The Rock of Cashel

On the drive between Kilkenny and Cork, you won’t need GPS to help you find the Rock of Cashel. Simply follow the tourist buses and you’ll find your destination. It still mystifies me that these giant people jammed beasts can somehow manage to navigate the tiny medieval streets of old Ireland without taking apart the buildings one piece at a time.

The “rock” in “Rock of Cashel” refers to a piece of mountain that the Devil took in his mouth and spit out after St. Patrick banished him from a nearby mountain. It was atop this piece of rock that the Kings of Munster built a fortress and ruled Ireland for 700-years; the Kingship fell into decline after the Norman invasion and the fortress was gifted to the Christian church who built a monastery.

The site is jam-packed with people all the time (even in the rain). There’s no doubt that it is one of the country’s top tourist destinations; and, while there are lots of terms/names used to describe the location, we referred to it as the windiest place on the planet because the wind made wandering the site both unpleasant and difficult.

The wind didn’t stop us from taking a quick peek at the graveyard or views of cows, Hore Abbey, and other stone buildings that we couldn’t identify… but it did mean wearing a sturdy jacket, no umbrella, and taking care. At one point I almost lost my camera to the cliffs… luckily my face was in the way and stopped the camera from blowing backwards.

One thing to note about logistics: the parking lot and entrance to the site is cash only (and rather pricey) so bring a handful of bills.

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