We left Doonbeg at 9:30 am. The drive to Sligo was about three hours. Because of our many intended (and some unintended) stops, we arrived in Sligo later than my way-exaggerated confirmation to the proprietor: that we’d arrive by 6 pm. We arrived at 7.
Along the way, we stopped at Galway Crystal Showroom. Everything was beautiful and tempting, but neither of us bought anything. So on we went to Galway. Somehow, we missed the beautiful photo-op of Galway Bay. We saw glimpses of it, but we never approached from the scenic direction. The quaint little town was okay, but finding the quaint part required several passes through, and around, various parts of the city. Once we located the old town center, we parked near St. Nicholas’s Church, saw the Lynch House, and then the little shops and pubs, and finally went inside the church before returning to the parking lot to continue on our way to Sligo.
It was too late to go out to eat when we arrived at the B&B, but Liam suggested the gasoline-grocery store as an option. There we bought sliced ham, sliced cheese, crackers, and a bottle of wine. That was dinner. The next morning we left at 10:30 to meet my cousin Mary at The Thatch in Belleek. After lunch Mary invited us to “sandwiches” (my request) the following day. The next stop was the Belleek China Showroom. There we bought several precious memories and souvenirs. On the way back to the B&B, we saw the Glencar Waterfall and took some great photos. Then we visited Yeats’s grave and took photos of Benbulben from the cemetery at St. Columba’s.
That night we actually had dinner for the third time this whole vacation. We ate at what had been Yeats’s Restaurant, now called Chris’s. Linda had stuffed chicken, and I had lamb stew. Then back to the B&B.
Friday morning we planned on visiting Rossinver, Kiltykloher, and Ballyshannon. We did NOT want to be late for our 5:30 rendezvous with Mary. However, since we had three and a half hours to spare, and since Donegal was only 26 km down the road, we knew we could make the run for Greg’s Donegal football jersey and still get back to St. Aiden’s. Along the way, we stopped at a new historical site: Sean MacDermott’s home. He was the hero of The Rising in 1916 an, along with about six other Irishmen, was executed by the British. Because of the significance, I picked some ivy and bracken fern along the way to Donegal. Somehow, at one little ditch, I found a great patch of fern. It involved placing one foot across the tiny stream. Unfortunately, that left foot landed in dried gorse, so it sunk several inches, throwing me completely off balance. There was no way to extricate myself and get my foot back on the road. The idea of falling into the ditch and looking awful prior to arriving at dinner horrified me. We were both laughing so hard, though, that neither of us could do much except teeter on the brink. Somehow, I did, with Linda’s help, get both feet back on the road. I had, however, managed to grasp the thorny wild blackberry vines and bloodied up my left hand. We went on to Donegal, bought the jersey, and arrived back at 4:30. Nothing short of a miracle!
Due to some miscommunication, though, Mary waited at another church. We tried a number of ways to contact her, and then we finally left for Sligo. Sadly, we didn’t get to see her before leaving.