In the morning we came into the dining room, and our hostess asked us if we had gone out the night before. We told her we ended up falling asleep, and she said it was probably for the best. She told us her kids had gone out to get a movie and came back saying there were "Garda" (police) all over the place. I guess people were getting crazy up on St. Paddy's Day.
This lady had such cute touches to her B&B. I kept thinking what mine would be like if I ever ran one. Or if I could even pull that off.
Breakfast was divine. Except I wasn't a huge fan of the black pudding. Not bad, but not my favorite. That bacon, however...oh goodness.
After breakfast we got into the car. I got in on the right side and sat down and waited for Dusty to get in. He stood outside my door for a while, and it took me a minute to realize I sat down in the driver's seat. I also realized I hadn't taken a picture of Dusty in the driver's seat yet.
Something is just not right here!
The Rock of Cashel is a famous for being the seat of the ancient kings of Munster. St. Patrick also converted and baptized King Aengus here in 450 A.D. Clans fought over the Rock for hundreds of years until it was finally donated to the church. I'm not going to sit and type up a bunch of the history behind the pictures. Mostly because I just want to publish this post and move on with life, and also because I honestly don't remember much and don't feel like doing the research. For now, it is good enough to know that it was historically significant.
The shape of the round towers are unique to Ireland. Though they appear to be a good place for monks to hide from attackers, they were actually used primarily as bell towers and lookout posts. They would use a rope ladder to get to the door at the top.
From the Rock you also get a view of Hore Abbey down below. It was named for monks who wore grey robes, roughly the color or hoarfrost (ice crystals that form on morning grass).
This is the chancel arch, which is lined with fist-sized stone heads (they just look like roughly round stones in the picture). The faces near the bottom are very grotesque, while those nearing the top become more serene as they come closer to god. You can also see that the arch is off center to the nave, symbolic of Christ's head drooping to the side as he died on the cross.
After the Rock of Cashel, we drove to Glendalough to see the monastic settlement there. On our way, you wouldn't believe it, but we drove right through Hollywood. They even had a sign up on the mountain. Can you see it? Something tells me it looks a little different in California.
As we started driving up into the mountains, we came across some completely unexpected terrain.
Are we really in Ireland?
We came back down into the valley where the monastic settlement lies. It was founded by St. Kevin in the sixth century. The misty fog and rain seemed just about right for an old, ruined place like this.
While this was once a place where monks gathered to commune with God, it is now dotted with ruins of churches, the 110-foot-tall round tower, and a sea of grave markers. It is quite possibly one of the neatest cemeteries I have ever set foot in.
And I was really there!
During all the shopping and browsing we had done in Ireland, we noticed that many of the wool and knit items came from the Glendalough Woolen Mills. Since we were actually IN Glendalough, we decided we needed to check out the real deal. So we found the store and bought some things to take home with us. We bought a wool blanket with a plaid pattern that I absolutely love. I was so happy to take a piece of Ireland home with us.
We then continued our journey to the airport by driving on Military Road through Sally Gap. It was still very misty and rainy, but very beautiful. And I can only imagine how much more beautiful it would have been during the "greener" months in Ireland.
And just before we left the mountains, we drove straight into a blizzard. I could hardly believe the weather roller coaster we rode that day. We came up to a bunch of cars that were stopped right in the middle of the road, and I started to get nervous that we would miss our flight because we got caught in the snow. In Ireland! But they soon dispersed and we drove ever so slowly behind a car until we were back on normal roads again. Then we high tailed it to the airport!
I guess that is the last picture I have from the trip. What a wonderful trip it was. And also so wonderful to come home to the kids. It was late at night when we picked them up, and I remember Emmett looking at me on the way home with the biggest smile on his face, almost like he couldn't believe we were actually there. I hope to go back with them one day when they're older. Ireland has a way of stealing your heart and making you fall in love. Dusty bought me some Irish music for our anniversary and we listen to it frequently. Smiles come easily when I hear the kids sing "Molly Malone" and they beg us to dance with them to all the jigs and reels. So much happiness.