The Rock Of Cashel
“According to local mythology, the Rock of Cashel originated in the Devil’s Bit, a mountain 20 miles (30 km) north of Cashel when St. Patrick banished Satan from a cave, resulting in the Rock’s landing in Cashel. Cashel is reputed to be the site of the conversion of the King of Munster by St. Patrick in the 5th century.
The Rock of Cashel was the traditional seat of the kings of Munster for several hundred years prior to the Norman invasion. In 1101, the King of Munster, Muirchertach Ua Briain, donated his fortress on the Rock to the Church. The picturesque complex has a character of its own and is one of the most remarkable collections of Celtic art and medieval architecture to be found anywhere in Europe. Few remnants of the early structures survive; the majority of buildings on the current site date from the 12th and 13th centuries.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rock_of_Cashel
A sense of abandonment fills the air at Cashel. As I wandered the crumbling remains of this ancient worship center my heart was stirred with a sense of sadness at what had been lost to war and apostasy.
Many times in Ireland I was struck by a sense of loneliness that seemed almost to breathe out of the landscape as though something that once was there had left and the land itself longs for its return. Nowhere was this greater than in Cashel. Here stands a reminder that the essence of the Divine can be easily lost if not constantly attended.
After visiting the ruins of the medieval church at Cashel Amanda and I made our way along the winding country roads to the City of Cork. Our hotel in Cork lay across the River Lee and gave us some stunning views of the city.
Amanda hated the glass walls and elevators in the ultra modern River Lee Hotel. I think she felt like she was going to fall right out of the building. But in light of what the Spirit had brought to mind in Cashel, I took some time for an afternoon devotion looking out over the city from this chair.
It turned out that while we were taking a bit more circuitous route through the country than the bus tours we were tracking with them and meeting up with them at the hotels. It was kind of neat to see the same people at every hotel. We made friends with a couple of retired school teachers and made a practice of checking in with them almost everyday. If your reading Mrs. Schumaker, “Hi there!”
We learned very quickly though that because we were tracking with two bus tours and since those same tours had set reservations with the hotel restaurants while we did not, it behooved us greatly to get into our hotels early to make dinner reservations before the general public could book up the seats. Some of the other self-drivers never seemed to learn that lesson and would walk into restaurants in the evening even after twelve days and be appalled that they could not get seats in the hotel bistros.