Friday morning we arose early (at least for this night owl) and drove to Glengarriff to catch the first ferry (10am) to Garnish (pronounced Gar-neesh) Island. Within minutes we were aboard a small boat operated by Harbour Queen Ferries and, with one additional passenger, making our way to the island. On the way we saw a large white-tailed eagle’s nest and passed Seal Island (video), where all but one unaffected seal woke up to observe our passing (you can see the one out cold on its side in the photos below).
Upon disembarking the ferry at the island, we made our way to the private house. The gardens were created through the foresight of a Scottish gardener employed by a wealthy family who bought the island and made a summer home there. The island exists in an unusual (for Ireland) micro climate, and the gardens are quite lovely. We had intended to spend only an hour at the gardens, but after taking a tour of the family’s private home and walking through most of the grounds (video inside the Casita), we had been there for 2.5 hours! So we caught the 12:30pm ferry back to Glengarriff and drove to Kinsale, where we planned to tour Charles Fort, a star fort that once guarded the harbour.
Kinsale is a gorgeous town (video) with a vibrant city centre. Mom and Katie shopped and ate a quick lunch in town while I found a place to both park and access mobile service, due to my having forgotten about an important meeting scheduled for early that afternoon back in Galway. Afterward, I picked up the Minions and we quickly toured the fort (video), then proceeded to drive to the Cork airport so that Katie could catch her flight back to Paris. Then Mom and I drove back to Galway.
My favorite memory from that day is of Mom asking the Garnish Island ferry caption if she could take his picture with Granny F-P. He said, “Sure!” and as he posed he immediately asked Mom if she was looking for a husband? You’ll have to ask Mom what she said.