Friday, November 9, 2012

Picturesque and Quaint Kinsale

We first heard about Kinsale from locals. It is about 25 km from Cork on the south west coast of Ireland. It started as a fishing village and now reputed to be a picturesque and quaint town, much worthy of a visit.

The colours, vibrancy and energy of Kinsale town is embodied in this image.

Along the Route
A charming bucolic scene. It looks like some diligent farmers did a giant agrarian patchwork to compete with the homey quilts done by the ladies.

The meadow was dotted with black-white Hertfordshire cows completely absorbed in grazing, having being tasked to produce decent yields from their squeezable udders. 

To our chagrin the sheeps totally ignored us too. Perhaps they were busy grazing so as to grow a mantle of fluffy wool.

We from the tropics would never have thought of planting grasses, ornamental or otherwise. Imagine the dispersal of their progeny with the slightest of breezes.

A row of neatly pruned conifers screen the house beyond from prying eyes and flying dust.

Flowers tumble over weathered boulders for a cascading effect.

Ahoy! all on board. There is a sort of sytem operating on this vessel. An avian captain in front looking intently ahead while a conductor is stationed at the rear. Then there are four sentinels overseeing from higher levels with three others keeping a watchful eye into the cabin below.

 These are the preening seagulls on a concrete island. They reminded me of the sirens of Greek mythology whereby passing seafarers were lured into their lair.

At the Waterfront

Scarlet and yellow begonias growing cheek by jowl show up strong contrast and heady colours.

Fuchsia is one of my favourite temperate climate plants.


A large anchor erected to the memory of unfortunate Kinsale seafarers.

This contraption was as much needed then as today's GPS.

A streaked sky makes the whole Marina so bewitching.

Can't see the boats for the rope.

Boats and yachts berthed at the Marina.

On the Streets
For a small town, there seems to be no shortage of shops, cafes, restaurants, pubs and hotels or lodgings to suit every budget or requirements.

This quaint Tourist Office attest to an essential economic activity of tourism in this town.

 Symbolic reminders of the provenance of this village.

 The range of shops are as varied as their gamut of vivid colours.

Old Mother Hubbard. Went to the cupboard,
To give the poor dog a bone; When she came there,
The cupboard was bare, And so the poor dog had none.

This type of footwear comes highly recommended as Big Foot also shops here.

Tinsels and baubles shimmered and titillated window shoppers.

Fruits and flowers spill out onto the pavement.

Accomodation may come with some grand names such as this ...

and this. The stay might also be equally grand.

 Some like this one appeal to the romantics. I'm reminded of the novel, 'Eat, Pray, Love' by Elizabeth Gilbert which was make into a movie starring Julia Roberts

If you are in a perky mood, these colourful lodgings would be just right. Psychedelic dreams might be thrown in as a bonus.

For the more sedate visitors, traditional lodgings with a homey feel are also available just round the corner from the busy streets.

This majestic hotel has an old world charm. Traffic here is heavy so it might be a good idea ...

to ride around in a bike, a Harvey Davidson, no less.

A Toot-toot train bedecked with festive ribbons runs through town for the foot-weary and also for those who want to soak in its novelty.

Mode of transport included trundling this boat across town to the waters.

The annual Kinsale Gourmet Festival was on.

The celebrants wore zany hats. I like the one with the 'Teapot Pouring on Teacup'. If no hats were available, sticking some fork, knives and spoons through coiffed hair will do just as well.

At Poet's Corner, a caliph wannabe strutted his stuff in a commanding headgear.

They looked like they were on their way to attend the Mad Hatter's tea-party.

I half expected to see a March Hare in top hat running through the street.

They traipsed all over town lending it a fesive air.

Purple-White Pansies

A mass of tiny indigo flowers (phlox?) tumble down.

Magenta and baby pink Cyclamens.

To Lunch

 After taking in the sights, sounds and smells of the town, we were in the perfect mood for lunch.
I was trying to check out some restaurants in the vicinity when my daughter snapped this photo. I was a bit miffed as I was not in focus but some inedible berries were obviously the subject :(  So, it was the perfect excuse for lunch not to be on me :D

 The extended branch of a berry plant partially cover this wall plaque in an attempt to show a modicum of humility. The word 'BEST' was still visible.

 We selected this restaurant based on its facade ...


The plants and hand-roasted coffee got my vote in choosing this restaurant.

A window box display outside the restaraunt holds Geraniums and some silver foliage.

This cute eight-month-old tot at the next table took a shine to us and contentedly sat on my lap. He belongs to a young German couple who were visiting. From time to time, he tilted his head a ninety degress to look at us. He was such a cutie-pie and so very clever for his tender age.

Leaving Kinsale

Driving out in the late afternoon, we passed through a quite street.

and then more quiet streets with shuttered shops.

If for any reason, having a mural is not feasible, Kinsale residents do not despair. They merely cover their walls with plants. What a clever idea!

 A burst of colours was spied on some resident's otherwise bare pillar.

My hydrangeas can never quite aspire to look like this. I blame it on the climate. Without a doubt, it has got nothing to do with my green fingers or lack of it.

 Blackberry bushes laden with fruits were found all along the roadside.

Blackberries at various stages of ripening present an interesting array of colours.
These were popped into the mouth. I survived!

Blackberry flowers were stunning. They reminded me of plum or peach blossoms.

The Song of the Blackberry Fairy
My berries cluster black and thick
For rich and poor alike to pick.

I'll tear your dress, and cling, and tease,
And scratch your hands
and arms and knees.

I'll stain your fingers and your face
And then I'll laugh at your disgrace.

But when the bramble-jelly's made
You'll find your trouble well repaid.

by Cicely Mary Barker


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