Friday, June 10, 2016

The Ireland-UK Trip: Day 7 - The Rock of Cashel

We would wake in Killaloe to a gentle soft Irish rain, which would accompany us, off and on, through most of the day.

We left Killaloe with all our rain gear on, so of course it rained only sporadically and then only very light sprinkling.

We motored on down towards the Rock of Cashel near Tipperary.  But, there were a couple of stops to be made first and a new acquaintance to meet.

First stop was an impromptu one, we spotted a sign for Farney Castle and spied a large tower structure beyond the roadside trees.  We turned around and saw this castle which is someone's family home now.

Farney Castle, home to world famous knitting designer
porcelain artisan Cyril Cullen, his wife Margot and their 
four daughters who when younger were world-renowned harp players.

Martha bought herself a little memento, a small porcelain vase with four swans decorating it.  The swans refer to the Celtic legend of the four children of Lear who ended up transformed into swan.  It also reminded Martha of yesterday's near-attack by a swan.

Next stop was the Abbey of the Holy Cross, we arrived at the end of a Friday service and walked about the grounds for a bit.  It was a rather plain abbey, as abbeys go.

Abbey of the Holy Cross

As we were readying to leave, a gray car comes up to us, parks and the driver started talking to us. In a session of SDF (Sidecar Delay Factor as opposed to URAL delay factor), Declan and we talked about riding and motorcycles and related matters for several minutes.  He had spotted the sidecar rig you see, and just had to come over and chat.

Good talking to you Declan!

Soon enough, it was time for us to roll and for Declan to go about his errands as well.  We motored on further to Cashel and arrived into a busy town center where we wandered for a bit before locating the car park for the ruins of what used to be the seat of Irish Kings, and the cathedral built by Saint Patrick.

 The very impressive ruins on the Rock of Cashel, the
pointed tower is the oldest structure, followed by the square
tower house was the residence of the Archbishop of Tipperary
and the center structure is what remains of Saint Patrick's Cathedral.

 Celtic crosses on the grounds of the Rock of Cashel
 The nearby ruins of a Cisternian Order's Abbey
It's name was the Hore Abbey.

We joined a walking tour at 12:30 and learned a few interesting tidbits.  For instance, we learned that Saint Patrick managed to accidentally stab an Irish king in the foot with the pointed end of his staff, the king who was at the time being baptized by Saint Patrick, thought it all part of the baptism ritual and silently endured the pain.  He would later enjoy a reputation as a tough king, oblivious to pain because of this!

Then there was one of the archbishops, Myron was his name who managed to sire 47 children before dying at the ripe old age of 100.  He was a pluralist archbishop in that he started off as a Catholic, converted to Protestant then reverted to Catholic on his death bed.  Of the 47 children, not all were with his wives (he outlived the first one).  He was apparently known as the Scoundrel of Cashel!

Lunch was in the town of Cashel, within walking distance of the Rock of Cashel.

We left the site and rode around briefly, looking for a good vantage point to get a shot of the ruins from a distance.  We would end up finding two.  The first was next to the gated entrance to a farmer's pasture where a herd of cows was grazing.  The cows were quite curious about us.

The second spot was atop a small hill a small distance away from the first spot.  I had to stand on top of a nearby rock fence (precarious at best) to take the picture below.

Pictures accomplished, we meandered slowly through the busy tourist town again and took the highways to Tipperary where we got stuck in a slow moving traffic jam.  This traffic jam ate up whatever time we might have allotted to the city and we just simply escaped when we could.

The rest of the ride, to include a brief rain storm, was on national and M-level highways so we made good speed.  In fact, I got the Enfield up to 60 MPH!  That was, by the way, the fastest I could get her to go, with the throttle in the wide open position, wind at my back and on flat ground.

We navigated our way back to Adare and tonight's hotel with no issue and barely getting wet.  We turn in the rig tomorrow.  Sadness.

Tomorrow, after we return the rig, we'll be taken to Bunratty to overnight near the Shannon Airport.  Sunday, we fly to Edinburgh, Scotland where the Scotland Phase of the trip will begin.  

Stay tuned.


RichardM said...

That really was a fantastic trip! Thank you to you both for sharing the adventure.

redlegsrides said...

Our pleasure RichardM, no sidecar rentals to be found in the UK but there will be some two-wheel content (about four days worth) during our trip within the UK

RichardM said...

Hmmm, Segway tour!!

SonjaM said...

Wow, when the weather isn't that great, that's when the great pictures come in. Clouds and ruins make for a dramatic motive.

And here I thought your journey were over. Off to Scotland now, now that's a surprise. Looking forward to the next leg of your trip, Dom & Martha.

redlegsrides said...

There an idea! However the planned two-wheeled rides will go a bit faster

redlegsrides said...

Not over SonjaM, just the next phase. I prefer stormy skies too....