South Dublin, Ireland
After the smooth natural progress round the coast of the first few weeks, this week I’ve been a bit scatter gun, first heading North thinking we’d hit Northern Ireland, then South before finally settling on the midlands, though even then I headed west only to come back east again. Plenty of sights to see, though, and the driving is a pleasure, opening up new vistas as the landscape undulates.
We’d headed west yesterday so that I could come back east towards Dublin today. The phrase ‘my sense of progress’ popped out of my mouth the other day, but I’ve realised how important it is for me to feel like I’m moving towards something when travelling, and even when running or cycling. We had a day where we passed Cork from both directions and that did my head in a bit, but today was a smooth slide down the road to Trim for its ‘castle with dramatic views’. Those views are only available if you take the extra keep tour, but with entry to the grounds 3€ and the keep an extra €1, it makes sense. The climbing gave me the willies of course, but the roof is a great secure spot for a vertigo twit. Our tour group was large so in places we were promenading slowly round the smaller rooms, looking at the stone walls, but otherwise a good tour. Trim in the sunshine, glory be.
I’d made us a reservation, and at a hotel, too. Getting there I’d tried to avoid the M50, with its toll, but unlike the M6 toll road, this one is totally useful, to the point of there being little way to avoid it once you’re near enough to Dublin. We found the hotel, which looked uber posh-it only belatedly occurred to me why Linda wasn’t commenting on the fact that I’d obviously made a reservation, that she was thinking I had gone for a terribly lavish hotel stay. In fact the place was only a smidge more expensive than our Cork b&b. Walking to the room for the first time felt a bit like the stroll from lounge to gate in an airport, though having a room numbered 1813 is probably a clue that things may be a distance away.
We ran. I had checked the map-again avoiding spontaneity, but since we were bordered on one side by the N7 (road) and another by a retail park, I had wanted to check there were real places around. We found them, small village of Saggart-small enough that the phone denied it existed-led into Rathcoole and towards the end of the run we got into more countrified areas. Good, tough running on a warm evening, not ruined by me cracking my ankle over on a kerb. It felt better as I ran on it, so I figured it would hurt but be okay the next day.
For dinner we headed to Rathcoole and found an enormous place, which had a bar on one side, a bar/eatery on the other, with that leading into a huge restaurant. Joined up meat all round to mark the near end of the break.
Summary: castle 1, run 1, lost in countryside trying to avoid M50 2.