Sligo! Sligo was fabulous. I met up with my college friend, Anthony, and we spent a little more than three days largely out in nature, looking at things that were thousands of years old, and spectacular views.
I took the train from Connolly Station in Dublin to Sligo and met up with Anthony at our Airbnb in the evening. We decided we were fascinated enough with the strange offerings at Domino’s to eat there (ha ha, Americans… sigh). The next morning, we went to the tourist office and they called a taxi to take us out to Carrowmore, the most extensive megalithic/neolithic (i.e. from like 5000 BCE) cemetery… IN EXISTENCE. There were dolmen (like Poulnabrone Dolmen, which Riley and I saw a couple weeks ago)–graves of huge stacked rocks–everywhere. At the center of the cemetery was Listoghil, a rock mound grave with a dolmen in the middle. We could see Knocknarea, a pretty famous mountain that has Queen Maeve’s grave, and Benbulben, the weird purple cliffs to the north of Sligo.
The picture on the left is of us at Listoghil, the central tomb at Carrowmore.
After lunch, we went over to Sligo Abbey, the ruins of a medieval Dominican abbey originally built in the 13th century. We climbed through the ruins, completely alone–there were no other tourists.
The next day, Anthony and I took a bus to Strandhill, a little coastal town with so many local surfers out on the beach, and little cafes everywhere. We got some hot drinks and started on a long coastal walk, sometimes paved and mostly not, that took us along the bluffs on the beach, in the sand, to an old church that sits in ruins on a hill, and even through part of a forest. Anthony found snails everywhere and ate a couple of plants. He’s a myco-toxicologist (or plant pathologist; he vacillates between the two) and calls himself a botanist, so he nibbled on the vegetation even when I was like, uh… maybe you shouldn’t. But he was fine.
After having some delicious Indian food for dinner (nostalgic, since last summer we were in India together with our other friends), the next morning we wandered over to Sligo cathedral, which is not very impressive as far as cathedrals go. I think it’s fairly new, only built in like 1900. Toledo still overwhelms all others, in my mind, but Anthony had never seen one before. He hadn’t even been in Europe before! This guy traveled to Kyrgyzstan, Costa Rica, India, etc. and he’d never seen a castle. (And still hasn’t–we didn’t end up going to Donegal castle.)
He only had a few days in Ireland after his Belfast conference, so we headed off, him on a bus for the airport, and me on the train back to Dublin.