No visit to Ireland would be complete without a visit to a castle! So, we stopped at Bunratty Castle on our way back to Ennis from Kinsale. It's impressive! It sits at one end of a folk park, which replicates village life in the Regency era (around 1795-1837).
The entrance brings you to the Main Guard, a great hall that the soldiers and retainers hung out in. Our guide told us all about it, and then Eileen played a lovely tune from the 15th century. Then we climbed a very narrow spiral staircase to the next level, where the Earl held court. It had beautiful tapestries and an impressive stained glass window!
Then, if we wanted to, we could climb another treacherous spiral staircase to the roof! Joe opted out, because he is sensible, but I overestimated my abilities and dragged myself up, hanging onto the cable that served as a railing. But, along with a few other intrepid climbers, I made it!
And I'm actually glad I did, because Eileen played another couple of tunes as the wind swirled around us.
Then I had make my way down that same staircase. Which was two-way, oh my God. I waited with a couple other folks until the way looked clear, and began my descent, clinging to the wall and railing. And then, about halfway down, I came face to face with a large dude on the way up. He plastered himself again the wall, which would leave me to pick my way past him on the narrowest part of the steps, which I knew would result in me dying. So I gave him a rather long stink-eye. Luckily, it worked and he moved over to the other side, whereupon I squeezed past, holding on to the wall like a Wacky Wallwalker.
Joe was waiting patiently for me, as he is wont to do. We headed over to the original Durty Nellie's pub for a delicious fish and chips lunch!
Back at the Old Ground Hotel, we got to our room, unpacked, and flopped on the bed. Then we had a very fine group dinner, where we were privileged to sit with Eileen, her husband Brian, and their son, Aiden. Aiden is a veritable encyclopedia of terrible jokes, so I really enjoyed him!
Alas, Joe was feeling kinda punk, with sniffles and a cough and a headache, so he went to bed and I went to the ceili featuring the Tulla Ceili Band. I learned a reel and watched a terrific dancer and had a great time.
A couple of our wonderful tour-mates donated some cold remedies for Joe, so I was able to care for him and he was able to get some good sleep. Except for him getting sick, it was a lovely day.