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Saturday, October 14, 2017

Miserable Weather, but “Hey, it’s Ireland!” Part 1

When we decided to go to Ireland for our honeymoon in March we knew the elements would be...interesting. This is a warning that it was pretty miserable weather-wise that time of year, HOWEVER, it's Ireland, so you can't complain too much.

We suggest packing layers that cover the following:
  • rain
  • freezing rain
  • wind
  • cold 
  • did we say wind?
Scott and I are outdoorsy people, so we’re use to dealing with the elements, but it was definitely something else to plan a day of outside touristy activities/sites when you’re freezing and did not plan on it. There was no way we were pouting around and missing anything though, and that was one thing I thought Scott and I did really well. Even though it was crazy weather and neither one of us wanted to be out, we were both determined to make the best of it. So, we bundled up and hit our first site of the day - Cahir Castle.

Cahir Castle is one of the largest and best preserved castles in Ireland and dates basically from the 12th century. This was what I had in mind as a castle, and we were definitely the ONLY people there which made the tour that much more awesome. See, crappy weather is good for one thing - nobody else wants to be out in it either, so you get an entire castle all to yourself!

Cahir Castle
(It was so much fun to have this entire thing to explore all on our own!)

We left Cahir and went north west to site #2 - the Rock of Cashel (pronounced like “castle” with an “sh” instead of “st,” not “ca-shell”). We arrived around lunch time and when we got out of the car the wind just hit us. Note to anyone going to the Rock of Cashel, it is on its own hill, meaning it is extremely exposed. We made it half-way up the hill to the entrance and we both turned to each other and said, “scratch this for a while, let’s go get food and beer.” We walked a way into town to get out of the wind and found the coolest little family owned restaurant, Ryan’s Daughters, where we split the best meal I think I had of the trip - chicken and mushroom pie with mashed potatoes and pureed squash. And again, we were the only people there - we were so spoiled!  (Scott: I don’t even like mushrooms and it was REALLY good.) Unfortunately, we cannot figure out if the restaurant is still open which is a bummer. If anyone knows anything please comment below.

It was a little windy! 
Yes, that's a piece that fell off and it was taller than Scott.

Bellies warm, we made the walk (Scott: leaning trek) up to the Rock of Cashel again and it was amazing! Despite the cold and wind, I was so glad we decided to make the stop. The entire complex is going through a restoration process, so parts were closed off, but you could still go inside the cathedral and you just looked up: 30ft high vaulted arches with complete view of the naive, facade, and choir sections. There were multiple intact relief sculptures as well (yes, art history nerd right here). And what made it even better was that my husband appreciated the art aspect too and I really think that is what makes trips together so nice - I obviously found one with similar interests, huh?

 The entire complex was massive and, as you can see, quite impressive.

 Close up of some of the sculptures inside. 

 Another close up of some of the sculptures inside.

So, if you find yourself in County Tipperary in March, here's our list one more time:
  1. Cahir Castle
  2. Rock of Cashel
  3. And bring layers of clothes!
If anyone has any information on Ryan's Daughters or recommends another great restaurant to recommend near the Rock of Cashel let us know!

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