Back at the waiting jetty we start and I follow Pat through the five Abbey bridges. All goes well and between Baal's Bridge and Mathew Bridge a woman takes photos of us and shouts "Slowly, slowly!" But we cannot comply with her wish; in the Abbey whirlpool, we would go into a spin if going slower. We moor at the Custom House Quay at the last free space outside at the jetty which is not an easy thing against the current and with an anchor on the bow of the boat behind us which sticks up. I need a second try but then she fits in.
John Crowe of Shannon Development and the photographer come to the jetty. Mr. Crowe welcomes us as the first hire boaters in 2010 in Limerick and the first hire cruiser for years. Willi and I get a present, a voucher for a medieval banquet in Bunratty Castle. What a nice surprise!
The sun is warm and we relax on the flybridge. In the afternoon Pat visits us for a coffee and later Clare comes along and in the late afternoon also Kevin for a chat. The noise of the city is drowned by the calming sound of the weir. The panorama is great. Modern, early industrial and medieval buildings and structures are mixed up in the scenery.
The original limestone Custom House Quay was the first quay in Limerick and built before 1768. The Limerick City museum has an old photo and a painting online.
The new Thomond Bridge was completed 1838 by Limerick Corporation and has seven arches. The previous medieval bridge had fourteen arches. The tower of St. Mary's Cathedral of the 12th century overlooks King John's Castle and all the other buildings of King's Island.
Sarsfield Bridge was built between 1824-35.
A 1853 built four-storey stone factory with a chimney downstream on the western shore continues with industrial use. The dominating presence of this structure marks it as a landmark building within Limerick City, particularly as seen from Sarsfield Bridge.
The Customs House beside the quay with the same name was build between 1765-69 and opened as The Hunt Museum on 14 February 1997.
The oldest of the five Abbey bridges is the Baal's Bridge, a now single-arched hump-back limestone bridge, built between 1830-31. It replaced the very early Baal's Bridge, which was an important four-arched bridge (partly with buildings on it!) that formed the only link before the mid eighteenth century between Englishtown and Irishtown.
Mathew Bridge, a triple-span flat road bridge, was built between 1844 and 46, to replace New Bridge, which had been constructed in 1762.
O'Dwyer's Bridge is dedicated to the memory of the Bishop O'Dwyer (1886-1917) an honorary Freeman of the city. It's a five-span hump-back reinforced concrete bridge, built in 1931 and an early example of a concrete bridge with breakwaters, where a lot of fenders have been lost over the years. O'Dwyers Bridge was built near the site of a previous bridge, called Park Bridge, which had been built in 1835.
The Sylvester O'Halloran Footbridge close to the Custom House was built in 1987.
The Abbey Bridge is the most recently built bridge in the city and was officially opened in 1999. The name was chosen in memory of the Abbey fishermen.
We are in the middle of the city but in a safe and quiet spot.