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HI, I'M RICK STEVES, DIGGING PEAT IN IRELAND.
EVEN TODAY, SOME OF THIS STUFF KEEPS THE HOME FIRES BURNING
IN A LAND FAMOUS FOR ITS SMILES AND CHARM.
IRELAND WAS NEVER CONQUERED BY THE ROMAN EMPIRE,
SO EVEN WHEN ROME FELL,
DRAGGING THE REST OF EUROPE INTO DARKNESS,
IRISH CIVILIZATION WAS ABLE TO FLOURISH.
WHILE NICKNAMED THE ISLAND OF SAINTS AND SCHOLARS,
IT'S ALSO KNOWN AS THE TERRIBLE BEAUTY
FOR ITS BITTERSWEET MIX OF POLITICAL STRUGGLES,
HUNGER, FRIENDLY PEOPLE AND GORGEOUS LANDSCAPES.
WE VISIT AN ANCIENT MONASTERY,
THE FINEST FORMAL GARDEN ON THIS GARDEN ISLAND,
AND CUT WATERFORD CRYSTAL.
WE'LL EXPLORE THE ULTIMATE- IN-ITS-DAY BRITISH FORTRESS,
CLIMB A LEGENDARY LIGHTHOUSE,
AND ENJOY SOME GREAT IRISH CUISINE.
AND THIS EPISODE IS A FAMILY AFFAIR,
AS WE'LL BE JOINED BY JACKIE, ANDY, AND MY WIFE ANNE,
WHO'S IRISH AND PROUD.
IRELAND IS THE WESTERN-MOST PART OF EUROPE.
STARTING IN THE WICKLOW MOUNTAINS,
WE'LL VISIT THE MONASTERY AT GLENDALOUGH
AND POWERSCOURT GARDENS.
THEN ON TO WATERFORD, WHERE I'LL JOIN MY FAMILY,
VISIT THE HISTORIC TOWNS OF COBH AND KINSALE,
THE ROCK OF CASHEL, AND MUCKROSS HOUSE
AS WE WORK OUR WAY TO THE RUGGED RING OF KERRY.
HIGH IN THE WICKLOW MOUNTAINS, YOU'LL SEE VAST PEAT BOGS
WITH FRESHLY CUT PEAT BRICKS DRYING IN THE WIND.
PEAT WAS IRELAND'S STANDARD HEATING FUEL FOR CENTURIES.
IT'S MADE FROM DECOMPOSED PLANTS,
KIND OF HALFWAY TO COAL, WHICH IS SLICED OUT OF THESE BOGS,
STACKED TO DRY,
AND THEN BURNED LIKE PRESTO LOGS IN FIREPLACES AND STOVES.
IN THE OLD DAYS,
FOUR OR FIVE GOOD MEN COULD CUT ENOUGH PEAT IN A DAY
TO KEEP A FAMILY WARM THROUGH THE COLD IRISH WINTER.
TODAY, A FEW LOCALS,
NOSTALGIC FOR THE SMELL OF A GOOD TURF FIRE,
STILL COME UP HERE TO CUT THEIR OWN FUEL.
THE WICKLOW MOUNTAINS, WHILE ONLY TEN MILES SOUTH OF DUBLIN,
FEEL REMOTE, REMOTE ENOUGH TO HAVE BEEN A HANDY REFUGE
FOR THE IRISH WHO OPPOSED ENGLISH RULE.
200 YEARS AGO, WHEN THE FRUSTRATED BRITISH
BUILT THIS MILITARY ROAD TO FLUSH OUT THOSE REBELS,
THE AREA BECAME MORE ACCESSIBLE.
NOW THIS SAME ROAD TAKES NATURE LOVERS
THROUGH SOME OF IRELAND'S RICHEST SCENERY.
MY FRIEND AND LOCAL GUIDE DENNIS O'REILLY,
WHO LEADS TOURS THROUGH THIS AREA,
IS JOINING US AS WE EXPLORE THE WICKLOW MOUNTAINS.
GLENDALOUGH, WHICH MEANS VALLEY OF THE TWO LAKES,
HIDES IRELAND'S MOST IMPRESSIVE MONASTIC SETTLEMENT.
THIS IS ST. KEVIN'S CHURCH, A BEAUTIFUL STRUCTURE.
ST. KEVIN CAME HERE IN THE 6th CENTURY
AND HE LIVED BY THE UPPER LAKE IN A CAVE.
AND THE MONASTERY ST. KEVIN FOUNDED FLOURISHED
DESPITE REPEATED VIKINGS RAIDS THROUGHOUT MEDIEVAL TIMES.
