Ireland 2014 – Day 4 (Thursday, June 19)

Planned Itinerary

  • 8:45 – Check out of Hollymount House Bed & Breakfast
  • 9:00-10:30 – Rock of Cashel
  • 12:00-13:30 – Waterford Crystal Factory
  • 18:00 – Check into Harbour Hill Farm Bed & Breakfast
  • 20:00-22:30 – England v. Uruguay World Cup game

The day started with an alarm at 7am; it was our best night sleep so far.  We had a traditional Irish breakfast (bacon, eggs, ham, sausage, a potato cake, and something we never did identify); not heart-healthy but pretty tasty.

Cahir Castle

Cahir Castle

After a fun conversation with Margaret in her driveway, we loaded up and headed back into Cahir where the castle was now open.  As the first visitors in, we had the theatre to ourselves as we watched a 15-minute video about the castle and its history.  We then spent about 45 minutes exploring the ruins, climbing up to the top of towers and down to the bottom of dungeons.

The view from inside Cahir Castle

The view from inside Cahir Castle

Going to see this as our first castle in Ireland turned out to be an inspired choice as we were able to explore and enjoy it without comparing it to any of the others that might be more elaborate or better preserved.

Rock of Cashel

Rock of Cashel

Next up was the 15-minute journey to the Rock of Cashel where we proudly presented our Heritage Cards which were really paying for themselves.  On every tour guidebooks list of must-see locations, it lived up to its billing.  Our young tour guide did a great job talking us around the ruins on a cool windy day.

Once we figured out how to pay to get out of the parking lot (even though a piece of tape indicating that 2 EUR coins weren’t accepted, that was about all it would take…thank goodness a tour bus driver was paying his way out and talked us through it), we headed for Waterford.  This turned out to be the closest thing to a misadventure we’ve had so far.  The path the GPS took us on to get to Waterford Crystal was closed off.  We tried to find our way around the closure but we kept getting sent down a dead-end road.  Even after stopping to ask directions while topping off the gas tank, we were unsuccessful in finding it.  After the third time we hit the dead end and feeling like we were living in The Truman Show, we decided it wasn’t meant to be; since it wasn’t a stop that either of us were particularly excited about, we chalked it up as an excuse to see this industrial town and drive along the coast to Kinsale.

Looking across the harbour to Kinsale

Looking across the harbour to Kinsale

Kinsale has proven to be our favorite town thus far.  Very picturesque as it sits near the harbour, it has a very active city centre.  We found the free parking lot by the fire station (sort of by accident) and walked 10 minutes into the heart of town.  We spent about an hour shopping and bought shirts for the boys and me.  As it was getting close to 6pm, we headed to the Harbour Hill Farm Bed and Breakfast to check in.

Jim Edwards Restaurant & Bar

Jim Edwards Restaurant & Bar

We were greeted by Siobhan who took us up to our room and gave us advice on where to eat and drink in town.  Taking her advice, we went to Jim Edwards Seafood Restaurant where I had the fish and chips while Kristalyn had the pan fried hake, which she said was about the best fish she’s ever had.  After splitting strawberries and ice cream for dessert, we went over to Kitty O Se’s to watch the England v. Uruguay game and listen to some Irish singing.  We were disappointed only by the result of the game as England was effectively eliminated from the World Cup in losing 2-1).  The music and atmosphere were great as I enjoyed a couple of Smithwick’s and Kristalyn kept her Guinness streak alive with two of her own.

Deciding that getting a good night’s sleep for two nights in a row was a worthy goal, we left about 10:45pm and made the short drive back to the B&B.

Actual Itinerary

  • 8:45 – Check out of Hollymount House Bed & Breakfast
  • 9:00-10:00 – Cahir Castle
  • 10:15-11:45 – Rock of Cashel
  • 12:45-13:45 – Waterford (but not the Crystal Factory)
  • 15:45-17:45 – Kinsale
  • 18:00 – Check into Harbour Hill Farm Bed & Breakfast
  • 20:00-22:30 – England v. Uruguay World Cup game (Kitty O Se’s)
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