Sunday, March 06, 2011
Yeah..I know..I am always taking time out....but I do take my tatting!
Don't always do any tho'!
Some of you like my history lessons...so here goes....another one.
Three years ago we decided...the house elf and I that since birthdays were no longer something to look forward to, maybe we should do something about it.
So twice a year we go off for a couple of days on a special hotel offer somewhere in Ireland.
There are great offers for 2 nights B&B and a dinner!
What could be nicer than to wake up on your birthday in a lovely place, eat an enormous breakfast, open your pressies, have a leisurely day being a tourist, getting to know a bit more about where you live and finish off with a gourmet meal.
We almost close our eyes and stick a pin in the map..open them, but if we did that, we would probably say ...nah...let's not go THERE.
So this was his third birthday treat and we chose the east coast and the beautiful vale where St Kevin founded a monastic settlement in the 6th century.
Arriving there in the March chill,our Hotel was only a stones throw from the famous round tower.
Round Towers are characteristic of these early settlements.
The story that I always knew was that the monks would keep a look out at the top of the tower where there were windows facing North,South East and West.
They were watching for an attack by the Vikings and would give the alarm for the treasures of the monastery to be brought into the round tower and the ladder to be pulled inside,as the entrance was about 12 feet off the ground.
Lots of monks would also hide inside the tower.....not a very wise thing to do if the tower went up in flames.
This is what it would have been like inside the tower...
...and at the very top in the cone was a bell. (sorry about the reflection ion the glass).
It's now thought that the Round Towers were simply bell towers. The four windows at the top were so that the sound could travel in all directions.
The towers were very tall so that they could act as a guide to find your way home.
The cone on the top of this tower was rebuilt in 1875.
The monastic cathedral is in ruins.
You can just see the tower at the right edge of the photo.
A very small church is still standing.
This is what the settlement might have looked like.
See the little church on the bottom right.
St Kevin chose the most beautiful place to settle. There are two lakes fed by a small river.
This is the lower lake...
....but it was in the hillside surrounding the upper lake that Kevin built his cell.
Wow, what a view to wake up to.
There are such a lot of other touristy things to see in this area.....haven't been there for years....
and the beautiful town where the famous TV series was set.....did any of you watch it?
......and the Church from the same series.
You can see how glorious the weather was.
A super birthday was had by all...and the food really was very good.