Ireland Road Trip, Installation #3

On our exploratory drive toward Sligo we ran across Newtown Castle on the N67. It was another one of those refurbished castles (mortar!) which are less interesting, too clean and unrealistic. The keeper of the castle opened it up early once again. Most of the towns are asleep until late, Irelanders (they're not all Irish) seem to be much more laid back than those of us from the States. Anyway, I think we enjoyed the resident chickens and cows more than the castle.

We drove on into Galway to try to find an Enable Ireland Charity Shop (thrift store) and ended up right in the middle of the tourist section of town with lots of street musicians and colorful buildings. Sarah could finally do some serious shopping and we found another Murphy's Bar, whaddya know 'bout that!? (Sarah's mother is a Murphy, FYI). After spending a couple hours enjoying the chaos we headed to Headford to try to locate another obscure ruin I'd found and wished to photograph - Ballycurrin Lighthouse.

The lighthouse is the only inland lighthouse in Ireland, situated on Lough Corrib next to Ballycurrin House, which I neglected to get a picture of. It was a nicely maintained old house with a cottage on the lake that I'd wanted to rent for a night, but this time of year they only rent it by the week. When we got there it was once again a pretty day and there were kids swimming in the lake right at the lighthouse! I got my shots but it'll take some work to remove the kids!

We put the pedal to the metal and made it all the way to Sligo (SLY-go). Now we had to find a room. We checked on one and she referred us to another back on the main drag that may have a room for 3 (we learned to ask for help by now). I ran in to check if there was a room to let for 3 travelers and Mary, the hostess, was more than accommodating. We got our room, the best room on our trip up to then, and she proceeded to spend the next 20 minutes or so educating us on the town history, customs, and gave us a map and restaurant reviews and prices. She also shared that the town was celebrating the poet, Yeats, birthday with special meals (Yeats' celebratory Nobel Prize meal of sausages and wine - the only food and drink he had in the house when he received news of the prize in 1923) and that there would be an open air concert in the Sligo Abbey Ruin, right downtown and for free!

We chose to eat at Hardagon's based on Mary's reviews and it was exactly as she'd described. We ate our dinner then wandered over to hear the concert. It was a string quartet called No Crows and the female member also played a piece on the saw! I'd never heard the saw played - it was awesome and haunting. I thoroughly enjoyed the concert and wished they'd had CDs on sale there so I could have bought one to enjoy and have as a souvenir.

On our walk back to Pearce's B&B we finally saw an Ireland sunset. I was in love with that town and could easily see myself living there.


Friday we headed out in a northerly direction toward a room I booked months back and was extremely excited to finally stay in - Bunbeg House.  It was advertised as a beautiful house on a harbor and I was really looking forward to it. But we had miles to go before we'd get to experience it.

Since we ended up part of the Yeats celebration we decided we'd have to stop and visit his grave in Drumcliffe, it was so nearby. It was a very pretty graveyard. With a church in the center, of course.

Our next planned stop was at Ahamlish Church ruins near Grange. My notes took us right to it. The church ruins weren't nearly as interesting as they showed on the web. They had been boarded up and now inaccessible but it was, again, in a very nice setting.

We happened upon Mullaghmore and the beautiful Classiebawn House outside Cliffony on a loop road that wasn't advertised as a scenic route or given any kind of announcement even though it was very worthy of such a fanfare. We enjoyed the detour, then got back on track.

Next we spotted Creevykeel Circle, a "court cairn", otherwise known as a large circular pile of rocks with some strange smaller circles. Someone was buried somewhere in there, maybe many someones.

Our next stop was in the town of Donegal, Donegal Castle. Rick and I had driven around this site on Google maps to see exactly where it was and where we'd have park. It was a pretty well preserved and somewhat refurbished structure with one room decorated something like it may have been when it was in use. It added a little to see how it may have felt to live in a castle. Except for the glass windows, well, that era may have had glass, but they didn't have the heaters. But I think once the place was warmed up it may have held the heat well and been rather comfortable. Before glass windows I'm thinking they may have used shutters and then maybe tapestries to cover the windows and block out the cold. Maybe I'll have to research it...

There was a group of crafters' shops just outside of Donegal that we stopped to inspect and the one that caught our attention was the tweed maker, Clare. She collects weaving machines and rebuilds them as she can. She was using one 100 years old in the shop, it was interesting and she had a nice variety of spools of brightly colored wool.

We continue on through some of the "burren" area, lots of rocks and apparently lots of peat bogs. I found a Kingdom Hall on the R262 north of Frosses! Not much to look at but the only one I'd seen so here's a shot of it.

We knew we were in the peat bog area because we found peat logs drying near the Maas area. I forgot that I wanted to see this, again, I wasn't aiming for it but it just was there, in our face!

The time had come, we got to Bunbeg house. It was dreary, rainy weather but that wasn't the only thing that made the House disappointing. It was just disappointing. The room was cold, most residents had turned off their heaters, it was June, summer, you know?!? The water pressure was poor, the shower head kept drooping, there was mildew on the walls and ceiling in the bathroom. Wifi only worked in one room and it was only marginally acceptable. And the harbor was just a small waterway that went around a large concrete parking area filled with dead, dry-docked boats, some sitting on trailers with flat tires. Oh yeah, the hosts were never anywhere to be seen and appeared bothered when you beckoned them via the buzzer they provided in the lobby.

So the room kinda sucked big time - but dinner at Sean Ogs was terrific! We ordered the fish and chips and the filet of haddock that they served was HUMONGOUS!!!

So we're getting near the end, next up - the rest of the story...

0 cats hacked up hairballs:

About Me

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After 2 unsuccessful marriages I spent 12 years as a divorcee, only to fall prey to another man's wiles. We had a fun 5 years together and then he decided he wanted more freedom so once again I'm single.

So I'm freshly divorced at 57 and have 5 great kids and now 7 grandkids. My kids are still a major part of my life but I'm busy helping my aging parents on Kauai.

I've lived in California, Hawaii and Oklahoma before finally settling here in Washington. I love Washington and come back to visit family, friends and take care of my garden often but will be temporarily a resident of Kauai.

I've moved 30 times in my life (no, my parents weren't in the service, at least not since I was about 2) and finally planted roots when I got my little house that I've owned since '91.

My family are Jehovah's Witnesses, I've been one since '72.