Last Ireland post! On our last full day, we were swinging back around to stay near Shannon Airport since we had to leave around 8:00 in the morning to make sure we didn’t miss our flight. We made a stop to see the Rock of Cashel. When driving in to town, the complex just rises out of nowhere. I wish I had gotten a picture of that because it seemed surreal.
Rock of cashel is really a group of buildings. It was originally the seat of the King of Munster (?). Eventually it was gifted to the Catholic church so that it would never go into the hands of another ruler. The complex was added onto over the centuries. It was not all built at the same time, so there are many different architectural styles going on.
It was home to St. Patrick and his famous cross from the 5th century, which you can see inside.
That’s old! This orginally was outside, but now is protected. Not sure if you can the light shining at the bottom. The cross is actually hollow underneath and they have a mirror under it so you can see into it. The thought was this might have been where valuables were stored in the case of conflicts.
Our weather was nice and sunny this day, but it was sooooo windy on the rock. Apparently it is like that all the time. That made it kind of cold. There is some restoration work being done, as evidenced by the scaffolding.
This building was living quarters for the vicars (it is to the right of the photo above).
Inside looks like a house, kind of.
There are relics scattered all over, including the original St. Patrick’s cross above.
There is a romanesque cathedral:
Stepping out to the back, I guess you could call it. The cemetery area.
The cemetery on the grounds has a lot of the high crosses at the plots.
Everything is just so old! The stones have some intricate carvings as well.
The view is really amazing from the rock as well.
Our last night we spent in Killaloe/Ballina. They are 2 sister towns connected by a bridge over Lough (lake) Derg.
See what I mean about the weather while we were there? Doesn’t seem like Ireland LOL! This area was a little sleepy because it’s really a summer lake town.
We found a fantastic bakery just before they closed and had a snack by the water:
Noms. This was one of my favorite sweets during the week.
One last pub visit:
It was nice and open inside.
You wouldn’t know it from this picture, but everybody was gathered on the other side because they had a soccer game on the big screen. Sorry rest of the world, it’s not football. There is only one real football and that’s the NFL. ‘Merica!!
One last toast:
We were sad to leave. There is so, so much more to do and see. I doubt this will be our last trip to Ireland. It was the trip of a lifetime to go there.
All too soon the sun set on Killaloe and we had to say goodbye.
Thanks for reading along on our travels!