This is Thursday (we think) and the morning was chilly and started out foggy. Monica really wanted to visit the Yeats Memorial Museum but it didn’t open unto 10am so we filled in the time staring with a short breakfast at the Lilly and Lolly Café also in the same building (they were the names of Yeats’ sisters). A roaring fire in the fireplace welcomed us and the scones were piping hot right out of the oven. On the walls of the café were inscriptions of some of Yeats’ best known poetry. It really set the mood… and today is National Poetry Day (thanks Melissa for letting Monica know that – how ironic).
After breakfast we strolled through the city admiring interesting architecture, iconic sculptures, the 11th century Sligo Abbey, the Cathedral of Immaculate Conception and St. John’s Cathedral until it was 10 o’clock and the museum opened. We enjoyed a very interesting video of Yeats’ public life (didn’t know he was so influential in Irish politics). Sligo and surrounding area is very proud and dedicated to everything Yeats. He is arguably one of the greatest poets of the 20th century.
Leaving Sligo, we travelled north to the town of Drumcliff to visit Yeat’s gravesite passing by the infamous Ben Bulben mountain (which Yeats wrote about) and which unfortunately was mostly covered in clouds today. The sun was trying to burn through but we had a long day ahead of us and couldn’t wait for the perfect photo. We settled for less and moved on.
Next stop was at the Beleek Pottery factory in the town of Beleek which is just over the border into Northern Ireland. Fascinating museum and gift shop…some of the pieces valued in the thousands of dollars. Monica’s shopping was more modest but she was delighted, nevertheless, with her selections. Leaving there we travelled north to Donegal which is reputedly the capital of woolens and tweeds made from Aran Island wool and Monica had her heart set on a new sweater. As she shopped, I enjoyed the city sights including Donegal Castle and the Cathedral with its round tower. The sun was out in full force and the early afternoon was quite warm (not a day to wear a wool sweater). Purchases made, happy Monica.
Carrying on, we drove west to the coast on some of the most harrowing narrow and twisty roads yet, dodging sheep and squeezing around tight turns. There we saw the seaside cliffs of Slieve League which may not be as well known as the Cliffs of Moher but are equally as impressive… perhaps even more so since they tower 1900 feet above sea level, almost three times higher than the Cliffs of Moher. The late afternoon sun was peeking in and out of the clouds casting beautiful shadows on the cliffs. So stunning and grand they are… all you can do is stand there and stare and feel very very small.
As the afternoon was getting on, we travelled north east through the Blue Stack Mountains (oh my goodness) toward Letterkenny and arrived just before dusk at the Mountain View B&B. This private home is incredible (stained glass throughout) and the hostess very welcoming and as the name suggests, it’s in the mountains. We had our own private sitting room with tea beside the fireplace where I’m blogging this right now. It was a great day filled with every good emotion. We’ll see if tomorrow can compare.