"bLog means boring-Log"
arrival and day 01 in leprechaun land (0 comments)
before our arrival in ireland, dublin we flew from vienna to munich and then on to frankfurt for our final change to our flight to dublin. this procedure took us six and a half hours, so we arrived at around 23:30 o'clock. all that was left for this day was to fetch our rental car from the airport, getting used to driving on the left, and then find our hotel with a little detour. outside temperature was around 10°C when we arrived at our first hotel, the "ashbourne court hotel" at around 00:30 o'clock IST, which is irish standard time (UTC+1).
we started the first day
heading to trim castle, arriving at the priory of st. john the baptist[001-015] in trim. or at least what's left of it, which is ruins. but beautiful ones.
next we headed to the newtown clonbun parish church[017-026], newtown abbey, and the cathedral of peter and paul[028-037] which was adjacent. there was also a cemetery with very old gravestones. i really liked that place, especially with all the moss and the lichen with all those different colours.
on our little walk to trim castle[038-040,042,044,046,048,052-083], we passed the yellow steeple[043,047,050] of st. mary's abbey, and old bell tower that was built in the 14th, and damaged in the 17th century. then there was also the sheep gate.
we then decided to take a guided tour[067-083] through trim castle, which is also known as king john's castle. the tour itself was pretty interesting, also seeing the castle from the inside, with all the chambers and few privies for the high ranked occupants of the castle. we learned a lot about the habits and living standards of the middle ages.
when it was time for lunch we decided to have the classic fish'n'chips. we really like them and so this was one thing i was looking forward to on this trip. and they were good, nomnomnom.
going to st. patrick's cathedral church[088-103], also known as trim cathedral, was our after-dinner walk. the current church was a replacement built around 1800 for a church from the 15th century.
the inside of the church was rather small but very lovely, with beautiful stained glass windows and nice mosaic floors.
on our way back to the car, we made one more stop at the cathedral of st. peter and paul[106-108]. there were still no people at the ruins, and the place still seemed abandoned. although, this exact ruin was a filming location for a game of thrones scene.
we drove on to the hill of tara[109-122], got off the car and were greeted by loads of ravens and crows. pretty cool to see so many of them in one place. i fed them a little bit of what food we had left, but as always, they were very cautious and mistrustful of humans - so smart, so cute.
it is said that this is the "most spiritual place in ireland". and although it has a certain touch to it, i could not get that feeling. also, we did not see any fairies or leprechauns, so... no, just a nice, quiet place to me, where around 1000 years ago people chose to have the seat of the high-king of ireland, around 5000 maybe druids put neolithic monuments and a human habitat here, and only around 200 years ago irish rebels were defeated by the british troops here, ending in the death of over 400 irish people.
on our way out and back to the car, we were greeted by an native irish drunk. understanding the local accent is quite hard most of the time and takes a while to get accustomed to, but if the guy talking is also drunk, it gets really hard to get a grasp on what he's talking about. but he was friendly and bits and pieces we could understand, and so we had some kind of conversation. friendly, drunk irish people; we liked that.
about one hour later we arrived at the monasterboice[123-137], again a place with historic ruins on a cemetery, containing four famous high crosses. the first one is muiredach's high cross which is about 5.5 metres tall and considered to be the finest high cross in ireland (whatever that means). there's a similar high cross called westcross. the monastery built there was burned around 1000 years ago, the church that was then erected had a round tower[123,128-129], which again is the only thing that remained, besides the ruins of rest of the building.
again we were the only people there. but we had company, as we spotted our first cat there. unfortunately the tomcat was not interested in getting in contact with us, but rather left the scene as soon as we got too close to it - too sad.
as it was already getting late, the light got worse with every minute. that's when we decided to call it a day, although this place was really amazing. the colours, the atmosphere, the cemetery, the ruins, the cat... simply amazing.
so we drove on to carlingford to our b&b called the "belvedere hotel". once we got our luggage in our room, we decided to extend our stay for one more night and make this our temporary headquarter for day trips tomorrow. then we had an awesome fish pie and fish chowder for dinner.
it seems like in off-season people use the time to fix or renovate their castles. so there most castles are a building site now, enclosed by scaffoldings. i hope this does not apply to all the castles to come.
another good thing to mention: my tomtom watch tracked for over 9.5 hours, and was still running. so it lasts longer than my old tracking device. i am very happy with it.
today's high was around 13°C, it was cloudy and overcast all day long - how clichéd.
track for the day of arrival
track for day 01