Climb to the cairn of Queen...
Climb to the cairn of Queen Maeve. On the way into Sligo from the south, you can't miss it on top of Mt. Knocknarea on a clear day. But be forewarned, the guidebooks say its a 'leisurely walk' to the summit. Even the B & B landlady told us this. Thus, I didn't prepare well enough and wore the wrong shoes and fell. It is a steep climb over a rocky path and at one point it is so steep that you are looking at your feet. The day we went very few had ventured up and we found out why. The previous rains had turned the 'path' (I use that term loosely) into a stream with moving stones and rocks and mud. Near the top there is no distinguishable path, so be vigilant or you will be climbing steeper than necessary.
Do not be daunted! It is well worth the view and the awesome size of her stone grave (looks like two football fields in length). Just wear good hiking shoes, and off season dress for wind and cold. And for females who like myself have small bladders, drink sparingly. There are no restrooms on the climb and no trees for privacy! If you are modest, you might need to use a cow for a screen!!
approaching the cairn
The cairn is located near Lough Gill, in Deer Park. It is a peaceful and beautiful place to visit. When we were there we did not see a single person...we had this magnificent place and the acres of rhododendron to ourselves!
Drumcliff church - Yeats grave
the churchyard in Drumcliff is the site of the final resting place of W B Yeats. No pilgramge to Sligo would be complete without traveling up N15 to visit this churchyard, the 11th century high cross, and the grave of Yeats.
The Wild Swans At...
The Wild Swans At Coole
THE trees are in their autumn beauty,
The woodland paths are dry,
Under the October twilight the water
Mirrors a still sky;
Upon the brimming water among the stones
Are nine-and-fifty Swans.
The nineteenth autumn has come upon me
Since I first made my count;
I saw, before I had well finished,
All suddenly mount
And scatter wheeling in great broken rings
Upon their clamorous wings.
I have looked upon those brilliant creatures,
And now my heart is sore.
All's changed since I, hearing at twilight,
The first time on this shore,
The bell-beat of their wings above my head,
Trod with a lighter tread.
Unwearied still, lover by lover,
They paddle in the cold
Companionable streams or climb the air;
Their hearts have not grown old;
Passion or conquest, wander where they will,
Attend upon them still.
But now they drift on the still water,
Among what rushes will they build,
By what lake's edge or pool
Delight men's eyes when I awake some day
To find they have flown away?
I always pack as if the airline is going to lose my bags. I always take a LARGE purse and my carry on has two changes of clothes and walking shoes and I carry whatever jacket I need. Hiking shoes are a must if going outside the city. In the fall, lots of rain and mud, and many travel books seemed to be based on what young athletes can endure! Fine! But I'm neither and if any of you out there want to get out and about but the last time you ran a marathon was in high school, beware of anything deemed 'leisurely'
It always rains in Ireland so if you don't like rain, don't go there. It was 60F degrees most of the time and quite pleasant if you wear layers. An umbrella is cumbersome so bring a jacket with a hood for those unexpected but thrilling walks on the strand in a gale!!!