United Kingdom and Ireland - Day 15

 

 

Friday, 8 September 2017, Galway to Knock, Roscommon, Sligo, Ballyshannon and Bundoran

 

The day started with patches of blue sky between the rain clouds but didn't stay that way for long. On and off during the day we had sunshine or rain, it didn't depend on whether we were in or out of the car, each time shared the weather.

 

I'm beginning to think that at the start of this drive, I must have run over a Leprechaun and that was what caused the sensor failure that kept telling us the rear tyre was flat. After all, this was followed by GPS software issues, overheating car issues, getting lost thanks to the GPS and then last night my phone decided that I couldn't make calls, access the data services. I attempted to use the 3mobile facility of using wi-fi to contact them and that worked for a while until I lost the on-line talk window. I informed the phone exactly what I thought of its heritage and put it away until I could get to a 3 shop this afternoon. Of course, Therese's phone is identical and she had no problems and we had been able to call each other and other numbers up until last night, Her phone still could, mine couldn't. Took a few attempts but was resolved by me having to use the international dialing code, we have UK cards. The other phone works without! The girl said it happens that way occasionally.

 

Anyway, that was later this afternoon. Leaving Galway we headed for Knock as we decided to delete Westport from the itinerary to save an hour of travel and give us a bit more time today. I'm only going to mention a broad outline so if you want to know more, use this Wikipedia link. Knock became famous in 1879 after a group of people told of seeing an apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Saint Joseph, Saint John the Evangelist and angels, . Knock now is a major pilgrimage site for Catholics and considerable facilities have been built to service those visiting. On 30 September 1979, Pope John Paul II visited the shrine to commemorate the centenary of the apparition.

 

From Knock we headed east to Roscommon on our way to Ballyshannon and took time to stop for a look at the ruins of Roscommon Castle. This must have been an impressive castle. Construction started in 1269 and almost immediately it was plundered, even though only in the early stages of construction. Eventually the castle was completed in the late 1270s. There is a photo of Therese standing beside a section of the fallen wall which is lying on its side. The thickness is quite a bit higher that Therese and you wonder (a) why it actually fell, and (b) what did it take to knock it down.

 

Heading north from Roscommon, we stopped for a look at Lough Arrow, a large lake but nowhere near as large as some in the area, on the way Sligo where I had my phone sorted.

 

Continuing along the coastline to Ballyshannon, we took time to check out a couple of mills which were once attached to an Abbey. The mills, of which there are three, are slowly being restored with two now in quite good shape, one being used for administration and the other a coffee shop. The big water wheels are also being restored and hence the name of Waterwheels, Abbey Assaroe, Ballyshannon. The Abbey no longer exists apart from a few carved stones on display. Part of the heritage area is a stone bridge believed to have been built in the 12th century and also said to be the oldest bridge in Ireland. Ballyshannon itself claims to be the oldest town in Ireland.

 

Nearby the mills, we located a sign and path leading to one of many of Saint Patrick's wells. More of a spring than a well, it is located close to the ocean shore and there are five identifiable graves beside the site. These wells were are very old and many date back to the pagan Gods but the various Saints in Ireland blessed the wells and used them for baptisms. (After blessing all the wells, he most likely headed of to rid Ireland of the snakes).

 

I thought that Leprechaun had struck again at this point. We went to start the GoPro camera and couldn't find the remote control. When a quick search of the car didn't turn it up, we assumed it had been knocked out of the car at one of the stops. A thorough search tonight found it. I apologised to Leprechauns for this false accusation.

 

From Ballyshannon we backtracked a few kilometres to Bundoran for the night. Nice hotel and restaurant and the rolling surf of the North Atlantic Ocean at the doorstep.

 

Tomorrow we cross the border into Northern Ireland.

 

  • Our Lady of Knock Our Lady of Knock
  • The story behind Knock The story behind Knock
  • The Knock Shrine The Knock Shrine
  • Roscommon Castle Roscommon Castle
  • Roscommon Castle Roscommon Castle
  • Roscommon Castle Roscommon Castle
  • Roscommon Castle; This is a piece of wall lying on its side. No wonder they took some knocking down Roscommon Castle; This is a piece of wall lying on its side. No wonder they took some knocking down
  • Roscommon Castle Roscommon Castle
  • The park beside Roscommon Castle The park beside Roscommon Castle
  • Lough Arrow Lough Arrow
  • This is what we are driving now This is what we are driving now
  • Us at Lough Arrow Us at Lough Arrow
  • One of the restored mills at Ballyshannon One of the restored mills at Ballyshannon
  • The second of the restored mills at Ballyshannon The second of the restored mills at Ballyshannon
  • Saint Patrick's Well at Ballyshannon Saint Patrick's Well at Ballyshannon
  • Sitting on what is supposed to be the oldest bridge in Ireland Sitting on what is supposed to be the oldest bridge in Ireland
  • Building in Ballyshannon Building in Ballyshannon
  • Street scene in Ballyshannon Street scene in Ballyshannon
  • The North Atlantic Ocean outside our Hotel in Bundoran The North Atlantic Ocean outside our Hotel in Bundoran
     

 

 

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