Our first stop was in Celbridge at Castletown House. It is a country house that was built in 1722. It was enormous!
This is a HOUSE! Not a castle!
Women's riding habit on the 1700's. That does not look comfortable...
We did not actually tour the house though. You could not tour on your own & the next guided tour was 45 minutes from the time we got there, and we had lots more to see, so we skipped the inside of this one.
After Castletown, we went to see St. Brigid's Church in Kildare. My great-niece's name is Brigid, and she is also Kathleen's granddaughter, so we had to stop here!
This is St. Brigid. The cross above her picture is unique to her. It is called St. Brigid's Cross.
Brigid's Nana outside St. Brigid's Church! :0)
Sheep were a novelty at first, but then you realize that they are EVERYWHERE!!!
Seriously, I've never seen so many sheep in my life. Lily would have been in heaven!
The next castle we saw was Kilkenny Castle. It was built in 1195.
There I am in the green in the middle. It kind of puts in perspective how big it was!
You were actually not supposed to take pictures inside, but I did.
I liked how they had it all set up like it would have been if someone was living there in the 1700's.
The grounds were beautiful!
Those three tiny people are Jeff, Kathleen, and I.
This is the front of the castle.
We stopped for lunch in their restaurant (We joked that every castle had a restaurant and gift shop.) ;0) We had yummy chicken wraps. (So Irish, I know!) ;0) Then it was off to Waterford!
Waterford is, of course, known for Waterford Crystal. Waterford Crystal used to be made by people from Waterford. They passed down their skills to their children and to their children. A while ago though, they sold it and closed the factory in Waterford. So the people who had been making Waterford Crystal for generations, opened up The Irish Handmade Glass Company. (I know all of this because my sister Amy & her husband Sam told me all of this after they went to Ireland for their honeymoon.) I wanted something that was actually made in Ireland, so we went there first.
Everything was beautiful!!!
It was SO hard to choose!! I ended up with an ornament for the Christmas tree that has green on it and the Irish harp.
I have several things on a wish list though. (They ship to America!!) :0)
After we bought our beautiful glass, we walked toward Waterford Crystal, (They still have a shop there.) and saw these near a Viking museum. We didn't really care about the museum, but we though these chairs were funny.
Waterford Crystal was a very fancy shop.
I didn't buy anything there. For one, everything was crazy expensive, and for another, I really didn't like anything there better than I did at The Irish Glass Company.
After we carefully put our bags in the car, we headed to Ormond Castle in County Tipperary. (By the way, all of our glass purchases made it home safely!)
The front of the house looks fairly new in castle years.
But the back was built in the 1500's.
This next castle was one of my favorites, even though it was on top of a very steep hill that was really hard to climb quickly (in 5 minutes or it closed).
This is Rock of Cashel in South Tipperary. It is also known as Cashel of the Kings and St. Patrick's Rock.
The reason I liked this castle so much was because it was the first one we had seen that had not been "modernized". And there was so much of it left.
And the views were amazing!
I probably could have spent more time there taking pictures, but we still had one more castle on our list.
The last castle for the day was Cahir Castle built in 1142. It was already closed by the time we got there, so we couldn't look inside, but the outside was beautiful. Most things are closed by 5:00 or 6:00 in Ireland. (except pubs, those are open forever!) ;0)
This was a long day, so we (Kathleen & I) were getting a little silly by the end, so we forced Jeff to take this picture with us to show how excited we were that we crossed everything off of our list for the day. He was pretty happy to be a part of this picture. ;0) (He actually was a very good sport & deserves praise for driving two women all over Ireland for a week!)
This was a little church we thought was pretty so we stopped at it to take a picture.
Finally, we were at the hotel. Ahh! Such a good day of seeing things, but such a looong day too. This was the lobby of our Bed & Breakfast, Gabriel House, in Cork.
This is the outside of Gabriel House & the infamous steep parking lot where Kathleen & I had to get behind the car to push it up the hill because the car was a manual and the hill was SO steep. It was pretty funny. LOL!!
Like all good Irish Bed & Breakfasts, you could get a Full Irish breakfast in the morning. Jeff was the only one brave enough to order it.
Such a weird combination of food! Mushrooms, half of a hot tomato, baked beans (this was the only place we saw the baked beans as part of the full breakfast), bacon (that was actually more like ham, but good!), sausage, two fried eggs, and the always delicious (just kidding) black & white pudding. Which is not really pudding at all. The white is some sort of like oatmeal mix with pig fat, and the black is the same, only it includes blood. YUM! ;0)
Kathleen & I stuck with the small Irish Breakfast which was just eggs, bacon, and sausage. There was also toast, tea, coffee, (bring your own sweetener though, it is very hard to come by!), cheeses, fruit, and pastries. All included in the price of your room! (Kathleen did try the white pudding and was not impressed, I however refused to try either. I am not sad about this decision.)
We all slept soundly here. While the hotel in Dublin was nice and centrally located, it was also located by a ton of pubs.....which had a ton of drunk Irish people, who were VERY loud. Air conditioning isn't really a thing in Ireland so the windows open is a necessity. Needless to say, our first night in a quiet hotel was very nice. :0)
The next post includes my other favorite castle; The Blarney Castle!! Stay tuned!