A Lovely Weekend in Ireland

Last Thursday morning I drove out early, at 5 am, and set my sights on Holyhead, Northern Wales to take the ferry to Ireland. I made it there in plenty of time to go wait at the airport for the arrival of Peter. Of course, his flight was delayed! At least, since I had the car with our luggage and Peter’s golf bag, once he finally came through the arrival gate, we simply went to the car and made our way 1 hour North to what was to be our residence for the next three nights, Cabra Castle, in Cavan county. cabra-castle-hotel

In October 2010 the hotel made the #2 spot of Most Haunted in the world on Trip Advisor. Here is an excerpt of the Irish Times article discussing this fact.

”Each week Trip Advisor carries a number of top tens on its homepage and, to tie in with Halloween, it has been carrying lists of the world’s most haunted hotels and Cabra Castle Hotel in Kingscourt Co Cavan made it to the number two spot. The hotel dates back to 1760 but has been in the Crosscadden family for just 20 years. The family are “delighted” to have been included on the list. “I wasn’t even aware of it to be honest,” said Deirdre Crosscadden, “but it is lovely to see.” She said that while the ghostly legends about the hotel and its grounds have been circulating for generations, she has seen nothing untoward in her time. She said American visitors in particular get a buzz from their brushes with the netherworld, both in the hotel and near the “Hanging Tree” in the grounds. Rose Garvey Malone has worked at the hotel for 25 years and hasn’t seen any ghosts either, although she has spoken to many guests who have. Last year one told her of meeting a man in full early 20th century military uniform striding down the corridor, another heard a horse and carriage pull in to the courtyard in the dead of night before depositing a screaming infant at the steps of the hotel, while a third guest walked in on a row about the sale of the castle between an elderly man and his son. ”

I can confirm that we did not see or hear any ghosts and we couldn’t find the ”hanging tree”. We did however have a lovely room in the courtyard area and the people running the hotel and serving in the restaurant/bar are very friendly and nice. I must say, coming from the UK it is always refreshing to get ”friendly” service.

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The dog of the Castle. A large Irish Wolfhound.

Friday, Peter went to play golf with coworkers from the Dublin office at the beautiful Portmarnock Golf Links near the small seaside town of Malahide, in Dublin county.

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Beautiful grounds of Portmarnock.

 

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I am told Peter lost a few balls…

While he was playing golf, I had a fabulous walk along the beach and on the coastal path leading to the very quaint town of Malahide.

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Around 2 pm, Peter and I regrouped at the Fish shack in Malahide with all kinds of seafood. We needed some food before heading to Howth and walk the ”cliff walk”. There, you can see breathtaking views of Dublin. If you are ever in the area, I highly recommend it.

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After a full day for both of us, we drove back to the ”haunted” castle and rested a bit before going to the bar for some much deserved cider.

Saturday was ”wedding day”. I had read about a little walk nearby in the ”Dun na Ri Forest Park” and I told Peter we should check it out. It was literally 5 minutes down the road from the castle. After just a few minutes of walking, we realized we were walking in an enchanted forest. The scenery was stuff of movies with ferries and elves.

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The Wedding

Now we get to the real reason why we traveled to Ireland in the first place!  One of the actuaries from the Dublin office invited Peter and I last winter. When we heard Irish wedding in Irish castle, we couldn’t pass it up. The ceremony took place in a small country Church and it was beautiful. The father of the bride runs a choir that sings for dignitaries everywhere. They sang for the Queen, a President, at the Royal Albert Hall etc… Their next big gig is the Pope at the Vatican. You can imagine the choir was FANTASTIC. It was a Catholic service and being in Ireland, we got treated with some Irish Gaelic readings during the mass and some Gaelic songs. Truly beautiful. Afterwards, the entire procession made its way back to the castle to start the celebrations. The drinks were plenty, the food was excellent and although I couldn’t understand everyone during the speeches, what I understood was funny. Around 10 pm I received a text from Irish Ferries informing me that my 14:45 ferry was cancelled due to incoming inclement weather. We had to leave the reception for a short period of time to plan our exit early in the morning, check out and pack. When we returned just before 11 pm, there was a band on stage and the party was in full dance mode. We were told that next thing to come would be the DJ at midnight and around 2 am, the music would be turned off and people would simply drink till 3 to 4 am. We had to wake up at 5:30 am so Peter and I looked at each other and after some chit chat with some of his colleagues we decided to hit the hay.

Yesterday was a longgggggg day. We left the castle just before six am. I dropped Peter off at the Dublin airport around 6:45. He was able to jump on the 7:30 flight to London. That was good, otherwise he would have had to wait till 2 pm! I got to the 8:05 ferry in plenty of time to board and get a comfy reclining chair where I could sleep. I napped, had coffee and got ready for my drive from Wales to Central London. We arrived in Wales at 11:30 and it was pouring rain and VERY windy. I wonder, does it ever NOT rain in Northern Wales? I walked through the door at 17:40 exhausted but happy. I had done this! I had been wanting to take the ferry across to Ireland for a while. I can now check this off my bucket list.

 

 

 

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