travel in 2006 Ireland and Wales


The third day 24th June(Saturday) click on the blue frame picture, you can enlarge it
today's course   Enniskerry --- Sally Gap --- Lough Tay --- Glendalough ---
                     Kilkenny --- Rock of Cashel --- The Gap --- Lismore --- Midleton
today's distance   367km   today's pedometer   8,900steps

Oaklawn B&B

It was rain when we awoke. I've heard that there are a lot of rainy days in Ireland. Can we exercise our magical power to make a fine weather in Ireland ?
We hoped fine weather because our plan of that day was to get to several view point of Wicklow mountains.
We went to the dining room to have a breakfast. We ordered full Irish breakfast each. That was the first time to have the Irish, but I thought there wasn't any difference from the English and Welsh.
In the dining room many things were displayed, antique table wares, an old furniture and small ornaments.
We found a small Leprechaun who was a pixie in a story handed by popular tradition. In that story he was a shoes craftsman and he knew whereabouts much gold were under the ground. If someone could catch him, he will talk the valuable place to him.
I heard that there was a traffic sign "Leprechaun crossing" in the southwest of Ireland. I wish to meet him!
When we left the bed & breakfast the host said " It will be fine in the afternoon. Have a careful drive, please."
Unfortunately it was misty at that time.

Oaklawn B&B Oaklawn B&B Oaklawn B&B

We parked in the town center of Enniskerry where we only passed through several times yesterday.
Enniskerry was quiet and clear village situated in the Wicklow mountains. Houses were painted some various light colors.
There was the clock at the center that I watched in the "Direction for the Oaklawn".

Enniskerry Enniskerry Enniskerry

Wicklow Mountains
We started for Wicklow mountains. But we lost our right way and we seemed to drive in Unclassified.
We drove and back on the narrow mountain road in the mist, and at last we found the road R759.
Though we arrived at the viewpoint "Lough Tay", we only found the obscure outline of the lake in the fog.
Next we went to Sally Gap but it became rain heavier, so we saw nothing without white rocky plain blurred with mist.
Under the heavily rain the herd of sheep walked on the grassland and some of them were eating grasses without pausing.
We were cheered up by the sheep and continued our drive in the rain when we found the Glenmacnass Waterfall on the right hand. This waterfall was written on the map, so I understood clearly where we were at that time.
We were surprised with the change of the surrounding vegetation, rocky plain, busy heath and forest of conifer.

Lough Tay Sally Gap Waterfall

We arrived at Glendalough Visitor Center though we have lost our way in Laragh.
Just at that time rain came down in torrents. We went to the Visitor Center wearing raincoat with hood for perfect defense.
Because of that heavy rain we passed the Guided Tours and Audio Visual Presentation, we only gazed the Round tower from the pass to the Upper Lake.
This is the early Christian monastic site that was founded by St. Kevin in the 6th. The monastic remains include a superb round tower, stone churches and decorated crosses. The ruin on this site is Cathedral.
Next we went to Gateway that was the double stone gate. From the gate we could see famous high cross.
The right picture was the stone that was written about its history.

Glendalough Glendalough Glendalough

The ruin of cathedral was smaller than we have imagined. The roof was collapsed completely. Inside the cathedral and around the round tower here were a lot of graves.
We could see the decorated high crosses in the fog solemnly.

Glendalough Glendalough Glendalough

On our plan we didn't have much time to visit Kilkenny. We had to move long distance that day. But the town seemed to invite us with its busy and cheerful atmosphere, so we decided to have a short walk in this town.
When we looked for the parking space in the center of the town, a man who came from the parking called my husband suddenly from his car window.
"Go straight, please. There were spaces for your car where I have parked. After you park there you should buy a parking disk at the butcher over there. You put the parking disk on your dashboard."
What kind he was!
We were very surprised and thankful.
We did all of them according to his instruction.
When we walked for St. Mary Cathedral, the rain became heavily. We had only one hour in this town, so we gave up to visit the Cathedral. We headed for Kilkenny Castle instead.

Kilkenny Kilkenny Kilkenny

Kilkenny Kilkenny Kilkenny

Kilkenny Kilkenny

Kilkenny Castle was situated beside the parking area. The nearest gate from the town center was seemed to be a back gate. There was a large flower garden with a fountain of its center.
We walked to the front of the castle, when we saw a Japanese man having a travel guidebook. It was the first time we met a Japanese in our trip.
We talked to him "hello", but he only glanced us without saying a word. He might be fond of alone.
My husband had to stepped back fairly far to take a picture whole castle. On the wide grass in front of the castle we found some squirrels here and there.
From the side of the castle we could see the top of St. Mary Cathedral we looked for a little while ago.
When we drove on one way for suburbs of the town, St. Canice's Cathedral suddenly appeared before our eyes.

