Monday, June 20, 2016

Last Tour Day :(

The the last day of the tour finally had to come.  We had such a GRAND time, as they say in Ireland.  We loved it!  Above is our picture with Bébhinn and the van we spent a week in.

 The last day we were in the Connemara region and got to go see Kylemore Abbey, which is in a beautiful setting.

We also stopped at Aughnanure Castle and had a fantastic tour.  The tour guide has a masters degree in the study of castles and she talked and talked for an hour and a half.  She was so knowledgable and it was quite interesting.

This castle was built by the O'Flahertys in the 16th Century.  Look at the designs carved into the stone window arches.  It's just amazing how old these structures are and how they've survived through the ages.  Some better than others of course, but amazing nonetheless.

We did climb the tower (above), even though there is a large colony of bats that live in there, over 5 different species we were told.  Luckily they are night creatures so I didn't see any!  The stone spiral staircases in castle towers curve clockwise so that the defender (the person coming down the stairs) has the advantage because they would typically have their sword in their right hand and it would put the right handed attacker coming up the stairs at a disadvantage. They also had trip steps (steps at different heights) and murder holes (to pour hot boiling liquid on attackers).

Our last stop before arriving back in Dublin was the Kilbeggan Whiskey Distillery.  We had an interesting self guided tour there, learning how whiskey is made.  Since Michelle and I don't drink we donated our samples and souvenir glasses to one of the young men in the group.

I did find a bag of porridge at the distillery though!  Mike and I love Irish porridge so it was exciting to find some to take home :)

We were dropped off in Dublin, said our sad goodbyes to our new friends and headed out to a hotel by the airport where we spent one more night before taking our long journey home the next day.  It was such a wonderful trip!  Thanks for hanging in there with me while I journaled and shared our photos.

I have a few more "design idea" photos to share that will be more quilting related.  It's amazing how you can see quilting designs everywhere you look!
Oh and tomorrow I'll have to share Phyllis' photo of bog butter :)  Have a great day!!  Or a grand day, if you're Irish :)

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