From Maiden to Maid By Alannah maher

“Oof” I swung the hammock too hard and fell off onto the sofa. “Well, forget the idea of staying in it until lunch,” I thought to myself. Our last day at the castle and I’ve already knocked the air out of me! I decide to walk up to the top of the castle to look out at the scenery below.

“Mom, I’m going up!” I announce, walking out of the living room.

“Up to the bedroom?” Mom questions. Our bedrooms were both on different floors. We had a whole floor, just for two beds! “Or up to the top?”

“Up to the top!” I smile. The top of the entire castle that we had rented for three nights. Even though the wind was cold, it was one of my favorite places to be. I would close my eyes, and picture myself as Princess Alannah, at the top of her castle. I felt like a character in a Shakespearian play: Maiden Alannah, of Craughwell, County Galway.

“Well, Dad is up there, so go ahead, but be careful!” At the last words, I am already putting on my coat and tiptoeing up the cold, rounded, slick, stone stairs, with only a rope to hold on to. Seventy seven steps from top to bottom, 77 steps that I walked everyday for the four days that we stayed there.

A few of the 77 stairs up to the top of the turret!

I made it to the top and looked out to the seemingly endless fields, rivers, and a HUGE trampoline that looked somewhat out of place. I loved this place, it was my favorite trip to Ireland since, well, ever. Because a great majority of my family was living in Ireland, we traveled there every other year.

A view from the top of our castle!

I don’t know how long I stayed up there lost in my marvelous thoughts and imaginings, but before I knew it, we were saying our goodbyes, and leaving the castle. Farewell Lord Peter and Lady Eva.

All the doors that I left.

After a long car ride through the Irish countryside; down tight roads with bushes on either side,our car almost devoured, we were at our new destination: a thatched cottage in a serene little village in County Laois. This was definitely what might have been called a One Horse Town. High Nelly cottage sat on the corner of the only intersection in the village, three small windows and a split wooden door watching over the world.

High Nelly Cottage, my home for 3 days.

I walked inside, and saw the small, yet cozy and rustic cottage I was now a resident in. I walked “upstairs,” I say upstairs, but it really can’t be called upstairs, more of a loft, and looked at the cramped bedroom my brother and I would be sharing. Our backyard was a dairy farm filled with mooing cows, separated from our cottage only by a rustic stone wall.

I liked the cottage, the warmth, the rustic-ness, the coziness, but couldn’t help comparing it to the castle we were in just this morning. In just a few short hours I went from the majestic castle in County Galway to a tiny rustic cottage in County Laois. From 77 glorious steps to hardly a step at all. Although each experience was special and unique I can honestly say I felt like I slipped from maiden to maid!

The End!

Most of these photos came from Airbnb.com. Thanks to the amazing hosts that allowed me to have this memorable trip!

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