CIE Tours Travel Blog
Flying Boats, Cliffs of Moher and a Medieval Banquet!
By: Samantha Henderson
Date: June 16, 2017
Today was a big day! We departed Dingle, unfortunately, but were very excited for what the day had in store for us. The first excursion of the day was the Foynes Flying Boat Museum, where we learned all about the magnificent flying boats and their history. After watching a short but interesting film, we followed a guided tour through the museum, looking at artifacts from the flying boats' flights and diagrams explaining the contraptions.
Cliffs of Moher, Co. Clare
After learning all about the flying boats, we were able to board a replica! Outside of the museum sits the replica that is full-scale, true to size, inside and out. On the inside, you can walk from the front to the back of the boat... plane... whatever you want to call it! We had the chance to sit in the passenger seats and even view the honeymoon suite! My friend Aidan even sat in the cockpit. It was really interesting to pretend we were one of the wealthy people able to be on one of the flying boats back in the day.
We then sat inside and watched a demonstration of how irish coffees are made, since they were invented at the same place! One of the lucky guests got to aid in the demonstration. At the end, we were all irish-coffee-making-experts and many of us enjoyed a cup!
Learning to Make Irish Coffee
After that bit of liquid encouragement, we were ready to face Ireland's vision of beauty, the Cliffs of Moher. Viewing the cliffs is similar to that of the Giants Causeway. It looked like nothing from where the motor coach dropped us off. Then, as we approached the viewing areas, the view started to become simply surreal. Every step gave way to a new perspective. There is no way to describe the beauty of the waves crashing into the rugged edges of the cliff below. It was really spectacular.
After taking in the spectacular view, we had time to enjoy an ice cream and the interactive exhibits. Some of us even sent free virtual post cards to our friends back home. Throughout the cliffs' walkways and paths, we also listened to locals playing traditional Irish music, making the experience all the more special.
Traditional Irish Music at the Cliffs of Moher
Once we hit the road, we had a scenic drive along the coast, keeping us intrigued until we arrived at the Templegate Hotel in Ennis to freshen up before heading off to dinner.
The dinner we had tonight was one we'll always remember. We experienced a Shannon Heritage medieval banquet dinner at Knappogue Castle. The night began by taking in the views of the gorgeous historic castle as we sipped honey mead, which was quite tasty. We gathered in the courtyard to listen to the mesmerizing hum of a harp and fiddle as we waited to be ushered into the banquet hall. The whole experience put us directly within the pages of a fairytale. Over a delicious four-course meal true to history, we heard music and stories that made us feel like we were actually back in medieval times. Two of our guests were even named King and Queen and sat at the head of the hall. Many laughs were shared and smiles lasted the whole night through, thanks to a little help from the bottomless buckets of wine at each table!
Unfortunately, I had to say goodbye to some really great friends tonight. It is amazing how close we all become as the trip goes on. Next, I will be starting the Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way tour with guide Austin!
Meet ya there!