australia, ocean

Detours off Britta Blvd

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The Rock of Cashel & Concert in Kilkenny
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Thankfully it wasn't quite as early a morning, and Cyd & I were in bed by 2:15am, early for us lately! We were still on the bus by 9am though, on the road to the Rock of Cashel, an ancient stronghold up on a high hill that became a center of worship before it was finally abandoned for the impracticality of getting a congregation to hike up to attend church services on such a steep hill. Luckily again, the weather was clear & even sunny as we took our guided tour. The cathedral is only ruins now, along with most of the castle, but it is quite impressive.



However, the Cormac Chapel is still intact, all limestone so susceptible to the damp Irish climate, but with intricate carvings inside, and it has the first fresco paintings known in Ireland, with even lapis lazuli as the vivid blue. Definitely a national treasure, and we had the chance to sing 3 songs inside! Thanks to Cyd being so kind to record video with my camera, here's the last one, after we had collected an audience of tourists who nicely applauded for us.



Back on the road for Kilkenny, checking in early at our hotel, grabbing a quick lunch (we blew it & didn't take a photo of Cyd's Guinness & my cider - darn!), then over to Kilkenny Castle. The foundations are from 1192, perhaps Strongbow's original stronghold, but the rest of the building was built later as a residence instead of built for defense. No photos allowed inside, and no postcards for sale, which is sad since I really wanted a photo of the stunning painted & carved wood beam ceiling in the giant portrait gallery! I did sneak a photo looking out one of the upstairs windows however...shh, don't tell!



Cyd & I strolled around Kilkenny town, finding St Mary's Cathedral, the Black Abbey, and St Canice's Cathedral where the concert would be later in the evening. I'm glad I got nice Halloween research photos of the graveyard in daylight, since when we got back for the concert, the sky was a gorgeous pink sunset, making for stunningly artistic photos! The concert went very well, unsurprisingly not as large an audience as last night but very appreciative of our performance, and I was not the only one who could not resist taking night photos of the graveyard since the church grounds were so nicely lighted! Definitely Halloween decoration inspiration for me!



Gotta have at least one bus photo each choir tour, right? :) I stopped in at the hotel bar when we got back, but it was so hot & stuffy in there, plus some absolutely hideous live music, that I camped out in the lobby on my laptop while Tracia, Melissa, Christina & I typed in the written impressions we had collected from the other singers so Tracia could post them on the VAE blog. I think I am official tech support for this tour, since my laptop is the vehicle to copy other people's photos to Tracia's external drive, plus the waystation sending photos to others so they can post to various Internet destinations from their phones via wifi. No surprise from the Silicon Valley Girl, eh? ;)

No scheduled concerts tomorrow, just St Kevin's Monastery at Glendalough on the way to Dublin for a free afternoon & evening...so we don't have to be on the bus until 10:30am...ahhh...sleeping in sounds so nice, especially since I'm typing this at 1:30am while others are just coming back from the hotel bar!

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Loved it!

(Anonymous)
I first saw your blog in Norm and Barb's RV--Dad brought his computer over and showed them so we all enjoyed "Joshua"--Norm sang that one in HS so he was singing along--fun! Sounded great.

So glad you are better. We're having a great time.

love, mom

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