Monday, September 30, 2013

A Day in the Waterford Area

We are staying two nights at our B&B in Waterford, which gave us an opportunity to see the area. This B&B (St. Joseph's) is on a convenient road on the south side of the city; we have a spacious room with a very nice bathroom.

After a nice breakfast we headed northwest to Cashel, which is famous for its citadel on a large rock outcropping overlooking the town. Our drive was through the countryside, avoiding the major highways. The roads here are famously narrow, but so far we have done all right. There is no verge at all, the vegetation and/or stone walls come right to the edge of the blacktop. Sometimes it opens up and there is a 6-12 inch space with grass. We met a few large farm implements and even a semi or two, but we were able to get by each other without too much strain. I've heard the roads in the west are narrower; I'll let you know in a few days. And I'll get some good pictures. The major highways are much more spacious, and we've been on a few of those.

One thing I have noticed driving through the countryside is that all the houses have a concrete apron. Most of them have concrete, asphalt or gravel right up to the edge of the house with no yard at all. Some have lawns, but then there is a blank area. No shrubbery. I have to wonder if it is due to a problem with the sod and water leakage or damage to the structure. Maybe I can find someone to ask.

The Rock of Cashel was very impressive. There was a large car park at the foot of the hill and we walked up (not really very far). It has surprised me to see recent graves in these old cemeteries (Jerpoint Abbey yesterday, too). I wonder what relationship is necessary to qualify to be buried on the grounds of these old monuments.

View of the Rock from downtown Cashel

View toward the hills -- field of cows center left

The cathedral on the right with the residency on the left

Back side of the cathedral with round tower and graveyard
View in the other direction, including another old church

We headed back the way we had come from Waterford, but this time headed a shorter distance to the northeast to New Ross. This port and shipbuilding town was one of the starting points for many of the emigrants of the 1840s potato famine. One of the ships has been rebuilt and is a museum for visitors to see what the conditions were like.

View of Dunbody ship from the pier

Our entrance tickets were reproductions of the original tickets

View from the bridge -- it isn't very large

Crew's quarters -- each had his own bunk

Galley for captain, crew, first class -- only room for one person in there

Steerage bunks -- four adults to each square (about 6'x5')
As we came out of the exhibits and headed for our car, Dan spotted an Enfield motorcycle. This is the type he owned when we lived in India and that he rides now when we are there. So this is for the motorcycle fans out there!

Then, back to our B&B for our afternoon tea in our room. We have found that we are doing well with a stop for tea/coffee and a shared scone around lunchtime and not a full meal. Seems to be working for us!

In the early evening we headed down to the Quay of Waterford. The road runs right along the river, with parking lots between the street and the river, and shops and restaurants on the other side. We ended up at an Indian restaurant!

We had the early bird special, appetizer and main course for one price. We had a shish kabob and onion bhaji (pakoras) for appetizers, both of which were quite good. Our main course consisted of saag aloo (potatoes and spinach), which was very good, and Chicken Raj, which was a bit strange. The gravy was sweetened with coconut milk, but otherwise didn't seemed to be spiced at all. The tandoori chicken pieces in it were good, though, and the chapattis excellent. It felt a bit strange to be eating Indian food here in Ireland, but we enjoyed it.

Tomorrow we head for Killarney via Cork and Blarney.

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