Kinsale, Ireland – 12 May 2011

A full day plus in Kinsale.  I can run harder and do more than most people half my age – 13 1/2 hours out and about today in Kinsale and environs.  Kinsale I could easily spend many days in, and even though I have done most things here I would not mind coming back and experiencing things again, and probably with a different more relaxed outlook.

I went to the 9:15 AM history walking tour that Rick Steves’ says is the best thing here — it was great.  From there I did the Desmond Castle (in various lives it was the old customs house, French prison, held American prisoners, poor-house for famine victims, undertaker establishment, and now even a wine museum).  But at the town’s museum I had a volunteer spend a long time with me.  It is in the old courthouse built 500 years ago, and essentially unchanged.  It was here that the inquest was held following the sinking of the Lusitania in 1915.  All the artifacts in the museum are Kinsale related. They have the original charters (no where near kept in proper security or climate control) dating back to 1601 hanging on the wall. Artifacts from the town’s 19th century 8 foot 2 inch giant, Lusitania items (see deck chair to the left) and on and on.  No photos allowed, but he said I could take some in opposite direction from the charters on the wall — I used just available light!  I then headed off to the Charles Fort for more history, and a guide helped me try to understand the wars of 1601, 1690 and the shifts of power — I am getting it down, but was able to buy a few books in the local bookshop on the local history and famine.

Main Street - Kinsale - Crooked because the street originally followed the harbor shore line. The houses on the right were built where the original Medieval Town Wall was.

Next I drove around the harbor to the other abandoned fort and blockhouse.  I would love to give you a geography lesson along with history lessons, but I want to keep this short tonight.  Afterwards I drove to the breathtaking Old Head of Kinsale and the beaches.  There is just so much here.   The gentleman who helped me in the museum said that I had to have a beer at the quaint The Tad Tavern, and then eat at Max’s.  Both I did (by the way Guiness is now my choice of beverage).  The owner’s of the tavern do a funky ghost history walk at 9PM which I was partially debating about, but at the tavern over my Guiness I was visiting with several American couples who were excited about the walk.  After dinner, I debated, was actually back in the car, but got out and went to the tour — it was humorous theatrical fun, but historically correct (remember I have learned alot).

Dingle Harbor from remote James Fort

I hate to leave here tomorrow morning, and cant’t believe I have had 5 full days in Ireland with only one left.  Friday I have a museum I want to see in Cobh, a distillery just up the road from there, and head to Waterford.  I do not have a B&B booked for tomorrow night, but will wait and see how far I can get from Waterford to have a shorter trip Saturday morning to the airport.  Part of my plan in B&Bs was WI-FI to keep in touch, if that does not work tomorrow I can at least type into my wordprocessor and do a copy/paste to a blog post when I have access at the airport.  So much more I want to write and remember – will have to work on it at home. 

My hostess just found me typing in the sitting room – she had been looking out the window often to see if I had returned — no guest has ever had such a long day out in town she said — but that is RAY !!!

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1 Response to Kinsale, Ireland – 12 May 2011

  1. Marian says:

    WOW..the Dingle Harbor is gorgeous. What a fantastic view. You must be exhausted with all of the miles you have put in and places you have toured. Memories of a lifetime I am sure. Funny thing I ran into a lady while shopping today in Wal-Mart, a store I never frequent but there are a couple of items I HAVE to get there. Lady and I were trying to solve a problem and she told me of a related experience in Ireland on a visit a few years ago. I told her that I had a friend touring there now. She said she would go back in a heartbeat. Small world.
    Get lots of rest will be a short night it sounds like. Love, Marian

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