Castle on green mountainside on Glenveagh national park

St. Patrick’s Day Contest Entry: Grandfather’s Very Own Castle

In Win A Trip to Ireland by Leslie IntriagoLeave a Comment

The thing that intrigues me most about Ireland is the castles. My granddaddy was originally from Ireland and retired in Florida when he was older. When a was a little girl, I remember going to Florida to visit him at the house he built. I was too young to remember all the tales he told, but I do remember the story about how he built his home out of used car batteries. They were stacked up just like cinder blocks, and I thought, wow, my granddad built his very own castle. Maybe that is why I have always been intrigued by ancient castles. I want to explore them, look up close at the aged stone, and tune in my senses to imagine the old souls that walked the halls.

When my husband and I first moved into our house in 1985, it was nicknamed “The Castle.” It had a flat roof and dark grey cedar siding. There were heavy cement blocks that sat atop staggered parapets which outlined the front facade of our home. When the rains were heavy, our house was surrounded by water, thereby giving our castle its own “moat.” When the fog rolled in on a cold, damp day, I could stand outside our house and just imagine being transplanted somewhere on a rolling hill in Ireland. Whenever someone needed directions to our house, we told them to look for the house that resembles a castle, and they knew exactly what house we were talking about. We didn’t plan on living in a castle, but it just worked out that way, a foreclosed and abandoned house that was for sale — on the cheap — by the local bank.

I still love old buildings, ancient ruins, anything that time has worn away. I long to go the land of my ancestors (Ireland), and just take it all in, and look and explore everything. Even when I was a younger, I would seek out abandoned houses, deserted farms, dusty attics, and poke around anything that I could find. My best friend down the road that I grew up with, joined me in exploring the woods in front of her house, digging in the dirt to find old dishware, and rummaging through abandoned houses with no doors, and graffiti walls. I have searched online for old castles in Ireland, especially the ones with a haunted past. What a thrill it would be to visit Leap Castle, Clonony Castle, Malahide Castle, just to name a few. There are so many to pick from. I just don’t want to visit these castles, I want to explore their darkest corners, spend the night, go on a midnight tour of the grounds. Sometimes I wish I could be an invisible fly on a wall and travel back in time. To see, feel, and hear all the comings and goings of times long past. But I will settle for a modern day guide to fill me in on what I missed years ago. Dreaming of going to the Emerald Isle.


Does the thought of going on and Ireland castle vacation  make you as excited as it makes us? We would love to send you on your DREAM vacation to Ireland with the help our our expert travel agents. We’ll even include the best sightseeing options and attractions we think you’d enjoy while traveling!

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