Rainy Day at Charles Fort
Beautiful Desolation

Bunratty Castle

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).

Bunratty Castle, So It Is

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!

The Great Hall - Dig those Ancient Antlers!

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.

Music on the Castle Roof

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!

Joe Enjoys a Guinness at Durty Nelly's. Slainte!

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.

Tulla Ceili Band with Eileen and Colleen and Sharon

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.