28 November 2009

Ireland - Bunratty

Bunratty Castle (Irish: Caisleán Bhun Raithe, meaning 'bottom' or end of the 'Ratty' river, or "Castle at the Mouth of the Ratty") is the most complete and authentic medieval fortress in Ireland. Built in 1425 and restored in 1954, it now contains mainly 15th and 16th century furnishings, tapestries, and works of art.

The folk park around the castle is a recreation of a 19th century Irish village with over 30 buildings. Every house in the village smelled like nasty smoke. The village was decent but the castle was awesome. The castle was completely finished and painted white to look like it would have originally looked like (with the exception of the outside). You could explore the entire castle however you want and that's exactly what we did.

Later that night we went back to the castle to have a medieval dinner and that was tons of fun. We had mead as an aperitif (the kids had orange soda) and for dinner we had spiced parsnip soup, spare ribs, chicken breast, potatoes, vegetables and for dessert we had rastin. And the music was "deadly" as they say in Ireland.

The real highlight (though I'm not sure why) was the B&B we found. They had a huge family room and it was the cheapest we found all week with the best food of all the week. I don't know, but this was almost my (perhaps our) favorite part of the day.

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