Rediscovering Ireland: The Gleniff Horseshoe.

First port of call when I arrived in Ireland was, Sligo. I had been there before, on a family holiday about twenty-two years ago, but, due to my age at the time, did not have much recollection of the area. However, one thing that had left a lasting impression on me was Benbulben. I remember being blown away at the immensity of this mountain. Especially considering how small I was back then.  So; I was excited to be in the area again and at the prospect of seeing Big Benbulben again.

Benbulben
Benbulben

When I found out that the first stop on my Irish adventure was going to be the Gleniff Horseshoe I really  couldn’t contain myself. It´s funny that it´s referred to as a horseshoe, it´s not a horseshoe at all, in reality it´s an eight kilometer loop of single lane road. However, whatever it may be, it most certainly is impressive. As you drive along the loop you´re surrounded by stunning views of the Tieve Baun, Truskmore, King´s, Benbulben and Benwiskin mountains.

So; off we set, picnic in tow, on our little adventure. We chose to start the loop at Benbulben. However, you don´t have to start there, you can actually start the loop at whichever point you prefer. At first sight, I was rendered speechless. As the sun beamed down on Benbulben´s head all I could do was stand there and soak up the beauty I was seeing. Eventually, once I snapped out of my love struck comma, I managed to take some photos.

Benbulben
Benbulben

Not quite ready to leave Benbulben behind just yet; my friend and I decided to set up a picnic by a stream we had seen under Benbulben´s head. And, let´s face it, after seeing such rugged beauty, we needed to refuel!

After our lovely relaxing picnic it was time to continue the journey. We drove along, stopping here and there when something took our fancy, until we reached the remains of Bartye´s Mill. We parked up here and decided to explore the forest that has been developed through the land. To me, this forest was like a mini horseshoe within the Horseshoe itself. It really was something special. Such a mix of landscapes, textures and beauty.

 

Having completed the walk we found ourselves back in the car heading towards the Magic Hill and Diarmuid and Grainne´s cave. Amazing. I honestly thought nothing could compare to Benbulben but, I was wrong. As we continued uphill this mass of mountains appeared before us. It was like something out of The Lord of the Rings.

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At one point on our journey, the mountains were so imposing that it seemed as though they had shallowed the road and that our only option would be to drive through them.

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Then; the magic came into play. We had heard about this magic hill. A hill where, according to people in the area, a car can “magically” drive itself uphill. Crazy. Not being brave enough we didn´t try it. However, I´m starting to wish we had; just out of curiosity!

 

So; there you have it, the second post in my series: Rediscovering Ireland. Picnics, mountains, caves and magical hills. What more could you want from a drive? If you ever find yourself in Sligo then I highly recommend doing this drive.

That´s it for today´s post. I hope you enjoyed reading about my adventure. Stay tuned for tomorrow´s post.

Hope you all are having a great day.

Thank you for reading and I will talk to you in my next post.

Giana xoxo

 

Rediscovering Ireland: Introduction

So, those of you who read my posts regularly will know that I was lucky enough to get back to Ireland on holidays this Easter. It´s shocking to think that it´s been almost four years since I last stepped foot in my beloved birth country. However, this, as with everything, has some advantages. Those advantages being that if you´ve been away from a place for so long, when you do go back, it´s like seeing it through fresh eyes, you fall in love with the place all over again. Everything, that you sometimes take for granted while living in a place, is now that little bit more special than before.

Galway
Galway

I had been so busy over the last four years, settling in and falling in love with Spain, that I had almost forgotten just how special Ireland truly is. While that statement is quite shameful to admit, especially seeing as Irish people are known for their pride in their country, it´s  true.
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That said, when my plane landed in Dublin airport, I was full of excitement and anticipation. Greeted by my friends and a rough plan of what was to come I was thrilled to be on Irish soil once again. I have to say my friends are what made this trip for me. They ensured that I got to experience as much as I could while I was home. I´m so grateful for that, with their help I managed to have a jam-packed holiday. So, if you´re reading this, thank you so much!
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That said; due to the vast quantity of places I managed to fit into my trip home, I´ve decided to make my trip home into a series. A post a day on the highlights from my trip. I know that I could have tried to fit them all into one post but I feel that each place merits its own post. Also, I think, if I had chosen to write just one post, it would have ended up being too long. I mean we all know how much I love to talk: being brief is just not something that would work for me. But, I suppose, I wouldn´t be Irish otherwise, would I?
So; I´ve decided to call this series, as the title of this post might suggest: rediscovering Ireland. Not a very original title, I know, but that is exactly what this trip was for me. Seeing Ireland in a new light.
So all that remains in this introductory post is to tell you what to expect over the next number of days. So here it is:
Post two: Rediscovering Ireland: The Gleniff Horseshoe.
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Post three: Rediscovering Ireland: William Butler Yeats Grave.
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Post four: Rediscovering Ireland: Knocknarea.
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Post five: Rediscovering Ireland: Coney Island.
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Post six: Rediscovering Ireland: Strandhill.
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Post seven: Rediscovering Ireland: Eagles Flying.
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Post eight: Rediscovering Ireland: Kylemore Abbey.
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Post nine: Rediscovering Ireland: Kilcooley Abbey.
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So, there you have it. A little taste of what´s to come over the next number of days. I hope you´ll enjoy it as much as I did while I was there!
Hope you all are having a great day.

Thank you for reading and I will talk to you in my next post.

Giana xoxo