A THOUSAND YEARS AGO, IN AN IRELAND WITHOUT CITIES,
MONASTIC COMMUNITIES LIKE THIS ONE HERE AT GLENDALOUGH
WERE MAINSTAYS OF CIVILIZATION.
THEY KEPT LITERATE LIFE ALIVE
AND PROVIDED A FOUNDATION FOR RURAL IRISH SOCIETY.
TODAY, IRELAND IS DOTTED WITH EVOCATIVE REMINDERS
FROM THIS AGE OF SAINTS AND SCHOLARS.
Dennis: THE AGE OF SAINTS AND SCHOLARS
WAS WHEN THE REST OF EUROPE WAS IN THE DARK AGES
BUT WE IN IRELAND HAD ALL THE SCHOLARS.
Rick: AND THE SAINTS, TOO.
Dennis: AND THE SAINTS.
AND THEY WERE HERE WORKING AWAY,
MAKING THE MANUSCRIPTS THAT WE HAVE NOW IN OUR MUSEUMS.
WHILE IT WAS LATER ABANDONED AND RUINED,
PILGRIMS KEPT COMING.
THIS MIGHT HAVE SOMETHING TO DO WITH THE FACT
THAT THE POPE SAID SEVEN VISITS TO GLENDALOUGH
HAD THE SAME INDULGENCE VALUE AS ONE VISIT TO ROME.
ROUND TOWERS WERE STANDARD FEATURES
IN EARLY IRISH MONASTIC SETTLEMENTS.
THEY FUNCTIONED AS BEACONS FOR PILGRIMS, BELL TOWERS,
AND PLACES OF FINAL REFUGE WHEN VIKINGS CAME A-KNOCKIN'.
JUST A FEW MILES FROM ALL THIS RUGGED BEAUTY
ARE THE METICULOUSLY KEPT GARDENS OF POWERSCOURT,
IRELAND'S FINEST.
WITH MUCH OF IT CREATED DURING THE VICTORIAN ERA,
THE MID-1800s, THE GARDENS OF POWERSCOURT ARE CALLED
THE GRAND FINALE OF EUROPE'S FORMAL GARDENING TRADITION,
PROBABLY THE LAST GREAT GARDEN OF ITS SIZE AND QUALITY
EVER CREATED.
FOR 350 YEARS,
THE VISCOUNTS OF POWERSCOURT DEVELOPED THIS GARDEN.
THE STATUARY WAS COLLECTED FROM PALACES THROUGHOUT EUROPE.
A FLYER LAYS OUT A GOOD WALK FOR VISITORS.
WITH THE DRAMATIC SUMMIT OF THE GREAT SUGAR LOAF MOUNTAIN
AS A BACKDROP,
THIS GARDEN IS A WELL-WATERED ARISTOCRATIC FANTASY.
WATERFORD, STRETCHING ALONG ITS RIVER,
IS THE MAIN CITY OF SOUTHEAST IRELAND.
IT CLAIMS TO BE THE OLDEST CITY IN THE ENTIRE COUNTRY.
TO SAVE TIME AND KEEP MY LUGGAGE SAFE AS POSSIBLE,
I PARK IN A SECURE AND CENTRAL PAY LOT.
WATERFORD WAS ONCE MORE IMPORTANT THAN DUBLIN.
BUT TODAY, IT'S A PLAIN, GRAY, WORK-A-DAY TOWN.
THE VIKINGS LANDED HERE IN 850
AND ESTABLISHED THE TOWN AS A BASE FOR PIRACY.
THEY BUILT REGINALD'S TOWER,
NAMED AFTER THE FIRST VIKING LEADER.
IT WAS A STOUT CORNER OF THE ORIGINAL TOWN WALL.
THIS TOWER IS CONSIDERED
THE FIRST BUILDING IN IRELAND MADE WITH MORTAR
AND ONE OF THIS COUNTRY'S OLDEST SURVIVING STRUCTURES.
THE VIKINGS CHOSE TO BUILD THEIR BASE HERE
BECAUSE IT'S LOCATED AT THE MOUTH OF A SERIES OF RIVERS
WHICH MAKE UP THE LARGEST NATURAL NAVIGATION SYSTEM
WITHIN IRELAND.
THEIR BOATS COULD SAIL 50 MILES INTO IRELAND FROM HERE.
AND BACK THEN,
IRELAND WAS MADE TO ORDER FOR VIKING PILLAGE AND PLUNDER:
JUST SCATTERED MONASTIC SETTLEMENTS
AND SMALL GATHERINGS OF CLANS.
