Our third day in Ireland was a roadtrip day, traveling from Fitzpatrick Castle in Dalkey to Kilronan Castle in Ballyfarnon, Co. Roscommon.
The first stop of our day was at Torney's Pub owned by a lovely older gentleman named Hugh who was eager to talk history, sports, and travel with us, and how "kids these days" are always on their phones instead of running around his pub when their parents come in, and were able to enjoy a few pints of Guinness before we headed back on the road. We still aren't sure if his bar was actually open or not - the front door was open, but he also lives in part of the bar. Results are inconclusive, but I'm glad we stopped.
After enjoying our time with Hugh we continued through the M4 countryside to the Boyle Abbey in County Roscommon. The Abbey was the first foundation of the Cistern order, and dates back to 12th century Ireland.
After exploring the deserted Abbey we headed back down the road to Lough Key Forest Park, which, besides being insanely beautiful, is steeped in history, and has everything you could ask for in a park; castles, ruins, mossy trees, sequoias, and wonderful park-goers who are willing to stop and chat with you.
Dad and I were on the hunt for another castle just outside the Lough Key grounds. We weren't able to find it - but we did find a deserted, overgrown villa that had been left to the woods when we took a wrong turn. This was probably the best find of the trip, although nothing is known of this villa. (A young woman who told us how to break into the castle's ground didn't even realize it was out there, and told us she would be searching for it during her next Lough Key excursion.)
Finally we arrived at Kilronan Castle to settle in, grab some food, and a few pints before the next day's adventure to the Giant's Causeway begun.
Each location we stopped at in Ireland was amazing, and although I want to post a brief over-view blog, I also believe that these locations deserve a posting all their own (plus, if I didn't separate them you'd be reading the same post for 247627847 years before you got to the end), so be on the lookout for those soon!
(This trip is going to be a loooooong blog series - and I don't apologize in the least bit!)