Left Edinburgh and flew Ryan Air back to Dublin. Ryan Air is possibly the worst airline you could ever fly on but it is cheap as long as you don't have anymore that 15kg baggage per person. The have cattle call seatings, the stewardess all are from Eastern Europe so the english is a bit spotty ("You are welcome to fly with Ryan Air") and they sell lottery tickets on the plane. The seats are tight and they land like they needed to be on the ground 2 minutes ago. Im also pretty sure the life vest were salvaged from some sunken ship as the looked pretty useless. However, we survived. Upon landing in Dublin at 11:30pm on a Sunday night we were treated to possibly the busiest airport I have ever seen. The cab lineup was about 3 blocks long. We wound up taking a bus down to party central "Temple Bar" and wound our way through the revelers to our hostel manned by a less than sharp clerk. Finally made it to bed around 1:00am. We were both glad that we made it by then.
Met our next group at the Shamrocker departure point. The group was about 16 in total, mostly Aussies, 3 other Canadians and two Americans. Our guide was Kevin and driver was Peter, both very entertaining hosts. First stop was a place called Tara in Co. Wexford, the ancient seat of the High Kings of Ireland up until the 6th century. From there to Trim Castle the largest Norman castle in Europe and the largest in Ireland. It was built in the late 1100's. Though it is mostly ruins, the remnants indicate just how huge it was. They built it along the banks of the Boyne river to monitor the traffic. Based on the size of the river today, I would say that what they built was overkill but I imagine it was a bit wider back then. Kilbeggan, home to one of the oldest licensed Whiskey Distilleries in the world was our next stop. Neitrher of us is much into whiskey but it was neat to see how they made it and how they diverted the river to generate the power to run the machines. We went to Knock next. (From Wikipedia) Knock's notability derives from the Apparition of 1879, when, at 8.00PM on 21 August 1879, it was reported that the Virgin Mary, together with St Joseph and St John the Evangelist, appeared to local peopleIn the 20th century it became one of Europe's major Roman Catholic Marian shrines, alongside Lourdes and Fatima. One and a half million pilgrims visit Knock Shrine annually. It was visited by Pope John Paul II, a supporter of devotion to the Virgin Mary, in 1979 to commemorate the centenary of the apparition.
From my standpoint, it just seemed like a good place for a bathroom break.
Last stop of the day was in Westport where we headed to the pub and a visit with Mick the local entertainer. I think he knows every song ever written and can tailor it to the crowd. Unfortunately for the older american woman in the crowd he didn't know Bruce Springsteen. Actually, the bar was owned by a member of the Chieftans music group - Matt Molloy.