AND, SPEAKING OF CLANS, MY WIFE ANNE AND OUR TWO CHILDREN,
ANDY AND JACKIE, ARE JOINING US HERE
AS WE SET OFF FOR A SOUTH IRELAND ADVENTURE.
B&Bs, LIKE LES BROWN'S TOWNHOUSE, ARE AN IRISH FORTE
AND GREAT FOR FAMILY TRAVEL.
EVEN WITH A CAR TAKING US RIGHT TO THE DOORSTEP OF OUR B&Bs,
WE PACK LIGHT.
JACKIE AND ANDY EACH CARRY THEIR OWN GEAR,
ONE CARRY-ON-THE-AIRPLANE-SIZE BAG STORED IN THE TRUNK
AND A DAY BAG WITH THEIR MUSIC, GAMES, BOOKS,
AND WHATEVER THEY'LL NEED TO PASS THE TIME BETWEEN STOPS.
WE'RE HEADING OUT TO HOOK HEAD,
WITH A LIGHTHOUSE THAT MARKS THE ENTRANCE
TO WATERFORD'S IMPORTANT HARBOR.
HOOK HEAD HAS ONE OF THE OLDEST OPERATING LIGHTHOUSES
IN THIS PART OF EUROPE, AND AS WITH MOST IRISH SITES,
IT COMES WITH A GREAT GUIDED TOUR.
ON THIS ISLAND SO SATURATED IN LEGEND,
IT'S SAID THAT A SAINT AND HIS MONKS
CAME HERE IN THE 6th CENTURY.
THEY DISCOVERED THE BODIES OF SHIPWRECKED SAILORS.
DISMAYED, THEY BUILT A FIRE HERE TO WARN FUTURE MARINERS.
THIS BUILDING ACTUALLY DATES FROM THE 13th CENTURY,
BUILT BY THE ANGLO-NORMANS AS A COMMERCIAL BEACHHEAD
FOR THE RICH IRISH COUNTRYSIDE THEY PLANNED TO CONQUER.
THE LIGHTHOUSE WAS COMPLETELY AUTOMATED IN 1996
AND IS CONTROLLED BY A CENTRAL COMPUTER.
BUT WHILE MODERNIZED, IT LOOKS MUCH AS IT DID
WHEN THE MONKS LAST MANNED IT IN THE 16th CENTURY.
THE MONKS CAME HERE FOR SOLITUDE AND TO SAVE SOULS.
IT WOULD HAVE BEEN THEIR ORIGINAL TASK, I SUPPOSE.
BUT THEY ENDED UP SAVING LIVES.
AND THIS PROBABLY BECAME A BIGGER GOAL FOR THEM
THAN TRYING TO SAVE SOULS.
IRELAND, OFTEN CALLED THE TERRIBLE BEAUTY,
COMES WITH A SAD STORY.
THE ORIGINAL ENGLISH COLONY,
IN SOME WAYS, IT'S THE LAST ENGLISH COLONY.
AND ITS FEISTY SPIRIT
PITTED AGAINST THE POWER OF ITS MIGHTY OVERLORD
MEANT CENTURIES OF SUFFERING, COMPOUNDED BY A POTATO FAMINE.
MOORED IN THE TOWN OF NEW ROSS IS A REMINDER
OF THOSE HARD TIMES, THE "DUNBRODY" FAMINE SHIP,
A MEMORIAL TO THE COUNTLESS STARVING IRISH
WHO SAILED TO AMERICA ON SHIPS LIKE THIS.
SO WELCOME ABOARD THE "DUNBRODY."
YOU'RE STANDING, OF COURSE, ON THE DECKS.
AND THIS IS A REPLICA OF THE ORIGINAL "DUNBRODY"
BUILT IN QUEBEC, CANADA, BACK IN 1845.
THE FAMINE STARTED IN THE 1800s, ABOUT 1840.
IT WAS A VERY BLACK PERIOD IN IRELAND.
AND THIS IS WHERE THE POTATO CROP,
THE ONLY CROP THAT THE IRISH HAD AS FOOD,
WAS CAUGHT BY A BLIGHT.
AND THAT TOOK OVER THE POTATO CROP
AND DESTROYED IT FOR ALL THE IRISH.
A LOT OF PEOPLE GOT STARVATION
AND AS THEY WERE FARM LABORERS BACK THEN
THEY HAD NO OTHER WAY OF LIVING, NO OTHER PROFESSIONS.
SO THESE SHIPS CAME ALONG
AND THEY TOOK ALL THESE IRISH IMMIGRANTS OVER TO AMERICA
AS THEY HAD BETTER LIVES OVER THERE.
THIS SHIP WAS A GOOD SHIP.
SHE WAS NOT TERMED A COFFIN SHIP.
NOW, COFFIN SHIPS WERE SAILING BACK IN THE FAMINE TIMES.
AND THESE WERE HORRIBLE SHIPS
WHERE UP TO 50% OF YOUR PASSENGERS DIED ON THE VOYAGE.
TERRIBLE CONDITIONS ON BOARD, MUCH TOO OVERCROWDED,
LACK OF FRESH AIR AND FOOD.
DOWN BELOW, IN WHAT WOULD HAVE BEEN STEERAGE QUARTERS,
ACTORS DRAMATIZE THE HARDSHIPS FAMINE EMIGRANTS FACED.
THIS IS WHAT WE HAVE TO EAT FOR THE WEEK,
FOR THE SIX OF US.
I WORRY THAT THE CHILDREN WILL BE HUNGRY.
AND DAVID, ME POOR HUSBAND, IS SICK WITH THE FEVER.
I'M VERY WORRIED HE MAY NOT LAST THE VOYAGE.
50 DAYS WE'LL BE ON THIS SHIP I HEARD THE CAPTAIN SAY.
50 DAYS!
THE "DUNBRODY" IS A MEMORIAL TO THE VICTIMS OF THE FAMINE.
BEFORE THE 1840s, IRELAND HAD 8 MILLION PEOPLE.
ABOUT A QUARTER OF THEM STARVED OR EMIGRATED.
THE ECONOMY AND POPULATION DIDN'T RECOVER
FOR OVER A CENTURY.
TODAY IRELAND'S POPULATION IS STILL ONLY 5 MILLION.
BEFORE HEADING OFF TO OTHER DESTINATIONS
ALONG THE SOUTHERN COAST,
WE'RE STOPPING AT THE NEARBY WATERFORD CRYSTAL FACTORY,
POPULAR FOR ITS GREAT TOURS.
SO I'LL WELCOME YOU TO THE BLOWING ROOM.
AND THE TECHNIQUES YOU SEE HERE TODAY
HAVE REMAINED UNCHANGED FOR CENTURIES.
NOW, THAT STRUCTURE IN THE CENTER OF THE PLATFORM,
THAT IS OUR FURNACE
AND IT BURNS AT A TEMPERATURE OF 1400 DEGREES CENTIGRADE.
NOW, THIS FURNACE HAS BEEN BURNING FOR 30 YEARS
AND WE KEEP IT GOING ON A CONTINUOUS BASIS.
WITH A TRADITION DATING BACK TO THE 1700s,
WATERFORD IS THE LARGEST
AND ONE OF THE MOST RESPECTED GLASSWORKS IN THE WORLD.
TOURS GIVE VISITORS A LOOK AT THE ENTIRE PRODUCTION PROCESS
AND A CHANCE TO SEE MANY OF THE PLANT'S 1600 EMPLOYEES
HARD AT WORK.
WATERFORD CRYSTAL IS BEST KNOWN
FOR THE BEAUTY OF ITS CUT GLASS.
NOW, YOU ALSO REMEMBER I TOLD YOU A FEW MOMENTS AGO,
IN ORDER TO BECOME A CUTTER, YOU REQUIRE EIGHT YEARS OF TRAINING.
HOWEVER, IN ORDER TO CUT THESE SPECIAL PIECES OR TROPHIES,
YOU'D ACTUALLY REQUIRE AROUND 20 YEARS' EXPERIENCE.
THE CUTTING ROOM PRODUCES MANY CUSTOM DESIGNS,
INCLUDING TROPHIES FOR A WIDE RANGE OF SPORTS.
THIS IS ONE OF OUR SPORTING TROPHIES, FOR TEN-PIN BOWLING,
SURPRISE, SURPRISE.
THE TOUR COMES WITH AN OPPORTUNITY TO ACTUALLY
MEET A CUTTER, SEE HIS DIAMOND-BLADED WHEEL IN ACTION
AND ASK QUESTIONS.
IT'S MUCH EASIER TO UNDERSTAND IF I SHOW IT TO YOU
RATHER THAN JUST LISTEN TO ME TALK.
YOU SEE?
SIX EVEN CUTS, SAME HEIGHT, SAME DEPTH.
WE ONLY GET PAID FOR DOING THE GOOD ONES
AND I'M SERIOUS WHEN I SAY THAT, OKAY?
YOU FINISH IN THE GLITTERING SALESROOM,
SURROUNDED BY TEMPTATIONS THAT ARE HARD TO PACK,
BUT EASY TO SHIP.
PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION HERE HAS IMPROVED A LOT
SINCE VIKING TIMES,
BUT TRAIN AND BUS SCHEDULES CAN STILL BE PRETTY FRUSTRATING
FOR ANYONE TRYING TO LACE TOGETHER LOTS OF SIGHTS
IN THE COUNTRYSIDE EFFICIENTLY.
TO EXPLORE IRELAND, I USUALLY RENT A CAR.
MOST OF IRELAND'S ROADS DATE FROM MUCH POORER TIMES
WHEN THEY WERE USED PRIMARILY BY FARMERS AND SHEPHERDS.
WHILE TRAFFIC IS SPARSE,
THE COMBINATION OF DRIVING ON THE LEFT
AND SHARING THESE NARROW ROADS WITH ONCOMING TRAFFIC
CAN BE A NERVE-RACKING EXPERIENCE.
BUT WITH FINANCIAL AID FROM THE EUROPEAN UNION,
IRELAND NOW HAS SOME FINE HIGHWAYS.
AND ZIPPING ALONG THESE ROADS,
YOU REALIZE THAT THIS ISLAND IS PRETTY SMALL.
WE'VE MADE OUR WAY TO THE SOUTH CENTRAL COAST OF IRELAND
WHERE THE TOWN OF COBH SITS IN AN IDEAL NATURAL HARBOR.
IF YOUR ANCESTORS ARE IRISH,
CHANCES ARE THEY LEFT FROM COBH.
OF THE MILLIONS OF IRISH
WHO EMIGRATED TO AMERICA, CANADA, AND AUSTRALIA,
NEARLY HALF SAILED FROM THIS TOWN.
COBH'S INVITING WATERFRONT IS COLORFUL AND SALTY,
WITH A PLAYFUL PROMENADE.
WHEN QUEEN VICTORIA VISITED IRELAND IN 1849,
COBH WAS THE FIRST IRISH GROUND SHE SET FOOT ON.
GIDDY, THE TOWN RENAMED ITSELF QUEENSTOWN IN HER HONOR.
LATER, IN 1922,TO CELEBRATE THEIR NEW INDEPENDENCE
FROM BRITISH ROYALTY, LOCALS, NO LONGER SO GIDDY,
CHANGED THE NAME BACK TO ITS ORIGINAL IRISH NAME,
COBH.
AND TODAY, RATHER THAN PLAY CRICKET,
THE KIDS PREFER THE VERY IRISH SPORT OF HURLING.
COBH'S MAJOR SIGHTSEEING ATTRACTION,
FILLING ITS HARBORSIDE VICTORIAN TRAIN STATION,
IS ITS KID-FRIENDLY EMIGRATION AND MARITIME HISTORY MUSEUM.
THE FIRST STEAM-POWERED SHIP TO MAKE A TRANS-ATLANTIC CROSSING
DEPARTED FROM COBH IN 1838,
CUTTING THE JOURNEY TIME FROM 50 DAYS BY SAIL
TO ONLY 18.
IN 1912, THE "TITANIC" MADE ITS LAST STOP HERE
BEFORE HEADING OUT ON ITS MAIDEN AND ONLY VOYAGE.
AND IN 1915, THE "LUSITANIA," A BRITISH OCEAN LINER,
WAS SUNK BY A GERMAN SUBMARINE JUST 30 MILES FROM HER
OVER A THOUSAND PEOPLE DIED.
ON VACATION WE GIVE OUR KIDS A BIGGER ALLOWANCE THAN USUAL,
BUT EXPECT THEM TO KEEP A JOURNAL,
BUY THEIR OWN TREATS AND SOUVENIRS,
AND PAY FOR THEIR INTERNET TIME.
DISTANCES HERE ARE SHORT,
BUT RIDES CAN TAKE LONGER THAN EXPECTED.
IRELAND'S MOST FUN WHEN YOU'RE NOT IN A RUSH.
ROLL DOWN YOUR WINDOW.
ENJOY THE TRAFFIC JAMS.
THAT'S GREAT. WHAT'S YOUR NAME?
ADEN DEBROUGH.
ADEN DEBROUGH. I'M FROM SEATTLE.
SEATTLE, WELL, YOU'VE COME A LONG WAYS.
WHERE ARE YOU FROM?
JUST FROM THE LOCAL, BORN AND RAISED DOWN HERE.
KINSALE MIXES HISTORY AND CUTENESS
BETTER THAN ANY TOWN ON IRELAND'S SOUTH COAST.
THE LONG AND SKINNY OLD TOWN CENTER IS PART MODERN MARINA
AND PART PEDESTRIAN-FRIENDLY MEDIEVAL TOWN.
