Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Rock of Cashel, Lismore, and Jameson's

The Rock of Cashel


Round tower

Countryside from the Rock

Lismore Castle on the Blackwater River

Outdoor sculpture at Jameson's

From Cahir we drove up the road to Cashel and its monastery, high on a rock overlooking the valley. The Rock of Cashel is of about the same vintage as Glendalough: Celtic Christian beginnings, height of activity and influence in the 13th century or so, decline thereafter and abandonment by the 16th or 17th century. Much of the structures remains, however, and it is impressive. Of special interest are the depictions that seem to mix Christian with Celtic images.

I managed to leave our bowls and spoons in Kilkenny, so, thanks to an attentive campground proprietor who kept them for us, we drove back to Kilkenny to retrieve them (sentimental value), then on to Waterford, and then up to Lismore. Lismore has a 13th century castle, still a residence, a formal garden, and is a beautiful village. We walked about for a while, visiting the two churches and the Blackwater river, and then drove on toward Cork, stopping for a visit, and purchases, at the Jameson's distillery and "heritage" center. We'd hoped to get to Blarney in time to see the Stone, but, alas, traffic in Cork slowed us down. So we camped near Blarney, about ready to leave the south and begin our tour of western Ireland. Today the weather finally turned for the better, cool, sunny, windy, but not cold nor wet.

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