Sunday, March 15, 2015

A St. Patrick's Day Tour of Ireland

St. Patrick's Day is right around the corner and I would love to visit The Emerald Isle. Have you traveled to Ireland?  It is at the top of my "to do" list.  Why don't we travel there together?  Our first stop will be one of the country's most visited natural attractions. The Cliffs of Mohr were carved out over 320 million years ago by a large river delta.   The views from the cliffs are breathtaking.  
(Photo Credit Atomicpuppy 68 via Flickr)

Dunluce Castle will be our next stop.  The first castle of Dunluce was built in the 13th century. A legend told of the castle is that due to erosion, the kitchen once fell into the sea taking with it some of the kitchen help.  The lady of the house refused to live in the castle after that.  I think I would tend to live in the rooms on steady rock! Another legend surrounding the castle is that a soldier was carried to the depths of the sea by a beautiful mermaid. These castle walls have also seen many battles and sieges over many years.  
I hear that no trip to Ireland is complete without a stop at St. Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin. The present day building dates from 1220.  One of the first public clocks in Dublin was placed on the side of the Minot's Tower in 1509.  The cathedral has ongoing renovation which you can see to the right of the picture.  
How about another castle for the next leg of our journey? While the oldest parts of the castle date to the 12th century, Malahide Castle has served for nearly 800 years as a fortress and a private home to the Talbot family.  The last Talbot's left the castle in 1975.  It is thought to be the oldest Irish castle continually inhabited by the same family.  
Let's step inside the castle.  This is the great hall at Malahide Castle.  It received a renovation in 1825, but the frieze is made of carvings dating to the 16th and 17th century. It is said that on the eve of the Battle of the Boyne (July 1, 1690), fourteen members of the extended Talbot clan sat down for breakfast in the Great Hall.  Only one of the fourteen returned from the battle.  
(Photo Credit:  Malahide Caste and Gardens)
Ireland is know for it's amazing country side.  The Ring of Kerry is a lovely drive encompassing some of the most beautiful sites in Ireland.
There are several Victorian mansions in the area around the Ring of Kerry.  The Killarney Manor House is available as rental property.  Property information can be located at Killarney House Rental.  If mansions are not your style, the Ring of Kerry boasts numerous bed and breakfasts and quaint cottages for your stay.  
(Photo Credit:  Luxury Manor Houses)
Let's stop at Trinity College in Dublin.  The college was founded by Queen Elizabeth I in 1592.  Below is a picture of the Long Room built between 1712-1732.  It houses 200,000 of the libraries oldest books.  The Long Room is a little over 213 feet in length.  Look closely at the bottom of the picture and you will see a collection of marble busts which line the Long Room.  The collection began in 1743 when 14 busts were commissioned  from sculptor Peter Scheemakers.  The Long Room also houses important memorabilia of Ireland, including a harp dating from the 15th century.
I found this little castle several years ago while researching Ireland and historic places to rent. According to their website, the castle is a five story, 16th century towerhouse.  It was the ancient seat of the Comerford clan and is located about 5 miles south of the medieval city of Kilkenny. The castle has been restored to its former authentic glory using the same techniques and materials as the original 16th century builders. Doesn't it sound like a romantic getaway?
Hope you have enjoyed our tour of Ireland.  As for my house, we will celebrate our Irish heritage as we do each year, with an authentic Irish meal.  Contributions must have Irish roots. Everyone who attends has a leprechaun name tag and we call them by their leprechaun name the entire evening!    Click here for the link to the Leprechaun Name Generator .  Mine is Shamus McFits!
If you don't have time for an Irish dinner, make sure to watch The Quiet Man.  This is one of my all time favorite movies.  It is a wonderfully, romantic movie staring John Wayne as Sean Thornton and Mauren O'Hara and Mary Kate Danaher.  A delightful character in the movie is the spirited Michaeleen Oge Flynn played by Barry Fitzgerald.  For the second year in the row, Turner Classic Movies will not be playing The Quiet Man!  What a travesty!   It is the best St. Patrick's Day movie ever!  Luckily, if you belong to Netflix, it is streaming for all to enjoy:)
It is only fitting to leave you with this beautiful Irish blessing!  Happy St. Patrick's Day and Blessings from Still Woods Farmhouse
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  1. Tonight we were at an Irish Pub in downtown Seattle and we talked about our desire to visit Ireland and we also talked about an island for sale off of Ireland. Fun talk, good food, and great live Irish music!

    1. It sounds like you had a wonderful evening Ellen! Wish I could have been there. I love Irish music! I hope you had a wonderful day and thanks for stopping by:)
      Irish Blessings from Still Woods Farmhouse

  2. It sounds like you had a wonderful evening Ellen! Wish I could have been there. I love Irish music! I hope you had a wonderful day and thanks for stopping by:)
    Irish Blessings from Still Woods Farmhouse