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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Ireland - Day 1

We arrived safe and sound in Dublin, Ireland around 6:50am Irish time. (Which is 1:50am Eastern time) We got about 3 hours of sleep on the plane last night which means I am running on coffee today.

We drove from Dublin to New Castle, County Down.  We made several quick stops along the route.

Our first stop was to see the historic ruins at Monasterboice which are of an early Christian settlement located in County Droth, north of Drogheda.  The site houses the ruins of two churches which were built in the 14th century.

I am standing in front of a high cross which is standing in front of a round tower.  The round tower was built in the 10th century.

Here we are standing in front of Muiredach's High Cross.  This cross is the finest example of Celtic stonework in existence today.  It was built in the 10th or even possibly the 9th century. We have this cross (well, a small replica of it) hanging on a wall in our entry hall.

The building I am standing in front of in the picture is the Narrow Water Castle and Keep near Warrenpoint in County Down, Northern Ireland.  It was originally built in 1212 to prevent attacks on the town of Newry.

I wanted a picture in front of this strange tree.  It's shaped like an Evergreen, but it looks like it's made out of prickly pipe cleaners.  I wish I had taken an up close picture of the leaves.  It's quite an odd looking tree!

This is the view from our hotel, the Slieve Donard.  It sits at the edge of the Mourne Mountains and overlooks Dundrum Bay just two miles from the Irish Ocean.

It's been mostly sunny today but extremely windy and the highs are only in the low 50s.  Guess I won't be taking a dip in the ocean!

After Dan got back from work, we had an hour and a half to kill before he had to get on a 7:00 conference call so we did a little more sight seeing.

Here we are in front of Dundrum Castle. It was built in 1177 on the top of a hill with a beautiful view of Dundrum Bay and the Mourne Mountains.

There are sheep grazing everywhere so we had to take a picture of one!

This is a picture of a dolmen.  Dolmen are thought to be ancient burial tombs.  You can find them everywhere in Ireland if you are looking for them.  
Dan is still on his conference call. I'm ready to call the kids and get dinner and go to bed!  We've only had 3 hours sleep in the last 38 hours and it will probably be at least 3 more until we get to bed!   That's one long day - I think I'm going to need more coffee!

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