Back to my arrival in Ireland... We took the red-eye, and although we found little sleep on the flight we were determined not to lose a minute of touring time. Minutes after landing and getting our rental car, we found ourselves at our first Irish castle: Bunratty.
The castle as it stands today originally built in 1425, was the fourth castle to be built on the spot. The site has been used since 970 when it was held by the Vikings as a Trading camp. It has since been restored and filled with furnishing from the 15th and 16th centuries, along with tapestries and other art work. I often point people in the direction of this website to view the Bunratty Collection. 'Tis impressive!
Also, if you want to see a great picture of the layout of the castle, I suggest visiting this page: A Tour of Bunratty Castle. I actually use this model a lot for my fictional stories.
Shannon Heritage takes care of the grounds and has created a folk park surrounding the castle. A real-life little village with re-enactors, so you feel like you are really in that time period. It was truly a fascinating place. The scent of the peat fires still linger in my mind. I did not get to stay for the medieval banquet, but they do have one I think almost every day. There is also a hotel you can stay at to enjoy the park day in and day out.
While I was at Bunratty, I enjoyed the village, got put in the stocks and learned a lot about Irish history. We finished our tour with tea at the Bunratty Hotel. It was truly a memorable time, and I look forward to returning there soon!
|The great hall|
|Outside the keep... just around here that I was put in the stocks|
|Part of the folk park|
|A very short bed. I asked if the Irish were shorter and the guide told me|
they slept sitting up as lying down was for the dead.
|Another folk park pic|
|The hotel where we had tea.|