Have you ever been to Tipperary?
As it turns out, it’s not so far … from Limerick, anyway. We passed through the town of Tipperary on our way to the Rock of Cashel (82), which is in County Tipperary. (Today was castle day as we made our way toward Dublin.)
It was gray and misty again, but as beautiful as ever. Also very very windy…I never realized how windy castle grounds can be. Being so often situated atop hills and all. Game of Thrones definitely leaves that part out (except for scenes that take place in the vicinity of The Wall … but I suspect that might have more to do with needing an excuse to have Jon Snow’s curly locks blow about…ah, but I digress).
Rock of Cashel was very cool. I went a bit picture happy, going so far as to camp out in a doorway for an extended period of time so I could snap a shot at the rare moment when other tourists were out of the frame (mostly…i see that one sneaky tourist snuck in after all).
I also made an attempt at a selfie with my new camera…unsuccessfully. A nearby castle-goer took pity on me otherwise I might be there still. I don’t want to brag, but I think I kind of rock the peasant look. How could I not document that?
83. Next stop, Birr Castle. The castle itself is still a private residence (!) but the gardens and grounds are open to the public. For a fee. I suppose they have to pay for their heating bills somehow. The grounds were tremendous. The map of the grounds not so much….after a couple of misfires I managed to see an area called the waterfall spiral….which had nothing to do with waterfalls as far as I know, but something to do with a constellation or solar system. There was also a huge (and therefore much easier to find) telescope (currently being restored).
There was also a science room. A science wing, actually, PIC Sara informs me. In my last few minutes at the castle I could have either gone to the science wing or to the cafe for hot chocolate and a jammy buttery scone. Any guesses which option won out? Here’s a hint: I can’t tell you how the ginormous telescope works but I can tell you that I’m seriously considering how to incorporate jammy buttery scones into my daily routine.
84. Now, we begin the Dublin phase of our journey. Tonight we’re staying at the outer edge of the city before meeting up with a whole crew of PICs tomorrow and moving to an apt closer to city center for the rest of our time here. We found a lovely gastro pub not far from our hotel…called Searson’s. Warm and friendly service and delicious food! A mix of the traditional Irish pub fare but also a variety of other options, including … cue trumpets … legitimate inspired veggie dishes! One of my favorite meals of the trip for sure.
85. I also tried a new beer called … wait for it …
It’s a pale ale. And yes, you read that right. Galway Hooker. Enough said.
86. Then on the way back from dinner, this happened:
I can honestly say I’ve never seen anything like it.
Where do you go from there?
I don’t know either.
Probably to sleep, since tomorrow will be an early day and shenanigans are sure to ensue.