Sunday, March 8, 2009

Castles, Castles Everywhere!!

The view of Blarney from Blarney Castle.


The Gardens at Bir Castle

The Telescope at Birr Castle. It was the largest one in the world for 70 years, from 1840-1910.
Birr Castle
Blackrock Castle

Redwood Castle

Our Limerick Friend!! He was soooo cute!!!

King John's Castle in Limerick

Bunratty Castle

Kissing the Blarney Stone!!

In the Dungeon at Blarney Castle.

Last weekend Tori and I rented a car and headed out for an adventure. Tori did a great job driving, but I was terrified nonetheless. The roads are super narrow here. There is barely enough room for two small cars, and I cannot even describe the fear when a bus or large truck comes around the bend towards you. There are even some roads that you would never guess were two way. They are so narrow that one driver has to pull clear off to the side (which is not very far since most of the roads are lined with stone fences, they do not have shoulders at all) and stop while the other car goes past. The funny thing is that none of this effects the Irish at all, they just fly past you at terrifying speeds even though they are only inches from your car. Anyway we headed southward for our adventure towards Limerick for our first stop. Limerick has been one of my favorite places that we have seen so far, it was beautiful. It is called the city on the river, and it was so fun to walk down the little tourist path towards King John's castle next to the river. We only spent a few hours there, and then it was off to Cork. Cork was actually not very fun since we spent a lot of the time lost and driving down scary roads. We have noticed that the signs here are more like teasers. They point you where to go till you are close to your destination, then there are no signs to be found. It is rather frustrating because you are so close, but cannot actually find what you are looking for. We did happen across Black rock Castle though. Inside they had a virtual astronomy and evolution tour, and you even got to play a game at the end to save the world. I beat Tori by over 200 points :-)
After that we did manage to find a few fun things to see in Cork. We walked through a park, and stopped at the Cork City Gaol. It is an old prison, and there we got to do an audio tour. There were mocks of people and things that would have been in the jail centuries ago, and they told you all about them, it was very interesting. After that it was off to Blarney. The Blarney Castle was fun to tour, but of course the real highlight is kissing the Blarney Stone to recieve the gift of eloquence, which of course we did!! The view of Blarney from the top of the castle was breathtaking, and it was a fun place to stop. After that we started back towards Galway with a quick stop to take pictures at Bunratty Castle. There are castles all over here, as you drive around, you see signs every 10-15 minutes pointing you towards one.
The next day we decided to go to Birr Castle since it is pretty close to Galway, and we had to be back at 4:00 for a branch open house. Birr Castle is one of the prettiest that I have ever seen. Unfortunately it is privately owned so you can't tour the inside. There was museum though telling about telescopes, photography, and the turbine engine because major inventors from each field came from Birr Castle. Talk about a smart family. There was also a lake and gardens to walk through. They were pretty, but I bet they are really fun to see in the summer when everthing has bloomed. This time on our way home we stopped at Redwood Castle for pictures, and then it was off to the open house. The members here were so excited to have a new meeting house just for them. It is just a small excercise gym that was redone to become their church. There are not pianos, or a baptismal font, and there are just a few rooms, but they are thrilled nonetheless. It really made me realize how much I take that for granted in the states where you can find church buildings everywhere.
That night we went to see "Confessions of a Shopaholic" with some girls from our branch. It was silly but had its funny moments. If anyone gets any grief from their husbands about spending too much money, they should take them to see it. Then they would see that we could be so much worse.
It was a great weekend!!!

1 comment:

Spacey Stacy said...

Hey were is the St. Patrick's Day post?