Saturday, November 16, 2013

Athlone, Ireland

Athlone is a fine city with great views of the Shannon River. The river cuts right through the city. Our hotel was on the less historic half so we had a short walk to see the river and the interesting sights.

River Shannon in Athlone

Just across the river is St. Peter and St. Paul Catholic Church, an impressive edifice that will have its own post tomorrow. For a church built in the 1930s, it is impressive to say the least.

St. Peter and St. Paul Church

Right across from the church is Athlone Castle. Built in 1210, it underwent a massive refurbishment for the 800th anniversary in 2010. We did not go inside, so we only have this picture of the castle from across the street.

Athlone Castle

More interesting was a stroll along the river. We saw the swanky marina with a major hotel behind it.

Waterfront properties!

We also saw the Custume Barracks, named after Sergeant Custume who led a brave attack during the 1691 siege of Athlone. So the area has a long military tradition that is still maintained today.

Custume Barracks entrance

Another entrance into the barracks

Also along the river is a memorial to Count John McCormack, a lyric tenor born in Athlone. He recorded 600 records in the 1910s and appeared in Song o' My Heart.

Irish tenor Count John McCormack

A Celtic Cross commemorates John Joseph Walsh, a local solicitor who died at the age of 26 in 1902.

John Joseph Walsh Memorial

While we were walking, L picked many daisies and demanded/requested that Mommy make a chain. After much patient work (since most of the daisies were too short to be used), it was long enough to be a necklace. L thought it was a choker, since it was either too tight or too scratchy to wear for too long.

L and her daisy chain jewelry

Walking back to our car, we spotted a sweets shop that was surrounded by a solicitor's offices. Definitely the sweet and the sour being mixed together in one building! Though perhaps the lawyers are not so bad--with a name like Fair and Murtagh they have a lot to live up to.

Law and Order: Sweet Shoppe Unit

We also saw the Franciscan Church which did not seem to be in use. Nearby is the town library, featuring some of the ancient town walls still standing.

Franciscan Church

The old town wall with the Franciscan church on the left

We enjoyed visiting Athlone, especially since we found a geocache there, adding to our list of countries in which we have finds.

No comments:

Post a Comment