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Republic of Ireland East Coast Tour


Macroom Castle, Blarney Castle, Woolen Mills, Marine Bar Pub, and Famine Ships

Waterford, Dunndory Reginald Tower, Viking Longship, and Waterford Crystal

Dublin, St. Patrick's Cathedral, and Taylor's Three Rock Pub

Teeling Distillery, Church Restaurant, and Molly Malone statue

Macroom Castle, Ireland.

Macroom Castle.

Tours

We use the best tour operators to book tours to Ireland including escorted tours, hosted tours, and independent tours with hotels or bed and breakfasts.. Contact us to book your travel. We book travel worldwide. Check out our Special Promotions.

Ireland

We were on a tour of Ireland by motor coach on an escorted tour with CIE Tours. We first toured Northern Ireland, then the West Coastal Region of the Republic of Ireland, and finally the East Coastal Region of the Republic of Ireland, the details are here. Click on each webpage for details. Contact us for more information.

Macroom Castle

After touring the west coastal region of the Republic of Ireland we traveled to the southeast part of the island to begin our tour of the east coastal region. Southeast of Killarney in the town of Macroom, County Cork, we stopped to take a picture of the Macroom Castle, shown above. The castle probably dates from the 12th century. Through the years the castle was possessed by numerous owners, having either been won in battle or awarded for political reasons. The castle also burned a number of times and had to be restored. It was enlarged in 1565 and 1691. In 1924 the castle was bought by a group of local businessmen to be held in trust for the people of the town.

Blarney Castle

Blarney Castle, Ireland.

Blarney Castle.

We visited the famous Blarney Castle, considered to be a medieval stronghold and seen above, which is near Cork. The first building on the present site was likely a timber house. A stone fortification was built there in about 1210, but destroyed in 1446 when the present Blarney Castle was constructed on the site. The castle was sold and changed hands a number of times through the years. Today the castle is in a partial state of ruins. Only some rooms and battlements are available to be seen. At the top of the castle, reached by a narrow staircase, is the famous Blarney Stone that people want to kiss. It is called the Stone of Eloquence. In case you are thinking of going there to kiss the stone consider the following. You have to hang upside-down over a sheer drop, while someone holds your feet, in order to kiss the stone. We chose not to. But the castle is surrounded by extensive gorgeous gardens. There are numerous paths to choose and signs point the way to things to see. Below Rebecca is seen on one of the paths we explored.

Rebecca on a path in the very large Blarney Castle garden, Ireland.

Rebecca on a path in the very large Blarney Castle garden.

Blarney Woolen Mills

We stopped at the Blarney Woolen Mills where there are all kinds of Irish goods to shop and purchase. You can also order from them over the Internet.

Marine Bar Pub

View of beach and Caribbean Sea from the Rui Palace Antillas.

Singer with guitar entertaining in the Marine Bar Pub.

We had a good time in the Marine Bar Pub in Dungarvan, County Waterford on the southwest coast. We were there for Irish coffee and traditional music performed by a singer with a guitar. The singer is seen in the picture above in the back in front of the stone wall. From there we were headed north along the east coastal region to visit important tourist attractions including Dublin where the tour would end.

Waterford

Waterford is a city in County Waterford in the southeast part of the country. Vikings raiders first settled near what is now Waterford in 853. In 903 they were driven out by the Irish. But the Vikings re-established themselves in 914, and built Waterford, the first city in the Republic of Ireland.

Dunndory Reginald Tower

Dunndory Reginald Tower, Ireland.

Dunndory Reginald Tower in Waterford.

We were given a guided tour around the historic old port city. The Reginald Tower, seen above, clearly stands out. It is 55 feet (16.8 meters) high and 42.5 feet (13 meters) in diameter. It was probably built in the 13th or 14th centuries. It was part ofthe city wall of Waterford in medieval times. The tower has been used as a mint, prison, and military storehouse. People have also lived in the tower. Today it is the Waterford Viking Museum displaying archaeological finds. It is the oldest civic building in Ireland. Next to the tower is a replica of a Viking longship, seen in the picture below.

