Ireland: Invaders and Blarney and Ring Forts

Handsome and I enjoyed a walking tour of Waterford to learn about Vikings, Normans, and British invasions. Waterford is Ireland’s oldest city. Built on a bay sheltered from gale-force winds by the surrounding hills, it was an ancient port of call. The oldest Catholic Cathedral in Ireland was built by John Roberts. He and his wife Susanna had twenty-two children.

 

A typical Viking ship wasn’t very large.

We took a group photo at Loch Lein, a monastic settlement. This photo is of the “California Girls’ in our group.

Loch Lein.

Then it was on to Blarney Castle, where the group divided into stone kissers and non-kissers. Kissing the Blarney stone is said to impart the gift of words, but it’s the impartation of germs that turned me away. Handsome and I did climb to the top of the castle through narrow circular stone staircases. Blarney also means “sweet words with an intention to deceive.”

Handsome at Blarney Castle.

Handsome climbing the narrow stone spiral staircase.

The night ended at Tralee. The airport at Tralee was owned by actress Maureen O’Hara and her husband. Handsome and I signed up for an optional dinner at Finnegan’s Wine Cellar Restaurant. A fine meal in an enchanting setting.

Finnegans Wine Cellar Restaurant.

After dinner, we enjoyed a show called Turas, which means journey. It consisted of folk dances and ballads. Riverdance kind of dances, part tap, part dancing on point. The theater was designed like a ring fort. The performers played a hand drum, violin, flute, and an accordion-like thing.

Siamsa Tire, the National Folk Theatre of Ireland is in a ring fort.

I remain most impressed by Susanna Roberts for having twenty-two children. Supermom!