We woke up this morning in Roscrea without a real plan for the day, just knowing we would be making our way back to Dublin to deposit the rental car, check in to the hotel and check-in on the airline website. We headed towards Kildare.
We stopped at Achaboe Abbey. Again, not really on our radar but worth a stop. This church was built in1382 but there has been an abbey on this site since 784 (plundered and destroyed and rebuilt), left in ruins and then partially restored in 1984.
We continued towards Dublin and found Rock of Dunamase. The castle was built in the 12th century on the ruins of a 9th century fort. It passed hands through families until the 14th century when the head of the Mortimer family was arrested and beheaded by Edward III for treason. There was a brief period in the 18th century where it was partially refurbished as a residence for a speaker in the Irish parliament.
We climbed up the hill to the top, and the views of the surrounding countryside were amazing. I tend to think these ruins are just as good or nicer than the ones that are controlled by the office of the public works.
From the Rock of Dunamase, we travelled towards Dublin. We thought we would return the car early, check in to the hotel and take the bus in to town centre, perhaps seeing Dublin Castle, which we missed on the first day. Denise likely needed a break from driving also!
Dublin Castle is a beautiful castle right in the middle of the city centre. As you walk in through the gates, it’s like you completely lose the crowded streets behind you. And it was busy. As today is a bank holiday, and the beginning of summer travel, the streets were packed.
Leaving the castle area, we walked back towards Trinity College, stopping briefly at the Irish Whiskey museum. We have packed a lot in to the past few days and exhaustion had caught up! Along the walk in the city today we also happened upon an Irish dance competition
We headed back to the hotel. We have this bus thing figured out now! Denise received a message from a friend, so we were very privileged to get a personal car tour of the Dublin beaches area and the community of Howth, located on a head that spreads out into the ocean. Laurie and Ciaran also brought us to an old Irish pub called the Bloody Stream. This pub is located literally under the last train stop.
It was a great visit, and we had wonderful conversation about Ireland, Canada, Spain and the Camino. And the food was good too – I finally had an Irish stew! Now for the flight home and back to reality!