This is from the family crest at Faithlegg.
I had a good nights sleep last night. We were told that we needed to have our bags outside our doors at 7am so I packed last night. I was up at about 6:15, showed, shaved and ready to go. Breakfast is not suppose to be until 8:00, but with the number of people in our group, I decided to go up a bit early. I wanted to try to get a picture of the front of hotel, before the buses ruin the view. I hiked up to the manor house and…the buses were already there, in the way. Damn it! Well I went in and had breakfast and then hunted down John, our bus driver.
After finding John and making arrangements to have him wait nearby after “all” the buses were on their way I decided to walk up the long main drive to the road.
There was a village church there that I wanted to visit and see if there were any good photos. It would be tricky as the sun would be in the wrong place for decent lighting. The church was fascinating. I had seen it from the bus as we pulled in, but I had not realized there where two churches there. The one that was being used at present…and an older church…all that was left of it was the shell. But it was still pretty cool. I walked around the church yard looking at the marker stones. We were not that far from where I believe my great grandfather may have been from…but I did not see any Howletts in the yard. I did notice that many of the markers were fairly recent. As in the last 50-75 yrs. I did find one or two from the 1800’s, but most were from the 1960’s forward. I also noticed that there was a large area on the other side of the newer church, that had been laid out for future use. Now seeing as the other church must have been on the site for a least a couple hundred years, it made me wonder if they recycle the burial plots.
This is the village church that is across the street from Faithlegg
Any way, back to the manor. Everybody was done with breakfast, and were loading up on the buses. I told the photo guys from my bus, what I had arranged with John, and a few of us stayed put while the other buses moved. Of course as soon as John moved our bus, one of the other drivers pulled right up in front of the manor blocking our attempts to get some good photos. Some good natured cursing and that was soon corrected also. We got our shots and loaded up on our bus and headed out.
On our way to Kinsale we made a couple stops.
One of the stops was in a village called Youghal (which is pronounced Yawl). This is the village where the 1950’s movie Moby Dick was filmed.
The empty burial plots behind the newer church
Then it was onto Blarney. Home of the famous stone and woolen mills. When we got to Blarney it was lunch time. First things first…time to fill my belly. This is where I had my first helping of original Irish Stew. It was fabulous. It was not like the stew my mother and grandmother used to make. Less vegetables, more meat and barley. It was yummy! Along with the stew came 2 big scoops of mashed potatoes.
You pretty much get potatoes with everything over here! After lunch I said good bye to the crowd I had lunch with and headed for the Castle. (They had already been there and done that and were not interested. They were going shopping in the woolen mills outlet stores). As I was walking to the castle I ran into two other people from the tour. They were also headed to the castle so we decided to go together. The ground around Blarney Castle and Blarney House are very pretty. Just inside, past the gift shop (where you pay your fee to get in) was a blooming Cherry Tree. It was in full blossom. It was even prettier than the one I say last year in San Francisco. We walked to the castle and took some great photos. As we approached the castle, we made a decision to visit Blarney House first. It is nearby, and continued the nice walk we were making.
Blarney House is/was the residence of the family that owns the property the castle sits on. I guess the castle just got to be to drafty and uncomfortable after all those years. For some reason I don’t remember, we did not go into the house. We did the OOOW AHHHH thing and then returned to the castle. One of the girls I was with did not want to go into the castle (I don’t remember if it was a height thing or she had already done it) so Julie and I went in with out her. The castle is pretty cool. It is a ruin, has not roof, etc. I think my eldest son would like this just like he did Urquardt Castle in Scotland. Any way as we made our way to the battlements were the famous stone is, I talked my companion into doing the kissing thing. I went first. The guy that was there to help was a regular comedian. After I kissed the stone he told me I was to heavy, he could not pull me back up (He was just this little mousy thing of a guy).
Well, that prompted me to yank myself back up with out his help. Bastard was just kidding. Then it was Julie’s turn. She made it look so easy. And wouldn’t you know it, the mousy little man did not give the pretty red head any trouble. Having kissed the stone, I am now suppose to have the “Gift of Gab”. The only thing I noticed was I was able to read the informational plaques with out my reading glasses…and that did not last long! J
Brace holding up a wall in the old church
After kissing the stone, we walked around a bit more, and some how we all got separated.
Well I walked back towards the village, and did some window shopping. I fell into a conversation with a shop keeper and his wife for about 15-20 min. The locals are very friendly. We chatted about where I had been so far, and where I was headed to. They gave me several recommendations on places to eat when I got to Kinsale. Then it was time to head back to the buses. And it was onto Kinsale.
The grounds at Faithlegg
Kinsale is a quaint little fishing village. It has become known for its fine food. But getting there was a struggle. Seems there was a lot of road work going on, and getting a large touring coach into town was go be a bit difficult. But John showed that his driving large vehicles since he was 17 has paid off. He sailed into town no problem. He even backed his bus into the parking area in front of the hotel with little effort.
I was amazed. Well we got all checked into the hotel and as I was on my way out to explore the town, I was met in the hallway with an invite to a room party. Cool!!! Now I was making another set of friends. This was the more serious party crowd. We had a couple of beers in the room, and more and more people started showing up. A decision was made on where to eat dinner, and off we went. While we were eating dinner, Keith and a couple of guys from the band found us. They sat down at the table next to us and the good times got even better. After dinner, Keith told us to follow him to another pub to close the evening. So we walked thru the town, had a few more pints and got to know even more people. Soon it was midnight, and this pumpkin needed to turn in. I had decided that I was going to make my first hike of the trip the next morning, and I wanted to be up by 7am.
A path that led to one of the greens on the golf course