Rock of Cashel
In Ireland many roads were under construction work at that time. We wasted over thirty minutes on the way toward Cashel for traffic jams by the work.
Of course, we could drove on the repaired road comfortably. I appreciated the economic development in Ireland.
When we approached Cashel, we could see Rock of Cashel There was a magnificent stone ruin on the rocky hill. It was the castle of the king who controlled here from 4〜11centuries, and it was donated to the church in 12 century. Afterwards The Round Tower and Romanesque Chapel were both built.
It was said that the stone cross of St. Patrick was carved in 12 century.(second from the right)
The view from the rocky hill was wonderful green plain as far as I could see though the height was only 67meters.
I saw a run-down church at the bottom of the hill. That was Hore Abbey.
We happened to meet a kind lady at the parking area of Rock of Cashel. I had to put 3 coins(euro) into the machine for the parking, but I only had 2.5 euros in my purse.
Except 2.5euros I only had bills. Oh no, I did it! I couldn't find any shop there to exchange.
I ask the lady who bought a parking ticket before us "Could you exchange five euro bill?" " Sorry, I don't have many coins to exchange. How mach do you need?"
I showed her 2.5euro coins in my hand, then she gave me one-euro coin saying " Please use this one. Don't mention it."
We thanked her for her kindness, and I thought that it's difficult to show consideration others at a good timing.

Rock of Cashel Rock of Cashel Rock of Cashel Rock of Cashel Rock of Cashel

rhododendron valley

Knockmealdown Mountains Knockmealdown Mountains Knockmealdown Mountains

Knockmealdown Mountains

While we collected many information about Ireland we referred the site Cheeky's Garden most. We found the information and beautiful pictures about the valley on her site "South Ireland Driving Diary", so we decided to drive to rhododendron valley certainly.
Now we drove for the valley from Cashel to Cloghheen village. After we drove through Cloghheen the valley was deep in the mountains. Thousands of rhododendrons clustered around the whole valley.
I had never seen so many rhododendrons over the valley and mountains that I shouted in excitement as a child at the snow.
We were just in the pink flowers and we enjoyed driving in that wonderful view.
After we went up the top of the mountain we could see the rhododendron valley with a lake stretch below.
We saw a statue of Saint Mary on the side of the mountain. We often watched her statues here and there in Ireland.
People have a firm belief in God.

We had a plan to visit Lismore Castle, Cookery School Gardens and Old Midleton Distillery on that day.
But the time was a little past 5 pm when we left the rhododendron valley. I thought about myself that we were too greedy for visiting to all of them.
We only glanced at magnificent Lismore castle before entering the town from the car.
We have heard that this town had won prizes for its beauty several times. We couldn't pass through the town without walking even if we didn't have much time.
Lismore was calm, clean and beautiful town, I thought.

Lismore Lismore Lismore

We drove to Midleton smoothly. We didn't have any anxiety to go to the bed & breakfast tonight, because we carried the detailed map. But we couldn't find any signboard for the roundabout written on the map.
We drove about in confusion in the same area for thirty minutes. Though I had a cellular phone, but I didn't know how I explain the place I was then.
We found a man standing in front of the post office who seemed to be inhabitant this town. When we showed him the map he said "I know. I know here. “Where is your car?"
"You should do a u-turn somewhere, go straight, turn the second roundabout,・・・・・・・・・・”.He talked to my husband with motions in a lucid explanation. At last we arrived at the intersection for our accommodation according to his instructions, when a man was waving in his car on the side of the intersection.
We understood him as soon as we saw. He was just the man showed us the direction a few times ago. "You've just arrived. Good! Your accommodation is the second on this path."
He started his car as he said good-bye. What a kind man he was! It was unbelievable.

Two Mile Inn
We asked the host and hostess of our accommodation to recommend a restaurant or pub outskirts of Midleton.
Because we didn't like the regulation of traffic in big town. We wanted to avoid to go into a big town. They recommended us a pub named "Two Mile Inn" along the root N25.
It might be situated 2 miles from Midleton. It took a few minutes from the house luckily.
When we took a picture in front of the pub, a woman in the ladies group who were drinking beer outside approached us to take our picture. We were glad to receive her kindness, but the picture was out of focus. That was a pity! She must have been drunk.
Inside the pub a lot of people were enjoying there dinner each, but we were showed into the side of the window immediately.
One of our choices was cheese, mushroom and tomato omelet. The other was today's fish that was steamed with wine.
The omelet was more tasteful than the fish. They used the eggs of free-range chicken and dairy products in Ireland were very famous of its flavor.
We drunk one pint Guinness each and a bottle of white wine with delicious dishes and human watching.
After a while many men came into the pub wearing the same white polo shirt and jeans one after another. There were about thirty men in the party.
They ordered beverage each at the counter and gathered to the large table beside us bringing each glass. Soon one of them began singing loudly.
The others beat time with their hands and they song one after the other. Every one had golden voice, besides had a powerful voice.
Those songs might be folk song in Ireland, I thought.
We found the letter "Guinness" on their chests of their polo shirts, but after all, we couldn't know what kind of party they belonged to.

Two Mile Inn Two Mile Inn Two Mile Inn

Please look at our travel diary with many pictures
to calendar
22nd June
23rd June
25th June
26th June
27th June
28th June
29th June
30th June
1st July