Some time ago………
I arrived at Kinsale, the fishing and tourist village on Ireland’s south-west coast. Kinsale is famous for the historic Battle of Kinsale, in which the Irish and the Spanish fought the English, but lost in 1601, during the reign of Elizabeth I, was a turning point in Irish history.
Quite chilly with a fair wind. I walked around then village and then visited the Armada Inn for lunch. Since seafood was the speciality, I ordered some fish and chips. During lunch someone’s friend rang through with a tip for the next race somewhere in England.
So we all put our £5s on this certainty. The radio was turned on and we all followed the race with great interest. With the best of Irish luck, our horse came nowhere near the front.
I left my backpack at the Armada and went to explore town. Some narrow streets, closed tourist shops. I enter a warm pottery shop where Bill and Carol were working on their latest creations. Returning to retrieve my pack, I stopped at a milk bar (small grocery store) and found that the owner Clive was planning on having some holidays in Australia.We swapped information.
I walked the 1 ½ miles to the old Kinsale Youth Hostel. (A new hostel is now located in Cork St. in the heart of Kinsale). The views of the mouth of the Bandon River were superb. By 4.45 pm it was getting dark.
The next morning, a drizzly, rainy day. I visited Charles Fort, one of the largest military installations in the country. It has been associated with some of the most momentous events in Irish history, the Williamite War in 1689-91 and the Civil War in 1922-23. I joined a short guided tour.
Afterwards I returned to the town and bought a Donegal scarf and then to Murphy’s for a woollen cap. Ireland was cold.
I walked up to St. Multose Church, the oldest church (and building) in the town. It dates back to 1190, and has been in continuous use all this time. The church was quiet and peaceful.
It had been drizzling all day. Fine if you’re a duck, but for the rest of us, a bit wet. Back at the youth hostel, the warden got the open fire going and before long us hostellers were back in fine form, telling yarns and sharing stories over a great dinner.