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    • Day 5

      Day 5 - Jeremy Irons' Castle

      August 5, 2019 in Ireland ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

      Today was an Irish Bank Holiday.

      Got up to write my blog, Angela got up around 7.00am, made a cup of tea & went back to bed. Chris got up & wandered around in his boxer shorts, then returned to the bedroom. Jackie then got up around 9.00am!

      We all got out around 10.30am & piled into the car. First stop was to try & get close to Jeremy Irons’ castle, Kilcoe Castle that was only a couple of miles from our cottage as the hooded crow flies. After driving down a series of narrow overgrown lanes we stumbled across a sign for a 12th Century Medieval Church & Graveyard overlooking Roaringwater Bay.

      We went to investigate and found it to be an ivy strangled ruin and a graveyard that still has approximately 2 burials a year. A couple of photos later & we walked down the lane passing a field full of cows towards Kilcoe Castle.

      The ruin of Kilcoe Castle was bought by Jeremy Irons in 1998 & started a 6 year restoration that cost €1 million. The castle consists of 2 towers, a thick one & a thin one, which are painted in terracotta. It is now Jeremy’s family home.

      Towards the bottom of the lane & at the end of a driveway was a sign telling us about Kilcoe Castle and that it was private property, but it didn’t say we couldn’t walk down the driveway to get a better look. Three of us strolled down to get a nice close-up photo, whilst Chris tentatively ambled behind fearing that we were trespassing.

      With a now perfect scenic advantage point we took several photos & hung around in the hope that Jeremy would come out & invite us in. He didn’t. Eventually we walked back up the driveway & were back at the sign when a car drove past us. The male driver, not Jeremy, did wave but didn’t stop, but instead drove through the wooden gates into the castle.

      We continued to the end of the lane where we found a couple of unoccupied holiday cottages at the waters edge. It felt slightly like we were trespassing again so we didn’t hang around after realising we couldn’t get a better view of the castle. We returned to the car, having failed in our mission to meet Jeremy, but Chris was resolutely determined. He changed tactics & exposed himself in a bush......he claims he was having a wee!

      He still failed, so we drove on to the little town of Ballydehob. We parked up in the shadow of it’s famous 12 Arch Bridge, formally a railway bridge over the estuary. We walked around the estuary, over the 12 Arch Bridge & back to the car. On the way we saw the rather ugly 14’ mermaid on a little island that is known as the ‘Lady of the Sea’.

      We cruised up Ballydehob High Street & passed the statue of Danno O’Mahony, Ballydehob’s very own world champion wrestler. We continued to the harbour town of Schull to sus out boat trips.

      Schull Harbour was a bit of a disappointment, it was small, but a huge,ugly, out of keeping restaurant dominated, spoiling the vista. We walked along the foreshore path & we were amazed to see people sunbathing & swimming in the sea without wetsuits. We then walked up to the High Street & found the Banratty Inn to be a suitable venue for lunch.

      Whilst waiting for our drinks & sandwiches to arrive, Chris & I visited the local lothario who ran the Tourist Information Office. A steady stream of middle aged women visited ‘Terry’, but he did have time to assist us with where the girls could go pony trekking & the best local places for live music.

      After lunch, we continued west to the end of the country through wild & rugged countryside. Less than 5 miles west south west of Schull at Toormore Bay, we stopped at Altar Wedge Tomb, a wedge shaped gallery grave AND National Monument. I don’t know what possessed us, but Jackie, Angela & I climbed up on to the Tomb for a photo opportunity. We then rushed back to the car & sped off before we got arrested for desecration or worse!

      At Goleen we took the scenic coastal route that followed the coast, passing more tourists shivering on wide beaches, round to Mizen Head & it’s Signal Station. The sun was out, but it was pretty windy.

      At Mizen Head we parked up, paid our €7.50 each & entered the Visitors Centre, which is an award winning Maritime Museum and Heritage Attraction. Mizen Signal Station was one of Marconi's first telegraph stations & in 1931 had the first Radio Beacon in Ireland.

      We walked down the path to Mizen Bridge, an arched bridge over a deep gully below, then climbed along several paths to get different views of the bridge & signal station. We then visited the signal station on a rock jutting out above the swirling Atlantic Ocean below, where there was information about Marconi & the Fastnet Rock Lighthouse, 16.5 kilometres out to sea.

      We climbed the 99 steps back up towards the Visitors Centre, then I bravely decided to walk down another long path to see the sea caves that apparently featured in the movie ‘Return of the Jedi’. The other three waited at the top for me. I took a selfie at the bottom & puffed my way back up to join them.

      We then headed back home, but not before stopping at a stables near Schull to enquire about pony trekking & then Field’s In Skibbereen for more provisions, wine & cheese mainly!

      It was gone 6.00pm when we finally returned to the cottage. We sat outside with a cup of tea & cake for 10 minutes before it got too cold, then we returned inside & spent the evening just chilling & chatting & occasionally drinking.

      It had been a really great day. The weather had also been kind to us. We didn’t encounter any rain, just sunshine & a lot of cloud.

      Song of the Day - Bank Holiday Monday by The Stereophonics
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    • Day 11

      Pässe, Seehunde und Mizen Head zum 1.

      September 7, 2017 in Ireland ⋅ ☀️ 16 °C

      Logbucheintrag von Michael: Als wir um 7 vom Regen geweckt wurden haben wir die Heckklappe geöffnet und noch ein wenig auf Meer geschaut. Der Regen hatte sich schnell wieder verzogen, sodass wir enspannt packen konnten und halb 9 bei 14,5°C los fuhren. Im nächsten Dorf gab es erstmal einen Kaffee und eine Kleinigkeit zu Essen. 10 Uhr fuhren wir durch Kenmare, auf einem Plakat lassen wir von einer Bootstour zu Seehundbänken und Seeadlern. Also ab zum Pier, da angekommen mussten wir lesen, dass die heutige Tour erst halb 2 gewesen wäre, was uns zu spät war. Also weiter Richtung Süden über den Healy Pass nach Glengarriff. Von da ging es mit dem Boot nach Garinish Island, eine kleine Insel mit angelegtem Garten, da ist ganzjährig mildes Klima durch den Golfstrom. Auf der Bootstour zu der Insel lagen auf kleinen Felseninseln überall Seehunde. Also doch noch welche gesehen. Die Insel selber war im 18. Jahrhundert angelegt worden und hatte paar schöne Aussichtspunkte. Das Wetter war an dem Tag nicht das beste, immer mal wieder leichter Nieselregen. Dann ging es weiter Richtung Süden, nur noch einen kleinen Abstecher nach Norden um die Einfahrt Richtung Priests Leap zu erreichen. Im Lonely Planet als schwindelerregende einspurige Straße bezeichnet, musste das getestet werden. Ich war ganz froh, dass uns auf den 15 km nur ein Auto entgegen kam. Aber es hatte sich dann doch gelohnt. Auf der Fahrt weiter Richtung Süden haben wir schonmal nach einer Unterkunft geschaut und sind in Schull fündig geworden, zuvor wollten wir noch zu Mizen Head, auf dem Weg dahin sahen wir einen mega Strand, aber noch war die Zeit nicht reif. Bei Mizen Head angekommen, sahen wir einen Parkplatz und dachten hier macht man auch nur wieder ein Foto von der Küste und es war auch schon 17 Uhr und noch hatten wir keine Unterkunft. Also umgedreht und ab nach Schull, doch auf dem Weg dahin hielten wir an dem Strand. Handtuch eingepackt und mal hin gelaufen, sah kalt aus, egal Klamotten runten und rein da. Sarah hat Beweisfotos gemacht. Es war bei Weitem nicht so schlimm wie ich es mir vorgestellt hab, aber bei 14°C Aussentemperatur war ich dann trotzdem froh, wieder Klamotten anzuhaben. 18 Uhr sind wir dann in Schull angekommen, aber unsere Unterkunft war uns zu weit vom Pub entfernt, also fuhren wir in den Kern und probierten es bei Rockery Cottages und hatten Erfolg. Bei zeigen der Zimmer sagte uns Rita, dass wir unbedingt Mizen Head anschauen müssten, aha dachten wir und werden das wohl morgen nachholen müssen. Wir sind dann noch etwas Essen gegangen und nochmal in ein anderes Pub und dann war es das auch für den Tag.Read more

    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Schull, An Scoil

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