ALONG WITH ITS RICH HISTORY,
KINSALE HAS A LAID-BACK SAUSALITO FEEL
WITH A TOUCH OF WINE-SIPPING CLASS.
AS IRELAND'S SELF-PROCLAIMED GOURMET CAPITAL,
KINSALE MERGES FRIENDLY OLD-FASHIONED IRISH HOSPITALITY
WITH QUALITY RESTAURANTS.
COMPETITION IS FIERCE
AND RESTAURANTS OFFER CREATIVE AND TEMPTING MENUS.
THE FISHY FISHY CAFE IS A FINE PLACE FOR...
FISH!
IT'S LIKE EATING IN A FISH MARKET
SURROUNDED BY TODAY'S CATCH AND A PRISTINE KITCHEN.
MARIE AND HER STAFF HUSTLE STEAMING PLATES
OF BEAUTIFULLY PRESENTED SEAFOOD TO EAGER CUSTOMERS.
THE IRISH REALLY DO ENJOY THE GIFT OF GAB.
AND FOR TRAVELERS, THAT MEANS EXCELLENT GUIDES,
LIKE DON HERLIHY IN KINSALE,
ARE AVAILABLE IN ANY HISTORIC TOWN.
WELL, IN THE 15th, 16th, 17TH CENTURIES, THIS HARBOR HERE,
KINSALE, WAS THE MOST IMPORTANT NATURAL HARBOR
IN THE WHOLE COASTLINE OF IRELAND,
BY FAR THE MOST PERFECT,
IN AN AGE OF SAILING SHIPS AND SAILS RULED THE WAVES.
COUNTRIES WITH GREAT FLEETS
WERE GREAT POWERS IN THEIR OWN RIGHT.
AND THIS WAS A TIME WHEN THE SUN NEVER SET
ON THE SPANISH EMPIRE.
IN 1601, THE 4th, THE VERY LAST SPANISH ARMADA EVER TO SAIL
SAILED INTO THIS HARBOR HERE WITH THE IDEA OF LINKING UP
WITH CLANS IN THE NORTHERN PART OF IRELAND, THAT BY ALLYING,
THEY COULD DRIVE THE ENGLISH OUT OF IRELAND
AND TAKE LIBERTY FOR THEMSELVES.
THE SPANIARDS SAIL IN HERE UNOPPOSED 1601,
ABOUT 5,000 CAMP WITHIN THE TOWN.
THE ENGLISH SURPRISE THEM WITH 10,000 FORCES
ON THE HIGH GROUND HERE.
APPROXIMATELY 6,000 IRISH CLANSMEN COME DOWNSTREAM
TO LINK WITH THE SPANISH.
THEY CAN'T LINK UP.
THE ENGLISH HAVE THE HIGH GROUND.
THEY DOMINATE THE SPANISH COMPLETELY,
RELEASING MOST OF THEIR FORCES TO TURN ON THE CLANS.
IT'S A ROUT.
Rick: A BAD DAY FOR IRELAND, THEN.
DREADFUL.
IT LED TO THE DECLINE OF THE OLD GAELIC ORDER IN IRELAND,
THE FLIGHT OF EARLS.
NO RESISTANCE IN ULSTER.
SO THE ENGLISH COULD GO AHEAD
WITH WHAT WAS CALLED THE PLANTATION OF ULSTER.
IRISH PEOPLE DRIVEN OFF THEIR LANDS.
THOSE LANDS PLANTED THEN WITH SETTLERS FROM ENGLAND
AND FROM SCOTLAND.
WHEN PEOPLE ASK ME,
HOW CAN THAT PART OF IRELAND BE STILL PART OF ENGLAND,
I TELL THEM 1601, KINSALE.
THAT WAS A HUGE SHOCK FOR THE ENGLISH.
THEY SUDDENLY REALIZED THE SIGNIFICANCE
OF THIS PERFECT HARBOR OF KINSALE ON THEIR DOORSTEP.
TO RULE THE WAVES THEY HAD TO SECURE THE HARBOR
AND THEY INVESTED IN THIS ENORMOUS FORT, CHARLES FORT.
STAR FORT, STATE OF THE ART, 17TH CENTURY, HUGE.
FOR 400 YEARS, THIS FORT
WAS ONE OF THE PRINCIPAL STRONGHOLDS OF BRITAIN
IN CONTROLLING IRELAND.
1,000 TROOPS WERE BASED HERE UNTIL 1922,
IRELAND BECAME INDEPENDENT OF BRITAIN
AND BRITAIN FINALLY GAVE IT BACK TO US.
