Wednesday, July 26, 2006


I caught the bus to Kinsale this morning, made famous by various celebrity Tv cooks etc, so I knew it would be a bit more touristy than Youghal.
First I wandered through the farmers' market which had all sorts of interesting things on sale. Then I arrived at the 12th century (Church of Ireland) church, full of memorials to people but with much of the details of its early construction no longer visible. I was struck by the first stained glass panel I saw as it seemed to have all the hallmarks of a Bosdet stained glass (whose glass I saw on a tour in Jersey.) The wings were colourful like his magnificent wing designs, the halos were each different, the faces had a pre-Raphaelite beauty, there was handpainted detail on the angels' gowns, and the glass used on the central figure was brilliantly coloured. I took a photo to send to my Jersey guide to see if he thinks it is a Bosdet.
I then carried on climbing the hill and came to a Catholic parish. There I met a lovely woman just taking down a display about how Irish Catholic money had been used to help tsunami victims. There was also a wonderful display of photos about a local Kinsale man who went out there and helped with actual building work.
I had decided to go on a walking tour that started at 11.15. It was incredibly informative, but perhaps not quite what I expected as it involved more of a lecture approach than much actual strolling and looking at details in the town. Perhaps because the town is largely newer than its history. We found out where the walls ran, and were told a lot about the history of the harbour and the strategic significance of the harbour forts over time. We learned how much land had been reclaimed and it seemed that all my earlier morning walk until the brief climb to the old church had been over land that used to be in the sea. Kinsale was very well placed to service sailing ships coming to and from the Atlantic.
I had to eat some fish for lunch (though I took the cheap option so ruined my beautiful fresh fish with batter!). Then it was very muggy so I decided against a walk around to the fort, which I probably should have walked to in the morning. Never mind. I went far enough around to see the two forts at once across the narrow channel of the harbour, and how they protected the population.
It was a humid drive back to Cork as the bus air-conditioning wasn't working. I guess that doesn't often matter in this part of the world but it was a problem in the bus I was on yesterday afternoon as well. Then at the bus station I tried to buy a ticket for Glengarriff tomorrow morning, only to find the ticket office only sells tickets for that day. The one ticket machine often doesn't seem to give change so it doesn't seem that provision for buying tickets is exactly state-of-the-art. Still, buses have got me places safely so far through some lovely countryside so I mustn't be too grumpy about it.
I am still waiting for the famed Irish rain to fall. But I won't wish it on myself!


  1. Hi Kiwi, If you get to Glkengariff, make sure you fo to the Eccles Hotel (you can;t miss it!) and have a pint of Beamish in the bar! Have one for me too!

  2. Hello, really enjoyed reading about your Irish adventures, especially Glendalough as I used to live there. Have a great journey!

  3. I did go to Golengarriff but never saw this before I went and there was no internet access for me while I was there.... I never went to the Eccles!!!! (Looked a bit posh for my budget!!! - I was in Murphy's Village Hostel!) Loved Glengarriff and went walking on the road to Kenmare which had spectacular views.

  4. I loved it in Glendalough pianopoet, though I suspect we were a bit spoiled with the wonderful views in the good weather. I gather it is often far more misty and cloud-ridden in the valley. Which would make it all the more mysterious but not so good for the views. Had to take the Ring of Kerry views with a good dose of mist and drizzle today though!