Cahir, County Tipperary, is one of my favorite places in Ireland. Traveling to Ireland without stopping in Chair for a few hours seems … well, wrong. In fact, in December 2014, while basing in County Wicklow, I heard Cahir’s ‘call’ loud and clear. Enough that I drove more than two hours and stayed the night, just so that I could spend the afternoon wandering around.
There is a certain level of intimacy to Cahir that is lost in other high-traffic tourist areas. While you may see a bus or two, you can wander the area around the castle (or town) and find more locals out and about. I have found that I am simply comfortable in Cahir. I attribute that to the people. I once based three weeks just a few kilometers from Cahir and stopped most days. As a solo traveler, I am always greated with a smile, whether it was in a cafe, a pub or a market. If I had a question, people were always kind and spared a couple of moments to help.
Cahir Castle is my favorite castle (to date) … and there are plenty of them in Ireland. I wasn’t expecting this type of castle. Okay, I wasn’t expecting any castles. Somewhere in my history lessons I jumped from Celtic to modern times. I completely missed the whole Norman-castle-building era. But there it was, still intact. It has great towers, a barbican, a great hall and even a working gate. I was completely mesmerized during the tour. I also remember thinking … what else have I missed? So, I keep returning.
More importantly for me are the images that I have been able to capture while in Cahir. I can, and have, taken hundreds of images. Here are my top four favorite images from Cahir:
- Cahir Castle on a December Afternoon. I drove through some heavy rain on my way to Cahir in December 2014. But as I arrived, it was as if they knew I was coming and the clouds parted. I spent about an hour around the castle. A new storm front was rolling in and it was getting dark. As I was heading out, I noticed a small break in the clouds and thought wait for it. I waited and nothing. Wait for it. Nothing. Wait for it. And twenty minutes later the clouds let the afternoon sun let peek through. I took about 10 images and it was gone.
- Friends. This is from June 2014. My first couple trips I kept forgetting to walk to the back of the castle. (Okay, I didn’t know you could walk to the back.) This time, it was my primary goal. I turned around and I saw two girls strolling ahead of their moms. Both dressed in pink. I love that one of the girls has her hands in her pockets and is stretching out her shorts. You can almost imagine what they were talking about. I wonder if they will be good friends twenty years from now.
- Stormy. One of the first images that I captured on my first trip in June 2012. How could I not fall in love with this place?
- Swiss Cottage. A warm, sunny September (2013) day, made a perfect backdrop for the architectural find. Autumn was settling in and along with it, new golden tones.