I am sitting in Shannon Airport waiting. Later today, I will be home. It will be very good to see Fergus, Merlin and the girls. And it is always good to be home. But in the meantime I thought I would share a few pictures from our last day.
We started out at St Brigid’s well in Clare. Brigid was a Celtic goddess. She has many wells throughout Ireland. The Celts thought water was sacred and had many holy wells..often springs. When St Patrick converted The Irish to Christianity, Brigid became a saint.
There were many offerings. And behind the well, is a fairy tree….tied with more wishes. It must be a sacred place indeed. It was our final stop in Clare. I too, tossed a Euro in the well..and made a wish.
Our next stop was Bunratty Castle and Folk Park. The castle was built around 1425. It was an important stronghold of the O’Briens in the 16th and 17th centuries. It is currently furnished with 15th and 16th century furnishings. You can go up on the battlements and get a great view of the Shannon River. They have Medieval Banquets there as well. It is a good castle to explore.
The Folk Park is a collection of cottages which they have moved from various parts of Ireland. They are furnished as they would have been. In the summer they have people in the cottages to answer questions, but they are not there this late in the season.
The first cottage is a fisherman’s cottage from Loop Head. You can see the curragh in the yard. The thatch was tied down with ropes to protect it from the Atlantic winds.
These lovely hens were scratching nearby. The Irish Wolfhound has just come back from his walk and is intrigued by the hens. In the summer, he is up near the farm at the park, but in the wet weather he is kept here. It is warmer and dryer.
Next was the Golden Vale Farmhouse. A much wealthier family. Here are some of the interiors.
In addition to the cottages and farm they have a village street with little shops. Most of them were closed at this time of year, but I did notice this sign on a wall.
Right next to the folk park is the famous Durty Nelly’s Pub. It is usually very busy, mostly with tourists, but at this time of year it was uncrowded. We easily got a seat by the fire for our final pint…..since it is “good for you”.