Thursday, June 11, 2015

Ireland 2015: Cong, Ross Errilly Friary, and Blarney

For dinner on May 24th, we headed ‘into town’ from Ashford Castle- into the village of Cong. It’s a quaint little town built around Cong Abbey. We explored all the ins and outs of the abbey and the streams that surround the city and connect the Loughs Corrib and Mask. We found a great little pub for dinner, the Crowe’s Nest Bistro, and then we all fell into our beds for a long night’s sleep (although the sun didn’t go down until 10 p.m.!!!).2015-05-24 18.51.042015-05-24 18.58.192015-05-24 18.58.54CF6C0049CF6C0059CF6C0078CF6C00792015-05-24 19.05.592015-05-24 19.17.24CF6C0095CF6C00992015-05-24 20.33.18
HG woke up on the morning of her sixth birthday, May 25, in the Lodge at Ashford Castle. We had a nice breakfast (pancakes/ crepes for HG again), and then headed out for our next destination- a quick stop for touristy stuff at Cong, on to Blarney, and then to Galley Head. On the road out of town, we stopped to find a ruin that we had seen on the way in, which turned out to be the Ross Errilly Friary. It was an amazing piece of history and very worth the extremely scary (narrow) road to get there and the heart attacks that John Toohig gave me walking on top of walls.
Birthday breakfast shotCF6C0129“The Quiet Man” museum and shop (Note to self: watch the movie to see what all the hype in Cong is all about)CF6C0139Ross Errilly Friary: Built in the 1300s, it was the site of centuries of turmoil as the monks were kicked out by the English, invited back by the nobles/ landowners, over and over again.2015-05-25 11.37.352015-05-25 10.54.142015-05-25 10.55.25CF6C01512015-05-25 10.55.56 HDR2015-05-25 10.56.33 HDR2015-05-25 10.58.572015-05-25 10.59.58She was excited to find this stairway with a door at the top…2015-05-25 10.57.58…and the door went to nowhere! It must have gone to a second story long ago, and John and Spiffer felt the need to explore.2015-05-25 11.00.30They had their eyes on an odd little sculpture, trying to figure out what it was.2015-05-25 11.02.532015-05-25 11.01.36And tis is what they found!CF6C0175CF6C0185HEART. ATTACK. 2015-05-25 11.06.572015-05-25 11.08.002015-05-25 11.26.182015-05-25 11.27.34

When we were last at Blarney in 2007, it was raining as if we were in a monsoon, and we ruined the shoes we were wearing. It could not have been more different this time with endless sunshine, puffy clouds, and blue skies. We saw the place entirely differently! Last time, we each kissed the Blarney Stone. This time, HG went in wanting to kiss it too but changed her mind after she saw the height and long line. We used our time to explore the caves under the castle and the poisonous garden. 2015-05-25 15.45.24 HDR-12015-05-25 15.46.04CF6C02832015-05-25 15.49.042015-05-25 15.50.172015-05-25 16.03.422015-05-25 16.06.182015-05-25 16.07.262015-05-25 16.17.362015-05-25 17.13.32CF6C0337CF6C0344CF6C03502015-05-25 17.55.03
Now off to Galley Head!

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