Saturday, July 31, 2010

Val's Visit Part 2

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:


'What?'

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.....

20 comments:

DK Leather said...

How fabby! Of course I've seen most of Bunratty Castle now ~chuckles~ oh well never mind!

Ooh must tell you, the little unsavoury looking character in the wall is a Sheela na gig - see this link! I remembered reading all about them once. :D http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheela_na_Gig

Can't WAIT til Thursday, all so exciting! ~bounce bounce~

...and I'm looking forward to seeing your entries to things, maybe next year Lina and I will enter some! :D xxx

Lisa at Greenbow said...

It sounds like you enjoyed Val's visit as much as I know she did. I hope you have a great time with your daughter and grand. See you when you can return to the net.

Mildred said...

What an interesting post Gina. I loved every word. Jim's sister is lovely and I am so glad you were able to enjoy so much while she was visiting. The weather sounds delightful. Hope you have a lovely visit this next week also. Take lots of pics to share.

DK Leather said...

ooh I meant to say that, Mildred reminded me... Val's really pretty! :D xxx

BT said...

Hi K, I almost said don't look at today's blog! But I can assure you there's lots you haven't seen and lots we didn't have time to see either! Thanks for the info on the little critter! Eeerm, you are already entered in one thing. Tee hee.

Hello Lisa, I'm sure Val did enjoy her stay. We took it easy as much as possible. See you soon. xx

Hello Mildred, I'm so glad you enjoyed the post. Val certainly had fun. She's very fond of her brother. We were so lucky with the weather as it's not been good up till then. Oh yes, there'll be lots of pics you can rest assured!!

Hi K, yes, Val is pretty and looks about 10 years younger than she is.

DK Leather said...

ooer, am I? ~chew lips~ eek! LOL

The sheela na gig was supposedly a goddess fertility figure!

Ooh and I forgot (another thing I meant to note) how much I laughed at the Boat for sale sign - brilliant!!!

Leatherdykeuk said...

What a splendid castle. Estate workers would have lived with the animals for warmth, of course.

Heather said...

Fantastic post Gina, with wonderful photos. I love the wooden carving and chapel ceiling. The spiral staircase looks very narrow as well as steep. Love the cottage too, but I've grown soft in my old age and want my mod cons! The baby sparrow is sweet and the cockerel is very handsome. Good luck for the Gort Show.

Jason said...

Looks an interesting place, sounds a good visit.

The show sounds great, look forward to the write up xx

BT said...

You are right Rachel, they would have.

Thank you Heather. Wasn't the sparrow cute? Glad you enjoyed the posts.

Thanks Jason, I think Jack would enjoy Bunratty - there's a park too!

Lynn said...

I love that stairwell shot...and thatched roofs always amaze me.
Looks like a fun time had by all. Happy for you.

Bea said...

Great photos, thanks for sharing. I bet she had a great visit. It sounds like you guys are going to be super busy this week. HAve fun. :)Bea

sam said...

Lovely castle, those stairs look awful I would have had a bit of a wobbley moment having to go down those - remember the ladder in the windmill when we were on the broads! xx

Deborah said...

I enjoyed all of your photos, particularly the one of the sparrow. Sounds like a great visit.

BT said...

Thanks Lynn, it was a bit steep on the stairs!

He Bea, it is a bit chaotic this week. Lots of things to do for the Gort Show. I have loads of photos to print and my colour ink has run out!! AAAh! Busy busy....

Thanks Deborah. I have a wonderful shot of a starling too. It was a fun day. We're going there with my daughter and Granddaughter on Thursday!

PAK ART said...

Sounds like a wonderful visit - I just love those old castles and seeing how things were done prior to electricity and all the other modern conveniences. Makes you really appreciate things like a stove.

lauren carney said...

hello lovely one!
i'm swooning over your fanciful pictures and am simply delighted by your blog!
thank-you for such splendid posts! x

Mim said...

sounds like you've had a wonderful time with your SIL. I love Bunratty castle - found it facinating. lovely pictures here.

marianne said...

Looks and sounds like a good time!
Beautiful pictures BT, as usual!

Have a nice day!

Arija said...

What a full on life you are leading. I am exhausted just reading about it.
Hope you have lots of fun at the show; We participate as exhibitors and judges in our local ag.show at the endof our sumer in March.
You certainly have made a fantastic place for yourselves with all your renovations and creation of that lovely garden. I just wish I still had that sort of energy.