Category Archives: Multyfarnham, West Meath, Ireland

March 25, 2017 – Final Thoughts on our Trip

 

 

 

It was a fabulous trip and have been thinking of the highs and the lows.  So let’s see what comes out as I write my final memories.

Favorite city was Gent/Ghent. It was full of life, interesting things to see, good, delicious food and chocolates, and it was old with great opportunities to imagine what it must have been like hundreds of years ago.

Favorite people – well that has to be a split decision – the people we met in Athens were so full of life and humor and were helpful every step of the way.  I know the guys in front of the restaurants were working but they were also fun and interesting.  Aside from them trying to get us to eat our meal with them we also talked travel, politics, family and other topics.  It was a great way to start our holiday.

Second favorite people would have to be the Laughland cousins in England = all of them.  They are a lively bunch, with great humor and lots of spirit.  The little kids were all warm and friendly which says a lot about their lives. The folks I met for the first time I really enjoyed getting to know and hope I get to see them again.  All in all it was fun times.

And third but not last = Pat and Una Weir.  We have stayed in their apartment three times before I believe making this our fourth visit to them.  They are a lovely family and made us, as always, feel at home and totally welcome there.  They go out of their way for their guests and the feeling is always one of friendship and family.  So I could not talk about favorite people with out including them.

Favorite new food – I think it must be Tzatziki that we ate in Greece.  Not being a brave taster of new foods, in fact totally resistant most of the time to eating anything new, I was proud of myself for trying several Greek items.  The Tzatziki was delicious and I can see myself trying to make it and eating it again.  Oh and I have to add the alcoholic drink Advocaat, it is a creamy yellow, egg nog favoured drink that we had with whipped creme. It is Belgian and if you are there in Gent by the train station there is a little bar restaurant that serves it with a cup of coffee. It was delicious. Those two items were worth the trip.

Favorite archaeological site – Would have to be all the things we saw in Athens. The old Olympic Stadium, the ancient ruins, the Acropolis and all were spectacular.  Yes, we also saw lots of old cathedrals and buildings but I think what we saw in Athens was awesome.

Favorite historical item – In thinking back I believe the Bayeau Tapestry was extraordinary.  It was done at the time of the Battle of Hastings in 1066.  It is 70 meters long and is displayed in all its glory in its own museum.  It tells the story of the rise of William the Conqueror and the battle to maintain his kingdom.  They give you a hand held speaker to take around with you which tells you what is happening and who is shown in each part of the tapestry.  I learned a lot from the experience.  If you are near there don’t miss it.

Favorite Museum – In Dublin we went to the Viking Museum at Christ Church across from our hotel.  I had been there before and it was good and wanted to see it again.  It was equally as interesting the second time around.  Learned that those Norwegians came over looking to be farmers and needing more land to farm. I can see that with all the mountains in Norway.  At the end of the Museum you can go into the Cathedral and tour it which is also very interesting.

Another interesting museum if you can call it that was the Bell Tower in Gent.  I learned how they make those bells so that they ring in a certain tone  and believe me it is not easy or a quick job.  That was fascinating to me so I included it this list.

I don’t know if I should call this the funniest or saddest thing from the trip.  It was an observed event.  One night we were out having a drink and were going to listen to some music.  We had been in this bar before so recognized some of the regulars we had chatted with.  Everyone likes to ask about Trump and our opinions as well as give their own. Did not matter the country or the language.

One fellow there appeared to be on his way to one whale of a hangover and this woman drinking next to him was chatting him up and it was obvious she and her friend knew him.  Her friend just kept rolling her eyes.  But the one chatting with him seemed to be moving in for the kill.  He had his hand on her shoulders and then her back and eventually on her butt.  She seemed to move away a bit but then came back to him again.  I was just sitting back in my spot watching all of this dance of the frustrated lonely old people.  All of a sudden I saw this fellow move his hand the way he had before except this time he went for the Trump move.  She moved pretty quickly back away from him but my mouth was almost on the floor.  I turned to hubby who had also been watching and said something about they have Trumps over here as well who feel free to grab what they want.

Well I figured that her moving down the bar to chat with others meant this whole show was over.. ah the fools we can make of ourselves.   Nope it was not over.  After a bit she returned and was rubbing up against him and whispering things to him.  I was just starring at this point in disbelief.  Then her friend told her to put her coat on and after some more intimate moves she put it on and left.  I think if they had been in between 20 and 40 I might have just thought not a great deal of it but she was heading in my direction age wise and he was maybe my age or older. Hard to tell since the love of the drink can make you look older than you are.  Anyway not an episode I will forget any time soon.

Disappointment – We went to see the play “The Weir” in Dublin and I could not hear or understand the actors very well.  I missed so many of the humorous lines that it was kind of a waste on me. I was disappointed in that since I had been the one who suggested we go see it.

Regrets = My biggest regret is that the trip was not longer.  Several of the places we visited  had so much more to see and a couple more days would have been better.  I am sorry that it had been rainy so I did not get to climb up to Queen Maeve’s Tomb.  Meeting of the Waters had also been on my list of places I wanted to see again and we did not get there.   But I know we could not do everything with the time we had.

Hopes = to win the lottery and just go and spend a whole year or so traveling around to all the places I would like to see before I croak.  And that I don’t lose my mind and forget all of this. Too many fun memories to go and not remember them.

Gratitude for Denis for being the person he is so that the trip was our trip and we both enjoyed our time together with no work, no pressures other than getting a train or plane but the rest of the time we just took our time which made it joyful.

