Holiday in Ireland - July 2012
several days staying in Cookstown with John and Wendy,
we took the notion on the spur of the moment of
spending a few days in Westport, County Mayo, on the
west coast of Ireland. It was a 4 hour drive
passing through the delightfully named Tyrone towns of
Augher, Clogher and Fivemiletown.
On the way we stopped to look at Eniskillen
Finally we hit the west coast at Sligo and were impressed with the landscape - but not the weather unfortunately...
Westport is a delightful place on the west coast of Ireland. We stayed at the Westport Woods Hotel, which we can certainly recommend. Its 20 metre indoor pool got a bit of a workout. The town is compact and feels more like continental Europe than Ireland. In particular the restaurants were excellent - we dined one night at the picturesque Sheebeen Hotel - one of the few thatched buildings we saw in Ireland. Genevieve was particular impressed by the coloured lobster pots on Westport wharf.
Westport is located near Croagh Patrick, a 764 metre mountain frequented by St Patrick. Dad and the boys took a notion of following St Patrick - although for a day trip only and not for the 40 days reportedly spent by St Patrick during a Lenten sojourn... The top of the mountain was in cloud when the team started the ascent, and things got steadily worse, as it started to drizzle closer to the top. As we neared the top a small church materialised out of the mist in an eerie sort of way. We paid our respects inside and as we were leaving a sheep appeared out of the mist which eagerly accepted a banana from Michael!
Before we left Mayo, we spent several hours driving around Achill Island so the boys could experience some of the bleak beauty of western Ireland. The weather added to the bleakness, but did not spoil the picturesque quality. Here are a few snaps. Matthew in particular was captivated by some of the warning signs...
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