Monday, May 25, 2009

On the road to Tipperary

I know, I've spent more days blogging about my trip than I was gone. Well, at least today we are moving out of Nenagh and moving south toward Kinsale, Ireland.

This is where the two cars took very different directions. The car with Naggy, my parents and my sisters all took the main road (or shall I say, a less narrow road, that is usually better marked than the smaller roads) while Tom and I took the back roads to our next stop to the coastal town of Kinsale.

Tom and I set off. At our first real crossroad, we saw this sign. We headed toward Tipperary.
I don't know if you can see the sign facing the camera, but it says that Nenagh is 8 KM. So we've gone approx. 8 KM (these signs are always subjective lol)

About 20 minutes later we saw that exact same sign again. Hmmmmm. We took a wrong turn somewhere and had to laugh that we were right back where we started. I did mention a few times - "Tom, I'm sure we've seen that farm house already this morning." After about 40 minutes, we got ourselves on the road to Tipperary.

I just liked this green building and the somewhat handpainted looking name.

The Irish landscape going by.

During most of our drive, the hedges blocked our views of the landscape. It was rare to actually see the end of the hedgerows. It looks like there was a stone wall inside that hedge. Sneaky, very sneaky!

I really never did get tired of seeing the pastures. They were so beautiful. It was a bit foggy that day - you can really see it in a few of these pictures.

Tom and I got a bit turned around again on these unmarked roads. All of a sudden we came up on a little outcropping of shops and a town name that wasn't on my map. We stopped the car and started trying to figure out where we were. We noticed 4 road workers across the street that we thought might be able to help us. As I was getting out of the car to walk across the street I saw this sight...cows grazing near a stone tower. I hadn't even seen it before then. Oooh, I'm so glad I didn't miss it. I think it was one of the most wonderful sights I saw in Ireland.

We asked one of the workers to help us get back on the correct road to Tipperary. His accent was so thick that my husband said "I'm four generations away from being able to understand you." The other three workers laughed and said that they couldn't understand him either! hahaha One of the other workers told us to go up this road, turn at the grey stone building and keep going until we saw the such and such farm... Then he assured us that there was a sign. And he was right. And, there are a lot of grey stone buildings! goodness.

This door was so cool looking. We had stopped off on the side of this intersection (see photo below) to try to figure out which way we needed to turn. There were just too many signs that I couldn't read them fast enough to make a decision. So while we were stopped I snapped a photo of the door we parked next to and a picture of the confusing sign.

I think we had passed Tipperary at this point and I think the direction we needed to go was on the side of the sign you can't see from this vantage point. I had to run back a ways to be able to see the other side of the sign.

At one point in our trip to Kinsale we came across these mountains. Most of the hills and very tall mountainy looking hills were farmed or were pasture...all the way to the very top. These were not. It was very odd, and lovely. Everything I had seen so far in Ireland had the same feel, but these mountains really made thier own statement.

Tom even pulled over to the side of the road so I could take a photo or two. I think they were called the Galty Mountains.

OK, so we traveled from Nenagh, through Tipperary and finally made it onto a main road at a place called Mitchelstown. We took that main road through the town of Cork and were just about 30 KM outside of Kinsale when we decided to stop in quite a large bustling town called Carrigaline. The place we decided to eat was Istrabraq's Steak and Bistro. This is where Tom had the Monster Burger (I posted the picture of it in Friday Fragments) and I had a chicken salad with bacon. Turns out it was a grilled piece of chicken with grilled onions and bacon in a nice big salad. It had some sort of creamy/spicy dressing that was real good, even though I don't like spicy things. Turns out that when the others had lunch, someone had a burger with egg and someone else had a chicken salad with bacon. Totally different places and yet we had the same things. Funny.
There was this really nice man in the restaurant that told us how to get to Kinsale. I told him where we were parked and he told us to turn around and take the road that we had just passed. I mentioned that it would be nice if we could continue in the direction we were headed...was there another way that would meet up with the road he suggested? He said YES there certainly was another road, but it was quite a bit narrower than the road he originall suggested.

Goodness, those roads were terribly narrow to begin with, so we turned around :)

Anyway, I saw this funny barber shop sign as we were walking back to our car.

Jut before Kinsale we saw this cemetery. I asked Tom to stop so I could take some photos.

The Celtic crosses are all over the cemeteries. Usually there was no place to park to take photos, but today there was a little building with a parking lot next to this place, so I got a nice close up view of them.

I walked by this wall as I was going back to the car. I thought it was so interesting to see the cutouts in the wall --- I wonder if they were the doors and windows to a home at one time, because when I peeked behind the wall, there was just a large pasture. There was no sign that a home had ever existed.

We arrived in Kinsale, Ireland. Within a few seconds after arriving in the city we see my family. They pointed us in the right direction to get to our B&B - The Gallery. Just a few blocks away. We couldn't miss it, it was the color of French's Mustard. I loved it.

That's all for today on our continued trip through Ireland. However, I do want to send a out my gratitude to all of our Servie Men and Women on this Memorial day. Thanks so much.



Leigh of Bloggeritaville said...

I LOVE that last photo. That woulkd be GORGEOUS blown upo really large! LOVE that!
I also loved the sotry and Toms comment to the workers about not being able to undestand them. LOL!
That stone tower,m cool! Wish we knew the story. And the wall, I wonder if there was a home there and that it was undergroud? The grass was the roof? I am loving my tour of Ireland by way of you. THanks you my sweet friend!

Kirby3131 said...

Leigh, the wall was just that, a wall. The grass was just growing on the top of the wall, in the crevices. The wall was only a few feet thick and there was pasture behind it. I think if there had been a house there, it was torn down - built after the wall and then holes put in the walls as doors and windows. Certainly a mystery.

I like that last photo, too of the Gallery B&B sign.

Tom's family comes from the CORK area of Ireland, so this was a nice history trip for him, too.

sunnymama said...

What a wonderful post! Thanks for sharing this delightful journey. The pictures are great :)

ilovemy5kids said...

Wow - super photos!

I just went to IKEA the other day and picked up more napkins like the ones you gave me from a give-away once. They are darling!

Not sure if I ever even thanked you! So, thank you! (just in case.)

Blessings to you!

Sharinskishe said...

I am loving this too. Thanks for letting us travel to Ireland via your memories!! This is awesome.