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Rosses Point by Ann Treacy
July 4, 2009, 9:36 pm
Filed under: Sligo

We visited Rosses Point on one of our first days in Dromahair – then we battled with rain and sickness to try to get back there. We finally made it back on the morning of our last full day. We were only there about 90 minutes but it was enough time to find, shells, get partially wet (the water, while being warmer than most places we’ve been in Ireland, was cold) and build sandcastles.

The beach would go down as a highlight for the girls I think. We left just in time – it started to pour as soon as we got into the car.

Much of our time was spent “with spots of sun amidst showers and rain” – though the spots of sun were really nice so we won’t complain!

Hazelwood – Half Moon Bay by Ann Treacy
July 4, 2009, 9:33 pm
Filed under: Sligo

After a few very strenuous days of hiking and serious illness we finally found the walk we needed. No hills. No getting lost. No rain.

We took a nice lake-forest walk in the Hazelwood Demense on Lough Gill. (The Lake Isle of Innisfree is located in Lough Gill. Patrick, the girls and the Australians took a boat cruise around the lake. Kate was sick so she and I stayed home – but we had been on the cruise last time we were here so that was OK.)

Anyways, the walk was nice. Every 100 yards or so there was a marker with info on a different tree. We saw a few cool sculptures. We saw swans, which is always fun in a Yeatsy place.

Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery by Ann Treacy
July 4, 2009, 9:28 pm
Filed under: Sligo

Carrowmore is the largest cemetery of megalithic tombs in Ireland. The tombs are 5000 years old. Can you imagine that?

The tombs would remind you of New Grange. OK I know that not everyone reading this will have been to New Grane – but it is better known.

Some of the tombs were dolmens – which is a fair simply structure similar to a slanty table.
There are 4-5 legs and a large, flat stone lain across them. It’s amazing to think of how they could get such large stone to form any kind of structure back then. Pretty much you’d want to be start your tomb as soon as you could walk!

Some tombs or structures were more just rocks placed into a position such as a circle – like a giant clock with a diameter of 15-20 feet.

One tomb, which may have been recreated was a lot more like New Grange. It looked like a huge mound of rocks from one side – but from the other you could see (and walk) into the tomb to see a huge dolmen.

So the tombs and structures were pretty cool up close. An added cool aspect was how the structures lined up with the surrounding mountains. Many of the mountain (such as Knocknarea) also have tombs on them and the tombs seemed to line up in all directions.

One of the guides noted that tombs may have been used (in a later day) as marketplace centers. Because especially when the entire countryside was covered with forests, the tombs were easily seen from a distance.

The girls were moderately impressed though I must admit visiting Carrowmore wasn’t the first thing we had done that day. What they did enjoy was the bull that seemed to protect the final dolmen. We started into a field to take a look at the dolmen that was “just a little further” and what we had written off as a cow kind of sauntered up into full height and horns and just looked at us in a “make my day” kind of way – saving the girls a walk there and back.

Knocknarea by Ann Treacy
July 4, 2009, 9:22 pm
Filed under: Sligo

Knocknarea [Nok-na-ray] is up. No matter where you start from, it’s up. We started pretty far down. It was another walk out of the same book that brought us the O’Donnell Rock. We felt better about this one because it was listed as an easy walk.

It would have been easy – if we were Billy goats! There are a number of mountains around Sligo – Ben Bulben and Knocknarea are most notable. Both look more like cliffs or giant plateaus. And really they can be seen from everywhere.

According to Wikipedia, Knocknarea is 327 meters high. On the top of Knocknarea is a huge pile of rocks – 20 meters high and 55 meters across, which you can also see from everywhere.

The pile of rocks is known as Queen Maeve’s Tomb. Here’s the mythology, according to Patrick:

Maeve was arguing with her husband Ailill about who was richer. They each listed their wealth. Then he said – I have the great, white bull of Connacht. Maeve realized she didn’t have that. But there was a great brown bull in Ulster, which she decided to try to steal. Cuchulainn protected the brown bull. After many battles. Maeve got the brown bull to Connacht but when the brown and white bulls met, they fought and the brown bull was killed. Shortly after Maeve died and now Maeve is reputedly entombed in the Knocknarea cairn in an erect position, in full battle regalia, facing northward toward her Ulster enemies.

Anyways back to the walk. It was about an hour up and 20 minutes down. The view was amazing. It was fun for the rest of the week to look up at Knocknarea (from the town, from the beach, on the drive back to Dromahair) and see how far we’d walked. I’ll try to add a picture that shows how high it is.

Along the walk we saw cows and sheep. Julie was so helpful getting Aine up the mountain. Lily was super helpful about helping Aine down the mountain. We saw one guy run up and down mountain. We expect to see him on a professional soccer team soon!

Hello Sligo by Ann Treacy
June 29, 2009, 8:57 pm
Filed under: Sligo

We brought the car into be fixed in Sligo today. First I can’t say enough good things about Pit Stop Express in Sligo. If you ever wreck a car in this part of the world – push your car here. Actually we didn’t wreck the car at all. He was able to pound out and repair the dmage and it was surprisingly cheap!

But while we was working we went walking. Mostly we walked in circles but that was OK. It was a beautiful day. We went to the Yeats Building where Patrick wanted to see a video on Yeats. The big thrill was that his advisor was in the video – Tony Roche.

The girls and I walked around a bit during part of the video. So we got some nice pictures of the river and the town in general. You can see a statue of Yeats and I think we got the Sligo Cathedral.

We had a nice lunch at a pub. And off we went to the beach – but without suits so mostly to scope the scene for tomorrow. We went to Rosses Point – as you can see it’s beautiful!

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