I sleep best when the air in the room is very cold, and I’m buried under the weight of several blankets. Which was what I got to do last night, because we’d accidentally left a window open, and the temperature had dropped significantly.
Like my vacation to Switzerland, the travel gods have seemed to have taken a token. In Switzerland it was my beautiful hand-made scarf made by one of my dearest friends. I was disappointed to discover last night that a silver heart bracelet that one of our friends got me from India went missing at some point over the last few days.
Breakfast at Castle View House (actually, we never saw a castle while there) was far less greasy than in previous locations, and pretty delicious. The rain and muck had cleared, and it was bright and cold at the mid-50’s. Heath’s Aran sweater that he bought yesterday came in handy.
After saying good-bye to our host and the old doggie, our first stop was Cahir Castle. And this was a real, honest-to-goodness castle – our first one that either of us had ever visited. We saw several other castles throughout our trip, but this one was the most picturesque, and seemed to fit what you’d imagine a castle would look like if you’d never seen one before. And the history of it is fascinating – there’s even a cannonball still embedded in one wall!
Unfortunately, the batteries on our camera died just as we got inside, so Heath had to dash out of the castle and wander down the street to get some. Cahir Castle is right smack in the middle of the town of Cahir (despite the carefully angled pictures that I took of the exterior, which make it look like it is in the country-side), so I waited like a maiden in a fairy-tale atop a wall of the castle watching Heath as he ran only a few shops down and got some batteries. This resulted in a “where’s Waldo” type of photo shot by Heath as he came back up the street.
We spent a large part of our day there, and even accidentally missed visiting a whole section of the castle. Got some great pictures of each other, too, on top of the ramparts. Scarily enough, there weren’t any railings on the taller structures, so you really had to be careful when climbing up and walking around on things.
Next stop? The Swiss House, which turned out to be closed for renovation. For reasons that I can’t remember now (probably because we’d been castled-out for the day), we decided to skip Ormand Castle.
We drove through some gorgeous sun-lit country-side, through Waterford, and just to the other side of Waterford Harbour, to the east of the city. We actually had to take a car-ferry at a narrow part of the harbour, and that was neat.
For our last night in Ireland, we got the best of all the B&B’s so far: Glendine Country House. We were both floored – with the view, the beauty of the house and grounds – everything! Glendine Country House is a gorgeous Georgian-era house with some additions (but we’re staying in the original section). It sits on a small farm, where they have deer, highland cattle (the only ones we saw on the trip, oddly enough), and a few other animals. It’s high up on a slope overlooking Waterford Harbor, and the rooms have enormous windows and lots of neat details.
Our host was the only one out of all the other B&Bs to offer us tea when we arrived, and we had it sitting in the lovely sitting-room off the front entry-way with a slice of cake to share. Soooo relaxing, and just what the doctor ordered. The room looked like it belonged in a Jane Austen movie.
Upon recommendation from our hostess, we selected a restaurant called Sqigy right next to the ocean. We didn’t even have to go back into Waterford to get there. It was a far less hectic pace on this side of the harbour. Sqigy was our best meal yet: delicious fresh pesto, local butter, brown bread, shrimp appetizer (pretty good), mushroom salad (to die for!), fish for dinner, nummy scalloped potatoes, and a dessert of berries in meringue bowl. The mushroom salad was so incredible that we asked if we could have the recipe, and the chef actually gave it too us! He didn’t provide portions, though, so the first chance we get to make it, and fiddle with it, we’ll share it with everyone.
The restaurant was very tiny, but not very crowded, so we had a marvelous time. After dinner, we took a walk along the sun-lit beach until the wind picked up and I started shivering. We watched dusk creep up from the harbour before crawling into bed and calling it a night.