17 March 2013

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

I think it only makes sense that I do another installment of our trip to Ireland today, don't you?  After Kilkenny, our next stop for overnight was Blarney in County Cork.  We already knew that we were not likely to stop to kiss the Blarney stone, because everyone we know who had done so, said that a) you are hanging upside down, high off the ground, and b) there's *always* a long wait in line. So even though it would be fun to say we'd done it, neither of us really likes standing on long lines, especially when we aren't spending a lot of time in one place on a vacation.  So our adventures in Blarney mainly consisted of long walks, toodling around the little town, a visit to the Blarney Woollen Mills, and visiting a pub we liked for dinner and a pint every night. Our big adventure was in the nearby town of Midleton, where we went on a tour of of the Jameson Irish Whiskey distillery.  So interesting, so much fun, and a tasting at the the end!  We did this on the day of our anniversary, and at the tasting we met another couple who were also celebrating their anniversary, and were on a weekend holiday from a nearby small town.  They were both schoolteachers, and we had a great time talking to them.

Hmm ... there's a letter missing .... has someone been sampling?

The entrance to the store, and where you also purchase tickets for the tour.
The old copper kettle next to one of the main buildings.

 The courtyard - there are about 5 buildings like this all around.

 The distillery master's cottage on the grounds.

The original water wheel.

Barrels ready for transport.

One of the trucks used to transport the barrels to Dublin for distribution.  
(Today, they are delivered by train).

Jameson Irish Whiskey is still brewed in Midleton, in a new building adjacent to the old distillery, which is basically a sterile-looking box with no real character.  The whiskey is then taken to Dublin, where it is distributed all over the world.

Midleton was a pleasant little town, though most things were closed, since it was Sunday.  But there were another couple of notable things about the town worth showing:

This is town library, down the street from the Jameson distillery.

And a little bit farther down, and across the street, tucked away in a little alley leading to a courtyard, a yarn shop!

Let's see ... the Jameson distillery, the library, and a yarn store, all within walking distance of one another, on a single street - would it be wrong to say it felt like home???


So raise a glass - Jameson, Guinness, Smithwick's, whatever your beverage of choice - and toast Saint Patrick on his day!  We will be, along with some homemade Irish brown bread, served with potato and cabbage soup.

"May you have warm words on a cold evening, 
a full moon on a dark night, 
and the road downhill all the way to your door"
 -- Irish blessing


Mereknits said...

I say lets celebrate at the yarn store, I love the pictures from your trip.

KSD said...

All so lovely.

Kathleen Dames said...

Lovely pics and descriptions - thanks (as always) for sharing!