Cutest thing that happened – this goes along with the last paragraph – in Dublin we were walking up O’Connell Street holding hands and this woman walked towards us and we did that little dance you do when one person starts to go right and the other does the same, then you go the other way etc.  We all kind of laughed and stopped and she came up and said how pleased she was to see two people who obviously still love each other and are just enjoying being together.  So glad it showed…

 

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March 6, 2017 -So much happening

https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=trim+castle&view=detailv2&&id=B1F411BF67141E2E27E009097BB7AD9F8E971A79&selectedIndex=8&ccid=mET6Bi5R&simid=608024472640491066&thid=OIP.mET6Bi5Rt6M8I01Kmizn7wEsDI

 

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…

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trim_Castle

http://www.weirsmultyfarnham.ie/

 

 

 

 

 

March 3, 2017 – Unexpected happiness and sadness

Last night it was way too late for writing when we got into the apartment.  So, back to the start of yesterday.  Up early, Denis went for a run and I repacked and showered and got ready to check out.  After breakfast we paid up and got a cab to the Budget Rent a Car place.  We never would have found it on our own so good for getting a cab.

Also just want to put in a word for the Harding Hotel.  If you are ever going to Dublin this is a very good hotel to stay at.  Good location, a restaurant for breakfast or lunch and a pub for dinner or just to listen to music. Buses convenient to get you where ever you want to go in the city.  The folks who work there were so helpful to us, getting me a dentist, printing out tickets or boarding passes etc.  Could not have asked for better.

Got a nice little Nissan and headed off.  I am the map reader when we travel in Ireland.  No point in paying for two drivers.  Decided to take us up to Tara since it was kind of on the way and I knew this was Denis’ one big desire to visit there again.  It was cold and windy and had been raining so he went to get his Tara fix and I checked out the cemetery at the little church.  Then we went and had a snack in the cafe before heading to Mullingar and Multyfarnham.  Glad we did it since it would not have been pleasant in this rain we are having now.

Found our way to a Dunnes Store in Mullingar to get some food for breakfasts for the next four days, and arrived at Weirs about 4ish.  Pat was there and bought us a drink to start our visit.  We did some catching up and chatting with the fellows in the pub.

Finally went back and unpacked the car, said hi to Max the dog, and got ready for some dinner.  Had a grand meal – they do a great job with food.  And then back for a rest since Una was coming home around 11ish and we wanted to see her.  Did see Donna who is a real cutie.. growing up into a lovely looking young woman.

You are wondering about my surprises… well the first one was lovely when Una came up and gave me a hug and said “welcome home.”  It does feel like home here.  Very comfortable with everyone.   They have not had an easy time of it lately with some family losses but just wonderful people to be around.

The sad surprise is the weather forecast of rain until we leave the country next week.  Makes planning outdoor visits a bit iffy for sure.  Denis is suppose to run a 5 K tomorrow but if raining he will just run the roads around here.  As he said no point in having to drive the rental car back here if he is soaking wet.  And if it is like this we won’t be climbing up to Queen Maeve’s tomb.  Will have to find that pottery place and just spend more time there trying to get more of my pottery for the school house. And if we can find the wood carver in Sligo get another piece for ourselves.

Today we slept in. – I did not get up until 11 since I was laying there listening to the rain on the roof.  It was fabulous to just curl back under the covers for an extra few hours.  A good book would have been a treat also but I slept instead.

Once I put some food in me we headed off to Athlone.  The travel sites said the Castle had a good tour so we figured we would be dry and learn something along the way.  That was my next surprise… More about Vikings – How come I don’t have Viking blood and my little brother does?  I have spanish but really, no Viking?  Seems they were attacking Athlone as well as Dublin..    In Bayeux they have the tapestry of the war between William the Conqueror and Harold.  Then in Dublin were there this time William of Orange and James fighting the Battle of the Boyne in 1090.  Then in 1690’s they were at it again the Williamites and the Jacobites having another religious war.  Killed off the Irish like crazy and they finally signed a treaty at Limerick in 1692.

Reading today and hearing about the 1690 battles it sounded like Syria today.  The people who lived there who just wanted to be left alone were destroyed. There was raping and pillaging and children dying from starvation and diseases.  Made me very sad to see how we just don’t learn at all do we?

This is a wonderful museum by the way.  They personalize it by showing people who actually existed at that time and what happened to them and their families and the military leaders and how they died or failed or went on to other battles to die.  They have done a good job and this is a museum you could take kids to who were 8 or older I would think.

https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=athlone+castle+ireland&view=detailv2&&id=5A3DEC1761EE500A6B9F48BFDFD8140657FA3B8F&selectedIndex=1&ccid=Z9BVGqkH&simid=607992505199038430&thid=OIP.Z9BVGqkHPXXI5895pQHCoAEsC7

After a bite to eat we headed back.  Proud of ourselves for finding our way out and back on the correct roads to get us here by 4:30.   Had a brief visit with Una who was heading off to participate in a fashion show to raise money for hospice in her sisters honor.  She will be back with her girls tomorrow.  We plan to get a visit in tomorrow evening.

Tonight there will be singing in the pub by Pat and some of his friends.  We are looking forward to it.  Also going to have dinner again there.  Might have deep fried Brie tonight. Just sounds so good to me.

Adventures reign supreme these days.  Hate driving on those narrow Irish roads in the rain but by thinking of it as an adventure it reduces the anxiety.  Seeing the number of houses for sale makes me wonder if there are any bargains out there to be had.  Watching people buy lottery tickets makes me wonder if I am missing out on something I am meant to do = win a lottery so I can buy the house of my dreams… Have to buy that ticket to win though don’t I?

Have your own adventure today!

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Athlone

http://www.hardinghotel.ie/