Charles Fort in Kinsale

Trip Start May 21, 2007
Trip End Jun 01, 2007

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Flag of Ireland  ,
Sunday, May 27, 2007

We woke up in Kinsale and the aspartame-sweet Gallery B&B in the dollhouse-cute town of Kinsale.  Really.  It won silver medal in a "Tidy Towns" contest and that describes it to a T.    Think touristy, overpriced West Coast beach towns, but sweeter.  My teeth hurt thinking about it.

Last night after our cold-weather arrival we were so exhausted by the long drive that we decided to have a low-key night.  Our room came with some DVDs and satellite/cable stuff, so after a pint in front of the cozy fireplace at Taps Tavern we grabbed a take-away pizza and ate it in bed.  It was awesome!  This is Europe, the pizza is Italian style and amazing!

After breakfast today we wandered about town with the camera.  The sun had come back out, and our walking lead us around the harbor.  We decided to take a trail that looked like a pedestrian path.  This took us the long, hellish, hilly way toward Charles Fort.  On the plus side, the views were incredible! So we proceeded to the fort, which was SO worth the hard hike.  We paid, wandered, went to the museum/ interpretive building, then stumbled across a tour in progress. We went back to reception and asked when the next tour was, and as it turned out it wasn't for a long while.  A nice employee took us to a giant overhead of the fort on the wall and gave us a 15-minute overview of the entire history and happening of the entire place, from it being built in 1670 (with an explanation of the construction and materials of the layers of the walls), through the various battles between Spain and England, to the hippies moving in their day, until finally it became a historical heritage sight. It was occupied by the British until 1922, during the Irish Independence.  The interior was actually torched by the IRA in 1923!  We're really glad we stopped here and highly recommend it to anyone who stops in this area.

After leaving we stopped into the Bulman Bar, so highly recommended by Rick Steves that we suspect he's a part owner.  It wasn't that great, especially after all the work-up.  A bonus was we worked a cigarette machine, and it took awhile to figure out how -- you have to get a token from the publican that you put in to prove you're over 18 before you can put money in and recieve your pack of smokes.  And the warning labels rock!!!

Then we walked back to our car via Scilly Trail, a much easier and quite delightful little route.
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