Our family travels brought us to Trim, Ireland.
Now that we were rested and fed, we were eager to explore Ireland. We were sad to leave Crannmor Country Guest House, but excited to explore Ireland. We said goodby to Marc and Ann and all of the farm animals and headed out on country roads for adventure!
Probably the biggest excitement was re-learning to drive on the left side of the road. Plus, Ireland has some very narrow and winding roads flanked by thick vegetation, so driving was sort of like a bizarre amusement park ride. Rounding blind turns and coming head to head with a huge farm tractor got our hearts racing. Dodging the occasional stray sheep was a thrill too. I was really amazed that Mish and Elijah’s stomachs could handle my driving. After a while, it became normal, quick brake for a sheep crossing, sudden left turn for a tractor, accelerate around a horse and cart, hug the side for a huge truck, breath, loop a round about, and straight on. Easy!
Luckily, with Mish navigating and me focused on driving, we made it to Trim Castle. Trim Castle is the largest Norman castle in Ireland, completed in 1224 AD. The once mighty keep was built on the south side of the Boyne River on a small hill overlooking a ford in the river. It was a very strategic point and, therefore, an important stronghold. Today, all that remains of the impressive fortress is the outer wall and shell of the inner keep.
We toured the grounds and keep in awe of its sheer presence over the small town of Trim. You can, with a guide, enter the keep and climb all the way to the upper ramparts four stories above the grounds. Hugh de Lacy built the castle to clearly solidify Norman dominance in Ireland. Looking out across the landscape from the top of the keep, I could see how it probably intimidated everyone for miles around.
Below, the Boyne River lazily flowed around the walls as it has done for over eight centuries, oblivious to the battles and changing rulers of the land. The Normans eventually were expelled from Ireland and the castle was left to the elements and time. The history that took place here awed us.
We climbed back down the keep and walked across a bridge over the river to another ruin. The remains of an old stone church that stood across from the castle added to the beauty of the scene. You may recognize the area from the movie Braveheart, which was filmed there because the weather in Scotland was too poor.
We walked around the cute town and simply enjoyed the magnificent feeling of being in Ireland with all of its history.
Next up, Kilkenny!