Diary of Ireland – Day 4

Today we join our travellers in a greater state of sobriety, and wonder just how does a Norman Castle trip arrive at a 17th century coastal fort?

May 11th 2012 – Day 4

The scenery on the South coast is something to behold

“Well,I may have drunk too much yesterday! But it was worth it & we got to see a great live Irish group play some damn funny songs. Good laughs all round.

Today started well, but went wrong from there. Firstly we learnt it is not only Irish maps that lie, but Irish signs and distances! My favourite moment was towards the end of the day when we passed a sign saying “Welcome to Golleen” followed by a sign saying “Golleen 2km” – brilliant. But I’m ahead of myself.

My mini rebellion at Lismore Castle - 1 foot over the line!

We saw two castles today whilst flying from Kilkenny to West Cork in our trusty steed. I say 2, that’s a big stretch. The first was Lismore Castle which is Norman, yey!, but privately owned so we weren’t allowed to see it. To say the least, I was a little perturbed and took some photos 1 foot inside from the sign saying “no one beyond this point”. A minor victory I feel.

We drove on to the second which was a fortress on the coast called Charles Fort . . . 17th Century! We spent an hour looking at a fort from the wrong period, 400 years too late!! Needless to say, not my fault. It was amazing though.

We decided to try and get one more castle in, so shot past our destination in Baltimore and carried on to the southernmost point of Ireland. Only to discover Dunlough Castle, our destination, was on the other side of a gigantic hill – we decided to try again tomorrow.

Charles Fort - NOT NORMAN!!!

I had a brief chat with Carly on the phone; she’d been worried but didn’t want to show it. It was great to hear her voice again, I didn’t realise how much I missed her until then.

We are crashing at my Aunt’s tonight. We have already been grilled on history, spanning pre-historic Britain to the 2nd World War, from my cousin who loves the topic as much as we do. By fielding different questions each, we survived the 5 and a half hour grilling – My Bachelor’s wasn’t that hard!

Tomorrow we do the long drive to Limerick & Ennis – that will hurt. We have just finished Ali’s tale of his travels around the world which has been our staple conversation in the car. I wonder what we will talk of next.

We still can’t get our heads around the lack of information on these castles – no guide books, very few signs or plaques, barely a museum. It is very odd. Maybe Limerick will be different? But Dunlough first – if we ever find it.

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