Journey along the River Shannon in Ireland: in the heart of the green isle

Ocean of clouds and lightcarpet that runs fast”: for an Italian theIreland it is above all its sky, so changeable, strong-willed, almost capricious. The green island is also a musical proof, in remembering old songs that have become hits, ancient reel which are already synonymous with emotion. From the treble of Fiorella Mannoiato the Modena City Ramblersup to the almost hypnotic singing of Enya, dei Cranberries or gods Pogueshere is the groove of the most Irish of traditions. There is only one other way to amplify the suggestion: the recipe is simple. Add to the notes and the sky, even water, for a journey along the River Shannon which, among its many records, has not only that of be the longest on the island. But also to cut the country in two like a blade of the purest silver. Between Gaelic pride to the west and viking substrate at East.

Journey Down the River Shannon: Through Time and Space

Forget the buzz of Dublindon’t just think about breathtaking cliffs and steal selfies or the intense froth of dark beers like Guinness. discover theIreland on the surface of the water along the dense Shannon current, means not only traveling in space, but also in time. The river meanders for 260km from the Shannon potthe source at 79 meters above sea level, up between the Cuilcagh Mountains, up to the fjord – estuary of Limerick.

There are many i bridges and locks under which its character is forged, now more impetuous, now wider and more inclusive, as when the river widens to form the numerous loughbig never deep lakesbut always fresh, in which the Shannon often seems to lose its course. athlone it is the heart, not only of the water trip, but also of the whole of Ireland. Under its castle with its round and massive shapes – one of so many not to be missed in Ireland – the waters get more challenging: the rapid in the center of the city it is cross and delight. Boats must choose side channels; ducks and birds, on the other hand, strut their stuff and launch themselves into epochal slides.

Ancient palaces and gardens

The town is a perfect starting point, with its ancient heart, where the Sean’s Bar brooch pints since the tenth century. You can stroll along the strand, among the remains of the old customs house and well-kept gardens. When you set sail from Athlone, the Shannon already knows where to lead: Clonmacnoise is not far and is one of Ireland’s most important monastic sites. Today, at first glance, it might seem little more than a hill. Yet it once was a small town and also well fortified. Celtic crosses, altars and churches they take shape, as in a lego from other times, thanks to stones squared with precision and skill. For 600 years this site it was all a swarm of life, wealth and spirituality.

The river and the story of the monks

The merit? It all goes to Ciaran, that I landed there in 644 AD . Devout, zealous and resolute he was a monk, a follower of St. Patrick, Columba and Columbanus, the great evangelizers of Ireland. He wasn’t a saint yet and rolled up his sleeves, creating one of the most popular scriptoriums on the island from which they came out precious manuscripts which the monks then spread throughout Europe. Continuing south the Shannon passes some of the finest gardens on the island.

Irelanda gift from the Shannon, a bit like they say about Nile for theEgypt, or of any great river that has cradled a civilization. And it’s all true: you understand it near the lough Derghto Portumna, in the gardens of the homonymous castle which is returning to its former glory. Inside the house i refined De Burgo they decided not to throw anything away. So today everything is displayed in a museum, even the skeleton of a small dog, very dear to owners, but so unfortunate when his little mistress fell on him, killing him. The scene looks like the super famous one of the “cana” from the film “An English Wedding”, but this is it too Ireland and this too is his wonderful, irresistible sense of humour.

Sports on the current

Descending towards scarif, continuing ours journey along the River Shannon it’s time to take up the paddle. Here the river resembles a paradise for water sports. To the Derg Isle Adventure Centre you also row up to Holy Island, to roast marshmallows near a small private pied dans l’eau castle. Arriving at the twin villages of Killaloe and Ballinathe Shannon looks like a painting, between meadows of daisies and Gothic churches which are reflected in its waters.

A bridge who made history in the past for terrible battles and today for the length of his traffic light, he immediately sets things straight. You need calm here. The same as Andrew Lofthouse it serves you with style and in a workmanlike manner, distilling it into an aromatic espresso. His gourmand Ponte Vecchio bar is reminiscent of his Italian origins, as well as tastes for music: “The Irish sky moves with you”, croaks Spotify. And it is here, between sky and water, that everything looks alike and everything finds meaning, in an embrace of clouds and light.

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