Cashel, County Tipperary

Generally when I travel on my own in Ireland I don’t book ahead. I let my intuition lead me. If it’s a place I’ve never been I will study the guidebook and see what pulls at me. After my first night in Dublin to recover from jet lag. I felt lead to hop the bus to the town of Cashel which is dominated by the Rock of Cashel a monastic site and seat of power for the region dating back a 1000 years. On the tallest hill amid the rocky landscape are a clutter of buildings, including the a round tower, the ruins of an abbey and a beautiful 12th century chapel all surrounded by a stone wall. What amazed me the most was the spectacular view afforded to the mountain to the west in County Kerry.

But as Petrina the woman who runs the Cashel Holiday Hostel said to me when I booked in on arriving, “I tell people who are all concerned with going from site to site, like from the Blarney Stone to the Rock of Cashel here, that when their travles are over it’s the people that they met along the way that they will remember”. And I couldn’t have agreed more. In true Irish fashion, Petrina was happy to talk to have a conversation, to find out more about you, to answer any questions you might have. She sent me to O’Dwyers Butcher Shop for the best Brown Soda Bread in town. She invited me to take her dog, Millie, for a walk if I wanted some company. She came knocking on my door one evening insisting that I join her up at the local church for a free concert of Irish music by a group that was really good. All in all she made me feel wonderfully at home and that is what I will remember most about my time in Cashel.

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