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Ireland day 0007. Tuesday 05 October 2021- Trim

Ireland day 0007. Tuesday 05 October 2021- Trim
Today’s summary More admin in the morning, continuing the quest for a PPS number.   Visit to Trim and its collection of 12th century Anglo-Norman castles in the afternoon
Today’s weather Rain overnight but dry all day with long bright sunny intervals and strong westerly breeze.   About 14C
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Today’s overview location
(the red cross in a circle shows where Val and I are at the moment)
Close-up location
(click the button to download a gpx file of our walk):
Trim gpx
Commentary

The morning was spent on domestic chores – all of which, probably unsurprisingly in retrospect – took longer than they should.

A week’s worth of washing had to be processed first, which was easy enough in itself as there is an excellent machine on site.   But getting stuff dry is far more challenging as the weather is always cool and if it isn’t actually raining, the air is so humid that even if you hung dry clothes out in it, they would become wet with absorbed moisture after only a couple of hours.   So the solution was heat up the cottage as much as we could this morning, then decorate every available hanging space with wet clothes and hastily shut the door while we went out for the afternoon.

And while all that was going on, we continued the pursuit of PPS numbers.   We made some progress until we ran up a dead end when we discovered that we needed a letter from an accountant explaining why we needed one.   That can be a battle to be fought on another day I think.

The afternoon though was far more satisfactory.   We headed about 40 km / 25 miles west from Ardcath to Trim – a town which is not just Trim by name but also trim by nature.   It’s probably the smartest place we have visited so far .   Judging from the number of expensive looking modern villas in leafy residential streets, and from the diversity of organic restaurants to dine in, it’s obviously very prosperous.

What brings most visitors here now though is not actually the brand new Aldi (free parking for 2 hours by the way, though we did have to buy a bottle of wine) but the astonishing collection of well preserved 900 year old Anglo-Norman ruins right in the centre of the town.   They are all excellently maintained, thanks to the OPW, and like the rest, are free to enter until the end of 2021.

We took a very informative walk round the main castle keep, and then on the riverside path down the side of the Boyne to the ruined cathedral of St Peter and Paul.   It was a somewhat strange experience for me, as midway round I had arranged to have a Zoom catch up with a former work colleague in the US.   So I had the oddly dislocating experience of sitting in the ruins of a 12th century castle in a cold wind in the middle of Ireland, talking to Steve who was in the departure lounge of Houston airport on his way to a business meeting in New York.   It made me reflect on the choices we all make in life and how we can end up at very different destinations even if we all start from more or less the same point.

Right now we are sitting by the fire (which incidentally is burning much better now that the logs have been chopped up a bit) and enjoying a glass of red wine.   Actually “enjoying” is stretching it a bit as it was the cheapest bottle in Aldi and although it did say “red wine” on the label, and it had some hopeful-sounding French writing on it, it was bought more for the quality of the free parking it secured than for the quality of its contents.    But it’s a good enough complement to the slightly reflective mood we have found ourselves in this evening.   We have been here a week now, and it’s a good point to look back on what we have already achieved, and to start planning the next stages in our journey.

Today’s photos (click to enlarge)

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The Keep – built by Hugh de Lacy in 1176.   Normally over-run with tourists but hardly anyone here today Approaching the castle via St Patrick’s church yard
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Setting out on the Trim Castle river walk towards the Cathedral of St Peter & Paul and the Priory of St John the Baptist The Priory – a relative newcomer at only 700 years old
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Like something from a Hitchcock movies – clouds of rooks swirling over the St Peter & Paul cathedral ruins Val scrutinising the ruinous tower of St Mary’s Abbey
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Overlooking the “curtain wall” on the south side of the castle.   Surely one of the most impressive buildings in Ireland
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