Viking Longship

Viking long ship in Waterford, Ireland.

Viking longship in Waterford.

House of Waterford Crystal

Demonstrating how the famous Waterford Crystal is made in Ireland.

Demonstrating how the famous Waterford Crystal is made.

We were given a tour of the House of Waterford Crystal to see how the famous crystal is made. The crystal was first produced in Waterford in 1783. But the factory in Waterford was shut down in 2009 when Waterford Wedgwood plc went into receivership. It opened again in 2010 under new owners. Most waterford crystal is now made in other countries including Slovenia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Germany. But the tour in Waterford demonstrates how the crystal is made and is well worth seeing. Each crystal involves a number of steps, one of which is seen in the picture above. In the picture below we are examining one of the beautifully created crystals, which Rebecca is holding.

Rebecca and Sunny examing beautiful crystal in a display room of Waterford Crystal, Ireland.

Rebecca and Sunny examining beautiful crystal in a display room of Waterford Crystal.

Famine Ship

A famine ship in Dunbrody like that used during the potato famine, Ireland.

A famine ship in Dunbrody like that used during the potato famine.

In Ireland in 1845 the potato blight had destroyed the main crop of tenant farmers. This created an economic disaster, and no help was offered by British politicians. Within 7 years 1 million people had died. There was mass emigration to other places including North America. Many emigrants boarded ships in Dunbrody for the 6 weeks crossing of the Atlantic Ocean. But so many people died in route that the famine ships became known as "Coffin Ships." The steerage passengers had to stay below deck except for 1 hour a day when they were allowed above deck in small groups. Then they would cook on stoves. During storms they could not go above and food consisted of hard-tack biscuits. They used buckets for toilets and washed with sea water. As many as 20 % or more of the passengers died on a voyage. Many died of cholera or typhus. Anyone that died was buried at sea. Those that made it to North America were filthy, without money, and possibly illiterate. They no doubt struggled to build a new life. The picture above shows a replica of a coffin ship and the picture below shows its top deck. We boarded the ship and explored both the upper deck and down below. Actors in costume told the stories of the emigrants and the problems they faced. It is very sad.

Upper deck of a famine (coffin) ship in Dunbrody, Ireland.

Upper deck of a famine (coffin) ship in Dunbrody.

Dublin

St. Patrick's Cathedral

Nave of St. Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin, Ireland.

Nave of St. Patrick's Cathedral.

The site of St. Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin is thought to be the first Christian site in Ireland, and is where St. Patrick baptized converts to Christianity. Prior to the present cathedral a wooden St. Patrick's Church existed on the site from the 5th century until about 1191. Then the church was given the status of a cathedral. The wooden building was replaced by the present cathedral which was constructed from 1191 to 1270. It is the largest church in Ireland. Due to the poor condition of the cathedral it under went a major rebuilding in the 1870s. Much of the current building dates from that time. The cathedral has not always served people. When Oliver Cromwell invaded Ireland and during his stay in Dublin, as a sign of displeasure he stabled his horses in the nave of the cathedral. However, through its many years the cathedral is said to have contributed much to Irish life. The nave of the cathedral is seen in the picture above, while the picture below shows beautiful colorful windows.

Colorful windows in St. Patrick's Cathedral Dublin, Ireland.

Colorful windows in St. Patrick's Cathedral.

Taylor's Three Rock Pub

Sunny, tour conductor Nigel, and Rebecca at Taylor's Bar in Dublin, Ireland.

Sunny, tour conductor Nigel, and Rebecca at Taylor's Bar.

In the picture above we are seen with Nigel O'Connor, our tour conductor. We were there for dinner and entertainment of Irish music in Taylor's Three Rock Pub.

Traditional Irish music peformed durning dinner at Taylor's Three Rock Pub in Dublin. Ireland.

