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Ireland 1996: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5


We drove to Wexford, then to Rosslare, the southeasternmost tip of Ireland, where we found the Hotel Devereaux at the end of the road on the top of the bluff, looking right at the docking ferries. This was land's end. It was Mother's Day in Ireland, so the restaurant was packed. Nevertheless, we had a lovely lunch of salmon with hollandaise, potatoes (two ways), turnips, carrots, and cabbage, as well as soup for me and salad for craig. They do not neglect the vegetables in Ireland.

Then we walked down 100 steps, out one kilometer, up 100 steps, and back one kilometer. In 1996 We are extremely pleased with the hotel and are in our room, having had hot baths, waiting for the music (directly under us again!) for St. Patrick's Day. Not sure we can do it: the main part of the hotel is over-run with unfettered small children. Eek! To be continued!


They are day trippers! The ferries were depositing Welsh daytrippers, who come to avoid taxes on cigarettes and alcohol. Not sure how this adds up, but it's what we were told by the two young Irishmen in the pub who talked to us about all things: travels to Poland, where everybody goes to bed by 8, and to Holland, where nobody goes to bed at all, about the Northern Irish who hate everyone, and about the drugs dealt by the travelers and the IRA. Travelers are gypsies. We saw them not so far from Kildare. They live in cars and litter. The road was lined with trash for a mile fore and aft of their caravan.

Our friends of the evening recommended Johnston Castle, Ferry Carrie (?) (which I first understood to be Furry Carry) (until I saw the map), and (for traditional Irish music), somebody named Clancy. So it was a very nice St. Pat's Day in Rosslare, listening to traditional Irish music live in the pub of our hotel with the two friendly Irishmen. Unfortunately, the usual English-American Top-40 thump is going on in the bar next door (it is also part of our Hotel Devereaux), and for the third night in a row, we are going to sleep try to with loud music underneath.

Cahir Castle

We didn't make Furry Fairy. Instead, we drove to Cahir. It was noticeably milder in the south, as we explored Cahir Castle, Rock of Cashel and the gardens at Anne's Grove. Cahir castle is one of the largest and best preserved in Ireland. On to Rock of Cashel. Those two places, Anne's GroveCahir and Rock of Cashel, were the only places where we felt the slightest company of tourists. As an antidote, we went to Anne's Grove.

To get there, we drove a long way off the track to Castletownroche, where the moss-green stone walls lining the narrow road were 8 feet high. It was misting again. We walked in on the road a good way before reaching the beautiful house (a private residence). We got a glimpse of lawn, a stable, and the big gate. Oh, what a place. We were not trespassing, by the way. Anne's Grove's grounds are open to the public. The walled garden, which was deserted, was incredible.

River Garden, Anne's Grove

The river garden is so natural looking, but we tramped downstream to where the river really was in a natural state, and it opened our eyes, as we doubled back, to how deftly the designer of this garden had tucked in footpaths, specimen plants and bridges. There was a woodland garden, too, but we saw less of that. The place is deeply enchanted.

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