When Mark told me he wanted to hike Croagh Patrick, the holiest mountain in Ireland said to be climbed by Saint Patrick himself, I said “You know it’s that’s a 2,500-foot hike, right?”
And then I said: “When was the last time you went on a hike?”
Mark brushed off my concerns, that is, until we drove up to the base of the famous pilgrimage site and his eyes traveled northwards.
Needless to say, we did not end up hiking Croagh Patrick, much to M’s dismay. Instead, we spent our last day in Ireland driving leisurely back to the Dublin airport, stopping to to sightsee along the way.
One of the amazing things about Ireland is that there is no shortage of historic sites. From abandoned castles, to ancient churches, every off-the-beaten road took us to another surprise.
So the moral of the story is, sometimes, laziness has its perks.
Here we are arriving at the famous pilgrimage site.
And then looking up at the mountain…
…and then crossing the street to check out some ruins that didn’t require any exertion whatsoever.
I don’t even know what these ruins are, but it was on the water and it was beautiful. And there were cows!
From there, we headed east, making our way slowly back to Dublin. Mark found the ruins of an old monastic site called Clonmacnoise that was stunning. I got to take pictures; Mark and M got their church and ancient history fix; everyone was happy.
The monastery was founded in 545 A.D. with different buildings dates to different time periods. According to Wikipedia, it was one of the most famous monastic sits in Ireland during the 9th to 11th centuries. More information here.
Temple Finghín & McCarthy’s Tower is dated to the 12th century.
And sheep! I love me some pictures of sheep.
After a couple of hours of driving and spontaneous rain showers, we caught sight of a double rainbow just as we were nearing the outskirts of Dublin. What a fitting end to a lovely trip.