Top of the evening to you!
Writing from Killarney tonight, after a very busy day of learning!
Our morning started at our delightful B&B in Mullinavat with our hostess making us a full Irish breakfast- cereal with fresh milk from their dairy farm and banana, tea from a pot, toast, bacon, sausages and a farm fresh egg! 😍
When we finally got on the road, we headed back into Waterford and made it in time for a tour of Waterford crystal. Amazing!! The tour was about an hour, and took us through the five major skills of crystal making, which all make up the production process:
– Mould making
We then went in search of this special bread called Blaa, unique to Waterford, but as we were walking towards the bakery recalled that the Rock of Cashel was on the way to Killarney-kind of- and that sounded a whole lot more interesting than blaa.
With the blaa mission abandoned, we instead stopped for “Whippy”-ie soft serve, which I definitely said wrong because I then had to order a “vanilla ice cream on a cone” after she didn’t understand my “whippy” request 😂
We then headed north to Clonmel, which we thought might have a bakery with blaa- the website lied!! But there was a great bridge photo-op, before heading on to Cashel.
The Rock of Cashel was awesome! Our tour was led by a history major, and she told us all about the legend of how the Devil was living in a cave, where Saint Patrick was staying, and the Devil got sick of listening to Saint Patrick so he bit off a chunk of mountain and spit it at Saint Patrick and missed- forming the Rock of Cashel!
Important note- Rock of Cashel actually refers to the mountain the abandonned monastery sits upon, not the monastery itself.
The Rock was originally owned like pre-1100 by the Kings of Munster, (Munster was a province in Ireland). The Kings gave the land to the church in an effort to gain favour with the church (as Christianity was beginning to reign over Paganism) and this began the development of the monastery.
Next Cormac’s Chapel was commissioned by King Cormac and a lot of German people actually travelled to help build it in the 1200s. It’s Romanesque-style, and features remnants of ceiling frescos. The neat part is that locals who donated to the paintings were actually featured in them!
A cathedral was later built, along with a tower, designed to protect from seiges. Apparently the Normans and even the locals would try to seige the monastery for its valuables rather frequently, so it needed secret hiding places such as under Saint Patrick’s cross!
When it was time for supper, we realized we’d never make it to our B&B by six, so we opted to grab supper-grilled cheese with salad and chips at a local pub. When I tried to call our B&B to let them know, I couldn’t get cell service, so I HAD TO USE A PAYPHONE. No answer though. When we finally got cell service in the car, apparently they had us double booked! So no horseback riding for R.
Fortunately, our would-be hostess eagerly rebooked us at another B&B in town- Flesk Lodge, which is actually lovely! We’re off to explore the live music and pubs now, and hoping to explore Killarney national park tomorrow!
Here’s a few more I thought were cool: