Ireland day 0182. Tuesday 29 March 2022- Maynooth

Ireland day 0182. Tuesday 29 March 2022- Maynooth
Today’s summary Dropped Bev and Pete off at the Irish Ferries terminal at Dublin Port then drove out to Maynooth to spend the afternoon looking round this fascinating University town
Today’s weather Misty and damp in the morning, bright and sunny in the afternoon.   No wind.   Appx 11C
Today’s overview location
(The blue mark shows the location of our route)
Close-up location
(The green line shows where we walked)
(Click button below to download GPX of today’s walk as recorded, or see interactive map at bottom with elevations corrected):

Well all good things come to an end so today we bade farewell to Bev and Pete after twelve days together.   I think it’s fair to say that we haven’t exactly had the holiday that any of us had planned but considering the circumstances it wasn’t quite as catastrophic as it might have been.  For one thing, the weather has been good – although even that itself was a bit of a double edged sword.   On the one hand it was frustrating to see the sun streaming down outside when we were stuck indoors instead of out in it walking.   But on the other it has meant that once we were able to set foot outside, it was pleasant and recuperative to be in the sun.

So we all enjoyed our last leisurely breakfast together this morning, then we drove down to Dublin Port – only half an hour from here – and dropped our guests at the Irish Ferries terminal for the short sea-cat back to Holyhead.   Once they were safely despatched, it was just me and Val left – the first time we had been just the two of us together since Val went off to Switzerland 25 days ago.

After leaving Bev and Pete, we decided we would try and make the best use of our new “wheels” and visit somewhere we hadn’t been before.   Val mentioned that she’d always wanted to see the university town of Maynooth – which lies about 25km to the west of Dublin – and which is just a short hop round the M50, once you get out of the port tunnel.

(By the way, we have just set up an eFlow account and installed an electronic tag in our Yaris – which means we can whizz through the toll motorway gates – and the port tunnel – without having to fiddle around for cash or cards at the barriers.   It’s an excellent service – though you can quite quickly rack up large bills.   A return journey through the tunnel and then an out-and-back on the M50 today cost us €10.20 today).

Maynooth itself is a really nice small town.   It’s dominated by the university – in a similar way to say Cambridge in the UK – and has a wonderful youthful feel, on account of the large student population.   OK we saw it on a perfect spring day when everything was looking at its best – and I’m sure it has its less salubrious side too – but we came away impressed.   We didn’t stay overly long, but just had time to look around the town centre and then into the university campus itself.

We had lunch on some seats by a statue of the Pope (sorry Your Holiness) – but felt relatively secure in doing so as we were surrounded by students eating their sandwiches just like us.   I have to say it was nice to year snippets of their idle chat – no existential worries about Covid or climate change or geopolitics.   Much more practical – and cheerful – subjects dominated,  like whether they were going to so-and-so’s party at the weekend, and who had been selected for the university sports team.

After lunch, we had to head off to the supermarket to buy a cheap iron.   Val starts her latest new job tomorrow – more of that in the next blog – and needs to get her uniform pressed and looking in perfect order, ready for the morning.

With the iron safely secured and the ironing beautifully finished, now it’s time to relax into the evening and start assigning some priorities for the coming weeks and months.   Covid has at least given us a great excuse to step out of bureaucracy for a bit but the real world is encroaching and now we need to start thinking about tax and driving licences again.  But that can wait at least another 24 hours – for now I think a nice recuperative beer is called for, and a few quiet moments to reflect on the successes – and calamities – of the past twelve days.


Today’s photos (click to enlarge)

Here we said goodbye to Bev and Pete this morning.  Sorry to see them go.   Although it hasn’t exactly been the holiday we had all hoped for and been looking forward to, we made the best of it and managed to salvage some fun.   And plenty of shared memories!   So we were sorry to see them go Through the archway into St Joseph’s Square in the Maynooth University campus.
In St Joseph’s Square with St Patrick’s College at the end of the square, and the University Chapel (sadly closed to visitors at the moment – a shame as it’s supposed to be spectacular) at the right hand side The University Chapel.   There are in fact two educational institutions in Maynooth – St Patrick’s College founded in 1795 and Maynooth University, which separated from St Patricks to become a fully fledged university in its own right in 1997.   St Patrick’s is a “Pontifical University” – a form of catholic university specially recognised by the Pope.   The University is a typical modern university, buzzing with students and a real cosmopolitan feel to it.
Maynooth Castle – it sits at one end of the main street, with Carton House (which we didn’t have time to visit today) at the other Beautiful, unusual, daffodils at their best in the college grounds this afternoon
The western aspect of the University Chapel.   An impressive building.
Interactive map

(Elevations corrected at  GPS Visualizer: Assign DEM elevation data to coordinates )

Total distance: 4948 m
Max elevation: 62 m
Min elevation: 56 m
Total climbing: 56 m
Total descent: -56 m
Total time: 02:00:21
Download file: Maynooth Wander corrected.gpx

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