May 31, June 1
On Tuesday morning we had breakfast at the hotel which was included in our room price. There was tons of choice: cooked meal, meats & cheeses, cereal, fruit, muffins, and croissants.
We then drove to Ballylooby. It was thought that one of my grandfather's side of the family, the Lubys, came from Ballylooby in County Tipperary. So we found it without a problem and looked around the church graveyard for any Lubys. Unfortunately, there were none. We took a photo of the church and the pub across the street which was interesting looking, and then continued on our way.
The second place we stopped was Cahir Castle and spent about 1 1/2 hours here. We enjoyed this castle. It was also enjoyable sunny weather! There were some birds on the brook beside the castle that posed for photos. We ate lunch across the street from the castle; potato and leek soup with a bun.
Continuing on our way, we arrived at the Rock of Cashel. We could see it when we first came to town but then once in town we couldn't see it so we didn't know which way to go. Mike parked the car and I took a walk and found it to be just around the corner. So we drove up to it and found a parking spot. We spent a couple of hours here and really enjoyed it. It is quite impressive. Unfortunately, there is a lot of scaffolding around it. It is a four year endeavour to help the roof of the old church survive. It think it has only been on for 18 months so far. The old painted walls in Cormac's Chapel are really interesting. Also, in the graveyard, I found a Luby buried there. Cashel is not too far from Ballylooby.
We continued on our way to this night's destination, Kilkenny, finding our B&B without too much trouble. Luckily I knew what it looked like from the internet photo. After checking in, we walked down to see St. Canice's Cathedral and round tower. People are able to go up the round tower and look over the town, but it was closed this day. We took photos outside.
Walking downtown, we decided to have supper at Kyteler's Inn, a medieval restaurant. Our bill said "Established 1324". This night they were doing a bohran learning session for anyone who was interested. I might have tried it but our supper had just arrived. So we just listened. They had about 10 people who tried to learn the Irish drum and it was interesting. One the the men was a singer in his own right ( I think from England) and they had him sing a really nice song. For supper, Mike had Beef Curry and tried a Smithwick's Beer which is brewed right around the corner from the restaurant. He really liked it. I had Chicken and Garlic Sauce which was good. €41.60
Then, we walked up to Kilkenny Castle, looked around the outside, then walked throught town back to our B&B.
Wednesday, June 1
Breakfast was at the B&B. Rosie, our hostess served huge blueberries! There was other fresh fruit, cereal and juice already waiting for us. Then she made us some french toast and bacon.
We had breakfast at 8:30 and were on the road just after 9:00. We were heading for Glendalough in the Wicklow Mountains. We headed out the wrong road from Kilkenny but we didn't know what road we were on. We then headed in the right direction and then in the wrong direction! Finally we were back on track and heading from Blessington to the Sally Gap. This is a very bleak scenic area.
We turned north to see Oscar Wilde's cottage on Lough Bray Lower. While there, we met the tour bus from the company that I had used three years ago when visiting with my parents and sister. I like the area so much I wanted Mike to see it. I talked to the tour driver and said how much I liked the tour then. He wanted to know if I remembered the name of the driver, but I didn't. The company was Over the Top Tours.
We ended up following the tour bus for a bit as we went back through the Sally Gap and headed towards Glendalough. Mike was surprised at the desolation of the area, and also at how fast the scenery changed from forest to barreness. We made it to Glendalough by 1:00 and stopped to have lunch at the Heather Restaurant in Laragh. Mike had corned beef and cabbage. I had vegetable soup and bread. €17.90
Since our check in time wasn't until 4 pm, we went over to Glendalough monastery. We walked around, saw the churches and round tower. It wasn't quite as sunny as it had been earlier. We walked the boardwalk to the lower lake and over to the upper lake. Three years ago, we didn't have time to come all the way to the upper lake so I wanted to do it this time. It was lovely to see. We photographed it. There was also two very old crosses that they don't know very much about. Also, beside them, was a ringfort of sorts, or maybe it was just an enclosure.
We then walked the 1 1/2 km back to the Glendalough site. It was past 5:00 by this time and we decided to check in to our B&B. It is called Riversdale B&B and it is within 10-15 minute walk to the monastic site. But we drove. We had a nice big room. We decided to have an hour's rest.
For supper, we tried the Glendalough Hotel. We just ordered burgers.
We hoped to get some photos of the monastic site after everyone had left in the evening, but the sun stayed behind the clouds so we decided to take a drive instead. We went to find Lough Dan and Lough Tay, two lakes that I had on my tour 3 years ago. We found Lough Tay where the Guiness estate is located. The sun came out momentarily and we got some great photos. It was a magnificent view.
We tried locating Lough Dan. Following a sign we ended up and lake level, which isn't what I wanted. I had previously seen it was a cliff but we missed it somehow. Oh, well. Back we headed to our B&B. The only problem with our room was that it was right above the owner's rooms. They turned the TV on loud and we could hear it until 10 pm. But then it went quiet.