The week we spent at Kiltale House in Trim, Co. Meath was a busy and memorable one. This was the second time we rented a self-catering accommodation and our experience there has never been equalled. The home was a large three bedroom, about thirty minutes drive from Dublin Airport. The house was owned by the Lydon family and it was gorgeous! It was a two-story stucco with pink stones on the outside walls. The inside decor was traditional even down to the beautiful china platter collection in the kitchen. There was a peat cookstove and fireplace which gave us a very homey, cozy feeling. One could imagine an Irish food recipe being made on the peat cookstove, and the warm, cozy feeling of a peat fire in the fireplace.
We were the very first guests of Mary and Michael Lydon as they were just opening their first self-catering accommodation. We had not made any reservations for the last week of our trip because we were not sure how long we would be in Co. Leitrim. We went to Dublin Airport and one of the customer service representives telephoned some nearby accommodations on her list. The Lydons graciously accepted us and we still remain friends to this day.
This house was part of the Lydon's fully functional farm. There were all kinds of farm animals and flocks of ducks and geese. The ducks would come out every morning, all following each other in a row. They would feed in the grass, then preen themselves and have a "lie-down". We got the biggest kick out of those ducks! Michael Lydon showed us the rest of the farm and the animals one day. There were cows, sheep, chickens and geese...one big goose in particular.
Mary Lydon would bring us fresh milk, cream and eggs every morning for our breakfast, which we thought was a particularly nice and thoughtful touch. We spent the week touring around the Trim area. The Castle in the middle of Trim was where they filmed the movie "Braveheart" with Mel Gibson. Many townspeople had parts as extras. It was located on the Boyne River where there was a famous battle in medieval times.
Click here to see the amazing rainbows we saw in Trim!
We went souvenir shopping one day and met a woman named Mrs. Reynolds who owned a shop selling only Irish knit sweaters. We bought several for ourselves and some to bring back for family and friends. We went to the next town of Navan, where a woman pointed out the birthplace of the actor Pierce Brosnan, and we ate lunch at McDonalds. One place that we didn't happen to visit was the ancient 5,000 year-old site at Newgrange, nor did we go to the Hill of Tara, but perhaps we will on our next trip.
On April 18th, 1998 we went out to celebrate Terry's birthday at the Wellington Hotel. This was a four star hotel and restaurant and we had a lovely dinner. Terry had smoked salmon and I had prime rib. Afterwards, they were having a dance in the pub, and they invited us to join them. They sang "Happy Birthday" to Terry and they let us film the whole evening on our camcorder. We had a grand time there and the people were just as lovely as they were everywhere else we had been in Ireland.
When we got back to Kiltale House, the Lydons had left Terry a birthday card, a cassette tape of Irish music and some Guinness! It was a very nice gesture and surely made it a birthday to remember.
I had given Terry a beautiful gold Claddagh ring for his birthday. I purchased the traditional design but now they come in all shapes and sizes.
Click here for the next story St. Stephen's Green.
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