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Full Circle

Bunratty Castle

We started our Ireland adventure sleeping in our car in the Bunratty Castle car park while waiting to check into our B&B. Remember in Ireland check in times are usually absolute. So it was only fitting that we ended our vacation back at the castle.

We started our day going into Shannon until we found out there is nothing in Shannon. The city center was a big mall area. We were hoping for the quaintness of the towns we had grown to love, but we couldn't find that here. So we decided to hit the road.

I had read about the Quin Abbey so we decided to take a drive there and check it out. The Abbey was interesting, with the mix of old and new burial sites. It didn't take us long to explore the Abbey and we were not looking forward to going back to the hotel.

So it was off to Ennis, we were hoping that it would have some of the atmosphere we were looking for. The city center did have some of the shops and history we were looking for but it was a mass of people and nowhere to park. Ennis was a bust. Where to next.

I wanted to head back to Lahinch to spend a little more time at the coast but there wasn't much else to do there but hit the pubs and that was out of the question as we had to drive. So it was off to Bunratty.

There isn't much to Bunratty except for the Woolen Mill, where I did a little more shopping, and the castle folk park. We shopped a little, went to the Creamery for lunch and then took in the Folk Park. It was definitely worth the 17 Euro admittance fee. We spent a few hours walking around the park and visiting the Castle.

We were lucky to hit the castle just as they were giving a tour so we learned a lot about the castle history. The castle was a completely intact castle so we were able to climb up the very windy and narrow stairs to various floors and then to the turret. They have midevil banquets there every night but we didn't want to do the drive back to Shannon after dark. So it was back to the hotel.

We have spent the rest of the day, relaxing, filling in our duty tax slips and repacking our luggage, as we now have extras to bring home. I haven't tried to close my suitcase yet but I don't think I will have to leave my clothes behind which is a plus.

I guess there is no better way to end our Irish vacation than heading out in sweats to walk next door to McDonalds at 10:00 PM because we didn't eat supper and now we are hungry. The menu was different but the food wasn't bad.

Almost time for bed as tomorrow it is back to the real world.

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