October 1, 2019 - Ashford Castle, day 1

We arrive at our second castle (actually the lodge on the grounds) in time for a relaxing lunch.

We check into our room, which was super modern, but still quite nice.

Then we stroll across the grounds, past thath-roofed cottages,

To Ashford Castle.

It's a wonderfully decorated (but not overdone) estate in the northwest of the Republic.
But no time to enjoy it just yet... we have an activity to get to.

To the stables to meet our steeds!

We meander through the former groundskeepers quarters,

and into a forest of no-really California Redwood trees.

They're hundreds of years old (having been brought over from the US while the Guiness family owned the castle) - and they're huge!

We go back through the castle gates

and are treated to quite the view.

We have a snack and a well-earned dessert.

Dinner is in the dungeon, but the only picture is of Ella reading,

after which Ella explores the castle for other nooks.

We find and sign the tome-sized guest book.

Having continued to wander all through the labyrinthine halls, we stumble across a billiards room,

completely abandoned except the barkeep, who pours us some whiskey (and maybe an Irish Cream) and shows us how to play.

We have a great time, but it is late - and tomorrow is going to be another big day!