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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
               Thursday, August 15 2002 

Journal of our vacation journey - 6
En route with sons Mike, 28, and Kevin, 26

Tuesday, August 13, Limerick/Dublin

After our full Irish breakfast in the Limerick B&B, we were off to tour King John's Castle, a picturesque fortress on the Shannon River in the heart of Limerick. Unfortunately, it turned out to be disappointing inside, having none of the furnished or restored rooms and displays showing castle life as found at castles like the nearby Bunratty and the White Tower within the Tower of London that we toured last week. Instead, it had displays about the many major battles and skirmishes that have been waged from and around the castle over the centuries since its building around 1200 A.D. by English King John but never inhabited by him. Instead, it was just a fortress and the seat of English power in Ireland or the southernmost province of Ireland. Part of the presentation (which cost too much at €6.50) was a short film with costumed actors standing in front of slides showing how the castle and environments probably looked in the times of its greatest battles. All the acting was over the top and we found it more comedic than tragic, though it was intended as the latter.

Adare's thatched roofsAfter that tour we drove about 15 miles southwest of Limerick to the Celtic Heritage Park. It cost €5 admission and also was a big disappointment. Though purporting to be a representation of prehistoric Celtic peoples, there is nothing authentic in the park; everything from a "Knights Templars' house of worship" to a dolmen and an island fort are modern creations with nothing worth the price of admission. There was, however, an excellent flower garden at the end of the long walk in the farm turned into "theme park." It rained on much of our tour. Next we continued to Adare, the site of Ireland's best row of thatched-roofed cottages. I'd seen it before but neither of the boys had, and Mike put special effort in getting a good photo of the thatch row in the light falling rain.

Finally we were on our way to Dublin for our last evening in Ireland. Having had no lunch, we went to a local imitation of the American rock and roll diner chain, Johnny Rockets, named Eddie Rockets for dinner, but again were disappointed, the meal ordered amounting to no more than a snack. Then we walked with our umbrellas up to fend off the continuing drizzle for a long distance looking for better places to eat. We finally found a place in the Grafton Street outdoor pedestrian mall area and the boys were pleased with their pizzas there. I opted for the sirloin, which looked good and the price reasonable, but was much too grisly. It was just another losing moment in a losing day. However, the "second dinner" proved to be a turnaround in our moods, as we recalled previous trips together and some of the comic highlights.

Then, at almost 10 p.m., I went out to find an Internet cafe to send the next day's Jonal entry and, can you believe, I was foiled again, everything closed by this relatively early hour.

Tomorrow we're scheduled to fly from Dublin at noon hour to London, catch the Eurostar under the English Channel to Paris, where we should find a reserved room at around or after 9 p.m.

—Webmaster Jon Kennedy

Things my mother taught me (series)

My mother taught me about THE CIRCLE OF LIFE
—"I brought you into this world, and I can take you out!"

Sent by Mike Harrison

Thought for today

Where there is hatred, let me sow love. Where there is injury, pardon. Where there is doubt, faith.

Saint Francis of Assisi

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