at a nearby town to eat lunch and watch the locals learn to surf and otherwise just really enjoy a beautiful and completely sunny day in Ireland, which is somewhat unusual and treasured.

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Our next big event for the day, was touring and then dining at Bunratty Castle.

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Those four corner towers each contain spiral staircases and you totally go in circles getting top to bottom!!

The Great Room

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Servants’ Quarters

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Guest Quarters – The Bedroom

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Guest Quarters – Dining/Breakfast Room

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There was a small working village surrounding the castle.

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Here is a stack of dried peat for burning.

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This cottage smelled odd. We figured out it was the peat smoke. Yikes!

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In the evening we took in the banquet, which was fun!!

We all gathered in the Great Room to enjoy cube bread dipped in salt.

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We were also served honey mead, a ancient-recipe “wine”, and from what I remember, it was more likely what the working class drank, than the upper class.

They also had a harpist and violinist playing.

As we were leaving later in the evening we met the violinist on the path. We chatted a bit and told him how much we loved his music. He really was a “brilliant” musician. He asked where we were from. We told him USA and he said, “I lived there for a while.” After a few more questions he mentioned that he had been to Juilliard.

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The supper was delicious! We had a root soup served in a bowl. The only utensil we had was a steak knife (dagger they call it) to use. We had BBQ ribs, chicken drumsticks, pork filets, rutabagas (I think) and a few other veggies.

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It was hard to get good pictures since it was fairly dark and I wanted too keep from getting too flashy.

Throughout the meal the wait staff sang Irish folks songs.

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Here’s a sampling of the singing:


It was a bit expensive but it was worth the splurge. 🙂 After all, we saved lots of $ by cooking at our own house.

After spending 4 days in western Ireland, it was time to move on.

We stopped in the small coastal town of Kinsale. The ship Lusitania was sunk off the coast here in 1915 by a German submarine. It sank so quickly that more than half  of the 1,959 passengers died. One of my favorite historical fiction novelists is MaryAnn Minatra. In her one trilogy she uses this incident as part of her novel, The Heirloom. Her character is rescued by a local fisherman and barely survives.

We took time to visit the small museum in Kinsale. It was interesting to see artifacts from that terrible tragedy.



Something else we saw in the museum.

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We were headed to Dunmore East, where we stayed at the Yoder’s guest house.

But that portion will have to be saved for next post. 🙂