On one of the last weekends on Ireland, I picked up my friend Martina in Dublin and we made a trip to Tipperary together. The journey took approx. 2,5 hours, because I drove the main roads. I even drove on the M50 motorway for Martina knew, where to drive on it without having to pay toll. By the way, Martina is a nice little person with a great personality – I think I told about her earlier. We had not met for a few months, but it felt like the last time had been yesterday. We had something to talk about all day and she told me, among other things, how her boyfriend’s car had broken down. She would have liked to buy my car. She said she had dreamed of such a well-groomed car, but unfortunately she would have to persuade her boyfriend, because Martina had no real income. In addition, I need the car for the move to Hamburg and her boyfriend was at this time at home in Sweden. I suggested to her, that, if he was interested in the car, he could come to Hamburg and pick it up there, when he was on his way back to Dublin. It would have been perfect timing by the way, because the guy was going back to Dublin in early August and by this time I would already be in Hamburg. He could then drive to Dublin and I could take the money, I would get for the car and put on another used car, one with the steering wheel on the correct side for Germany. Anyway, Martina could not decide anything and everything then ran into the sand. That’s life!
To return to the story of the trip: When I drove from home in the morning, the sky was gray, but we were hoping for some sun rays, or at least that the rest of the day would stay dry. Unfortunately, soon it started to rain and it lasted throughout the entire day, occasionally it rained heavily. In the evening, back in my room, I had to empty my purse to put all my contents to dry! I had suggested Tipperary as an excursion destination, because I had seen on the internet, that there would be a music party. The local homepage stated that the entire town of Tipperary will make music on this day. However, we did not find any musicians. Therefore, we first asked at a gas station and then at the tourist information, but unfortunately none could give us good news. The only thing we heard was, that the group that would have come, was finally not invited because no one had bought tickets. An update of the website would have been great.
We also asked at the tourist information what else there was to do or see in or nearby the town and the answer was disappointing. Anyway, when I lived in Perstorp, Scania, Sweden, the answer could have been similar. The two women, who worked as tourist guides, barely knew the town and it’s attractions. Outside the building there was a large map with reference to various attractions, but it was not possible to see how far away they were. The ladies did not even know, what map was hanging out there or what to do in the town or in its immediate vicinity other than looking at the church and sent us far away. We continued to Cahir (pronounced: Kähr with a hard “k”) to check out the castle and the “Swiss Cottage”.
In Tipperary itself – which the inhabitants, by the way, briefly call Tipp, which made me think of the Swedish word “tippen” (waste station, before the recycling stations were built) – it only drizzled, but on the way to Cahir the rain turned into a really heavy downpour. The tour of the castle took place mostly in the open air and was therefore, of course, very wet. The guide had neither a rain cover on his head nor an umbrella. Meanwhile, accustomed to the Irish weather, I wore a raincoat. We had to go and check out the bail after the detailed story. The steps were quite high and the doors were low, which the guide had explained, was a defense mechanisms, what means: if the enemy had really managed to get this far, they would have a hard time getting up the stairs and when they would need to go through the doors. they went forward bent, which did not give them the opportunity to attack and by this, the intruders were also an easy prey for the defenders. The guide also told proudly about Irish history, but the nobles and architects he talked about were actually English!
From the castle there is a path to the “Swiss Cottage”, a small house that the nobleman, who owned the castle in the early 20th century, had built because it was much cheaper than restoring and renovating the castle. Luckily we also came across an ordinary street to this house because the rain would have passed through our marrow and our legs otherwise. The residence got its name from the people around here, because they thought the house was similar to the houses in Switzerland, which is not really true. The “Swiss Cottage” has only four rooms, two of them in the penthouse. The builder’s name was Nash and he designed this house completely asymmetrically so that it would fit into nature. For the decoration, trees have been felled in the immediate vicinity. We saw very beautiful chairs, which had been made in one piece and similar furniture. The house has both a happy and a sad story to tell. The house was last renovated in the 1980s. Many parts are no longer original but have been built after original models. I enclose links to the Irish websites in English, that you can read more about this cultural heritage: http://www.cahirtourism.ie/tourist/swisscottage.htm and http://www.cahirtourism.ie/tourist/cahircastle.htm.
Time just disappeared, when we were in Cahir and therefore we stopped only for a very short while at “Rock of Cashel” (a castle that has been built on a mountain http://www.cashel.ie , and at the Holycross Abbey, http: // www .tipp.ie / placesofinterest / holycross.htm , an old Dominican convent, when we were on our way to Thurles. I only took a few pictures here because I did not want to ruin the camera in the rain. I have got a lot of pictures of these last two excursion destinations from Martina, who had been there a few weeks earlier. I drove home as straight and fast as the road conditions allowed, due to the rainy weather. In parts there were very large puddles of water on the streets, why I was afraid of getting water in the engine and I was therefore very happy when I was able to drive on the motorway again – the only roads in Ireland that are in good conditions.