We loved Ireland! Everything about the visit was pleasant, and dancing was only part of the experience. Liam O’Connor’s stage show in Killarney was fabulous and was enjoyed by all, and the Irish House Party we enjoyed in Dublin showed us a different aspect of Irish music and dance. Some people even got to participate in the dance lessons, and everyone was given the option of showing off talents of any and all descriptions! Good fun and a good meal made for a fine evening for all! Photos of this part of our tour of Ireland can be accessed by clicking on the Main Gallery tab above and then selecting Destinations/Ireland-II-2011 at my Main Gallery page.
The second part of our tour of Ireland began with a tour of the Rock of Cashel, ruins of an ancient church on the site at which St. Patrick supposedly converted the King of Munster in the 5th century. Few remnants of the early structures survive; the majority of buildings on the current site date from the 12th and 13th centuries.
Dublin dominated the second part of our tour, and the Irish House Party was a fitting introduction to the culture of this fun city. Our lunch at The Brazen Head, Ireland’s oldest pub (established in 1198) was a unique experience. Our tour of the Guinness brewery included lessons on how to enjoy Guinness (drink the liquid, not just the head!), even when you aren’t in Dublin (supposedly the only place where one can enjoy the true Guinness experience).
Although the tour of St. Patrick’s Cathedral was crowded we were awed by the size and beauty (and the amazing history) of this beautiful building and its gardens. This cathedral is also known as The National Cathedral and Collegiate Church of Saint Patrick, Dublin. Unusually, it is not the seat of a bishop today, as Dublin’s Church of Ireland Archbishop has his seat in Christ Church Cathedral, with Saint Patrick’s being (since 1870) the National Cathedral for the whole island, drawing chapter members from each of the twelve dioceses of the Church of Ireland. Saint Patrick’s is headed by a Dean, an office which has existed since 1219, the most famous holder being Jonathan Swift. The gardens provided a beautiful and relaxing place to enjoy the plantings and the stunning architecture of the cathedral on a sunny day.
Some of us were excited to visit the Trinity College Old Library to view the Book of Kells and other ancient manuscripts and books collected in the Long Room.
Our visit to Dublin ended with a beautiful sunrise which filled the sky with gold as we headed to the port of Dublin for boarding the ferry to Holyhead, Wales.