Connie had a terrible day today…woke up with stomach issues and was able to only choke down some tea and toast for breakfast. She managed to keep things under control until we got to our afternoon destination at the Sligo Park Hotel (a pretty swanky place I might add) then had to visit the facilities for awhile followed by a nap after Neil helped her back into bed. She was feeling much better after a 2 hour nap except from being a bit out of it after a day of troubles but felt well enough to head out for dinner. She had a Coke and some bread with various pate’s, spreads, and olives because it sounded good to her. Neil had a couple o pints and some garlic prawns…for which Connie will hate him later as it will surely make his breath smell.
Anyway; we still stopped by our scheduled destinations for a look-see on the way to Sligo although Connie mostly stayed in the car except for the Knock Shrine which was one of her must do’s for the trip.
Our first stop was right up the road a bit from the Ballynahinch Castle Hotel…we stopped and got a photo of the Giant of Connemara. It’s actually a statue of Conn a Mara (which is Connor of the Sea in Gaelic) who was an famous old guy here in the peninsula…so famous that they eventually named it after him. Looks like he invented Tebowing long before the more modern SEC football version did.
From there we grabbed a few shots of one of the many lochs (lakes) in the area since it was still sort of sunny and then headed off to the Knock shrine.
Another 70 kilometers or or so up the road we got the the Knock Shrine…which is dedicated to an apparition in August o 1879 when the Virgin Mary, St. Joseph, St. John the Evangelist appeared to a young girl and 15 witnesses surrounded by an altar, cross, lamb, and angels. It lasted about 2 hours and many miraculous cures have been reported over the years since. Here’s a shot of the more recently constructed Basilica near the site as well as the shrine which is at the location the apparition happened.
Neil zoomed in to get this last shot…and couldn’t help but notice that it looks a lot like Mary is telling us that it’s Fourth Down and a Foot to go…but maybe that’s just him. I think we’ll just call this one “Fourth and Short Mary” to go along with TD and First Down Jesus from earlier in the week.
From there we headed off to Clonalis House…which is the ancestral home of the O’Connor clan…who were the rulers of this part of Ireland (or at least part of the local bigwig group). The O’Connor’s might (or might not) be the ancestors of Neil’s 8 times great grandfather on his mother’s side Thomas Connor who might (or might not) have changed his name from O’Connor to Connor when he emigrated. On the other hand…Connor’s and O’Connor are very common names here so maybe this is all just a bunch of hooey. Connie wasn’t able to narrow down the ancestry any more than that Thomas was born Oct 29, 1619 in Ireland and died in Virginia in 1688. Anyway…here’s a shot of the house…doesn’t look much like a castle to Neil…but then he thinks a castle needs a moat and a drawbridge along with a dungeon…but that’s just him.
After that we headed for Sligo…Neil happened to notice a place where they were drying peat and stopped to get a couple of close ups for ya. The flat pieces are about 4 by 8 inches in cross section and 4 feet long or so…the stacked ones are maybe a foot or 15 inches long. Once dry they make really good firewood.
We got to the hotel and Connie took her aforementioned nap then we headed downtown and had dinner at Hargadon Brother’s Pub…Neil had his usual pint of Guinness followed by a pint of Franciscan Well Stout…which was really good as well. We stopped by the Tosco on the way back to the car and got more cookies and a Coke for some snacks.
Tomorrow we are going to figure out how to do some laundry early then head off to the Baloycroy National Park west of here. Sunday we have Mass and a couple of things to see that are a bit closer. After that we’ll cross over into Northern Ireland for all but the last night of our trip.