Last day of the tour and we are reluctantly readying to go home. The Shamrocker crew and fellow travelers have bee great and we will miss them.
Started the day by going to the Rock of Dunamese.
The Rock of Dunamase (Dun Masc "the fort of Masc" in Irish Gaelic), is one of the most historic sites in Ireland. Its ruins date back many hundreds of years. The Rock stands 150 feet (46m) tall in the heart of what is otherwise a flat plain, and was ideal as a defensive position with its view right up to the Slieve Bloom Mountains.
The Vikings plundered it in 845, and in the 13th century it was given to Strongbow the Norman as a gift from his new father-in-law, Diarmiud Mac Murrough. It is Mac Murroughs castle which lies in ruin atop the rock today. The Castle went through some major changes of ownership over the years after this. Through bargaining and back-stabbing (most likely in a very literal sense) it passed through the hands of Strongbow to the Anglo-Norman Mortimer family, and from them to the descendants of Laois Ceann Moore. The O'Moores, used it as a staging point from which to make the Normans lives miserable. The O'Moores renovated the Mac Murroughs castle quite extensively in the 15th century, and they successfully defended it for over a century until the arrival of the planters, who displaced the O'Moores and exiled them to Kerry along with the Fitzpatricks, the O'Dempseys, the O'Lawlors, and the O'Dunnes in 1607. Finally, Oliver Cromwell sacked the castle in 1650 during the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland. One can still see the trenches where his troops were based. (From Wikipedia).
The last stop was Glendalough. It is a village located at the site of a monastery located in County Wicklow, Ireland. It was founded in the 6th century by Saint Kevin, a hermit priest, and destroyed in 1398 by English troops. The monastary is located betwen two lakes so you can tour arounbd the park if you had the time. It was a nice place to end the tour.
We arrived back in Dublin and all checked into our repective rooms for the night. Leanne and I stayedin Temple Bar overlooking the river Liffey, top floor corner room...perfect! A few of us met and wound upo at the Brazen Head for one last beer in Irelands Oldest pub. It was a relatively early night as our flight leaves at 9:00am. Not looking forward to the trip home but definitely looking forward to the trip back here.