My OE - Ireland                                           
MAY 2003
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includes...
Marino Casino
Slane Medieval Festival

Sun 4-May 03	Swords, Co. Dublin - Visited Marino

I had the day off so went for a little excursion around North Dublin.  After some searching on foot (Note I did say 'searching', not getting lost!) I finally found the Marino Casino just in time to get onto the last tour of the day.  Also known as the Casino at Marino, this is an unusual house built in the mid-1800's which is full of optical illusions.  From the outside it looks like it would consist of one large room, but inside it has three levels above ground (plus a basement) with many smaller rooms, false windows, hidden doors etc.

Marino Casino, Marino, Co. Dublin

Sat 10-May 03	Slane Castle (Medieval Festival)

Today I headed to Slane in Co. Meath (where I had stayed for almost two weeks early April) to see a Medieval Festival at Slane Castle!

After looking forward to the event for several weeks, my first impressions weren't good - it looked very tacky and unorganised with not much of a turn out.  However as the day progressed and the various events got under way (behind schedule) I got into the mood of the day and really enjoyed it. 

The Medieval festival consisted of a Medieval Village (complete with blacksmith, musicians, crafts, weaponry demonstrations, a falconer and swords for sale), Archery and fighting demonstrations, jesters, falconry displays, a Jousting Tournament, and a concert stage.  Also, Slane Castle was open for tours which very rarely happens!

In addition to the staff of the event, quite a few of the visitors were dressed in period costume also.

        

Some dedicated visitors to the Medieval Festival!                Owl for Falconry Demonstrations             

Medieval Village, Slane Castle

Musicians in Medieval Village

Archery demonstration, Slane Castle Medieval Festival

Fighting demonstration / Photo Shoot

During the day I saw a very good (although obviously choreographed) jousting tournament by The Devil's Horsemen - professional knights and horse-riding stuntmen in numerous movies, including 'Braveheart' and 'First Knight'!

The Knights!

Jousting

...and again

Neil Grundy - Jester ...

... and the photo he insisted on taking

Next I went on a tour of Slane Castle, which was built in 1785 for the Conyngham family.  Our tour guide was none other than Alex Slane who is named after the Castle/Estate and is the son of the current owner, Lord Henry Conyngham!

A very interesting tour with the personal stories of his childhood growing up in the castle, including jumping from an antique bed to an antique throne, or riding a bike down the staircases!  Unfortunately a lot of the antiques and other furnishing were destroyed in fire in 1991.

I also learned that U2's album 'The Unforgettable Fire' (ironically) was recorded in Slane Castle in 1984.  The music video to 'Pride' from that same album was filmed here also, as was one of their more recent videos (maybe 'Elevation' but I can't remember for sure!).

       

Inside Slane Castle 

Tue 13-May 03	Swords, Co. Dublin

I have been in Ireland three months!!


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2004  [ Jan   Feb   Mar   Apr   May   Jun   Jul   Aug   Sep   Oct   Nov   Dec ]  2004