Adare - just 15 km from Bunratty
Adare is one of my favorite villages in Ireland because it really offers a lot of great sights for tourists : there is a row of wonderful straw-thatched houses in the mainstreet and close to the castle, that was transferred into a luxury-hotel :Adare Manor House
Some people say, that Adare is a tourist-trap, but I like it a lot and may highly recommend it for a stop-over. For a place to stay overnight, for souvenir-shopping etc., you better check the prices in advance, they are a bit higher because they are used to hundreds of bus-tourists every day in summer and tourists staying only a short time will accept almost any prices !
Bunratty Castle stands on what was originally an island and sits next to the River Ratty and the River Shannon. The Vikings were the first to fortify the site and their original moat is still in place.
"Closest hamlet to Shannon Airport"
Ok, little confession here, after 18years in the airline industry I never knew that Shannon was pretty much just an airport with no city. It's the starting off point for group tours of Ireland! I discovered my error when I needed an inexpensive flight from London to San Francisco but found a terrific deal on Continental Airlines from Shannon to Oakland. I bought a ticket on Ryan Air from Stansted to Shannon and figured I would find an inexpensive hotel in Shannon. This is when I discovered Bunratty just down the road from the Shannon Airport. There really aren't any "cities" in the area, Bunratty is a very small "Hamlet" with several hotels, a pub or two and restaurants. Perfect for spending the night. The hot spot seemed to be Durty Nelly's for that old fashioned Irish pub feeling. The food was ok but the pints were great and plentiful! If you need to overnight near the Shannon Airport I recommend Bunratty.
Arriving in Ireland
When we landed at Shannon airport, the weather was cool. I was pretty tired by the time we got to the hotel. They gave us room 409. We had to wait for some wedding photos to be taken in the lounge before we could get through from the lobby to the elevator because the photographer had the way blocked. We unpacked a bit. I had intended to have dinner and shower, but I was too tired to shower.
We didn't (or at least I didn't) want to eat dinner in a fancy place, so we went to Kathleen's Bar which was the hotel pub type place.
I woke up about 11:45 and the TV was on - I spoke to to my grandson but he was asleep. I got the controller and turned off the TV, and then went to the bathroom and went back to bed.
"June 2, 2007"
The weather was drizzly rain. Got up and edited pictures and wrote email until about 10 and then decided it wasn't going to stop raining, so we walked to the shopping area and bought some souvenirs.
We walked over to the Bunratty Folk Park.
My feet were still too swollen to get lace up shoes on. We got a wheelchair and did some of the village in the rain, and stopped for tea, scones and for my grandson, an apple tart at the cafe there,
Then we went to tour the castle - we accidentally came in the exit. When we got to the Great Hall, I sat down and sent my grandson up the stairs
to the towers and then came down the entrance stairs. He took lots of photos from there.
The rest of the tour group got in this afternoon. We are meeting for dinner which was billed as a medieval banquet.
The banquet was at Knappogue castle (they took us by bus - it is listed under Quin). It was very interesting although not authentic - as my grandson pointed out they had tomatoes which would they would not have eaten in those days. The entertainment was Irish dancing and playing of the violin and harp.
Tomorrow - visiting the Cliffs of Moher