First Castle of the day was Birr. Since we stayed in Birr it was a short walk. I visited the grounds before but never the actual castle. I'm not sure if it was even open to the public or we were too broke to pay the extra charge.
GMan and I in front of the castle.
A fine family selfie.
Above are photos of the telescope one of the former Earls build. For many years it was the 3rd largest in the world.
Birr Castle has the coolest tree house in Ireland!
Here's JMan peeking out the tower window.
Pedestrian entrance and exit.
Moving in we headed to The Rock of Cashel. The drive down was much faster than expected thanks to all the new motorways. However, the last time I made this trip was in the back of an NSU heading to Youghal with my entire family. Back then this was an epic journey of 104 miles. With lots of he's touching me and she's on my side remarks from the rear seat followed by "will you lot shut up" coming from the front. In fact on one occasion the NSU gave us a bit of bother coming into Cashel. Jimmy (my dad) was not impressed but thankfully a local scrap car place had the parts necessary to complete our quest. I was quite young but can distinctly remember seeing Jimmy in the scrap yard with another fellow wandering the isles of cars from our vantage point high above on the castle walls.
The castle is an impressive structure and has a commanding view of the surrounding area. I can only imagine the daunting task of building such a huge castle atop a hill. They were mighty men and women and clearly labor was very cheap.
Lots of arched opening around here. I'm certain St. Patrick's was quite the place back in its day.
JMan at the back side of the castle. It looks like no one was there but it was fairly busy. I just waited a second for the other tourists to move out of my shot.
The round tower form of St.Patricks meeting the North Transept.
The convergence between St.Patricks and Cormac's Chapel. I'm fairly certain neither one follows any kind of set back rules! I'm also very certain that no such rules existed at the time of construction. Only now are ADA type rules coming into Ireland. All new construction needs to follow strict rules but existing can remain as is. Which really means that a person with disabilities simply cannot use restrooms in any restaurant, bar and some hotels we visited this trip.
Here's JMan in the same gap.
Here's a photo that shows the connection in plan. St.Patricks in blue and Cormac's in yellow (on the right).
Gangs all here.
The boys playing on the rise around the castle and Jess below taking photos of us.
I'm a sucker for a cool Elevation. There's are hanging on the wall just inside the main pedestrian entrance/exit.
From here we headed more south to Cork City. Jess booked a hotel in route and we ended up at the Maldron. Upon arrival I found a typical Irish parking lot with a gate just big enough to squeeze through and space for 10 or so cars. However, there were already 15 wedged in sideways. Again in true Irish fashion I drop the car in the middle of the entire mess and we proceed to check in. I asked about parking and was told "theses plenty outside". Outside where I enquired, and she pointed toward the door. At this point I actually laughed out loud and indicted that the massive parking lot was full and the response was "you'll have to find a spot in the street".
This was a sign I ignored as we should have gotten back in the car and left, however, GMan and I decided to go find a spot. We drove around the block a few times then expanded our path. Mind you Cork is all hills and all one way streets. We found nearly every back road in the area but no spots. I could have dropped it in a no parking spot, which seemed to be a popular idea, but decided that getting clamped was not a way I would want to start my morning.
We again expanded our path but this time lost our bearing and had no idea where the hotel was. So let's sum this up, lost in a city that is all one ways with hills in a standard car that I'm not familiar with, a city I last drove in 20 years ago and we didn't know the name of the hotel or have cell service or a GPS!
We immediately took my phone out of airplane mode and called Jess for the name of the hotel only to get her voice mail. At this point, which was 30 minutes into "you'll have to find a spot in the street", my patience were running out. Finally we get Jess on the phone and got the hotel name. We tried getting directions but that failed and Google maps refused to work, beside finding the hotel was useless and we really needed to find a parking spot. I put on my thinking hat and decided to find a parking garage (what a novel idea) lose the rental, and cab it back to the hotel. After all we were still in the city (I think) so how much could the cab cost. Idea in hand a few minutes later we we squeezing the car into a spot and 7 euro later we were back at the hotel.
We later found out from another cab driver that the hotel was originally a hospital and in his words "sur no one had carrs back then…what would you need a big parrking lot fur". (YouTube a Cork accent and you'll understand my deliberate spelling mistakes). Never a truer word said I thought to myself.
Out and about in Cork we found this gem.
JMan doing some sort of head test on my pint of Murphy's. What's Murphy's you ask? It's a stout brewed in Cork. It's available in a few places stateside but a true Cork man would never order a Guinness and may find it hard to get Murphy's outside Cork. I don't get the difference, to me it's Guinness with a different name. Kinda how Trump should rename Obama care to Trump care and call it s day!
It was a long day with lots of clutching on hills and trying to decipher the local accent. We will all sleep good tonight.