Trip West Part I

We set aside two days of our stay in Ireland to travel to the Western coast. Our trip started Thursday morning, August 25th, and we arrived home the next evening. We saw lots and lots of marvels. We made more memories on that trip than on the whole Irish excursion combined. I could tell you lots and lots of stories from our Trip West, but I’m afraid it would take up too much time and space. Needless to say, it was pretty grand 🙂

I’ve decided to tell the biggest parts of the story in four sections: Part 1 will be about Bunratty Castle, Part 2 will feature the Bay of Tralee, in Part 3 I will show off a few photos of the Inch Strand, and I will wrap up the story with Part 4, which will include photos of the Bed & Breakfast where we stayed for the night and some adventures that happened there. And a few more photos will appear along the way which aren’t described here, but we’ll see how it goes 🙂

Okay, so we spent the majority of Thursday at a place called Bunratty Castle. But it was so much more than just a castle crammed full of other tourists. There was a path that took you all over a village, showing you how the people might have lived back then. There was also a ‘commercial district’ where there were actual shops and a restaurant with a bar and a few private dining rooms. We occupied one of those rooms for a meal and it made us feel sophisticated and valued, until our waiter left the door open and people filing past stared at us as if we were part of the exhibit. That wasn’t so cool, but the meal really was  delicious.  I also bought a sweater at one of the shops and whenever I feel sentimental I get it out of the closet.  Or whenever I’m cold. (It’s a really thick sweater. In Ireland, you need thick sweaters most of the time. In Ohio, USA, sometimes.)

After lunch, we explored more, lost certain members of our party, met a jolly fake policeman, and found our names in a great big geneology book. We ended up in a large courtyard and proceeded to read the paper and wait….and wait….and wait….for the certain lost members of our party to arrive. The rest of the evening we spent getting to our destination. On which I will elaborate more in the next post 🙂

This is one of the many ‘outposts’ we visited. Gorgeous white limestone exterior, quaint thatched roof, and dark, dingy, damp, peat-fire smoky interior…

The actual Bunratty Castle:

Look! I spy electricity!

A portrait of the beautiful Bunratty Gardens…

This is what the path looked like. Most of the time.

 

When we came to the Castle entrance, it seemed relatively empty. (see second photo) But suddenly, people came from below and behind to crowd the gates. So we were forced to stand on the stairs, and while we were waiting, the heavens opened and it started drizzling, Ireland’s classic signature 🙂 So I was inspired to remember the moment. I remembered something my bro taught me:

“When in a strange or unique environment, I take photos of my feet to prove I was there.” -Benjamin Beachy

And here it is…

There you have it! Part 1 is finished and published 🙂

*sigh* “finally.”

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