The weather man had said to expect lots of rain today so we took a break from the coastal path and instead decided to visit a famous little town on the banks of the river Shannon. I’ll give you a clue to its name :

There was a young woman from Manzac
Who travelled a lot with a rucksack
She often went far
Without need of a car
dadadadadada (I’m leaving the last line for you all to complete… answers below please)

Our first stop was King John’s castle. His brother Richard (The Lionheart) lived not too far from us in Beynac in South West France and I have to say that his château on the banks of the river Dordogne still ranks as my number one favourite spot in the Perigord. King John’s castle felt a little sad and grey in comparison. Maybe because of its turbulent and violent past or maybe because we were dodging rain and showers or maybe because of the colour of the local stone but it lacked the glorious splendour of it’s French cousin.

First we walked through an exhibition of the history of the castle and the region, which was really interesting, albeit sad. How ironic on this Jubilee Day (celebrating 70 years of Queen Elizabeth rule in the UK) that we were reminded of the slaughter brought about by centuries of English rule. We also learned the history of the word “undermining” which quite literally means making tunnels under the castle walls to undermine them which would lead to their collapse; a method here deployed during one of the many sieges of the castle.

Once we’d explored all the nooks and crannies, we left the castle and headed off into town. It rained a great deal. We gave up trying to be tourists and headed instead to a bar. We chose a place that offered gluten free meals, always a bonus for me! When walking in Spain this year I also discovered the joy of gluten free beer and I was thrilled that this was also an option here too! And Gerry was equally pleased to have a alcohol free Guinness. The bar was on the top floor of a hotel and part of the bar was covered with a glass roof. We sat and watched the rain. As we finished our meal, the waiter asked if we wanted anything else to which we replied “no thanks… we’re just waiting for the rain to stop” to which he responded “ah well, make yourselves comfortable and order” We should have listened to him but instead we decided to take our chances and headed back towards the river Shannon.

We walked through the town, looking for a little cafe but it seemed like everything had closed for the day. We wandered up to the cathedral and considered visiting inside but it was 14€ each and we felt that was kind of expensive so instead we walked around the gardens outside.

We kind of enjoyed our visit in Limerick. The rain didn’t help but the town felt a little down on its luck. Gerry said it felt a bit like his hometown of Newton Abbot and I know what he means, both are small market towns that perhaps had seen better days. There was lots of new building work taking place in Limerick so maybe there’s a push to improve things. I hope so as the riverside it lovely and it could be a fabulous little town… maybe we should visit again on a sunny day? And, even more surprising for me… there were no rhymes! Anywhere! So I made up another that I think kind of sums up our day..

There was a young girl from Limerick
Who didn’t like poetry! The End.

I’m glad we went because it was interesting, we learned a lot about the history here and we got to see a little more of the area and learn a little more about these lands. And I took some great photos of moody clouds. And we filled a rainy day with something new… and I wrote another rhyme for you to finish… so please do your worst 🙂

There was an old chap called Gerry
Who never said no to a sherry
A beer or a wine
Or a gin would be fine

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