Sunday, March 04, 2007

Mission Maynooth

Our first day on our own we choose to walk into Maynooth from the Carton house hotel/golf course/spa/subdivision where the house is. Its about a 30 minute walk into Maynooth proper down a tree-lined pedestrian walk. We took a bunch of photos just on the walk from the house, through the property to the walkway into town. We started the day in the local bookstore, picking up a travel journal which Sara kept updated with our daily adventures and expenditures. We then went to the Internet cafe to check email. On our way there, I noticed a lot of people walking down the street towards us and decided that they must be coming from the train station (our way into Dublin) so we set off to figure out the train station and pick up a schedule. We decided on a three day pass which would allow us unlimited rail and bus fares within the 'short hop' zone...perfect for getting to and from Dublin and possibly on an adventure somewhere else (note the foreshadowing).

Next on our Maynooth agenda was to check out the College and castle (or castle remains, as it turned out.) The old historic part of campus has some amazing buildings! We wandered through some of the older buildings on campus. I overheard a preteen girl asking a preteen boy she was walking with if he was a soprano (singing)... I decided to follow them to see if we could overhear a choir class, but I think we just creeped them out a little. So we bought a candy bar and wandered through some of the gardens on campus looking for the famous yew tree under which the 10th Earl of Kildare was captured while playing his lute and give the 'Maynooth pardon'. The tree is still known as 'Silken Thomas's tree'. It looked like most other yew trees....

After all that walking around our feet were tired, and we wanted to rest our dogs and have a pint. So we stopped by a pub. When we asked if they were serving food the bartender told us there were 'carvies' upstairs. This is a common features for pubs in the afternoon. Sara ordered us some garlic bread and we hung out for a couple hours, updating our newly purchased travel log and reading the guidebook to plan our Dublin adventure for the following day. It was a very nice and needed bit of down time.

Rested, we headed to Dunnes to pick up groceries...we were cooking dinner that night! We made Vodka pasta, with bread and salad. Dessert was picked up at the local bakery (I made a mental note to stop at bakeries in the morning when there is more of a selection). We had Sara's backpack pretty well loaded up and called to see if we could get a ride home from F. She was already on her way to pick up C from work and we coordinated meeting them at the end of the tree-lined path. We literally arrived as they were pulling up!

Dinner was delish! Even A raved about the pasta and after dinner rewarded the chefs with a "performance". In fact, during the time we were in Ireland we found that we could usually catch a morning and evening performance, most of which involved music and dimming of lights. It was only towards the end of our visit that A thought we were ready to join him in a performance. Quite an honor (and good exercise)!

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