Paddy Wagon Day III

Trip Start Aug 05, 2005
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Trip End Dec 29, 2005


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Wednesday, October 26, 2005

The morning of the third and final day of our Paddy Wagon tour was a drizzly one in the city of Galway. Becky and I dropped by a bagel shop for a bagel and coffee with which to start our day. We packed up our things and after giggling with our Australian friends over the previous night's escapades, we hopped in the van and headed east back towards Dublin.

Our morning's stop was at an old monastic center called Clonmacnoise. To see the history of the place and listen to some funky Irish music, check out this link: http://www.moytura.com/clonmacnoise.htm

Clonmacnoise (the Irish Cluain Mhic Nos) is an ancient ecclesiastical site, situated south of Athlone, near the centre of Ireland. Its location contributed to its development as a major centre of religion, learning, trade, craftsmanship and political influence. Clonmacnoise has a large collection of grave-slabs dating from the 8th to the 12th century, as well as one of Ireland's finest surviving High Crosses. In addition, the monastery contains many religious buildings. The grounds were fabulous as they were essentially a cemetery covered in celtic crosses because of the age of the place. I got some great shots there and felt a bit better for not having been to any cemeteries in Cork. I still want to go back there, though.

After our visit to Clonmacnoise, we hopped back in the Paddy Wagon and headed east again. We stopped at a little town for lunch at a pub where we were served vegetable soup and a bread roll. That was the one option. Good thing we liked it. Then it was on to our final destination, Phoenix Park in Dublin. Along the way, Joe gave us lots of history about the north and south of Ireland and details of the conflict between the two. It was really fascinating to hear about Michael Collins and a guy named Devlin and what they went through right around the time of the first world war.

During our return to the city, we went through Phoenix Park, which is the second largest gated park in the world. This is where the President of Ireland lives and where there are over 700 free range deer and elk-ish creatures. It's so bizarre because it's this great open place in the middle of a city. Gorgeous!
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