"" Writer's Wanderings: Kinsale, Ireland

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Kinsale, Ireland

After Dublin and Waterford, it was nice to spend some time in a small town and Kinsale was all you could hope for in a quaint Irish community. Our Bed and Breakfast was in a historic building dating back to the 1800s that used to be the residence of the priests of the parish church. It was only a few steps from the main part of town.

Our first order of business was to take a historic walk of the town. Dermot Ryan's Heritage Tour had come highly recommended through Tripadvisor and Rick Steves' book on Ireland. He was a wealth of knowledge and took us through the town relating interesting bits of history using lots of illustrations that he had organized in a looseleaf binder. Why so many drawings? Because many of the very historical markers of the town had been destroyed. Still, it gave us a look into a history we were just beginning to grasp of Ireland.

Some of the buildings were painted in very bright colors. In Dublin, we had seen some very colorful doors and the story was that they were different colors so that the Irish husbands who stopped by the pub on the way home from work would be able to tell which home was theirs after their pints of Guinness. But it sounds like the colorful buildings and doors we ran across were more a statement of independence from the rule of the British royalty years before that demanded bland colors.

The harbor was full of boats but some sat on the bottom as the tide went out. The level of the water would drop about 8 feet. It was amazing to see the difference when the tide came in again.

After our dinner at the Crackpot Restaurant--all the restaurants seemed to have funky names like Fishy Fishy, The White House, Man Friday and the Stolen Pizza among them--we walked over to the Tap Tavern to get in on the Kinsale Ghost Tour. I was a little leery of this but it turned out to be great fun.

Two fellows are involved. One takes you around the town after dark and tells tales and stories of some of the folk lore. The other dresses like some of the characters in the stories and runs through the crowd in several places like a ghost run amok. It really wasn't scary and was more history and lots of fun. They ended with a tale of The White Lady who haunts the fort there. She lost her brand new husband through a serious of mishaps that all started with her wanting some flowers that grew on a cliff. We thought the story was a made up Irish tale but when we went to the fort the next day, there on one of the placards describing some of the history was the same story.

Bottom line: the Irish have a great way of sharing their history and spin a great yarn doing it.

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