On Monday Lauren and I traveled 90 minutes south to Limerick. Lauren had an afternoon interview to do some work with Irish Aid and I tagged along for the fun of it.

Limerick is often portrayed as a gritty, rough place. In his Pulitzer Prize winning book Angela’s Ashes Frank McCourt claims that “in Limerick you are only allowed to say you love God, and babies, and horses that win. Anything else is softness in the head.” In our three short months here, we’ve heard several people refer to Limerick as “stab city” – a crude reference based on the stereotype that Limerick is plagued by violent gang activity.

Six hours isn’t enough to to break down or substantiate existing stereotypes, but we certainly had a nice afternoon and found it to be a lovely city.

We spent the morning at King John’s Castle. Originally built in the 12th century, the castle is Ireland’s most intact medieval stronghold.


As we walked around the castle, I kept wishing the walls could talk. Its absolutely overwhelming to think about how much history is wrapped up in them. Even now, archeologists are excavating part of the grounds where they’ve discovered Viking houses that predate the castle.

Of course, King John himself never visited the castle. But, it was there for him…just in case. Oh monarchy and its rediculous excess…I guess I should give him credit for signing the Magna Carta at least.

After the castle we had a lovely lunch at the Sage Cafe…a lucky find that wasn’t listed in any guide books. If you ever find yourself in Limerick, we highly recommend it.

And a little later, we were greeted by a beautiful rainbow…

Sometimes the rain is worth it.

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