THE KEY WEAPONRY HERE WOULD BE HEAVY ARTILLERY PIECES,
WHICH ARE DESIGNED HERE
TO RESPOND TO HEAVY ARTILLERY ON SHIPS.
AND THEN THE FORT ITSELF IS DESIGNED AS A STAR,
STAR FORT IT'S CALLED
BECAUSE IT HAS POINTS, LIKE POINTS ON A STAR.
AND THE IDEA OF THE STAR FORT, ITS CONSTRUCTION,
WAS THAT FROM WITHIN YOUR OWN WALLS LIKE HERE,
YOU COULD ALWAYS FIRE ON YOUR OWN OUTER WALLS,
OVER THERE, FOR EXAMPLE.
FOR IF THEY WERE ATTACKING US HERE,
THEY COULD BE FIRED UPON FROM WITHIN THE FORT FROM THAT WALL.
Rick: THAT'S BRILLIANT.
YEAH, SO IT'S A CROSS FIRE IDEA.
WHETHER I'M LEADING TOURS, RESEARCHING MY GUIDEBOOKS,
OR JUST HAVING FUN ON MY OWN, I GRAB EVERY OPPORTUNITY
TO GET LOCAL ADVICE ON GOOD PLACES TO EAT.
IN IRELAND,
PEOPLE MAKE TIME TO JOIN YOU FOR A DRINK AND A CHAT.
DON'S TAKING ME TO HIS FAVORITE SPOT.
THE BULMAN PUB, STREWN WITH FUN DECOR
AND SPORTING A BIG INVITING FIREPLACE,
IS A GREAT PLACE FOR A BEER AFTER YOUR VISIT TO THE FORT.
LIKE IN BRITAIN, IRISH PUBS ARE A COMMUNAL LIVING ROOM.
THESE PEOPLE HAVE A HISTORY HERE.
THEY CAN TELL THE STORIES THE OLD PHOTOS ON THE WALL RECALL.
MANY OF THESE CUSTOMERS ARE REGULARS,
WHOSE PARENTS WERE ALSO REGULARS.
UNLIKE BARS IN AMERICA, CHILDREN ARE WELCOME.
AND YOU CAN TAKE YOUR BEER AND CONVERSATION OUTSIDE.
JOIN THE LOCAL GANG TO ENJOY THE FRESH AIR AND THE VIEW.
THE DRAMATIC ROCK OF CHEL
IS ONE OF IRELAND'S MOST EVOCATIVE SITES.
THIS WAS THE SEAT OF ANCIENT IRISH KINGS
FOR SEVEN CENTURIES.
ST. PATRICK BAPTIZED KING ANGUS HERE IN ABOUT 450 A.D.
IN AROUND 1100, AN IRISH KING GAVE CASHEL TO THE CHURCH
AND IT GREW TO BECOME THE ECCLESIASTICAL CAPITAL
OF ALL IRELAND.
800 YEARS AGO, THIS MONASTIC COMMUNITY WAS JUST A CHAPEL
AND A ROUND TOWER STANDING HIGH ON THIS BLUFF.
IT LOOKED OUT THEN, AS IT DOES TODAY,
OVER THE PLAIN OF TIPPERARY, CALLED THE GOLDEN VEIL
BECAUSE ITS RICH SOIL MAKES IT IRELAND'S BEST FARMLAND.
ON THIS HISTORIC ROCK,
YOU STROLL AMONG THESE RUINS IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF ST. PATRICK,
AND WANDERING THROUGH MY FAVORITE
CELTIC CROSS GRAVEYARD, I FEEL THE SOUL OF IRELAND.
OKAY, NEXT WE'RE GOING DOWN TO CORK TO SEE THE BLARNEY CASTLE.
THEN WE'LL GO OVER TO KILLARNEY TO SEE MUCKROSS HOUSE,
AND TONIGHT WE'RE GOING TO SLEEP IN KENMARE.
AND THEN TOMORROW WE'LL GO AROUND THE RING OF KERRY.
GOOD.
THE BLARNEY CASTLE IS FIVE MILES NORTHWEST OF CORK,
THE BIG CITY OF SOUTHERN IRELAND.
THIS 15th CENTURY CASTLE IS AN EMPTY HULK
WITH NO ATTEMPT MADE TO MAKE IT MEANINGFUL.
STILL, TOUR GROUPS COME IN DROVES.
IT'S A PILGRIMAGE AS TOURISTS LINE UP TO KISS A STONE
ON ITS TOP RAMPART IN ORDER TO GAIN THAT GIFT OF GAB.
