Saturday, March 22

The climb up to the Rock of Cashel is extremely steep. The angle is multiplied exponentially when pushing a stroller up the steep hill. Disappointingly at first notice, much of the castle is surrounded by scaffolding. About 5 years ago, scaffolding was erected to help dry out the sandstone walls which were slowly cracking, falling, and molding. A monitored air conditioning system has also been installed to help preserve the ancient castle. They are hoping the scaffolding can be removed soon and the relic can withstand another couple hundred years before another dryout process will need to be performed. Evidence of crumbling can be seen outside where a large portion of the tower has fallen to the ground. As no one has seen a good reason to put it back, it remains right where it has fallen.

We toured the Rock of Cashel. Found the earliest form of graffiti (from the 17th century). Garrisons of soldiers were stationed at the Rock of Cashel for set periods of time. Two men scratched their names into the walls, for all following would know they were there.

St. Patrick baptized King Angus here. During the ceremony, St. Patrick dropped the scepter piercing the kings foot. King Angus thought this was part of the ceremony and did not react. From that time forward, it is said that King Angus could withstand an extreme amount of pain.

Inside the cathedral is a combination of ancient Irish architecture and the Romanesque architecture. Much of the painting in the cathedral was destroyed purposely.

The arch at the entrance into the front section of the cathedral is lined with faces. Each one is unique to represent the gathering of many peoples that gathered to celebrate the opening of the cathedral. Several “decorative” faces are carved into the walls. These faces are a combination of animal and human. The grotesque creepy faces were purposely designed to scare the people.

The tour guide Cregg was fantastic.

Donncha fell asleep in the car – finally, a break for Julie, the designated entertainer. The peace lasted about 10 min then he screamed his head off so we switched drivers Aaaaahhhhh! Yes, I got to drive in Ireland.