"Day 1: Newgrange, Hill of Slane, Trim, Galway" Galway Things to Do Tip by kwilli

Galway Things to Do: 146 reviews and 191 photos

Day 1 Saturday: Hauled luggage through Dublin airport and to rental car lot a county away. Driving on the left side of the road not as unnerving as driving on right side of car! And what better place to learn that than nd entering the M1 motorway between Dublin and Belfast? I soon learned that my Matchbox car could do 120 kilometers per hour.
I visited an ancient tomb from 3000 BC at Newgrange, then went west to the Hill of Slane, where St. Patrick had challenged the pagan Celtic king at the hill of Tara for spiritual control of Ireland. (Patrick prevailed as he used the much-prevalent shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity to this pagan king and successfully converted he and his followers). The hill as it now stands has the ruins of a church and monastery. There was snow on the ground and it was pretty darn cold.
Next I drove to a little town called Trim. I circled the same city center blocks three times before I found the correct street on which to turn. The castle (and compound) of Trim are in relatively good shape for 12th century. Mel Gibson shot many scenes for his movie "Braveheart" here. I took a self-guided tour. It hailed on me?little Irish pellets of joy.
As I continued my way west toward Galway, I stopped in Athlone to view the castle. (At this point I had no idea every town and every back yard had a castle.) Athlone had more serpentine streets and I proceeded to get lost for an entire hour in the same six blocks! It took me a while to figure out where to park, and by the time I did the damn thing had closed. Spent another hour trying to figure out how to leave the city centre to get back on the national highway west.
When I pulled into Galway at 7:00 p.m. it was dark, I'd been lost for at least a short time in each of three cities, and I was hungry. My B&B host for the next two nights had to talk me in by phone. I checked in and walked to a fabulous little restaurant called Kashmir where I had the best Indian food I've ever eaten. My jammies felt very good after this 14-hour day.

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  • Written May 11, 2007
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