I am going to write backwards today hoping that I remember what happened two days ago.
Today we got up and sorted through everything, cleaned up the apartment and said goodbye to Pat and Una. Was sad to be leaving. they are wonderful people and work so hard. Max the dog had gone to school – he follows the school kids and waits outside the school for them to come out.. so we could not say goodbye to him. He is a lovely dog but because he lives outside really needed a bath.. I tried to rub his belly like he wanted me to but the hair was all knotted and gross. But we are friends anyway.
The drive to Sligo was rainy. We arrived at the hotel before 1:30 so the room was not ready. We left the car and walked down into the town to see if Michael Quirk was in his shop. I would love to purchase another work of carving from him but the last time we tried to visit him he was not in the shop and was not there today. We also tried to purchase some team shirts but no one seemed to have any in the sports shops.
We came back and checked in and had a rest. The location is lovely, right on the river and our room faces the river. The water is moving swiftly probably due to the heavy rains. On the way here at one point the N4 narrowed and I counted 29 white crosses on the sides of the road. Death by car. Sad.
We ate Italian for dinner and then came back to the bar here for a night cap. I got in over 10,000 steps so I am good for today.
Yesterday we slept in and then after breakfast headed to Trim to tour the castle. We arrived before 1 and signed up for the 2:15 tour. So since we had time went and had a scone and coffee. Got back and the tour guide was great. Again the talk included info on the Vikings, Normans, Anglo Saxons etc. Oh yes and the Celts as well. We did a lot of climbing those narrow round and round staircases. Good thing I don’t have to fight with a sword since in those days it was necessary to be right handed to protect yourself on those staircases. There were some young boys on the tour and it was great the way the guide involved them as he talked. The kids really enjoyed it. We have been to the castle several times but never were able to take the tour so very happy we finally did it. I did talk with the guide about names and he said that yes my family names are all Irish in origin and not Norman or Anglo Saxon etc. That is probably why my DNA has no Scandinavian in it. My brother has some and I figure that probably comes from my Dad’s side.
Drove home other roads to see different towns etc. After getting back we rested and then went over to have dinner at 7 with Pat and Una. As usual the dinner was fabulous and we really enjoyed spending time with the two of them. Then we went to the pub for a night cap. Some of the fellows were there and I had a great conversation with George the bartender and the other fellow tending bar. Nice fellows. Showed George pictures of the school house and told him to come and visit sometime.
SAturday was a really down day. We woke up to torrential rains and decided not to worry about doing anything. Ate food we had with us and had dinner in the restaurant. Denis did go for a run at some point but not to the race in Mullingar. It was a lovely lazy day. Really needed that. Also we had been up late on Friday night so did not feel the need to do anything. Hanging out in the pub is an education in itself. I plan to write more about the education I have been getting about Irish pubs drinking habits when we get back home. Observing and listening and talking with bartenders has been enlightening.
Friday night we went over to the pub and eventually Pat and his buddy started singing. It was great. Mostly contemporary or 60’s forward music. No trad songs. The place was packed with folks letting loose after a week of work. Also met some new folks there as well. I think there might be an opportunity for a book for someone if they wanted to take it. Adventures in a small village pub where everyone knows everyone else and keeps a running commentary on various adventures. Romantic and other wise. But that is for another day since I have more pubs to visit to finish my thoughts on life in the pub.
I think this catches me up on what we have been doing. If it does not rain tomorrow we will go off adventuring around Sligo, Strandhill, and a little to the north of here. I want to visit a pottery shop to get a few more pieces for my school house collection. And if we can it is my turn to join Denis in climbing Queen Maeve’s Tomb. We shall see.
Cannot believe we will be home on Friday. Getting very sad…