Now where was I? Aha, yes, Bunratty Castle and Folk Park.
On the next floor up from the banqueting room there were some wonderful Belgium tapestries on the wall. I love old tapestries and have enhanced one to show what it would have looked like when it was freshly finished:
This is a section of the one above. I love his beard.
This is probably nearer to the original colours.
This rather scary little person was set into one of the walls. There was a wooden carving depicting country scenes by the window. Here is one of its sections:
We climbed right up to one of the corner towers. It was a long way down! Here's a view over the Shannon estuary.
Here's Val studying the castle map to make sure she didn't miss anything!
Val hated the stairs, especially going down.
The last Duke's chapel was up some more stairs in another corner of the castle and this is the restored ceiling. Fabulous.
We were ready for our cup of tea and headed to the tea rooms. It was warm enough to sit outside. The hawthorn hedge alongside us was full of sparrows and I caught a shot of this one:
It looks enormous, doesn't it?
After the castle, we toured some of the park. It's huge, much bigger than we thought it was going to be. There are lots of dwellings recreated to show how the Irish folk lived. This cottage was a representation of one lived in by people at Loop Head. The thatch had to be roped down to stop it taking off in the high winds by the coast!
This was one of the more salubrious dwellings. Most of them only had 2 rooms and some had the animals in with them. There was an open fire and a few meagre pots and pans.
There was a rather handsome cockerel wandering about the place, followed closely by a white hen:
Here is the inside of one of the cottages:
This is similar to our cottage layout. The 'crane' swings the pots over the fire. We found our old crane and are going to try and fit it back into our fireplace.
We had a long and tiring day but an ice cream on the way home revived us a bit.
The next day, Val's last full day, we took it easy in the morning, then decided to go to Scarriff then on to Lough Derg in the afternoon. We were pleased to see that our favourite cafe in Scarriff, which had been closed for a long time, had re-opened. We had tea and cakes and a great chat with all the people who came in and out. We walked to the harbour but there weren't many boats about. I did find this rather splendid piece of machinery though:
And a boat for sale: At least, I think that's what it said!
Having stopped at various points round Lough Derg, we realised we were quite near the wind farm. We can see the sails from our gate on the top of the hillside. We couldn't get right up to the farm but we were quite close.
The photos weren't very good but here's one of them.
Now the photos won't upload at all. Still, we know Val really enjoyed her stay and we loved having her. Our next guests arrive on Thursday! My daughter K and Granddaughter Lina. Hoorah!
The Gort Show
Next Sunday, 8th August, is The Gort Show. Jim and I and K and Lina are all helping as stewards. Plus we are also entering lots of things so it's going to be a horribly busy week. I've just put tassles on the end of a scarf I have knitted, found a made card from Christmas and have printed ONE photo!
Have a good weekend and week everyone. I may be gone some time.....