July 28, 2010

A Dark Knight Over Northwest Ireland

Two minor trips made here over the last month were Sligo and Donegal.

Sligo was done some weeks ago, just because I had a free day and wanted to go someplace new. I have a slight affinity to Sligeach due to the morning trains: when I was ambitions enough to wake up and catch the 07:20 train, I always heard the destination and the stations stopped at. It was the Gorey to Sligo train, and every morning, I heard the route: "Calling at: Pearse Station, Tara Street, Dublin Connolly,Maynooth, Mullingar, Edgeworthstown, Longford, Dromod, Carrick on Shannon, Boyle, Ballymote, Collooney, and Sligo." It was burned into my head, and since I had some time, I figured I'd spend the €32 and travel that route to the source and back.

Sligo was... hmm, it was nice. Not much going on there, but this was a weekday morning and early aft. It was a bigger town than I thought, and looks like it could be a good time on weekends, but probably in the same way that Westport was: could be good, could be dull.

The abbey there was good: well preserved, and quite large. The for a ruined site, quite a bit of it was still quite detailed. Even though it was raining a bit, it was still quite good to go around. Sure, I've seen heaps over the years, this was still a good one.

The rest of Sligo was OK. As I said, just a big town, with people going about their normal, everyday lives. At least I can say I was there.

Donegal was supposed to be done with my good friend around here, and former flattie, Mary. She's from a town called Moville, and she was intent on taking me there sometime for a few days. It probably would've been a good time, as she's a fun gal, and her town's close to Derry, if we ever wanted to head there for a night out. (Good city, that Londonderry!) However, we couldn't coordinate a time to do this, so I decided to up and go there myself, just for a day.

I spent a few hours in Dún na nGall, in Donegal town. There were a few things to see and entertain me with: a ruined abbey; a memorial for those lost during the famine; Donegal castle (which was less "castle" and more "mansion"). Fairly common fare for an Irish town. There was a nice pub that had some decent fish 'n chips, and that was it, really. The town was a bit light on souvenirs. Yup, common fare for an Irish town.

I think Donegal would be a good one to visit outside of the town. Sligo, too, for that matter. Like Mayo and Galway for GFW6, I think much of the value of that area of the island isn't so much in the big towns (although they're nice), it's outside in the wilds of rugged Ireland. Fishing, climbing, running, hiking, trekking, orienteering, cycling, and the like would all be great activities out there. Plus, I'm sure Moville's a rockin' li'l town.

Nice counties out there!

This is why it's going to be hard to leave.

Posted by tyler at July 28, 2010 9:47 PM