From castles and small villages to a charming city, we saw it all today. Traveling north from Killarney, we made two stops on the road to Galway. The village of Adare was filled with quaint thatched roof cottages and was also home to a Trinitarian monastery built in 1240.
Then it was off to Bunratty in County Clare. The 15th-century Bunratty Castle was a treat to explore—it was filled with beautiful tapestries and plenty of winding staircases to each room.
A folk park which recreates what life was like in an Irish village over a century ago surrounded the castle. Wandering through the farmhouses and a main street complete with a post office, it felt like we had stepped back in time.
Every day we’re discovering more of Ireland’s history and folklore from Allie’s tales—she’s a fantastic storyteller. Today was all about the Irish fairies because of a particular tree next to the road we were traveling on. In ancient times, the Irish were very superstitious and believed that fairies assembled in whitethorne trees. Farmers would never cut down these “fairy trees” on their land in fear of upsetting their residents. The belief still lives on today: Only a few years ago, the plan for the highway we traveled on was delayed and re-routed to protect a whitethorn tree that was in its original path. Nobody wanted to deal with a group of angry fairies!
This afternoon we were free to see Galway, a bustling city that actually feels more like a town. It was founded by fourteen tribesman, whose banners fly high in the main square called Eyre Square.
My absolute favorite spot in Galway was where the River Corrib flows into Galway Bay. There, the brightly colored boats and houses pop against the blue water and sky.
A group of us joined the excursion to Dunguaire Castle for a night of entertainment. We sampled mead, honey wine, and were regaled with harp music and tales of Irish kings and poets during our delicious meal. It’s not every day you can say you’ve been a guest in two castles!
Have you ever been to Ireland? Tell us about it in the comments below!