Northern Ireland and Rain   Leave a comment

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Woke up Sunday morning to relentless rain after my first poor night’s sleep in Ireland, not a great combo. I had a cup of coffee which did almost nothing to revive me, but did manage to doze a little more on the couch. By the time we set out for our Northern Ireland day (in the relentless rain) I was still feeling pretty draggy.

Good drive up in spite of the weather, and I drove for a fair bit of it so David could sightsee. We finally drove through some actual mountainous areas, not seaside cliffs or big hills, and if there had been even a smidge of sun I’ll bet we would have stopped to take a zillion pictures and gasp. But as it was we just chugged straight on through to Enniskillen, just over the border (which is still wide open, pending Brexit complications.)

N.I. looks, obviously, like the Republic, since geography don’t care nothin’ about politics and boundary lines. But it’s different too, what with the signs being shown without the Gaelic (which is always listed first in Ireland) and the speeds in MPH, which was somewhat of a relief except that by then I was acclimated to Ks. But the roads are also wider and better paved, and with more visibility. I welcomed this, although the more groomed aspect overall didn’t please my Inner Wild Child as much as Ireland’s overgrown tangled opulence.

We made our way to Enniskillen Castle, our putative raison d’etre for making the drive, but I tell you true, I was just a little underwhelmed (possibly due to the relentless rain and poor sleep.) It’s a very nice castle, mind, but more of a museum, really. Very NICE museum, with interesting info and artifacts about the pre-literate history of the inhabitants of region, and some good dioramas about wars. But I tell you true, for me the highlight was the exquisite tea and cakes we had in the cafe.

I found a stone circle only 20 minutes from the Castle, and a stone circle was very much on my Things I Want To See list, so David obliged and we headed off, in the relentless rain. Enniskillen is a biggish town, but like the rest of Ireland, it ends so abruptly that it seems cut off with a sword, and you’re back out into the countryside again. A few miles of smallish roads (but not the nightmares around the Cottage which we now consider ‘home’) we found our stone circle, which we had all to ourselves due to the relentless rain. It was a fascinating circle, although there was little info on the site about it other than that some neolithic potsherds  had been found there. The wind was strong and bitter, and the rain relentless, so we walked around briefly and took some photos, but didn’t stay to listen for whispers, or for me to do a nice little EBR the way I was able to in the Lake District of England.

Next on our agenda was the Lough Ryan Castle, right nigh to our Cottage in Mohill, so back home we drove, and were treated on the way to the odd slice of sunshine slanting through the clouds and lighting up a mountainside, which just thrilled us.

You can see why people ask us what we’ve been up to and we just gaze blankly at them. It can’t be quite normal to be that dang tickled about a sunbeam. In our defense, the rain had been relentless.

Lough Ryan Castle promised, according to the handy brochure, a druid altar (spelled alter in the brochure, Gods give me strength) and dolmen. Well, we drove round and round and up and down and found not a friggin’ thing except a huge tarted up trophy resort. We finally flagged down a waiter in a parking lot, who looked blank and then told us where to go to find it, but said it was so overgrown that it was probably impossible to locate. And he was right.

Boo hiss to Lough Ryan Castle for having a druid altar and not bothering to maintain so much as a footpath to it with a wee sign.

This disappointment after a day of relentless rain sent us home slightly despondent, so we built a fire and snuggled in blankets in front of it. Then David fixed a dinner that couldn’t be beat, and when we finished the sun burst through, briefly but miraculously. We cheered and went out for a post dinner walk, for miles, through fields of splendor on lanes paved with magic. Thus the day ended brilliantly, and we tucked ourselves in happily for an early night.

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Posted July 6, 2017 by suzmuse in Uncategorized

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