The reason the tour visited Middleton in Co. Cork was due to the Jameson's Whiskey Distillery. We weren't interested and decided to hoof it for downtown and try to find some ice cream. The ice cream in Ireland is delicious and different from ours. I really can't explain how but we had as much of it as we could manage--often it meant eating ice cream three times a day. (Life was tough.) Middleton turned out to be far more interesting than it's very English (read: been there, done that) name, this ancient gateway being a perfect example of the gems we found once the ice cream had been procured. Below we see that my fascination for windows and frosting-like cladding had not dimmed by this point.
Nor gingerbread-style trim, corbels, thick whiteish paint nor riots of flowers.
Nor . . sigh . . doors. This one is an especially satisfying example. Check out the side paneling!
There are many rows of pretty houses in Ireland. So beautiful!
As we walked along, we spotted this church spire. One would think we must have tired by churches by then but we had not. The hunt began in earnest. We had to do a lot of back tracking and asking for directions but we found it.
This church was one that appeared to be in use. Like pearls, old churches just seem more vibrant when they are being used.
Green against gray is the stuff Ireland is made of. Love it! So much . . .
I am fascinated with the statues. Many statues such as these were destroyed in England when the country turned Church of England. We did see a number of empty statue niches in Ireland, a sight I find particularly sad, but there were less of them here than in England.
This was my first chance to get close and personal with a graveyard. In Ireland, all graves face east, so they have a different feeling than those in other countries. Also, there was not a lot of lawn here . . . that seemed pretty odd, too.
Near the church we found this meandering path . .
And this gray stone house--so lovely! . .
And then, closer to the center of town, we spent a great deal of time spying on this house. It had such a lovely garden and I wanted to get the details down.
This is the part of the country where the parade of the hydrangeas began. Oh my! Such glorious displays!
This was another ruin near the church. It has probably been there for 1,000 years.
We only had an hour and a half in Middleton and then we were off to our hotel in Cork. It was the first time we had any kind of view from our hotel room.
As soon as we were settled, we hoofed it for the main drag (I can't remember the name of the street--it was named after somebody or other) (the Irish do this frequently--they are a sentimental lot) (which is one reason why I love them) and found a haven of gorgeous buildings and fun shops. They had a Laura Ashley store (be still my beating heart!) and though everything was closed (it was after five, doncha know) there was so much to see--such as these sweet little cherubs. At this point in day three, I had taken about 150 pictures--I knew my camera would do few more than 400 (I squeezed 518 full sized photos out of it by the end) and so I asked Mary to take pics for the rest of the day. Neither of us are sure what happened, but they won't enlarge. Bummer.
My favorite building of all was the Dunnes Department Store. We had encountered Dunnes everywhere we went. It's a combination of a super Walmart or super Target with clothes and groceries and everything in between. It's also sort of like a Macy's, depending on how the store was arranged and things displayed. In Ireland, you don't build a store--you have to make do with what is already there. So, the first one we went in was one level and absolutely huge from end to end. The next one we went into was three floors with the clothes on the ground floor, the groceries in the basement, etc. I believe this is the corporate headquarters and it is so exquisitely clad it almost makes me want to cry.
See how old and quaint it is? And then see the cool glass addition to one side? It's Ireland all over.
Like I said, my photos didn't turn out so I have found these on the internet. Many thanks to whomever took these!
Again with the two faces that appear to be having a chat--love it!
It took six blog posts to display photos from three days only! However, I got more economical with my camera as time went on. I think we can fit an entire day worth of touring in the next post--Blarney Castle is on the menu!
This entry was posted on Tuesday, August 12, 2014 at Tuesday, August 12, 2014 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .