Bus, Sheep Dog, and Lunch

This is a Plate of Irish Stew. Of Course, Bought as it was in an Irish Village, it could be Gumbo and still Qualify
This is a Plate of Irish Stew. Of Course, Bought as it was in an Irish Village, it could be Gumbo and still Qualify

This is the day we saw Avengers: Infinity War, but before that, we did this. The evening before we stopped in a storefront close by the Savoy Theatre and bought tickets from Wild Rover Tours for a bus to take us to Kilkenny, Wicklow, and Glendalough. We were to meet the bus at 08:00 in front of a hotel not far from our own, and also close by the Savoy, for what that’s worth. It was threatening rain. Our tour guide, one Peter, explained that it rains 270 days a year in Ireland, so that was no big deal. It’s cloudy 65 days a year in Las Vegas, so I get what he’s saying. It had been sunny for our entire visit to Ireland up to now, but reality was setting in. Fair enough. The bus took off promptly at 08:20. On the way out of Dublin, Tami was able to photograph a few curiosities. (Curiosities for an American, at any rate.)

Who this is, I know not. But it is somewhere in Dublin. Photo by Tami Cowden
Who this is, I know not. But it is somewhere in Dublin. Photo by Tami Cowden
Dinosaurs. In Dublin. What is the world coming to? Photo by Tami Cowden
Dinosaurs. In Dublin. What is the world coming to? Photo by Tami Cowden

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The rain was relentless all that morning as we made our way along a motorway (think freeway) to Kilkenny. (Or Cill Chainnigh in Gaelic) The photo at the top of yesterday’s post was taken as we pulled into Kilkenny. We had a set amount of time there, about 2.5 hours as I recall, which Tami and I used to tour Kilkenny Castle, and to shop for souvenirs. The castle looks eminently un-defensible, but that is due to the nineteenth century wings added on to it.

This is Kilkenny Castle, in Kilkenny (duh) Ireland Kilkenny Castle Photos by Tami Cowden
This is Kilkenny Castle, in Kilkenny (duh) Ireland

Inside the castle is mostly décor and other remains of nineteenth century English occupation. Of course, it was always English, but originally much older. The tour includes a section of the oldest portion where you can see what remains of the very first construction, done many centuries ago.

Some photographs in (and through the windows of) Kilkenny Castle:

A Fireplace Screen in the Library. Used by an Individual to Block the Fiercest Heat
A Fireplace Screen in the Library. Used by an Individual to Block the Fiercest Heat
The Front Lawn, Complete With Optional Tour Group Gathering for the Tour
The Front Lawn, Complete With Optional Tour Group Gathering for the Tour

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But Wait! There’s More!

Sure, seeing an old castle is fun and all, and walking through rain is more enjoyable to a Las Vegas desert rat than you might imagine. But, the tour went on. Back in the bus and off to Wicklow Gap. Ireland is called the “Emerald Isle.” Here are some pictures to show you why.

Green? We Have Green!
Green? We Have Green!

 

 

 

 

 

Okay, the Cows are Brown and Tan (and Black and White, not shown)
Okay, the Cows are Brown and Tan (and Black and White, not shown)
Here Are Some Black and White Cows. But Look at the Field and Forest, Will You?
Here Are Some Black and White Cows. But Look at the Field and Forest, Will You?

 

 

 

 

 

 

I took those three pix on the way to Kilkenny. Not exactly random, but not specially chosen, either. I tell you, the place is green as green can be!

But, on to Wicklow Gap. If you saw Braveheart, you saw Wicklow Gap. Scotland? I think not! It is pretty up there. And, when we were there, cold and rainy, too!

Wicklow Gap. FREEDOM!!!
Wicklow Gap. FREEDOM!!!

IMG_20180427_134943048_HDR IMG_20180427_135104317_HDR

All three of these photos are of Wicklow Gap. The middle one, looking far over the mountains, is my favorite. The top pic is of some interesting rocks, and the bottom is of a tarn. (You can look that up if you’re not familiar with the term.)

So, Mel Gibson was here and his cast of thousands. The road is full of switchbacks, and my seat in the back of the bus was the subject of much reconsideration until we got down to the village of Wicklow. Wicklow has an abandoned monastery, a round tower, two lakes, a waterfall, and a restaurant/gift shop. Also, people live there.

It is where I photographed my lunch, as seen above. We took so long at lunch that we made it only to within sight of the first lake, never mind the waterfall or second lake. We didn’t even have time to visit the ruins of the monastery, but Tami did take some pictures of it.

The Round Tower of the Monastery at Wicklow
The Round Tower of the Monastery at Wicklow

 

No idea what that tower was used for by the monks. Keeping watch for marauding Norsemen, maybe. We were disappointed that lunch took so long, but the next leg of the trip was the best part, amazingly enough.

So good, in fact, that I’m saving a separate post for the sheep dog trials we got to witness. Great dogs, and Tami got to hold a little lamb!

 

 

 

 

 

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