It was a good thing we set an alarm this morning. Even with an early to bed and a late 9am bus departure, we were sound asleep at 7:30. After a nice breakfast and all but two people aboard we took off for County Wicklow South of Dublin. Our stop this morning is Russborough House. This mansion has the longest facade of any house in Ireland stretching almost 700 feet across. The home overlooks the very large Blessington Lakes. A reservoir for Dublin, it is so large that the tv show "Vikings" is filmed on it.
The owners family was connected to the famous De Beer Diamond Company in South Africa. The second owners, Sir Alfred and Lady Be it collected fine art. In fact, the art was so valuable that the home was robbed four times. In one heist the thieves drove up the front stairs and through the front door. Another time the robbery was intended to finance IRA activities. Much of the more valuable artwork was donated to the countries museum.
We had a voucher that covered entrance fees at one of four sites. On the way through the city the driver dropped us off at our choice before returning to the hotel. We chose to go to Epic Ireland a new audio visual museum celebrating the people of Ireland, the difficult times and the impact of the Irish who spread out all over the globe, forced to leave because of famine, war, economic or whatever. There were a number of quizes on different subjects. For some reason Chris aced the one about notorious Irishmen. An interesting section was devoted to music with such interesting things like an old Irish song becoming the melody for "The Streets of Laredo.
One reason we took this option, was the chance to do some genealogy. Judi went through the exhibits quickly and was able to spend about an hour with a genealogist. He found some things and offered suggestions that will help us further our knowledge of Judi's family. He suggested a couple of stops to make while we are in Cork later in our trip. We could have spent more time but we are going about 30 minutes south. A short walk back to the hotel.
Taylor's Three Rock Inn is a large thatched roof banquet hall that feeds and entertains a LARGE number of people. We filled both sides of long tables there was a little Irish Whiskey at each seat. After ordering drinks we had a few choices with Chris going for seafood chowder and salmon, Judi had salad and lamb stew. We all had a desert followed by an Irish Coffee. Our tour guide Marline knows the owner. During dinner bottles of wine were placed on the tables, when finished we never got a check for the drinks we ordered on arrival; compliments of the owner.
The entertainment was fantastic, a two hour show with dancers, musicians, singers and a comedian. A highlight for Judi was when Rob Vickers sang a song from LeMisrable, our favorite musical by far. He played the lead in the 25th anniversary of the play. The comedian Noel V. Ginny, an Irish legend, was hilarious. Chris gets posts from Adult Irish Humour, same type of funny jokes that have you laughing like crazy and shaking your head at the same time. All in all a good day. Weather in the high 50's with no real rain.