Our last day in Ireland was spent in Limerick, we had driven there from the cliffs the day before and checked into a beautiful hotel. It is a bit of a shame that the hotel was really the only bit of Limerick that we liked. You’ll also see from the photo’s that Limerick was pretty grey and (in our opinion) uninspiring.
The weather likely had something to do with it as it was dreary which just didn’t help the cities appeal. Nevertheless we wanted to give it a chance and so ventured out after breakfast to see what we could find.
Speaking of breakfast we did have an amusing adventure to try and find it, ended up taking the lift to the spa before realising we needed to go up rather than down!
As markets are one of my favourite things it was first on the list.
The Milk Market reminded me a bit of the market in Uzbekistan as it was housed inside a dome. There were quite a few stalls that spilled out into the surrounding roads selling everything from vegetables to chilli sauce and candles.
There were also a few cafes and shops selling breakfast so it would be a good place to come for a snack. I purchased a soy candle from a lady who used to live in Brighton – 40 minutes away from home – before walking towards the river.
Limerick’s castle is King John’s Castle built in the 13th century on the banks of the River Shannon.
It is one of the best preserved Norman castles in Europe.
I didn’t feel it was that impressive from the outside, I’ve seen a lot of castles in my time and it just wasn’t doing it for me. The entrance cost was pretty expensive and we didn’t have a huge amount of time so gave it a miss. You do get a good view of it from the opposite bank of the river, right about where the Treaty Stone is.
The Treaty Stone displays the Treaty of Limerick which signified the end if the Williamite war between the Jacobites and William of Orange. Apparently the treaty was signed in 1691 on the rock, which used to be used to mount horses but it was pretty worn. Time has taken it’s toll on the rock.
It is an interesting bit of rock to see and I’m sure if you were particularly interested in Irish history it would be all the more fascinating. We ambled along the river back towards our hotel but we weren’t really “feeling” it so decided to cut our time short and head back to Dublin for our flight.
Maybe we didn’t give Limerick a chance but compared to the bright lights of Dublin and Cork we just felt a little vanilla towards it.
Our drive back to the airport consisted of a motorway cutting right across the middle of Southern Ireland. Not much to report really apart from we drove past Obama’s ancestral home! Yup, you read that right, Obama.
Moneygall is a small village of a few hundred people but was home to Barack Obama’s maternal great-great-great Grandad. He visited the village in 2011 and now there is a giant brown sign on the motorway that directs you there. I wish we had stopped – not that I suspect there is much there.
So if you ever find yourself driving between Limerick and Dublin be sure to stop at Moneygall for a piece of America. The only other thing to note about driving in Ireland is prepare to see some pretty hard hitting roadworks signs. Think picture of small children in hard hats with the words “Kill your speed, not my Dad!” Gets straight to the point I guess!
Our time in Ireland had come to an end, I know it won’t be the last time we venture of the shores of the Emerald Isle, the culture, the scenery and more importantly the Guinness holds a place in my heart. We really enjoyed Dublin, Kilkenny, Cork and the Wild Atlantic Way but I’d happily give Limerick a miss, it just wasn’t for us!
As with every place we visit, a part of us is left behind. The trip had its ups and downs but overall we really enjoyed our week there. Ireland is on my list of destinations to recommend so get going! Especially if you live in the UK – it is just so close!