Thursday, July 21, 2005
Today, we visited Trim Castle. Built in 1173 (and ongoing years), it's the largest Anglo-Norman castle in Ireland. We spent several hours here, touring the keep (amazing, considering that the stones were first laid more than 800 years ago!), what's left of the curtain wall, and the surrounding ruins. The castle was in complete ruin until just a few years ago. Overgrown and in great disrepair, it was literally crumbling apart and was closed to the public. In 2000, after a great clean-up and restoration, it was opened to the public. We descended 84 spiral steps on the way down. Tiny, narrow steps. The boys were in awe. As we walked away, Ian asked, "But where was the dragon?" Aidan quickly explained that it was killed by a knight.
Trim Castle was used in the filming of Braveheart. I love this shot. I took it as we were driving away...I made Darren pull over on the side of a busy street so I could get it. :)
After the castle, the kids and Grandma went back to the house, and Darren and I checked out the ruins of the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul. The land that the cathedral sits on belongs to a farmer whose cattle graze among the ruins.
From the cathedral, we headed to a grocery store. LOL!! There was no rhyme or reason to the displayed product! Next to the leg of lamb were condoms, vitamins and clothes pins. With the produce were stacks of CDs, wooden shelving and cookies. We decided that the Irish haven't done the extensive consumer research that the U.S. has. Then again, maybe they have. We probably spent more money wandering around looking for stuff than we would have had it all been perfectly organized. Fresh produce is less expensive here than it is at home, so we bought a lot of it. Darren said, "No wonder they're vegetarians - you can afford to be at these prices!"
Good day. Tommorow, I'll write about how incredibly friendly and helpful the Irish people are. :)