Sunday, September 11, 2016

Day 17: Rainy Limerick

We had juggled a number of options in our planning, but in the end, we took had to take into account the weather.  Which was forecast to be rainy, and the kind of in and out showers that had passed for rain.  So we passed on a lot of trips that would require being able to see views and set off for Limerick on the bus, bent on taking in what sights we could.  

We’d been a bit uncertain about Limerick which in the past has had the reputation of not being a great place (twenty or so years ago, it was known as ‘Stab City’ for all the knife violence}.  We found this to be extremely out of date.  If Limerick is not now a major tourist destination, than it can’t be far off.  They have a charming riverfront walk, with pleasant views of the city.  I particularly liked this statue honoring the dock workers. 
We started by walking to King John's Castle, an imposing and very evocatively castle-like structure.
The historical exhibits at St. John’s Castle are both interesting and extremely well and professionally done.  At the castle we saw the exhibits, briefly braved the wet towers and chatted with the costumed interpreters  (Who were extremely pleasant, especially considering they were huddled in cold shelters in the courtyard, barely sheltered from the damp.)  We spent some time chatting with the lute player, who talked very interestingly about the music and the instrument.
We walked around the castle enjoying the atmosphere despite the rain.  Here's the courtyard. 
And the views of the river from atop the towers were excellent. 
 After viewing the castle we stopped for lunch (and also breakfast) at the cafe, which provided soup, toasted sandwiches and a very generous pot of steaming tea, for which I was very grateful!

We moved on to the Hunt Museum, bequeathed to Limerick by the Hunt family- they appear to have been collectors of some note, with interests ranging from early glass to medieval Irish artifacts to pottery and religious artifacts.  The museum apparently still makes acquisitions of contemporary art, which is hung in the stairwells, while the galleries are reserved for the original collection.  (JT’s explanation for this, “There isn't enough wall space in the rest rooms.”)

By then the rain had slackened to a mere sprinkle, so we resumed walking- to the Milk Market, which was sadly closing down, and up to admire the rows of handsome buildings in the Georgian section of town.    

As the afternoon progressed, most of the town began rolling up the sidewalks, it being Sunday.  Most of the retail establishments and the city museum were closed.  So we strolled down the other side of the river, stopped to view the Treaty Stone, supposedly the stone on which a treaty was signed between the Jacobites and followers of William of Orange.  

We crossed back over the river and  proceeded on to the pub with traditional music and dancing we had spotted for our last evening in Ireland. The Locke proved to have good food, good music and really terrific dancers.  See for yourself.  (Let me know if you have trouble viewing the video- I may have to repost it through Blogger.)

I don’t ordinarily shoot video (I tend to think of it as intrusive) but Sarah, who is dancing in the video asked if I shot any good pictures or video if I would post them to  the pub’s Facebook page, so I took that as tacit permission.  That’s Cian dancing with her- he was also playing flute and I think piano.  Sarah also sang- she has a lovely voice- and Deirdre played harp and Brendan button accordian. 

We lingered until the show was over and then had to hustle back to the bus station to get our ride back to the hotel.   And the next morning we flew home.  Usually by the end of a long vacation like this I'm more than ready to sleep in my own bed, but Ireland was marvelous and I was sorry to leave.  We're already talking about things we missed seeing this trip and want to do next time.  

Thanks for joining me on this virtual vacation!  Next post we'll be returning to our regularly scheduled knitting and crafting content.  

1 comment:

  1. I just love how there's a centuries old castle, right by the modern city.