Friday, September 3, 2010

Ireland: Day Two

To begin with, the owner of that first bed and breakfast was fantastically nice. We stayed at a place called the Glen and Eagle in Limerick.

Driving towards Dingle, we drove by a ruined abbey and decided to turn around and take a look at it. Once there we wandered around the grounds and the abbey itself for a bit, taking pictures, and then finally wandered out where two older gentleman were standing next to their car. One of them offered us a brochure and, if we wanted, an impromptu tour of the place, which we accepted. He introduced himself as Anthony Sheehy from Askeaton (where we were) and gave us a most informed personal tour of the Franciscan Friary/Abbey, all dates and details included. It was really amazing how much we had missed just wandering around by ourselves.

When we finally left we continued on to Tralee where we just planned on having lunch at a little place called Chopin's Cafe. However, looking at some of our maps we realized there was a hotel close by that really was in a castle. So, after an hour or two of shopping and poking our heads around the town, we decided to drop by Ballyseede Castle to see if they had any open rooms. Which they did. So we stayed.

We cleaned up and headed back into town for dinner, planning to stop at a local pub afterward where they were supposed to be playing traditional music that night. However, when we got to the pub we walked in, looked around a bit, and continued right on through to another door on the other side. Why? Because a.) there wasn't any music playing (we thought it started at 9:00 but it started at 9:30) and b.) there were only men in the place. There's nothing quite as uncomfortable as walking into a bar (by yourself or with a one or two other women) and being grossly outnumbered by men.

Anyway, we came back by after dinner and there was a sign on the door that said you had to be 23 or older to come there. So we decided to nix the idea and head back to our castle. I spent some time looking up that particular rule, and I don't really understand it. The legal drinking age is 18 in Ireland (correct me if I'm wrong) but there are still some places that set the age limit at 21 or 23. Why? If you know, enlighten me. I think it would have been just fine if we had decided to stay for the music, but there were enough pros to leaving that it wasn't a difficult decision to make.

We also met Arthur and Einstein at the castle that night. Arthur is an Irish wolfhound and Einstein...well, Einstein is special. I've never had a dog before, but Einstein was very sweet. He played the game featured in the two clips below. Basically, he brought a little pile of rocks at dropped them at my feet and I tossed them around and he either caught them or collected and held them in his mouth until he had them all and then repeated the process.

So, day two, awesome.

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