We don’t agree! T and I, that is. Usually we pretty much agree about a country. Not only do we disagree about our favourite best bits of Ireland, but we can barely decide which of half a dozen places we individually feel are our favourites.
“The most fascinating place was Ballynahinch Castle (see Ballynahinch Castle) because it seemed like stepping back in time. It felt real and authentic.”
“For me, it was Wicklow County. Those amazing rolling green hills and deep valleys were mesmerizing to me. I could easily live there.” I say.
“Yah, it was nice, but it doesn’t hold a candle to the Dingle Peninsula.”
“Oh, I forgot about that. Dingle was incredible , but still not as gorgeous as the rich rolling green hills of Wicklow. Wicklow is etched in my mind forever.
“That was picturesque lovely Ireland countryside, but doesn’t hold a candle to the Dingle Peninsula.”
“And then there was Dingle Town. That was really a charming town. Definitely the one of the best bits of Ireland.”
“For me, it was the most charming town! But are we talking about towns or areas?”
“It doesn’t really matter, just our favourite places.
“Come to think of it, the castles were outstanding, not just seeing them, but staying in them.”
“Now there we agree, I loved the castles too!”
“Leap Castle was outstanding!” T says. It was original, decaying and not restored like many of the others. One could feel the 600 year old history, and the stories of its haunted status seemed truly possible.”
We were completely in awe of Leap Castle. It was also known as “The Bloody Castle” because of the gruesome murders that took place there in 1532.
The “Oubliette” was the the most sinister! If the castle owners of any castle took a dislike to you for any reason whatsoever, and punish you, in the “Oubliette” you would go. You would be forced or lured into the tiny room. A tiny opening in the floor awaited which was deep enough to make sure you could never climb out. Worse than a dungeon!
Leap Castles “Oubliette” was especially horrible. At the bottom of the hole, it had wooden spikes which would injure but not likely kill you. Once the hatch was closed, you could howl and wail forever to no avail.
Leap Castle is haunted by many spirits, many of which no doubt saw their physical life ended in the oubliette. The Paranormal Guide says this about Leap Castle’s Oubliette (photo is looking down into the hole):
Inside the castle was ghastly too.
The Bloody Chapel, where two brothers had an argument and one brother stormed in during mass and stabbed the priest, who was also his brother, as he gave the sermon.
“Enough of that morbid stuff. What about those beautiful islands; what were they called?”
“Right, the Achil Islands. They were dramatic. There were the Aran Islands too and the Lakes of Galway. They were pretty, but not as handsome and elegant as the Achill Islands.”
“But the Gap of Dunloe was absolutely jaw-dropping!”
“OMG, the way it wound far and away, a narrow road zig-zagging into the mountains…”
“Great – how can we write about our favourite places when there are so many best bits of Ireland?!”
“I enjoyed every single day in Ireland,” T said. “I could easily go back. The people there laugh a lot, and tease others, but mostly laugh at themselves. I found Ireland the most fascinating place we’ve been.”
“Even though the weather is always wet and rainy, I loved Ireland too. In fact, I never expected to like it as much as I did. Even the odd-looking areas like the Burren were intriguing.”
“I liked the wildness of the jagged rocky hills as well.”
And the brilliant greens everywhere! Even though it was winter, the richness of the greens on the hillsides was unforgettable.
The bottom line is that there are so many fascinating places to marvel at on this bewitching island that we declare it to be one of the most captivating places on earth.