Today we went to Mass at 0930 then headed of on a 100 or so mile sightseeing trip around the Sligo and immediate north of Sligo area. Our first stop was the Carrowmore Megalithic Tomb Site. This is the site of about 80 tombs from the era around 8,000 to 1,500 BC. They built the tombs in a variety of styles and this is only one of numerous sites that were constructed by a group of people generally known as The Tomb builders. The most famous o these are the Tara and Newgrange tomb complexes over on the east coast that we’ll see later in the week and the Knockarea which has the tomb of Queen Meagh up on top of it. We skipped Knockarea as you have to hike to the top and Connie wasn’t feeling up to hiking yet…but the pictures from Carrowmore are better as you can see the whole mountain and it’s only 8 or 10 miles away. Here are some photos of the various tombs in the Carrowmore…the large one in the center was excavated in the late 1800s and you can see the portal type tomb that was built inside the middle of the large 4 meter high cairn.
The centerpiece cairn tomb.
A view over one of the tombs of the southwest face of Ben Bulben; our destination later. It’s about 15 miles away.
The excavated opening on the far side of the centerpiece tomb as seen from the visitor center porch shot above.
The portal tombstones inside the cairn…the standing stones are about 3-4 set high and the top piece is a foot thick and about 6 by 7 feet.
A view to the northwest where you can see Knockarea…and a closer view of the tomb of Queen Meagh on the top center.
The southwest face of Ben Bulben looking almost due north…Knockarea is closer and just out of the frame to the left.
A shot of tomb 4 on the other side of the access road from the centerpiece cairn. This one is about 7 feet high and has no stone ring around it.
A view of tomb 7 which has both the portal stones as well as the surrounding stone circle…with Knockarea in the background. Today turned out to be a really nice day after all…it was supposed to be partly to mostly cloudy but it was warm and beautiful all day.
Leaving Carrowmore we headed toward the Drumcliff Round Tower…which is all that remains of a castle but before we got there we were distracted by a sign for the Glencar Waterfall…and before we got there we were distracted by a beautiful little loch (lake) with reflections of the peaks in it.
We hiked about 300 yards up to the Glencar waterfall as well as a smaller cascade just downstream from the main falls which are 80 feet or so tall.
A closer view of the southwest face of Ben Bulben…this is the most famous mountain in Ireland and it along with it’s brothers in the Dartry Mountains run pretty much in a straight line west to east.
A shot of the Drumcliff Round Tower (it was sort of a letdown) and the nice church across the road from it. The poet Yeats is buried in the graveyard here.
Driving around the north side of the Dartry’s…a pano shot of the entire range looking south…Ben Bulben is on the far right in this shot.
We headed down to the little seaside town of Mullaghmore in hopes of some views and lunch. The views worked fine but apparently everybody in the north of Ireland had gone out to the beach to sit in the cafes and have lunch…there was no parking to be had and everything looked full so we headed on and had lunch at a pub in Bundoran. Connie had a fishcake salad and said it was the first thing that really tasted good for 3 days…so it looks like she’s finally over her tummy issues. Neil had some Prawn/Crab Gratin…both were great.
After lunch we drove into Northern Ireland and down the shore road (marked as a Scenic Route) of Loch Erne…but it turned out that the road was through the forest and not down the shoreline so we pretty much got no views. So…we headed home instead but did get a nice view of the southern facade of the Dartry Mountains and Ben Bulben…it’s on the left hand of this shot.
A pretty good view of the mountains I think…that’s Loch Glencar in the valley below them…the waterfall was way at the left hand (west) end of this loch.
After we got back to the hotel we lazed around for awhile then headed off to Shenanigan’s Bar and Restaurant for brews and dinner. Unfortunately they stopped serving food at 1800 and it was after 1930 when we arrived so we had a couple pints of Guinness each then went back to the hotel and had cookies and Jameson for dinner. Tasted great!!
Tomorrow it’s off to Derry/Londonderry via the last of the Irish National Parks…Glenveagh National Park…should be a relatively early arrival for us.