Hung Over On The Auld Sod.
Saturday morning Jen and I woke with some pretty serious hangovers—the beers, mixed drinks, and shooter had all conspired to lay us pretty low. We staggered downstairs to the restaurant to have some breakfast, then back usptairs to shower, and made it to the checkout desk with five minutes to spare. I got on the house phone and made a reservation at a B&B in Cahir for the evening, and we got on the road at about 1pm.
Because of the late start, we didn’t have much time or range to sightsee, so we picked an easy destination and stopped at the Lismore Cathedral and Castle. The Cathedral is off the beaten path and very quiet; we were two of only a few to explore when we were there. The grounds of the cathedral are sectioned off so that the tourists don’t trample the grass around the headstones, but the interior of the church is peaceful and cool.
Walking down the street, we found the Lismore Castle after some hunting, and gained admittance to the gardens. (The castle is owned by the Duke of Something-Or-Other, and predictably, he doesn’t like tourists wandering through the halls.) However, the gardens are open to the public, so we ventured inside and walked the grounds. It’s the garden (and the yard) you wish you had—acres of exotic and not-so-exotic plants growing in plots that made sense, but weren’t overly planned or maintained—the whole place had the air of a fashionably overrun English garden. We got to climb one of the gatetowers from the original outer castle wall and peek over the edge (this would have been a dream come true for a 10-year-old Bill, let me tell you) as well as look in the windows of the castle (lots of drywall, unfortunately).
From Lismore we headed further north to Cahir, where we were pleased to find our B&B choice was an old-school storefront beautifully rehabbed into a private residence—best of all, it was walking distance to all the local pubs.
After checking in, we asked for a food recommendation and were pointed to a local pub which featured food better than the standard fare, and got seats at a table in the cozy bar section. I’d have to say this was probably the best meal we had in Ireland (in my opinion); tasty food served well with good beer. Returning to our room, we fell asleep to a documentary on Live Aid and Sir Bob on the Beeb which lasted at least three hours. (This is where Jen got the phrase “Feckofffeckofffeckoff” stuck in her head. Good times.)