Athlone

Waving a fond farewell to Tralee, we set off for the town at Ireland’s centre, Athlone.

IMG_3844

This wasn’t a straight motorway route, so we stopped off at a Spar in Borrisokane for a bag of crisps and bottle of water (no loos).  Tractors a-plenty in this part of the world!

There were roadworks in town, and the sat-nav decided we should not under any circumstances take the N52.  I wasn’t going to argue, the smaller roads were pleasant to drive along.

Shortly after lunch, we arrived at our home for the night, the Athlone Springs Hotel.  It’s on teh edge of town, so no aimless wandering to be enjoyed, but it DOES have a gym and a pool.  We booked a slot for a dip at 3.30.  You have to book to ensure social distancing, the steam room and sauna were not in use, and there were increased chemicals in the jacuzzi, which my eyes complained about.  But I managed a good few lengths, it’s been quite a while since I’ve swum!

IMG_3828

As part of the relaxation of regulations, outdoor weddings can now take place with a numbers limit, and we were able to watch procedings from out our window.  But the room had no air-con (although there was a fan cooler) and so it wasn’t as relaxing as it might have been .

IMG_3819

We had booked a dinner slot for 6.30, and chatted beforehand to a family from Dundalk, comparing the joys of staycationing.IMG_3820For dinner I had mushroom soup and brown bread which was delicious.  The only veggie main was a stirfry with rice, which was OK, rather spicy and far too much.

I didn’t have a great night’s sleep with the fan going all night, but I couldn’t hear any wedding noises.

The breakfast hot and cold buffet were dished out by a member of staff.  I had some grapefruit segments, followed by scrambled egg and mushroom.

IMG_3822

Into Athlone,  we parked by the castle, across the road from Saints Peter and Paul chuch with its twin towers, and set of for some very pleasant aimless wandering.  The town is on the river Shannon, at quite a wide point, and there is plenty of activity on the water, including a lock.

IMG_3838

 

IMG_3840It’s also home to what claims to be Ireland’s oldest bar, sadly of course closed these days.

IMG_3842

IMG_3824

We walked all the way round the barracks, and Count John McCormack’s statue.

IMG_3829

The names of some of the shops were reminiscent of Handmaid’s Tale, and there seemed to be many Thai restaurants and meditation retreats.

IMG_3830

IMG_3843

It’s a charming town, well worth spending some time in, and it does make a great stopover destination.

IMG_3827

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: