Apr 1 1230 pm
I took a bus this morning to Cahir, a smallish town about an hour east of Cork. We passed a street sign on the interstate that said ‘165 people killed on Cork roads in the past four years’. Well Cork is a country roughly the size of Jefferson County. 165 ppl in 4 yrs sums up to about 41 ppl a year. 1000 people die on Kentucky roads each YEAR. I’m pretty sure lots more than 41 a year are dying just in our county alone. Of course I don’t know those statistics for sure. My question is what the hell are we doing wrong??

I don’t know what it is about bad 80s and 90s pop music, but it’s getting on my damn nerves. Even the bus drivers play it! Restaurants, people in cars on the streets, it’s just a bit too much.

The drive here to Cahir was lovely. We passed some pretty farming hills, and it was a foggy, cloudy morning. The tops of the hills were covered in wispy fog, it was so cool. I took a couple pictures but I don’t know if they’ll look ok in retrospect.

I’ve also drawn the conclusion that Ireland would be the absolute best place to retire. I’d like to find a little cottage on a patch of land, within at least an hour of a village. Keep a couple cows for milk (and because I’ve always wanted cows), a couple horses for riding, and a small garden where I can grow my own vegetables. And of course lots of dogs, cats, rabbits, chinchillas, and fish, lol.

Cahir is a cool little place, but it’s a little rough around the edges i.e. rundown and somewhat dirty (almost like it’s a little too industrialized). The castle was worth coming here, the bus dropped us off right in front of it. Of course, being a small town, the tourist information office is closed for the season. Luckily, the castle was in sight, lol. It was free tour, like Blarney, so I just wandered through at my leisure. It’s not as big or cool as Blarney, but it’s pretty. And imposing. It’s outer defense walls are completely intact, as well as most of the insides.

Spiral staircases led up into each of the four towers. In one tower, they spiralled down into a dark abyss (which I found out later was a well tower), but it was so dank and scary that I refused to even go down to look through the rod iron gate crossing just where I could see it. I did push through some of my fear of the dark to go up that same tower (more creepy unlit rooms) all the way to the top where I could look out over the river. There was a lot of period furniture set up in various rooms, so instead of just looking like a ruin, it resembles what the castle might have looked like hundreds of years ago.

One thing I will say about Cahir Castle…if it’s not haunted, I don’t know what haunted is. Lots of creepy noises, plus the entire time I was walking through and treading staircases, I swear it felt like I was being watched. That’s the first place I’ve had that feeling.

I walked down the street to see the ruins of Cahir Abbey (thanks to the lady working reception at the castle who gave me directions). The abbey is completely ruined. MOst of it is gated off because it’s too unsafe, but you’re able to see the chapel, which is moderate in size. What sets it apart is the fact that there’s no roof. You walk through the door and you’re outside again, lol.

The tower at the main chapel you could climb, so I did. As I walked very carefully up the stone spiral steps in the near dark (the abbey isn’t lit or manned), I wondered if it had ever occured to the builders that one day their magnificent accomplishment would lie destroyed. It was sobering. Our past is disappearing before our very eyes, it’s so important to take the time to preserve and care for those historical monuments.

I’ve had to wait an hour for the bus to Cashel. I still have about fifteen minutes left of that hour, but it hasn’t been too bad. It is pretty cold outside, though. Everyone keeps saying it’s going to get nicer.

Apr 1 300pm
The Rock of Cashel is gargantuan. I thought Blarney was big, The Rock takes up an entire hill high above the town of Cashel. It stands sentinel over the town like a protective father. Pictures can not do this place justice, it’s magnificent. Although it’s large, it doesn’t have any stairs to climb to other floors to see, the wooden supports and floors rotted away a long time ago, as well as the roofs, leaving it just a shell open to the elements. The cemetary had some beautiful monuments, including a praying Virgin Mary the size of a ten year old that absolutely fascinated me. Plus the view from the Rock was amazing. It took me about an hour to see everything.

I’m currently sitting at the bottom of the hill the Rock sits upon, writing among the ruins of Hore Abbey. There is NO ONE here. I am all alone inside (or outside rather, lol) here to wander. The Abbey sits dead center in a cow field, and the long walkway that led to the entrance from the road was covered in nice little cow pies. I felt like I was dodging land mines. Of course, the Rock wasn’t busy either, only six or so other people there. I guess that’s the best thing to be said for coming in the off season–no crowds, not even really bad in the big cities either.

Though the bad part of the off season is things being closed, like the tourist office in Cahir, as well as the ‘Swiss Cottage’, which is another heritage sight in Cahir. Unfortunately it doesn’t open until Easter (I’ll be in Galway easter weekend). But none of the huge touristy sights have been closed, so it’s not bad.

Apr 1 344 pm
I had to walk all the way back to the town center to find an open pub (I was thirsty…got a glass of water. And a Captain and Coke. lol.) There are a couple other little things to see here in Cashel, but I’m still debating whether to do them or not. MY knees are killing me–I think one part cold, two parts all the walking i’ve done in a week.

I miss Andrew. I miss my dog. I miss my kitties. I miss my silly little fluffy chins. I miss my sisters and my family. I’m starting to get homesick.

I’ve just decided I’m not dying to see anything else here, as I just came for the Rock and the Hore Abbey. I’m just going to hop the next bus back to Cork, which is at 450, another forty minutes. I think I’m gonna go wander the tourist office for a bit while I wait.

Tomorrow I’m going to be on the Ocean! A little town called Kinsale.