Travelling is starting to become a regular thing for me and Matt these days. As you know, we’ve gone to both Belgium and Spain within a month, and in just a week and a half I’ll be heading back to Texas for a couple weeks. Not wanting to slack off at all, we decided to take a short trip up to Carlingford, Ireland this past Sunday to explore and enjoy the afternoon.
Carlingford, County Louth is a small coastal town about an hour north, halfway between Dublin and Belfast. It is situated on a bay connected to the Irish Sea, and faces beautiful mountains and hills. It is a very medieval town with old graveyards, churches, and castles that are barely standing, but still nestled in between homes and stores. It is also about 20 minutes away from the Northern Ireland/UK border, so it can be worth a quick trip in to take advantage of the lower prices on merchandise and alcohol.
Luckily, we awoke to an absolutely beautiful, sunny, and warm day, making the trip sound even more ideal. Just one quick hour later we were in Dudalk, a town just 20 minutes outside of Carlingford. I needed to take a rest stop before we continued on, but nothing was open on a Sunday, as I’ve previously pointed out in an older post. We stumbled across the most futuristic porta potty I’ve ever seen in my entire life. It deserves a mention, because you enter 25 cents and the door automatically opens. Once you’re in, it automatically closes behind you. Matt and I thought this was the funniest thing as I stood there waving at him while the door closed behind me!
Once in Carlingford, we were so glad we had decided to spend the afternoon there. The picturesque view from the town was of the mountains, sailboats, castles, and blue ocean. The little town had old, rundown churches and small castles. The eateries and pubs looked delicious and fun, and locals were laying on the grass taking in the sun and playing with their children or pets. We wandered into an old graveyard by the name of Holy Trinity and Heritage Center, where graves dated back as late as the 13th century. Down at the harbor, a group of about 50 motorcyclists were parked and enjoying lunch before continuing on their Sunday cruise. All along the coast, locals were having “car boot” sales. Much like a garage sale, this happens out of the trunk of their car, with tables set up to display their merchandise.
We made our way over to King John’s castle, which looked as medieval as I’ve seen. It is named after King John, who visited the church in 1210. I immediately wondered if this was the same King John as seen in Robin Hood. After a little research, it was, the brother of Richard the Lionheart! Both the view of the castle, and from the castle out to sea were exceptional, and with the cool summer breeze, I could’ve sat there all day.
From there we were ready for a late lunch before heading home, so we went a couple minutes down the road to the Marina Clubhouse. We sat in the bar, overlooking the sailboats in the marina and the mountains off in the distance. I had delicious fish and chips made from Haddock, and Matt enjoyed his first perfectly prepared chicken caesar salad. I ordered a Guinness with my meal, and was full and happy when we finished.
One nice thing about this trip, other than the weather, views, and history, was being able to head home in the car with only an hour of travel ahead of us. It was a beautiful way to spend our Sunday, and I look forward to seeing other parts of Ireland on the weekends in the future.