Thursday, May 7, 2020

Ireland - Installment VII

The Rocklands House in Kinsale was aptly named. Perched high atop Compass Hill above the village of Kinsale, we were gifted with such beautiful views of the town and the port on the River Bandon. Kinsale, much like Dingle, was a very tourist oriented town. It was full of gift shops, both budget and upscale types, and restaurants of every variety. The first evening after John drove us around the main part of town and dropped us off, we strolled a bit and then settled on a pub called The White House.

The White House proved to be your average pub with congenial company. We were seated at a booth across from another American couple with whom we shared experiences of our travels in this lovely country. After a Guinness or two it seems that everyone in the pub is an old friend. This held true for all the stops we made on our trip with both tourists and locals. The White House was decorated with art work and oddities, one of which impressed Rich so much that he came home and recreated it with odds and ends that he had around the farm. He originally placed it in a prominent place just inside the front door of our store where it sat all winter. When he finished his winter project, carving out space in his wood shop and building an office for himself, I insisted that he move "the Thing" into his new man cave!
It has no function other than as a conversation piece!
After a very restful night in one of our host's comfortable rooms we ambled down to breakfast a few minutes early when the smell of fresh coffee wafted up the stairs. John told us to pick a table and he would pour us a coffee. Then while we waited we took our coffee to the dining room windows to enjoy the breathtaking view once again. Our second cup of aromatic coffee was served with breakfast where I couldn't get enough of John's delicious, warm, homemade scones. When I asked for the recipe he told me that I could find it on Mary Berry's website (The Great British Baking Show judge). I have tried it but mine were just ok.  They must need the atmosphere of Ireland and someone else to bake them for me in order to come out so tasty.

After breakfast that first morning in Kinsale, we drove out to Charles Fort  which also overlooks the River Bandon. Charles Fort is a 17th century bastion star fort. It was constructed in 1682 by the British and was in continual use until 1922. It housed British troops in the Williamite War, WWI, and through the Irish Civil War. Rich and I wandered up and down through the massive stone walls of the fort and through the Officers' quarters, Governor's house, soldiers' quarters and the stables. It was a beautiful and peaceful site in spite of it's original use. We stopped here for our late morning snack, deciding to forego lunch and have an early dinner instead.

Charles Fort Governor's Quarters

Officers' Quarters

Outer Defense Wall

Coffee Break

Governor's Quarters from battlement (soldiers quarters are below)

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