Saturday, July 4, 2015

Explorations Near Drogheda

Kevin at our back garden cottage in Drogheda

We had a comfortable little cottage in Drogheda that we found through Airbnb for a super rate--a little over $400 for the whole week! Padraig, our host. not only left us with coffee and fruit for our stay, but also included some home-baked banana bread and Irish soda bread as well as home-made jam.  How delightful!

Padraig and his wife Sara have three or four boys, ranging in age from 19 to 11, but we never met the family.  They were busy going about their daily lives, while we hung out in the back garden in our one-bedroom flat with a full kitchen, a washing machine, a living room/eating area with TV, and a bedroom.

Not only did Padraig provide us with a ride to Newgrange, but early one evening, he also took us on a tour of Monasterboice, an early Christian settlement north of Drogheda. Two ruined churches on the site date from the 14th Century, while two remaining crosses and a medieval tower probably date from the 10th Century.

Padraig and Kevin at Monasterboice

The tower would have had an opening about 15 feet off the ground. The
monks would pull up a rope ladder to secure the tower from Viking invaders.

One of the ancient crosses at Monasterboice.

 Thanks to Padraig, we also saw Mellifont Abbey, founded by Cistercian monks  in 1142. The buildings, which were added to over the centuries, include Romanesque and Gothic structures. We saw them bathed in the golden light of early evening.

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