The final big ticket item of my trip to Ireland was to spend a few hours exploring The Rock of Cashel, located in County Tipperary. The Rock of Cashel, more formally St. Patrick’s Rock, is also known as Cashel of the Kings.
County Tipperary is adorable, as are all Irish towns. There is parking near the castle for a price, so we parked about a 12 minute walk away. For free. Walking through the town was more fun anyway. If I had extra room in my bag I’d have stocked up on Irish strawberries and potatoes – the two items I couldn’t imagine tasting as good as they did.
The Rock of Cashel is one of Ireland’s most visited sites. “A collection of medieval ecclesiastical buildings set on an outcrop of limestone in the Golden Vale. The 12th-century round tower is of the oldest surviving building on the Rock.
The 13th-century Gothic cathedral is a large cruciform Gothic church without aisles built between 1230 and 1270. Also a 15th-century castle and the Hall of the Vicars is the entry point to the ecclesiastical enclosure. The Hall houses the museum where the original Cross of St. Patrick can be found.”
I spent all of 15 minutes listening to a guided tour before wandering off on my own to relish in the beauty and detail of all the medieval gravestones. The weather was perfectly sunny with a few puffy clouds, giving the gravestones extra dimension with their shadows.
Ireland is a very religious country, and their dedication to preserving these spots of historic significance is inspirational. They see a 5 ft stone wall, remnant of a castle from long ago and they leave it in the middle of an open field.
In America that “rubble” would be torn down quicker than you can say “supersize me” in order to build another mini mall. Insert eye roll here.
The view from the site was gorgeous. Endless green rolling hills. In fact, the hills were so enticing that I failed to notice when, where, and how I ended up with a glob of bird poop on the side of my shirt. And I mean globbb. The cool, wet sensation took some elbow work to scrub off.
I then wore the same shirt all day. And the next day. Without a proper wash.
From the castle we took a slight detour south to Waterford, Ireland’s oldest city, for a tour of House of Waterford Crystal. I was neutral to this tour initially, but it turned out to be quite entertaining. There are only 15 guys in this factory that make hundreds of crystal pieces.
And just like that, the final two items on our list were complete. We managed to hit every single place we planned, with enough wiggle room for places we didn’t plan. This trip was perfection, and I’m in awe of how much we covered.
Until next time Ireland, you’ll be in my heart forever.
Travel Tip: Go to Ireland. The end.