County Sligo

14 Oct

County Sligo is the second most populous urban county in Connaught (West Ireland). However, on our trip to county Sligo, our group stayed away from most things modern. There was no wi-fi and minimal cell-phone signal. We stayed at an eco-lodge called Gyreum (pronunciation is disputed); it was a round building that had beds lining the walls as well as a center family area.

On the first night, we arrived around 7 PM and almost immediately dinner was awaiting us on a large family-styled table. Being forced to cook for myself, it was a great relief to have food waiting for me, and the food was absolutely amazing. After watching The King’s Speech with everyone, a few of us decided to go outside and the sight I saw was breath-taking. I’m from the suburb, but I’m close enough to the city where there are always lights, so I never get to see stars. So when I stepped outside at the eco-lodge and looked up to see an endless amount of stars, I was taken aback .It was like being in a movie.

On Saturday, we took a hike up to see a megalithic Irish burial tomb. The specific one that we went to on Saturday morning had never been opened. We took a lap around the tomb clock-wise as the legend goes. The hike up was exhausting, but every time we go hiking, there is always an amazing sight at the end, and this was no different. After our hike, the group split into those that were going to learn how to surf and those who were going kayaking. I was in the latter. We met two friendly instructors and set off on a 6 mile kayak to a deserted island that was once home to an old woman who would sail her way to and from the mainland. Coming back to the Gyreum, we were met with some downtime and after another drool-worthy dinner listened to a real life Druid and her stories as well as some Irish musicians. The stories were a great laugh, and we also learned a lot about ancient Irish folklore.

Sunday morning, we walked a nature hike and learned about some of the plants native to Ireland. Afterwards we went on another hike. This one was much more challenging than Saturday’s. We took a “scenic route” towards the portal tomb we were meant to see and it seemed as though we were hiking through the safari. Almost every step someone fell into a hole. It was all a great laugh though. When we finally reached the portal tomb, we could go inside and there were three individual rooms in which bodies could be placed.

Going back to the bus to head home, I met some friends. There were horses roaming around a field and they loved the attention that we gave them. They even went towards the bus when we left them.

Overall, County Sligo gave some breath-taking sights to see and I would love to return if I ever got the chance.     

Amanda Duong

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