I have so much to write about! Since I brought you up to date on what Caitlin, Jeff, and I had done during their first three days, these are the things we have done:
On August 17, we visited the Irish National Stud, a government-owned horse breeding facility.
Next, we visited two gardens on the grounds of the Stud, St. Fiacre’s Garden and the Japanese Garden.
We tried to see St. Brigid’s Cathedral in Kildare, but it was closed when we got there. So we went on our way to Emo Court outside of Portlaoise. This is a manor house built in the 1790s and restored in the 1970s-1990s. For part of its life it was used as a Jesuit Seminary. Originally the demesne was 16,000 acres, but most of that was distributed to local farmers during land reforms. Now the house is surrounded by a nearly 300-acre public park.
The next day, August 18, we went to County Cork. First, we went into the city of Cork where Caitlin wanted to visit the cooperative Cork Print Makers. After a brief stop at St. Fin Barre’s Cathedral where I chatted briefly with the dean before he began a service of Morning Prayer. From there, we found our way to the print makers and then to the English Market where we enjoyed lunch in the cafe.
After Cork city, we went to Blarney and visited the castle. There were busloads of tourists and a wait of more than an hour standing in line to “kiss the Blarney Stone” so we skipped that. We walked the grounds, visiting the Poison Garden and the Fern Garden.
Our visit to the south of Ireland ended this day at the Jameson’s Distillery in Midleton. This picture shows us at the start of the tour. All three of us got to be “official whiskey tasters” at the end; the picture of that is in Caitlin’s camera.
I’ll end this post here and start another about our next few days when we concentrated on the middle and northern parts of the country.