In 2019, we realized a long-awaited road trip around parts of Ireland. Hopefully, at some point, I’ll have time to flesh out these footprints with the notes from my journal.
  • Day17

    A Map Wrap-Up

    July 5, 2019 in Ireland ⋅ ⛅ 66 °F

    Our 16-day drive around Ireland comes to an end on day 17 with the drop off of our rental car at Dublin Airport. It’s time to do a wrap up with a couple of maps.

    If you want to follow along on the next phase of our 2019 adventures, you can do so by clicking this link: more

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  • Day16

    Dinner Time!

    July 4, 2019 in Ireland ⋅ ☁️ 68 °F

    Our last day of touring was planned as an easy one.

    By shortly after noon, we were back at the B&B. A quick snack. Chores to prepare for the next phase of our trip. A quick wander around Athlumney Castle ... the proprietors of the B&B are the caretakers for the ruins and gave us the key.

    Then it was time to walk into Navan for dinner at Crave. What a great choice this place turned out to be. Casual atmosphere ... excellent food ... a great way to end our self-drive trip around Ireland.

    The fettuccine Alfredo with prawns was delicious … the creamy basil sauce made all the difference. Mui ordered off the early bird menu because he wanted to have the lamb shank … falling-off-the-bone tender. This special menu came with a set price for two courses, so he ordered the stuffed mushrooms as a starter. Boy, were they good!

    The walk back to the B&B was great exercise after our most satisfying meal.
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  • Day16

    Braveheart’s Bective Abbey

    July 4, 2019 in Ireland ⋅ ☁️ 63 °F

    After our wander around the Hill of Tara, we drove to nearby Bective Abbey. Our main reason for doing so was to kill time. The plan was to check out the ruins and then return to the Heritage and Visitor Center to watch the documentary video about Tara.

    Turns out that the cloister walk at the ruins of this Cistercian abbey, which was founded in 1147, was another location where scenes for the Mel Gibson movie, “Braveheart,” were filmed. I may have to watch the movie again just to see if I can recognize the scenes filmed here and at Trim Castle.
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  • Day16

    Hill of Tara

    July 4, 2019 in Ireland ⋅ ☁️ 57 °F

    An 8:45a arrival at the Hill of Tara, just 10 miles or so from the B&B, meant we’d have to return later to watch the documentary shown in the Heritage & Visitor Center later in the morning. The upside to our early arrival? We had the whole place to ourselves.

    The Hill of Tara is Ireland’s first pagan sanctuary. It is a must-see place for its historic significance. For the casual visitor, however, there’s not much to see … only some earthworks. If one does not do any research in advance, it just looks like an undulating field of lush green grass. Well, it’s those undulations that make this place so significant. They are burial mounds.

    The first passage tomb was built at Tara in the late Stone Age. But it wasn’t until the Iron Age (600 BC to 400 AD) that Tara gained in importance. By the early Christian Period, it had risen into great prominence as the seat of the High Kings of Ireland ... as the place where they were coronated. As Christianity gained in importance, however, Tara’s significance became mostly symbolic.
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  • Day16

    Day 16: Last Day of Touring

    July 4, 2019 in Ireland ⋅ ⛅ 52 °F

    This was a short day of touring, leaving us time to relax in the afternoon and prepare for the next part of our 2019 overseas travels.

  • Day15

    Ottoman Aid During the Great Famine

    July 3, 2019 in Ireland ⋅ ☀️ 64 °F

    History records that during the Great Famine (1845-1849), the Ottomans sent aid to Ireland.

    Reports say that Sultan Abdülmecit wanted to send £10,000 to the people of Ireland, but that Queen Victoria asked him to reduce the amount to £1,000 because she had sent only £2,000. The Sultan, it is said, acceded to her wishes, but in addition to the money, he sent five ship loads of food ... in secret. From what I recall, the arrival of the ships in Dublin was blockaded by the English, so the foodstuff was unloaded in Drogheda instead.

    It was this story that took us to Drogheda. After lunch, we took care of a few errands, and then went in search of a plaque of gratitude honoring the aid. It wasn’t easy to find, but a volunteer at the visitor center directed us to the Westcourt Hotel and told us to look above the entrance to the property!

    P.S. Note added in January 2021 ... Apparently, there is a movie in pre-production — titled, Famine — that tells the story of this charitable event. Whether it will ever be released is TBD.
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  • Day15

    Lunch Time!

    July 3, 2019 in Ireland ⋅ ☀️ 64 °F

    Drogheda as a city did not impress us. Big. Crowded. It just didn’t feel at all Irish. But it fulfilled our needs to complete a couple of errands. Starting with a delicious lunch that we enjoyed at the Grey Goose.

    We both ordered the Beef and Guinness Irish Stew, which I thought was even better than the one I had in Adare earlier in our trip. A pint of Rockshore, an Irish lager brewed by Guinness, washed it all down.
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  • Day15

    Mellifont Abbey

    July 3, 2019 in Ireland ⋅ ☀️ 61 °F

    The location of the ruins — not far from Drogheda — and a photo I had seen showing a circular structure that looked quite unusual. These were the reasons why we headed to Mellifont Abbey today.

    This Cistercian Abbey was consecrated in 1157. If the illustration of the original buildings is anything to go by, the place was quite impressive back in its heyday. Not much remains today, however. Nonetheless, the circular structure did not disappoint ... assuming you are a person who enjoys visiting and photographing ruins.

    Turns out that the structure in question was built around 1200. It was a “lavabo” ... a place of purification where the monks cleansed their bodies and spirit prior to dining in the refectory hall. Today, the lavabo seems to have a split personality ... looking almost intact on one side and in total shambles from the other side.

    That we had this photogenic place all to ourselves — even on “free first Wednesday — was a lovely bonus.
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