& Jameson Distillery
18.05.2009 - 18.05.2009
View Eire 2009 on nat-ali's travel map.
We made a marathon of our last full day in Ireland. After sleeping off the residual effects of jet-lag, we had breakfast in the villa and then hit the road 90km to the Southeast corner of Ireland, starting with the port city of Cobh, the final departure point of the Titanic and the Luisitania. The city itself is much like San Francisco, hills winding up from the harbor and pastel colored victorian row houses. The most prominent feature is the cathedral, and it is most magnificent with its stained glass, sculptures, and mosaics. There happened to be a bicycle race finishing in town, which seemed to bring out every police officer in County Cork, greatly outnumbering tourists in town! Along the way we saw another falling down castle, with a real estate sign on it saying "For Sale: 800 year old Castle!"
Our next stop was the Jameson Distillery in Midleton, a highlight of the trip for the boys, who enjoyed a tour and whiskey tasting, while the girls waited in the tasting room with an Irish Coffee. This was the first place that was filled with tourist buses, and we even ran into a couple we had met in the pub in Doolin! It was nice to feel familiar with someone, even thousands of miles from home! Seems to representative of the culture of Ireland as making aquaintance of strangers over a pint. A little old man from Cork told me a whole story, of which I understood barely a word, except the punchline, "An eet was a veery deerty mouse!" Wish I could have understood the rest of it through his Irish brogue!
Although it was getting late, we continued our tour of Co. Cork, on to the Rick Steves recommended harbor town of Kinsale, where we got to the Star Fort just after the drawbridge closed for the night, but we followed the trail to the beach below to look up on the fortification.
With our remaining daylight, we took the coastal route to Clonakilty, which from the pictures looks like a tiny old mill town on a river, but is actually a typical suburb at a junction of motorways. And the most photographed pub in Ireland, An Teach Baeg, was closed during the week, so I had to make do with a CD recording of the music sessions. Even though it wasn't what I expected, I'm glad we made it there so I wouldn't wonder what we missed, like with Killarney. It was then a long drive home to Adare for our final sleep in the villa, and yet we haven't even had time to see the castle! Tomorrow morning, when we check out.