Unexpected Layover- Shannon, Ireland
After a disastrous trip caused by Kiwi.com -blog in the works-I unexpectedly found myself in Shannon Texas for 10 hours. At this point in my journey I was beginning to feel like Tom Hanks in the movie Terminal so I decided a layover adventure was seriously needed.
After taking sometime to make sure I actually had a connecting flight I headed to the information desk of this tiny airport where I was pleasantly surprised. I didn’t have too many options but I had one that fit the bill perfectly…………………
At the information desk I was directed first to a luggage drop off where this kind gentleman will store a suitcase for a mere 4 euros approximately $5-the best airport deal I have ever found.Next I was told to head right outside and find the #343 bus which would take me directly to Bunritty Castle ; easy and the return cost was just 7 euros. The bus-ride was only about 20 minutes and I was dropped less than a half mile walk to the castle.
Bunratty Castle and Folk Park
The town of Bune Raite or in English, Bunratty ,is located about 25 minutes away from Shannon Airport via the #343 bus. The medieval castle dates back to 1425 and has been skillfully restored. It is furnished in mainly 15th and 16th century furnishings. There are four towers ,each six stories high via some extremely winding steps – the originals.
So Let's Climb the Drawbridge and Enter.....................
Inside I explored the dungeon , great room and 12 rooms in the tower.The winding stairs are somewhat tight but worth climbing.
After touring the castle I decided to explore the grounds.The surrounding area has been authentically reconstructed with a piggery, servants quarters, blacksmiths quarters,weavers shed, farmhouse, and of course the quintessential tearoom.
After being stuck in airports for two days getting to explore Bunratty Castle was literally like breathing a breath of fresh air. I had arrived at opening time so I practically had the place to myself. Around 11 am large groups of school children arrived for field trips and this teacher headed for the exit.......
A short walk from the castle is the village of Bunratty which I decided to meander through before heading back to the bus stop to catch the #343 back to Shannon Airport.
Where to Eat......................
In the grounds of the castle you will find a very nice tearoom however I opted for a place in the village. The food at Lilly Mai's Cafe is fresh and delicious. I loved reading all the blackboard quips and the view of the castle and river at the back beautiful. Great food ,great service !
This was an amazingly, unexpected layover adventure that reminded me why I love to travel If you ever fly into Shannon Airport I highly recommend spending sometime here. I can't wait to visit the area again and explore more of what this beautiful country has to offer.
Out and about in our world one trip at a time.