For our last full day in Ireland, we decided to be ambitious and book a 10 hour tour of the more scenic bits the country has to offer.
Think: sheep, castles, big rocks, and fairy trees.
We had to be up before the sun in order to get a taxi to Dublin’s Heuston Station. Destination: Limerick. From Limerick, we piled onto a charter bus and spent the rest of the day getting carted around from one rural village to the next by a slightly hungover Irishman. It was exhausting, but SO much fun.
The first stop of the day was the adorable Bunratty Castle in County Clare.
The castle was surrounded by greenery and authentic medieval era houses, complete with the thatch roofs, chicken coops, and…
…old ladies making scones! They time machine’d her here from the 15th century. Talk about the ultimate tourist experience. Ha.
The castle itself was like something out of Game of Thrones.
(Fun fact: they actually film a lot of the series in Northern Ireland, so it really IS like something out of GOT.)
Apparently the castle fell into disarray during the 20th century, but was rescued by a couple of rich Brits. They refurbished the inside, and filled it with lots of medieval artwork and furniture.
It was a little precarious getting around all the corners, especially trying to finagle two way traffic in this teensy staircase.
These teenagers enjoyed it though. I’m sure their smiles were inspired by some bodily-function related humor.
The views at the top were stunning.
This here’s the ‘Ratty’ river.
And this is a peep hole into the main chambers, supposedly so that guards could keep and eye (and an ear) on the people below.
After a full tour of the inside, we did some more wandering around the castle grounds.
So many cute, colorful houses.
My favorite part of the castle visit was when we got to eat. Obviously.
Remember that lady making scones?
Well, here they are, living amongst all the other yummies.
Eaten with cream, strawberry cake, and afternoon tea.