We spent most of today touring Trim and the surrounding countryside with Auntie Debbie and Uncle Jerry. Built on the banks of the River Boyne, Trim was first founded in the 5th century AD. We started with Trim Castle, which is a magnificient ruin. Originally built in 1176 AD by Hugh de Lacy and his son, it was destroyed soon after and rebuilt in 1200 AD. Much of the rebuilt castle is still standing. While waiting for our tour, we wandered the grounds, exploring the outer walls and peering through the crumbling ruins. Our tour guide was fabulous, explaining the many stages of construction as he led us through various parts of the interior of the castle.
Mel Gibson made the castle infamous when he used it, and the grounds, for his movie Braveheart. We checked out some of the film stills at the admissions window. While we were standing there, we bumped into Richie, Barbara, and Richie Jr., who were on their way to tour the castle. We chatted a bit, and then headed into Trim center to find lunch.
We had a fabulous meal at a small café. It was rather modern given the fact that most of Trim seemed a few decades behind what we’re accustomed to in America. It reminded me of the cafes we like to frequent at home – tasty food and specialty coffee drinks. On our way back to the car, we ran into Richie, Barbara, and Richie Jr. once more. Naturally, we stopped at a pub for a quick drink. Auntie Debbie and Barbara ducked out and did a little shopping. After finishing the last swing, we set off to find them.
Feeling full and ready to explore the outer limits of Trim, Auntie Debbie, Uncle Jerry, Kendra and I hopped back in the car. We first stopped at an old graveyard full of weather worn celtic crosses and a few crumbling walls of an old church. We could see the castle off in the distance. The sun was brightly shining, and it was amazing to just wander through so much history.
We drove over a small stone bridge, past the ruins of a monastery. While chatting about the Hill of Tara, we decided we had just enough time to visit it again. Uncle Jerry drove while I helped navigate us there. We arrived as the last of the tourist were leaving, however we were able to enter the fenced entrance through the gate. I thought it was an odd entrance until I realized it was constructed to keep all of the sheep we encountered from wandering into the road. We crossed behind the church, through the graveyard, and up onto the hill. It was a beautiful view, and I found the burial mounds fascinating. Apparently so did other people, as there was a film crew shooting a scene. Kendra spent most of her time trying to pet a sheep, but they didn’t seem to like her, as they ran away every time she got within 3 feet of them.
Realizing we needed to be at the church for the rehearsal, we hopped back into the car, and Uncle Jerry and I found a shortcut back to Trim. We made it to the church just on time. It was so great to see so much of my family! After the rehearsal, we all went over to Brogan’s pub. It was crowded with locals, and full of pints and Irish music. We caught up with Kim and Padraig, my cousins, aunts and uncles. Kendra, Kim, Padraig, Auntie Debbie, Uncle Jerry, Bert and Rosie and I ducked out after an hour in search of found. Auntie Debbie and Uncle Jerry generously treated us all to an excellent meal of Chinese. The food was fantastic, and definitely had an Irish touch – including the option of having chips as your side instead of rice. It was really lovely to spend time chatting with everyone. After filling up, we headed back to Brogan’s for a few more hours. Finally, Kendra and I started getting sleepy, and we decided to head back to the B&B for some rest. Frank, our trusty cab driver, brought us safely home once again.