Traditional Irish music performed during dinner at Taylor's Three Rock Pub.

While having a most enjoyable dinner the stage was alive with traditional Irish music. The music was of high quality and easy to listen to. As seen above the performer sang a solo and accompanied himself on a guitar.

Traditional Irish music peformed durning dinner at Taylor's Three Rock Pub in Dublin, Ireland.

Traditional Irish music performed during dinner at Taylor's Three Rock Pub.

There were also performances on instruments as seen above. The musicians were great.

Traditional Irish music and dancing peformed durning dinner at Taylor's Three Rock Pub in Dublin, Ireland.

Traditional Irish music and dancing performed during dinner at Taylor's Three Rock Pub.

In the above picture we were entertained by a group that was both singing and dancing. The step dancing was amazing to watch.

Traditional Irish music peformed durning dinner at Taylor's Three Rock Pub in Dublin, Ireland.

Traditional Irish music performed during dinner at Taylor's Three Rock Pub.

There was also music performed brilliantly on a harp, as seen in the above picture. The music always had a great sound. The performers were excellent.

Traditional Irish music peformed durning dinner at Taylor's Three Rock Pub in Dublin, Ireland.

Traditional Irish music performed during dinner at Taylor's Three Rock Pub.

There were also performances on instruments we had never seen before. It was a great evening and one not to be missed.

Teeling Distillery

One process in the making of Irish whiskey at the Teeling Distillery in Dublin, Ireland.

One process in the making of Irish whiskey at the Teeling Distillery.

One of the best ways to see important sites in Dublin is to take the hop-on hop-off double decker bus. We used it to get to the Teeling Distillery where we took a tour to see how they make the famous Irish whiskey. Above is a copper pot still which has the name Rebecca. It is one process in the making of the Irish whiskey. A special design encourages reflux which gives the spirit its smoothness and distinct purity. Another process in the making of the Irish whiskey is seen below. The sugary wort is moved to the fermenters where yeast is added to create a high proof bear. This process takes 3 to 5 days. A combination of tradition Oregon pine wood and modern stainless steel fermenters are used. The yeast eats the sugar and creates by-products including the desired alcohol.

Another process in the making of Irish whiskey at the Teeling Distillery in Dublin, Ireland.

Another process in the making of Irish whiskey at the Teeling Distillery.

Church Cafe Bar Restaurant

Organ pipes in the Church Cafe Bar Restaurant in Dublin, Ireland.

Organ pipes in the Church Cafe Bar Restaurant.

We used the hop-on hop-off bus to get to a very interesting restaurant to have lunch. We were at the Church Cafe Bar Restaurant. The restaurant used to be a church. It still has the pipe organs of the church, seen in the above picture. The food was good.

Molly Malone

Statue of Molly Malone in Dublin, Ireland.

Statue of Molly Malone.

From the Church Restaurant we took the hop-on hop-off bus to a point near the Molly Malone statue. "Molly Malone" is a popular song and is the unofficial anthem of Dublin. The song is a fictional tale of a young 17th century woman that was a hawker by day and a part-time prostitute by night on the streets of Dublin. As the story goes she died young of a fever. The song was composed in 1884. There is no evidence that either the song or statue can be related to any real woman at any time. The statue shows Molly with large breasts in a low-cut 17th century dress. This is considered consistent with the way women dressed during that time period. The statue was unveiled by dignitaries during the Dublin Millennium celebrations in 1988, and 13 June was declared Molly Malone Day. At the time the statue was on Grafton Street, but it has since been moved to Suffolk Street in front of the tourist Information Office. It has become common to touch the breast of Molly when visiting the statue.

Ireland

We were on a tour of Ireland by motor coach on an escorted tour with CIE Tours. We first toured Northern Ireland, then the West Coastal Region of the Republic of Ireland, and finally the East Coastal Region of the Republic of Ireland, the details are here. Click on each webpage for details. Contact us for more information.


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