Britain 09 - Day 9
Breakfast at the Arlington was a casual affair, buffet-style with reasonably good food and service. We packed early and departed, following the Liffey for a while to get out of Dublin. Being Sunday morning the traffic was light. We headed west and south, almost back to Waterford, to visit the Rock of Cashel. On the way we stopped at Moone to see the High Cross, and at Caher for the castle. Then we headed north through Abbeyleix, to Mountrath, through the Slieve Bloom Mountains to Birr and Tullamore. We arrived in Tullamore in the late afternoon. It was Sunday and most shops were closed, including the restaurant at the Days Hotel. However we found the very pleasant Sirrocco Italian Restaurant nearby.
The High Cross at Moone
We departed Dublin on the M7, changing to the N9. Off to the west of Moone, on a narrow road, are the remains of a church that now houses a restored High Cross. This one of several in the region. Most of these high crosses were used as teaching aides, with the one at Moone having some very good examples of stories carved in stone. Although some of the scenes depicted on the cross are of mythical animals and their meaning is unclear, other scenes are easily recognised. The 12 Apostles, the loaves and fishes and Jesus entering Jeruselum on a donkey are obvious examples.
The Castle at Caher
We travelled through Paulstown and on to Caher to view the castle. We stopped here for lunch at a nice cafe beside the weir and bridge over the river.
The Rock of Cashel
Overlooking the town of Cashel is a tall spine of rock with the remnants of a large cathedral built on the summit. It is clearly visible from all around the district. At the foot of the rock is a large carpark, which requires you to pay (€2 from memory) on departure. You put your coin in the slot and the barrier arm raises. Drivers in the know wait patiently in their cars just beside the barrier until an unsuspecting driver pays their money and departs. At this point the other driver(s) slip in behind you and tailgate out on your money before the barrier arm drops again! Who said the Irish were not clever....
There is a short steep walk up to the entrance to the cathedral. You pay your money, climb the stairs and then can walk around the site. In its day, the cathedral would have been an imposing building. Even today it provides evidence of the power and wealth of the church.
Last updated: 16/06/2017