Monday, August 16, 2010

Limerick. Bunratty Castle, County Limerick

Limerick's Bunratty Castle

Bunratty: For the indigenous Irish in 1275, a disaster.  For the Normans, who displaced them thanks to the Earl of Clare, it was a bonanza.   But the O'Briens and the MacNamaras fought back against the Clares, winning the area back and rebuilding Bunratty for themselves.  See http://www.travelsinireland.com/castle/bunratty.htm; and http://www.guide-to-castles-of-europe.com/bunratty-castle.html

Plan to fly into Shannon Airport at Limerick early in the morning, so there will be a full day available ahead. Early also means a better choice of the rental cars - even if supposedly reserved in advance. Bunratty is on the route north, just past the airport area.

Bunratty Castle, Limerick, Ireland 

 It is a perfect first stop, and a breather from driving on the left.

See http://shannonheritage.com/Bunratty_Day.htm/. There had been an older Viking site there.

 It is reconstructed and furnished, with guides and an outside village "folk park" area with the cottages and peat fires.
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There are medieval banquets at Bunratty if you are there at the right time. You can see huge pieces of furniture salvaged from the wrecked Spanish armada, see http://bunrattycollection.com/search.php?r=7". There are elk horns as wide as a small room. See them at http://tourismireland.igougo.com/photogallery/displayFeaturePhoto.asp?ID=200159.  See shades of animals gone.

We were there before it opened, and a guide took us through anyway.  His comment: Fairst oop, baist draist, meaning, "First up, best dressed".  That is an old cottage saying -- the one first up gets first choice of the closet.
First up, best dressed. First come, first served.

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