FOR ME, JUST WATCHING THE RITUAL
AS THE MAN LOWERS TOURISTS OVER THE LEDGE
BELLY-UP AND HEAD BACK, MAKES THE CLIMB ALMOST WORTHWHILE.
ARE WE READY?
YEAH.
MMWAAA!!
OKAY. THANK YOU.
THANK YOU.
THE BASIS OF ALL THIS GOES BACK TO THE 16th CENTURY,
WHEN QUEEN ELIZABETH INSTRUCTED HER INEFFECTUAL LORD OF BLARNEY
TO CAPTURE THIS IRISH CASTLE.
HE MANAGED TO PUT HER OFF WITH ENDLESS EXCUSES.
EXASPERATED, SHE FINALLY DECLARED, "IT'S ALL BLARNEY."
FOR ME, I MUCH PREFER TOURING MUCKROSS HOUSE,
THE MOST VISIT-WORTHY ENGLISH MANSION IN IRELAND.
THE STATELY HOME IS MAGNIFICENTLY SET
AT THE EDGE OF KILLARNEY NATIONAL PARK.
TRADITIONALLY,
MANY VISITORS APPROACH BY OLD-TIME HORSE BUGGY.
ADMISSION INCLUDES A GUIDED TOUR.
MUCKROSS HOUSE FEELS LIVED IN BECAUSE IT STILL IS,
WITH FINE VICTORIAN FURNITURE CLUTTERED AROUND THE FIREPLACE
UNDER RACKS OF ANTLERS AND WATERFORD CRYSTAL CHANDELIERS.
THIS HERE WAS QUEEN VICTORIA'S BEDROOM.
NOW, QUEEN VICTORIA, SHE CAME TO IRELAND JUST ONCE
AND DURING HER VISIT SHE CAME TO STAY IN MUCKROSS HOUSE.
THE REASON SHE DIDN'T STAY UPSTAIRS IN THE MASTER BEDROOM
WAS, SHE HAD A FEAR OF FIRE.
SO SHE REQUESTED THAT MR. HERBERT PUT A FIRE ESCAPE
IN PLACE TO EASE HER MIND WHILE SHE WAS STAYING IN THE HOUSE.
AND IT'S ALSO REPORTED IN LOCAL PAPERS OF THAT TIME
THAT TWO FIRE ENGINES AWAITED JUST OUT IN THE GARDENS HERE,
JUST IN THE EVENT OF A FIRE BREAKING OUT.
THE VICTORIAN ERA WAS THAT 19th CENTURY BOOM TIME
WHEN THE SUN NEVER SET ON THE BRITISH EMPIRE.
THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION, BORN IN ENGLAND,
WAS POWERING THE WORLD INTO THE MODERN AGE.
THIS WAS WHEN THE ECONOMY WAS SHIFTING FROM SMALL FARMS
TO MACHINERY AND MASS PRODUCTION.
AND THIS GAVE URBAN ENGLAND UNPRECEDENTED WEALTH AND POWER,
WHILE RURAL IRELAND SANK DEEPER INTO POVERTY.
BACK THEN, IRELAND WAS A BRITISH COLONY,
WITH BIG-SHOT ENGLISH LANDLORDS WHO LIVED COMFORTABLY
RIGHT THROUGH THE FAMINE IN HOMES LIKE THESE.
MUCKROSS HOUSE IS NEAR SOME BEAUTIFUL COUNTRYSIDE
OUTSIDE OF KILLARNEY,
WHICH MAKES A SCENIC DRIVE TO WHERE WE'LL SLEEP TONIGHT,
IN THE LITTLE TOWN OF KENMARE.
I LIKE KENMARE BECAUSE IT'S LESS TOURISTY THAN KILLARNEY,
WHICH IS THE MOST POPULAR JUMPING OFF POINT
FOR RING OF KERRY TOURS.
KENMARE HAS A REMOTE AND COZY FEEL.
AND BECAUSE IT'S ALREADY ON THE PENINSULA,
IT GIVES US A HEAD START ON OUR RING OF KERRY JOYRIDE.
THE ETERNAL BEAUTY OF THE IRISH LANDSCAPE IS MOST BREATHTAKING
WITH A SWEEP AROUND THE RING OF KERRY.
♪♪
I HOPE YOU'VE ENJOYED EXPLORING THE SOUTHERN PART
OF THE EMERALD ISLE.
JOIN US AGAIN NEXT TIME FOR MORE OF THE BEST OF EUROPE.
I'M RICK STEVES.
UNTIL THEN, KEEP ON TRAVELIN'.
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South Ireland: Waterford to the Ring of Kerry

3387 Folder Collection
嬙嬙 published on August 26, 2015
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