Friday, July 13, 2012

Another grand day in Ireland...

We can't believe our good fortune, and neither can anyone else.  Today was a day without rain!

This morning we explored the Aughnanure Castle just outside Oughterard (good luck pronouncing both of those names--we probably mangled them too).  This castle was built in the 1500's and was home to the "Fighting O'Flahertys" who controlled the region for a few hundred years after they successfully repelled the Normans.  It has been extensively restored.

We were able to walk up into the top story of the big tower.
Lloyd was entranced by the dogs sitting on the walls...

And by my reflection in the river as it bent around the castle...

Next stop (after coffee and a scone...) was the head of Ireland's only true fjord, Kilary Harbour at Leenane.

This was also the site of a very good private museum, The Sheep and Wool Centre.  There were spinning and tweed weaving demos by a very knowledgeable spinner/weaver as well as a good video on the local industry.  For about 75 years (from about 1890 - 1970) local people were able to make a good living with spinning and weaving.

We are managing to navigate these roads successfully, and sometimes it's a challenge!   The roads can be narrow with hedges and rock walls without shoulders (verges) or wide with a shoulder wide enough for cars to pull over so others can pass.  The speed limits are surprisingly high--80 and 100 km/h.  I do have to occasionally remind Lloyd to stay to the left, and I try not to gasp too loudly if he gets close to a rock wall...  Our car is large for these roads unfortunately.

We're now outside Sligo town for the night, and have checked into The Links B& B at Rosses Point.  We have just had a delicious dinner at the Waterfront restaurant and we think it was one of our best meals here.  I had cous cous topped with roasted vegetables (zucchini, peppers, onions and roasted tomatoes) topped with arugula tossed with a basil pesto.  Yum!  All washed down with a glass of sauvignon blanc.  Lloyd had carrot, potato and parsnip soup followed by a salad topped with tandori chicken.

The view from Rosses Point back towards Sligo tonight--the mountains were highlighted by the sun in the western sky...
There was a little rain shower behind these mountains and we saw a fragment of a
double rainbow on the right.  It doesn't show up in this picture.

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