Thursday, July 16, 2015

County Sligo

Benbulben, County Sligo

Joe and I decided to take a road trip north to County Sligo yesterday.  We threw a few clothes into a suitcase and away we went.  The sun was shining!

I am not ever prepared for the beauty that is Ireland.  Every corner we turned I yelled, "OH MY GOD!  PULL OVER!"  

One cannot just 'pull over' in Ireland.  The roads are narrow, the speed limit is 100 km per hour and chances are someone is riding right up your bumper.  So pulling over to take photos is not an option most times on a road trip. 

But there were some moments when I could take photos and this is what I got:

Benbulben is a majestic mountain that towers over County Sligo.  It is part of the landscape.  Everywhere you look it is looming over you.  We hiked along its base yesterday afternoon.  My neck got a crick in it from looking up so much.

We met a family from Malta on the Benbulben trail.  The mom took this photo of us.  When she learned we were from Vancouver she commented, "I think Vancouver is the most beautiful city in the world."  We have to agree.

Sheep are everywhere in this country.

We stayed in a cute little B&B in the village of Grange.  If this bed does not scream "BACK BREAKER!" then I don't know what does.  It looked more like a hammock than a mattress.

 How would you like that for your backyard?

 Honestly, people.  Keep your own damn chickens.

 Glencar Lough

 Glencar Falls

 A fisherman at Ardtermon Castle with Benbulben in the background.

Bundoran, County Donegal.  (Look who's looming in the background!) 

 We stopped for a pint at Brennan's Pub in Bundoran.  It is run by two sisters in their mid-80s.  We could barely see one sister's head over the bar as she poured Joe his pint of Guinness.

 Sunset over the North Atlantic Ocean from our B&B bedroom window.

 Tom, our B&B host, put a Canadian flag at our breakfast table for us this morning!

 Calla lilies (one of my fave flowers) grow like weeds in the west of Ireland.

 Sadly the sun did not stick around for our second day in County Sligo.  Rain started to fall mid-morning.

 Streedagh Point.  These children were dressed in wetsuits and gumboots while they played at the beach.


 There are many stone ruins in this part of the world.

 We hiked up Knocknarea Mountain this morning.  We walked straight up for an hour.  The views were breathtaking as the rain began to fall in earnest.

 There's Benbulben again!

 At the top of Knocknarea Mountain lies Queen Maeve's cairn.

It was a tad cold and windy at the top o' the mountain!

The views of the Irish seaside were incredible.

 At the bottom of the mountain was Dolly's Cottage just waiting for us.  Scones and tea here we come!

We were soaked to the bone after our hike.  The women who worked at Dolly's Cottage gave me some paper towel to dry my hair and encouraged me to sit by the peat fire.

What a wonderful two days in County Sligo.  Rain and all.

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