The Hill of Druids, and the Cat Stone.

What a nice surprise!
Valentine’s weekend came and our children pre-booked a hotel close to the Hill of Uisneach, otherwise known as the ‘Hill of Druids’. I didn’t know a thing, but my wife knew, the girls let her in on it. Lucky for me because she changed the venue from Galway to Uisneach. Not that there’s anything wrong with Galway, to the contrary, Galway is a superbly beautiful county, I have been there many times. Uisneach was favoured because my wife knew I wanted to go there as part of the research for my novel, ‘A Druid’s Tale’ and of course to experience this ancient site first hand. The Hill of Uisneach was known as the centre point of Ireland back in Celtic times, at the bottom of the hill there is a stone, approx six meters tall, it is known as the cat stone and in ancient times was called the dividing stone. this stone divided our five provinces. Back in the day Meath was known as the royal province. We landed at the gate of Uisneach to find that there was no tours until March. We proceeded with caution through the gate and on up the hill. There was an electric wire running across the pathway, I held it down with my plastic bottle and we climbed over and into a field. There was fresh cow dung everywhere, My wife was a little on edge by now with the whole idea of entering without permission and the electric fences, but the fact that there was cows in the field was scaring her a little. We ended up searching four or five fields for the cat stone but it wasn’t to be found. After several hours of searching and me receiving two electric shocks, we were done. There were no houses or people to be seen, just fields for miles around, then we heard a dog bark and some voices. It was a man and a couple of teenage girls with a dog, we caught up with them and he gave us directions to the cat stone. It still took us another half an hour of further trudging through fields, muck and manure. The whole experience was actually awesome, for the few hours before hand we captured some great Photos. It was great for a change, some hands on research. There was a feeling from the area, like it was sacred or special, perhaps it was just because of its virtually untouched landscape. The landscape itself was different than all the landscapes I have encountered in my travels up and down the country. The cat stone in all its ruggedness and natural character, did not look like a single stone but rather four or five stones, with the biggest resting on the others. Certainly an unusual way to spend the most romantic day of the year. We finished the day with a lovely meal and relaxed our sore feet in the comfort of Castle Pollard Hotel.

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