A Different Visit to Ireland

Category: Communities

Trim, County Meath

Trim was the first town I visited in Ireland. It has a castle, old town walls, ruins of an abbey, a priory and the tower from an old hospital.
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Summerhill and Kildare

I left Trim after breakfast. I was making my way to Leixlip. I passed through Summerhill and Kildare and had some lunch.
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Leixlip & Car Wreck

At the very top of my list of things I wanted to find when I was in Ireland was Leixlip Castle. It is not open to the public. The book The Follies and Garden Buildings of Ireland by James Howley describes the “fine gazebo which still stands in the grounds of Leixlip Castle, at the meeting of the Rye Water and the River Liffey.” So, I found where the Rye Water and the River Liffey meet and looked for the gazebo.
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Through County Clare to the Coast

I drove through County Clare to the Atlantic Coast. I saw the countryside to the Atlantic, through Ennistymon, Lahinch and Liscannor.
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Farms near Ardrahan

I drove through the Burren and along Galway Bay, then turned toward Shannon Harbor and the Grand Canal. Near Ardrahan I stopped to photograph a thatched cottage. I parked where it was a bit wider on the other side of the road. A woman came out and asked me to photograph her horse. It was one of the most wonderful things that happened on my trip. She showed me medieval ruins, farms and so many animals.
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Ardrahan, Shannonbridge and Clonony Castle

I drove through the little village of Ardrahan, through County Galway, County Roscommon and County Offaly.  I saw more ruins and castles and crossed Shannonbridge, one of the oldest bridges still in use over the River Shannon.
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Shannon Harbour

Shannon Harbour is a very small village built where the Grand Canal meets the Shannon River. At one time it was a very busy area. If you descend from Irish Immigrants, your family likely passed through Shannon Harbour. Now much of it is ruins.
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Ballycastle is a small town in Northern Ireland on the Antrim Coast in the Glens Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The town is right on the sea. You can see Rathlin Island and all the way to Scotland. This was where I stayed. I made day trips to Giant’s Causeway, Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, the Old Bushmills distillery and Dunluce Castle.
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I got up early to drive from Ballycastle to Derry/Londonderry. I had the address for the Kingdom Hall, programmed it into the GPS and set off confidently. It was a beautiful drive. I saw a McDonalds! Coffee! No… Even McDonalds makes foul coffee in Ireland. I am not a coffee snob, but this stuff is really bad. Just give up and drink tea.
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Old Postcard of Leixlip

I just found an old postcard of Leixlip. It was mailed from Dublin to the States in 1910 for a two penny and a half penny stamps. The postcard shows Main Street from the Rye Bridge where the Ryewater flows into the Liffey where  Leixlip demesne Boat House is. Continue reading

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