Tuesday, November 4, 2014

A Long and Winding Road.....or, Farewell Castle, Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow!

Once again we started off our day with a delicious breakfast.
Check-out is noon, so we are going to go on the 11 am cruise on the loch.
Jessica, Sam and Jim waiting to board.
No, we are not cruising in these.......
Sam got to sit in the Captain's chair, wear the Captain's hat and blow the boat's horn.
and......oh, did he blow that horn!!!  There was no doubt left to anyone within earshot that the boat was about to leave.
Sam was made honorary 1st mate.
It was a little chilly up on the top deck.
Did I say that it was a little chilly on the top deck??
The wind died down a little.
Some parting images.
This is the drawing room, a good place to relax in the evening.  They have live music, singalongs, etc.
During the afternoon, you could have lunch here.
Leaving the castle.
So very sad!
We passed this beautiful church on the way off the castle grounds.
Duck crossing in Cong.
Ruins of a stone circle.
There was no parking, so, it was a drive-by photo op.
Park at your own peril.
Driving to our next adventure,
Somewhere around here is a place called Linnalla Icecream.
Followed the signs and the GPS.
Ended up at a dead end.

But, sometimes when you get lost you find cool things.
Never underestimate dead ends!!
Finally found it!!!!!
Yay for us!
Looking out the window of the ice-cream shop.
Getting some ideas.
Jessica had vanilla.
Jim tried honeycomb.
I loved the wildberry flavor.
Sam??  Chocolate of course!!!
We did find that in Ireland, the chocolate ice-cream wasn't as sweet as here in the USA.
I liked it and Sam, our chocolate ice-cream/custard connoisseur, slurped it up!
The shop and their ice-cream making facilities were on a working farm.
So, you definitely could see the process from start to finish. 
One of the roads we ventured on.
It was the width of our car.
We managed to find Aillwee Cave with a minimum of fuss.
They also had a bird of prey exhibit where you could do a hawk walk, etc..
It was starting to get a little late, so we opted to just do the cave.
Plus, we had already had such a fantastic experience doing a hawk walk at Ashford.
It was OK, as far as caves go.
There was a few dramatic moments.
Sam was more impressed with the hiking paths outside.
On the drive there, you could see very rocky hills could pass as mountains, all along the way.  Sam kept wanting us to stop so he could climb them.
Our GPS started to do some funky things and we were worried about being able to find our next bed and breakfast.
We pulled over to get our bearings and this is what we found as we walked down a path.
"A dolmen, also known as a portal tomb, portal grave or quoit, is a type of single-chamber megalithic tomb, usually consisting of two or more upright stones supporting a large flat horizontal capstone (table), although there are also more complex variants. Most date from the early Neolithic period (4000 to 3000 BC)."
As I said before, getting lost can let you discover something you may have otherwise missed,
That being said, our GPS took us on every back road, the skinnier the better, that there is on the way to our next stop.
It was dark, the roads were narrow and was scary.
Oh, and it was raining for some of it.
But, just when we were about to abandon all hope......
It is located in Bruff, Limerick.
The town of Bruff was very busy that night because they had just won the local championship.  There was even a street parade!
The owner, Miriam, greeted us.  She said that because of the upcoming celebrations that night, she had moved all the guests to the back of the house to try and ensure a quiet and good night's sleep.  We were grateful!
This is Jim's and mine room.
We had fish and chips for dinner.
Settled into our rooms with a prayer of thanks for our safe arrival!
Sam was not pleased.
He missed the castle.
It may not have been a castle. but, The Old Bank Bed and Breakfast was turning out to be a great place to stay for our last few days in Ireland.

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