Tuesday, June 19, 2018 (Go South: Dublin to Dungarvan, Co. Waterford )
Today is first official day of our Ireland tour with Inroads Ireland. Today we head south and will not be back to Dublin and the Hotel Clarence for one week.
7:00 a.m. finds us eating breakfast with members of our first week's trip. Breakfast buffet is a part of the tour and each day it is a treat. Besides all the stuff on the buffet we can order one hot item off the menu.
Here are our tour participants this first week:
Lin Sisson, Taunton, Massachusetts (who will be on all three trips with us)
Stuart & Mary Bell, Tybee Island, Georgia
Joseph & Ellen Aebig, Yorktown Heights, New York
Cami Lucht & Amy Theilen, Ames, Iowa
John & Mary Poehlman, Racine, Wisconsin
Candace Reinheimer & Rebecca Weber, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Brantley Hodges & Jonnie Hart, Shreveport, Louisiana
By 8:30 a.m. we are meeting our tour guide, Mike Brady. Mike will be both or our driver and our tour guide. By 9:00 a.m., we are loading our suitcases onto the small van our group of 15 is taking south in Ireland.
Our first stop in Ireland is the Moone High Cross (County Kildare), Ireland's second tallest cross.
The 17 foot tall cross is located in the remains of an old abbey believed to have been established by Saint Colmcille. High crosses like this one and their intricately carved designs have inspired the faithful through the ages and became integral to Irish culture, history and art.
Today we stop in Castledermot (County Kildare) for our morning coffee break. The group has the option to eat, shop or do both. Denice and I decided to partake in this offerings of the Mad Hatter Cafe which proved to be typical of the kind of cafes we will find in many of the small towns we visited.
After lunch we did a little walkabout.
After lunch, we got back on the van and headed over to the Castledermot Round Tower (County Kildare), a 10th-century round tower founded as a monastic settlement in 800 AD.
Our next stop was in Graiguenamanagh (Couny Kilkenny) where we visited the Duiske Abbey, built in the 13th Century.
Lunch today was at the Pomegranate Cafe, Graiguenamanagh (Couny Kilkenny), which looked like this inside.
Denice and I went for a walk around Graignamanagh Catholic Parish church and its graveyard.
As the afternoon proceeds in Southern County Kilkenny, we head over to a 6,000 year-old megalithic portal tomb. These are tomb entrances that are preserved long after the tombs themselves have been dismantled by farmers, probably for the stone.
Tonight our accommodations are the Tannery Townhouse, Dungarvan (County Waterford).
The beautiful Georgian guesthouse is owned and operated by one of Ireland’s renowned chefs and around the corner is his fantastic restaurant. We decided to eat tonight under the direction of chef Paul Flynn. Dinner tonight was a seven course chef's choice that we devoured which included appetizers (black pudding, cauliflower soup and jellied fish), salmon, lamb, trout, beef. Then it was a banana and chocolate dessert followed by cheese.
Yup, that is the high life in Ireland.
Our room tonight is in another building owned by the Tannery.
Still, we are in Ireland, and on the sea coast. It is special.