Alright, so I know that it’s been a while but I’m back and ready to share more of my time in the wonderful, absolutely gorgeous country of Ireland. I miss it so much sometimes. I still can’t believe (even now) that I’ve actually been. Ireland was at the top of my “If I Could Go Anywhere in the World” List for so long. Our dinner group has kept up the Facebook group chat since coming back, updating everyone on how our summers have been going and how much we miss Ireland or things that remind us of Ireland. So I guess in a way it’s not terrible that I still have so much to tell you guys about our semester there because this way I get to revisit fun times and memories whenever I post something new.
Alright, so the title of this post is basically what this particular Roberta trip was like: our space-shuttle looking bus full of SMC/ND/HC kids and old castle and abbey ruins. We spent the morning exploring Trim Castle as well as the little town. Then after lunch, we departed and on the way back to Maynooth, took a side trip to the Benedictine Abbey ruins where Roberta kind of just let us loose on the ruins for an hour or so. I think that was everyone’s favorite bit.
So, Trim Castle. Located in County Meath, it sits overlooking the River Boyne and dates back to the 12th century. The castle was constructed over a thirty year period by Hugh de Lacy and his son and was considered to be the largest Anglo-Norman castle in Ireland. We were given a guided tour of the ruins. Half of the buildings are no longer standing though the foundations cam still be seen which, if seen from the top of the castle, gives visitors a good idea of what the area would have looked like while it was still in use. The castle itself is a bit small compared to others but inside the main area you can see where the floors would have been making the castle two or three stories high.
What I didn’t realize is that a good number of our girls had a slight fear of heights. At the end of our tour, we went up to the walkways on the roof that connected the towers. That gave us a good view of the area. I didn’t think it was that high but a lot of the girls were a bit nervous and happy when we began heading back to the ground. I will say though that anyone who visits should be careful on the stairs. It is a castle, so all of the stairs are narrow and winding up in spirals. This was to make it harder to attack inside the castle and easier to defend on the stairs (depending on which way you view it). While it might have been a helpful strategy then, it makes the stairs slightly tricky to navigate now given that the stairs are a bit worn and slippery (it had been raining when we visited).
What I found interesting was the fact that there seemed to a few K-9 unit vehicles not terribly far from the castle parked just off the road. I noticed them when we were up on the roof. I’m not sure what they were doing but there were people and dogs wandering around a stretch of land between the road and the river. Not sure what that was about, but I found it interesting, if a bit odd.
After lunch in town, we started heading back but took a pit stop at the Benedictine Abbey ruins where Roberta basically just let us loose. It was fun. We were probably only there an hour or so but it was fun getting to climb all over the place. Two of my friends, Jules and Krista, even did a little Irish dancing (they’re both Irish dancers) on top of one part. I think that was everyone’s favorite part. Afterwards, we went back to Maynooth but all in all it was a good day.
So…I guess that’s all I got for y’all right now. In other news, guess what? My brother gets back from camp on Monday. I’m excited.