Before I start all this, though, I should warn you the walkways around Bunratty castle might be "slippy." If that word doesn't win the cutest Irish colloquialism award, I don't know what does.
The main attraction is Bunratty Castle, the last of four castles to be built on the site. Finished in 1425, this three-floored structure was an important stronghold of the O’Briens, a powerful clan in Munster, and later Earls of Thomond, during the 16th and 17th centuries. It’s furnished mainly with things from the 15th and 16th century to reflect the style and period of the Great Earl. Here are some photos for you to check out.
But the castle is only one small part of the Bunratty experience. We had a great time exploring this 26-acre park. So with no further ado, may I present another slide show featuring other things we saw.
After we'd had the full Bunratty experience, we strolled over to Durty Nelly's, one of Ireland's oldest and most famous pubs. It has a history that dates back to 1620, and a tasty beef and Guiness stew to boot. To mark the occasion, we wrote our name on a one dollar bill and had our server staple it to one of ceiling beams.
While we were in Ireland we did a bit of shopping, both the touristy kind and the oh-my-god-food-is-so-expensive-where-is-a-grocery-store kind, too. I'm going to focus on the every day kind of shopping because we all know what a tourist shop looks like. As for an every day stores, that's more interesting -- which is why I have absolutely no photos of any I entered.
Well, that's not exactly true. While we were in Dunnes (like a Super Target but with more of a department store feel), my son spotted a photo booth fail. I took a picture. You can see a sliver of what the store looks like on the left.
Now for some reason, my younger son really wanted to visit Tesco, the Wal-Mart of Ireland. He said he'd seen so many videos where Tesco was mentioned, he'd feel he wouldn't get the full Irish experience if he left without seeing one. So Rick took him. He said, though it looked different than the Wal-Marts at home, it had the same underlying feeling of human despair.
I also shopped at Spar, which is grocery store chain.I loved the cereal aisle, with all it's "different" cereals, like "Frosties" (Frosted Flakes), "Mini Max" (Mini Wheats), and "Cocoa Pops" (Cocoa Puffs).
Coca Cola's "Share a Coke" campaign was in full swing, prompting people to share a Coke with a friend. In the stores we saw bottles with tons of names -- proper and otherwise. We looked for a bottle with a distinctly Irish name. I think we found one:
And that's shopping in Ireland -- at least the shopping I did. If you've got time, here are a few more products I found interesting. If you don't, I'll catch you later with Day 6. See you soon!