Day Fifteen -End of the Tour

Our last day of the tour saw us taking leave of Cork, heading to Dublin. A dismal, rainy day, but that didn't seem to dampen the spirits of our crew. A stop on the way at the Rock of Cashel, also known as St. Patrick's Rock and Cashel of the Kings. Legend has it that the Rock of Cashel originated in the Devil's Bit, a mountain north of Cashel, when St. Patrick banished Satan from a cave, resulting in the rock landing in Cashel. It is reputed to be the site where St. Patrick converted the King of Muenster. It dates back to the 12th century and consists of several differnt buildings: the Tower, Cormac's Chapel, and the Cathedral. As with pretty much all of the castles we have seen this trip, it is pretty impressive, not only in its size and grandeur, but in contemplating the skill and artistry it took to build it some 900 years ago!

Finally arrived in Dublin and said our farewells to most of our travelling companions: Ralph and Sue, Norm and Corey from Calgary, Erica and Roddie from Chilliwack, Al and Rose from Windsor, Rich and Jan from Michigan, Sara from England, and Christy from St. Louis. They were a great bunch to travel with; I can't believe how well we all gelled and got along. We had lots of laughs along the way and shared some great experiences! Of course we also said our goodbyes to Mike, our tour guide and Paul, our driver, who both did an outstanding job to make this tour a memorable one. We did not part company with our new friends, Bill and Mary from Upper Saanich, as we had opted to grab lunch with them. Fortunately the hotel we had stayed at in Dublin allowed us to stow our bags for a few hours, so we didn't have to lug them all around. Then Mary and I realized we were only a short walk away from two photography exhibitions that we both wanted to see, so we trotted over to Meeting House Square to catch an exhibit by Mandy O'Neill consisting of photos she has taken over a decade in classrooms, hallways and playgrounds of primary and post-primary schools in Dublin. I found it quite intriguing and so did Mary. Not so much for the boys, I don't think. Then we dragged them over to an exhibit at the National Library of Ireland of a photographer and sculptor named Helen Hooker O'Malley. Again, very interesting for two of us, not so much for the other two!!

At that point we parted ways and Irv and I headed over to our accommodation for the night - Abbey Court. It is actually a hostel, but also has Air B&B type self-contained units, which is what we had. A little chill time before heading out to find a place for dinner over in the Temple Bar area. We found a great place called the Merchants Arch, which had a musician playing folk songs. Another good dinner, topped off with dessert - Banoffee Pie. Sara had been raving about this throughout the trip and introduced her roommate Christy to it, so we figured we couldn't leave Ireland without trying it. It could be very addictive!!

Back to the apartment for a little reorganization of the suitcases so we can be ready to head to the airport in the morning.