Ireland is filled with visual sites that inspire thinking about other times. A recent return trip from Limerick to Dublin Airport had me leaving the M-7 Motorway at Roscrea and traveling some fine slower moving roads through the Slieve Bloom Mountains to connect to the M-6 and DUB.
The area is dotted with castles, beautiful mountain views and walking paths are abundant. The Slieve Bloom has 8 looped walks, eco walks and guided walks can be found. Info is available at www.slievebloom.ie and www.slievebloom.com.
A stop at the Slieve Bloom Bar in Kinnitty provided me with a good mix of general information and a history of the area. The owner Kieran poured a fine pint and prepared a hearty meal to enjoy in front of a warm fire of wood and turf fuel.
Shortly after leaving Kieran and his stories, I noticed the remains of what I imagine to have been a grand structure, and ponys now grazing among the tumbled walls and still standing chimneys. Ah, more time to imagine as I return to the Motorway and a flight home.
My next trip to Ireland will find me spending a few days in this area exploring, listening, hiking and adjusting to those things Irish.