Northern Ireland & Ireland
June 12-22, 2007

Doo Lough Valley and Clifden

Friday, 6/15
We retraced our path and headed back toward Killybegs and onto our next destination.

Along the way, we stopped to take a picture of one of the many Guiness posters

We stopped at the cemetary where Yeats is buried
On the left, we weren't sure what the purpose of this squatted figure was, but found him to be creepy-looking (like Gollum from Lord of the Rings) so we took a picture. On the right, Yeat's grave
We stopped in a random pub, in a random town and had lunch. I had a strange version of shepard's pie and jason had some sort of stew. To be honest it tasted like it looked
One of the towns we drove through was Westport. We happened upon it and found it to be the prettiest, quaintest, cutest town! If we ever go back to Ireland we'll make it a point to spend a few nights here....

Westport's shore
I made a point to bring us through Doolough Valley. I'd read about how haunting and beautiful this place is.
1846-49 was Ireland's great potato famine. Mayo County was hardest hit and this cross commemorates the six hundred people who walked from their homes in the Doolough Valley to a landlord many miles north, hoping for assistance. They were turned away and two hundred people died on the road back.
Doolough, meaning dark lake, was eerie and quiet, but was the most beautiful part of the drive. Not just this lake, but the drive leading up to the lake and leaving the lake were breathtaking.
More sheep, we always had to be careful of crossing sheep.

The neatest thing we saw was this man who kept yelling up at the mountain in Gaelic. We had no idea what he was saying, but he'd yell, drive a little ways, then get out and yell again. We didn't see any people, but figured out that he was yelling at his herd of sheep waaayyyy up in the mountains and herding them home! What's even more amazing is that the sheep were responding "baaaa" and running along the mountain toward home!!
We stopped to look at the view and I got this picture of Jas standing on a hill. I think it's cool ;)
This is what I think of when I dream of castles - Kylemore Abbey - just stunning. It's the Monastic home of the Benedictine Order of Nuns in Ireland. Unfortunately we arrived too late in the day to take a tour. Could there be a more perfect setting for a castle?!?
We reached our destination for the night, Rock Glen Hotel in Clifden. Here's a view from the front of our hotel (right)
Jason, tired, but enjoying a Guiness in the hotel bar
After settling in a bit, we went into Clifden for dinner.
We found a crowded but very yummy pub. I loved every chance for tea, milk and sugar. For dinner we shared fries and a delicious seafood salad. Six piles of crab meat with a vinagrette salad - perfect!

Before heading out the next morning - breakfast! For me it was fried eggs, roasted tomatoes and sauteed mushrooms :)

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