Sunday, July 10, 2011

"A landscape fossilized, / Its stone-wall patternings / Repeated before our eyes / In the stone walls of Mayo." -- Seamus Heaney

The beautiful West Coast

Another opportunity for driving practice. Big improvements were made.

The Swan boats at Westport House

New York & Dublin friends- and we found them in Westport!

We have to find a playground on all trips

"Can we play that game where you whack the balls?"

Ferry around Killary Fjord

Dolphins followed us almost the whole way!

Instructions for pilgrims

We climbed as far as the Statue of St. Patrick- maybe when they are a little older we will go all the way up to the top

Murrisk Abbey- founded in the 15th Century by Pope Callistus, who I had not heard of before today.

The famine monument near Croagh Patrick. Notice the skeletons.

After our quick trip to Galway in the dead of winter, we promised ourselves that we would come back to the area when the sun sets later than 4:30! This time we based ourselves out of Westport, Mayo. Westport is a cute little Irish town, and the Hotel had a great pool which all of us love when we go away.

The first day we went to Westport House, an old estate that has small amusement park and swan boats, and a little train. It was a great day and coincidentally, we ran into our Irish New York friends who happened to be on a getaway to the west as well.

The second day was very wet, and so we drove down to Leenane and took a cruise around Ireland's only Fjord. It was perfect for a rainy day. The boys loved it and there were Dolphins that followed us the whole way!

We also went up to Croagh Patrick. Also called "the Reek" Croagh Patrick is the mountain that St. Patrick is said to have climbed barefoot in the 5th Century. It is told that he stayed up there and fasted for 40 days and at the end of the fast he threw a silver bell down the side of the mountain killing Corra the she-demon and banishing all the snakes from Ireland. Each year about 20,000 pilgrims clim Croagh Patrick on the third Sunday in July. Many climb barefoot and some have died. We decided not to go all the way up. This year.

We had little issue on the last night, the T man may have had his second migraine. But he is doing great now. My favorite part of these getaways is that we get to spend all the days together away from regular life. It was a great trip.

1 comment:

  1. OMG! I so know exactly where you were and what you were up to. We climbed the Reek last summer when we were out at Achill Island. What a grueling hike. And Marc and Zach in the backpack. It is definitely worth the climb (one day). Much of our family is in Mayo and Galway so you were in *my* part of the country! I'm going to miss our trips to Ireland; I'll have to live vicariously through you from now on!